Praise of Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche

Praise of Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche

Date Posted:
April 2010

Rinpoche gave the following praise of Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche, who passed away in 2006.

The idea of making a thousand offerings to Maitreya Buddha is advice from Kyabje Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche, a great yogi with skies of qualities, who unfortunately recently passed away. Rinpoche was not only a great scholar of the words of the sutras and tantras, the extensive Buddhadharma, but a great yogi who had attainment of the whole path to enlightenment. He had experiences like the limitless sky, not only of the common path—of guru devotion, renunciation, bodhicitta, and right view—but of the uncommon Tantric path, the path of secret mantra, or Vajrayana. In Tibet, Rinpoche was the abbot of many thousands of monks in Amdo, and then in India he lived an ascetic life on the mountain in Dharamsala, where he meditated on the path for many years.

My connection to Rinpoche started with lung, or wind disease. There is a very secret, very profound meditation called mani ha tun, which is very powerful when you have wind disease. There are different ways you can get lung. Many people, though not everybody, get lung when they do intensive study. Sometimes it happens because of uncontrollable attachment; when you don’t get what your attachment wants, you then get lung.

At Kopan we had one great teacher, Geshe Lama Konchog, from Sera Je Monastery in Tibet. Geshe-la was a great yogi who had completed the path to enlightenment. After he escaped from Tibet, Geshe-la lived high in the Himalayas in Tsum, which is near the Tibetan border with Nepal. He lived for many years near one of Milarepa’s caves, and he lived like Milarepa. He ate no food, but just lived on taking the essence of wind. There are different techniques for taking the essence of stones, water, flowers, or wind. Like Buddha, who practiced austerities for six years, and like Milarepa, Geshe Lama Konchog lived in a cave for six years with nothing, meditating on the path to enlightenment. When some people from the valley below came up and saw him in the cave, they didn’t know that he was a meditator. They got very frightened because his hair had grown long and he was living there with nothing. They threw rocks at his cave. A few days later a group of about sixteen people came up and dragged him out of the cave.

He then moved to another of Milarepa’s caves on a very high mountain. When he left there, he did retreat for two years under a tree. There wasn’t a house or any walls or even a tent—he just meditated under the tree for two years. He totally sacrificed himself to attain the path to enlightenment for sentient beings.

Anyway, after Geshe Lama Konchog had come from the mountains to Kopan Monastery in Nepal, he mentioned many times that he needed the oral transmission of this technique to heal lung. At that time I was spending a lot of time in Dharamsala because there were problems at Kopan Monastery because of a misunderstanding with some Nepalese government officials. A student who was the director of the FPMT International Office at that time had become stressed out and had lung, so I asked him to look for a lama who had the lineage of this meditation. I sent him to Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche, who had the lineage. The student received the oral transmission of this special meditation technique. Even though there was no translator and Rinpoche simply read the text, it helped him to recover from his lung. He got better just by hearing the oral transmission, without any explanation.

I then went to receive the lineage of the oral transmission of this meditation, which I then passed to Geshe Lama Konchog and Lama Lhundrup, the abbot of Kopan Monastery. That was the start of my connection to Kyabje Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche. When I asked Rinpoche some questions about tantra, I noticed that Rinpoche had incredible experiences of the tantric path. I then took more and more teachings from him. That’s how it started, and that’s how the channel was opened for Western students and those from Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan to receive teachings and guidance from Rinpoche. Rinpoche guided students not just with words from the texts but from his own experiences. Rinpoche also gave one of the most precious things, the Kalachakra initiation, many times, as well as many other initiations. He turned the Dharma wheel all over the West and in many other parts of the world, including Russia and Latvia. Rinpoche went all over the world many times and turned the Dharma wheel very extensively. He practiced and preserved Dharma very purely and spread it very purely to sentient beings.

Unfortunately, when Rinpoche was in Israel during the recent war to give teachings, he manifested some sickness, which the doctors discovered to be cancer. Rinpoche then canceled all his programs and went straight to Dharamsala. Rinpoche recently passed away, after being in meditation for a few days. His holy body has been cremated in Dharamsala.