Tag Archives: Parinirvana

Chatral Rinpoche’s Parinirvana

Chatral Rinpoche1

From the Compassionate Action website:

Early Life:

At the age of 15, Chatral Rinpoche decided to leave his family (circa 1928) in order to study and practice Buddhism with the masters of the area.  This act of renunciation began his life-long journey as a carefree yogi seeking Enlightenment at any cost in order to effectively help other beings with compassion.  From the onset, Rinpoche was highly principled, traveling exclusively on foot and refusing a horse when offered. He stayed only in hermitages, caves or his small tent to avoid involvement with householders and their worldly preoccupations.

Chatral Rinpoche met his root guru, Khenpo Ngawang Palzang (1879-1941) of Kathok Monastery.  The great Khenpo had been the heart disciple of Patrul Rinpoche’s main student, Lungtok Tenpai Nyima (1829-1901), and was considered to be a manifestation of the 9th Century Dzogchen master Vimalamitra.

Khenpo Ngakchung gave Chatral Rinpoche many teachings and transmissions particularly of the Longchen Nyinthig tradition.  For the next six years Rinpoche studied under him, completing his ngondro and practicing trekchod and togyal, which are some of the most advanced practices of Dzogchen.


Khenpo Ngawang Palzang knew Rinpoche was very special and acknowledged him to be his closest disciple, explaining that, his mind and my mind are no different.  He bestowed upon Rinpoche the name Chatral Sangye Dorje, which means “Indestructible Buddha who has Abandoned all Mundane Activities.”

The first time Chatral Rinpoche’s greatness became revealed to others was at a large worship service at Kathok Monastery, attended by several high lamas sitting on lofty thrones. Rinpoche sat in the back on a simple meditation cushion with a few hundred other monks.  Khenpo Ngawang Palzang remarked during the service: “Among all of you here today, there are less than ten people who have one-tenth of my realization.  Then, there are less than five of you who have half of my realization.”

“Finally, there is only one person here whose realization is no different from mine, and he is Chatral Sangye Dorje.  He can now represent me to transmit the teachings and his merits are the same as mine.” — Khenpo Ngawang Palzang

This proclamation caused quite a stir in the assembly hall and afterward people came to congratulate Rinpoche.  Preparations began for a grand ceremony to honor Rinpoche in his new status.  Rinpoche was not one for all this attention and praise and so snuck away in the middle of the night with his tent to continue his practice alone in the wilderness.  The next day when they came to honor him, they found his room empty with no trace of where he went.  Once again, he lived up to his name Chatral, which can be translated as hermit.

Chatral Rinpoche once explained, “We abide nowhere, we possess nothing.”   In the ultimate sense, this is a profound statement on the impermanence of life and emptiness of all things.  In the conventional sense, this is how a yogi like Chatral Rinpoche actually lived in Tibet.  Having no household or possessions to weigh on one’s mind, one is completely free to practice the Dharma.

Strict Principles:

Chatral Rinpoche was renowned for being incorruptible and insistent on doing things the right way.  In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, when someone dies, it is standard to leave them for three days to allow ample time for the consciousness to leave the body and hopefully enter into a Pureland realm or at least a high rebirth.

From the AnimalPeopleForum Chatral Rinpoche exclaimed:

“I was the first to become vegetarian since we came to India. The first year of the Nyingma Monlam in Bodh Gaya was non-vegetarian.  In the second year I came there and spoke at a meeting of all the high Nyingma Lamas.”

“I told them that Bodh Gaya is a very special place which is holy to all Buddhists, and if we say we are gathered here for the Nyingma Monlam and yet eat meat, this is a disgrace and the greatest insult to Buddhism.  I said they should all give up meat from now on, during the Nyingma Monlam.” — Chatral Rinpoche

He went on to say, “Even the Tibetan lamas and monks eat meat!  What a shame if even the lamas can’t give up meat! First the lamas should commit themselves to being life-long vegetarians.  If the Lamas become vegetarian, then you can address the lay people. Then also you should urge the monks to become vegetarian. Otherwise if knowledgeable religious people eat meat, how can one expect the ignorant public, who follow along just like sheep, to become vegetarian?”

