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Tsawai Lama

Phuntsok Rabten Khatsiktsang

Gyalwa Shamarpa was our Tsawai Lama. This was a choiceless ‘karmic’ choice. Gyalwa Shamarpa’s radiant compassion, piercing methods and priceless instructions makes this life worth living and striving for.

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche taught about the “indivisibility and universality of the Guru” and had remarked that “at the end of the day, all one remembers is the expressions of the Guru.” My Tsawai Lama embodies the truism of these statement for me.

My father was always in awe of Gyalwa Shamarpa’s innate capacity for predictions and prophesies from a very tender age. I myself was witness to a few such cases which can only be the workings of a great being, a Maha-Siddha, performing activities beyond the realms of the conventional boundaries.

For examples, in 1999, Gyalwa Shamarpa once advised me to take my father for surgery as soon as possible, against the advice of four of the best surgeons in Bhutan. Suffice to say, my father made a full recovery. When I went back to pay my respects and express my gratitude, Gyalwa Shamarpa spoke out before I did with a – “I told you so”.

There are innumerable lessons and impressions to be cited, in circumstances both ordinary and ceremonious alike. That which stands out is of Gyalwa Shamarpa putting us to little tests, and every time we failed, He would just remark with his customary flourish – “Small Mind!!!”

My Tsawai lama had an inconceivable mind that baffled both well wishers and so-called foes alike (I can easily imagine Gyalwa Shamarpa calling this statement “Small Mind” again). For a great being who resides in vast equanimity, He certainly never saw foes and friends like defiled emotional us. That is a simple but powerful lesson I will never forget.

I also remember how Gyalwa Shamarpa stood up very resolutely for an ordinary person (who was later inducted into His service) against one of His most influential and powerful patron. Such utterly fearless and compassionate integrity I have never since encountered in any other person in my life.

The Tsawai Lama had multitude of manifestations – carefree and boundless like a seven year old, deep and unshakable like a 2500 year old sage, fearless and indomitable like Ling Gesar Himself, … et al … I better stop here or I never will …

With heartfelt aspirations to see the sun rise from the dark horizons soon again…

Gyalwa Shamarpa Khyenno.