Chatral Rinpoche was very selective about those he actually gave teachings to.  He was fully aware that most of the people who ask him for teachings are not a fraction as serious about their practice as he is, so doesn’t bother to waste the precious nectar of his teachings on an unsuitable vessel.

“There are three kinds of Dharma practitioners: firstly, there are those who look like practitioners outwardly, but inwardly they are not real practitioners; secondly, there are those who talk very high, but have no realization at all; thirdly there are those who do not look like practitioners outwardly, but who are in fact genuine practitioners inside.” — Chatral Rinpoche

Therefore as a strict rule, Rinpoche never transmitted any higher-level teachings to those who have studied with him for less than six years sufficient time for them to prove themselves as genuine practitioners.


Despite the adulation of countless thousands in the Himalayan region, Rinpoche remains as humble as ever.  He once said, “I am just an ordinary sentient being and there is nothing special about me.  I just follow the teachings of Lord Buddha.  Without any cheating on my part, I stand firmly on the ground in practicing the Dharma and in helping all sentient beings.”

“I wish that all sentient beings could let go of the acts of self-deception and self-aggrandizement, so that they can really practice the Dharma in order to liberate themselves from cyclic existence and to help other sentient beings.  Otherwise, it will be too late when they are feeling remorseful!” — Chatral Rinpoche

On December 30th, 2015, Kyabje Chatral Sangye Dorje begin the transition to Parinirvana.  He remained in tukdam meditation until January 5th, 2016, when he attained Parinirvana.  Chatral Rinpoche passed in the 10th month on the 20th day of the Tibetan Lunar Calendar.  This Friday, December 8th, will be a great time to make butterlamp offerings and ganachakra tsok feasts in honor of this great master.

Tsok Dates:

2016 – December 18th

2017 – December 8th

Texts & Prayers:

Some writings of Chatral Rinpoche that include prayers, practices, pilgrimages, and words of advice:  Lotsawa House



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Yangthang Rinpoche Parinirvana

Venerable Yangthang Tulku Rinpoche was the immediate reincarnation of Dhomang Terchen, Dorje Dechen Lingpa.  He was the revealer of many treasure practices.  As one of the inconceivable great treasure revealers from Eastern Tibet, Dhomang Terchen was highly regarded by the greatest lamas and tertons of his time.


He revealed thirteen volumes during his life, which included treasures found in the earth, in lakes, in rocks, and in space, as well as pure vision treasures.  He is well known as the emanation of the great Vimalamitra, as well as Terton Lhatsun Namkha Jigmed.  Therefore, it is no surprise that his revelations also included many astonishing secret substances and materials necessary for the future propagation of Vajrayana practice.


From PathToBuddha website:

In 1959, when the Communist Chinese invaded Tibet, Yangthang Rinpoche fled Dhomang.  He was later captured by the Chinese and imprisoned for 22 years.  He helped many fellow prisoners who could not bear the hardship to die peacefully by performing Phowa and transferring their consciousness to the Pure Land.

Though he witnessed and experienced much torture, he bears no resentment to his captors, only compassion.  In fact, he became a spiritual advisor to some of the guards.  When people express sympathy about his imprisonment, Rinpoche says that because of Dharma, his mind was more free in prison than worldly people experience in the best of circumstances.

“Because of Dharma, my mind was more free in prison than worldly people experience in the best of circumstances.” — Yangthang Rinpoche

Following the death of Mao Tse Tung he was released.  He returned to Dhomang to find his monastery completely dismantled.  He then obtained permission to go to Sikkim.  As a simple yogi he traveled back and forth to Nepal and Bhutan, receiving transmissions and empowerments from His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and His Holiness Dodrupchen Rinpoche.


Yangthang passed into parinirvana last year on October 15th, 2016.  So, as part of Vajrayana tradition, students and close disciples plan on doing tsok (ganachakra feasts) on the 14th day of eight month of the Tibetan Lunar Calendar.  The parinirvana date for this year falls on:

2017: October 4th


From Yangthang’s FB page:

The “sung-jug” for the two Relic Stupas of Yangthang Rinpoche has been completed smoothly today, the auspicious Guru Rinpoche Day, at Yangthang Rinpoche’s residence in Yuksom, Sikkim.

The sacred relic of Yangthang Rinpoche, along with his bone relics, and many other holy substance have been successfully offered inside Yangthang Rinpoche’s Relic Stupa (Kutung Chorten).


It is said that performing the Ganachakra feast on the anniversary of the Guru’s parinirvana day will bring immeasurable benefits and negative karma accumulated over many aeons will be extinguished. 

The Tantra of the Protector Crow states:

“One who holds ceremonies during the anniversaries of the lama’s passing will attain the irreversible state and after death will be reborn in the realm of Khachod dakinis.”


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The Essential Journey

It was the fifteenth day of the eleventh month of the Fire Tiger Year, January 14, 1987, when His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche said to his wife and those close to him, “Now I have completed everything.”


Usually he would do all his regular practices, and meditate and pray for people who requested his prayers in many directions, but on this day he said:

“I have completed everything, every prayer that has been asked of me.  Now I am going to leave.  Please be careful in the future to pay attention.  Karma can be very subtle and tricky.  We might think something is no big deal, but it may turn out to have serious consequences, so pay good attention to the karmic process.” — Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche

He continued, “This is what every practitioner needs to pay attention to — even those with the highest realization. I’ve done my part.”

Upon hearing this, many of those present didn’t believe him.  They thought he was making some casual statement, but soon afterwards he got sick and passed away.  This is how great ones move.

Excerpt taken from Venerable Khenpo Rinpoches:  “The Essential Journey of Life and Death“, Volume 1 (page 159)

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Saga Dawa day

Today is a full moon.  It is a traditional Buddhist holiday.  We call it Saga Dawa: This means “Month of Saga” which is the fourth month of the lunar calendar.  On the full moon day of this month, Buddha Shakyamuni showed his deed of taking birth, attaining enlightenment, and going into Parinirvana.

Sutra of the Buddha-Crown Superb Victory Dharani
Translated from Sanskrit into Chinese in the Tang Dynasty
by The Tripitaka Master Divakara

Looking at Good Stay, the Buddha said, “You can stop crying now because I have a Dharma Door named the Superb Victory Buddha-Crown Dharani Mantra. Those who keep reciting this Mantra can be liberated from their sufferings. Good Stay, this Superb Victory Buddha-Crown Dharani Mantra of mine is pronounced by hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands, and hundreds of thousands of kotis of Buddhas. This Dharani which I will soon pronounce can be compared to all the Buddha-crowns and is most dignified and most victorious. It can annihilate all karma-hindrances, bringing purity; pull sentient beings out of life-journeys in hell, as animals, and in Yama’s dominion; and eradicate the afflictions of life and death for all sentient beings.”

The Buddha then told the god-king, “If, among good men, good women, bhiksus, and bhiksunis, there are those who can uphold this Pure Buddha-Crown Superb Victory Dharani Mantra, reading it or reciting it, this virtue can totally obliterate their karma of the ten evil deeds and the five rebellious acts committed in hundreds, thousands, and tens of thousands of kalpas and ready them to attain anuttara-samyak-sambodhi. They will have past-life knowledge without changing their present bodies, and they will be reborn in one Buddha Land after another. They will constantly encounter Bodhisattvas Samantabhadra, Mañjusri, Avokitesvara, and Great Might Arrived, who will rub their heads and proffer them a guiding hand, recognizing them as Bodhisattvas. They will constantly hear and uphold the true Dharma in a bodhimanda and obtain sarvajña.

Their life spans will be lengthened, and they will not die accidental deaths because their body, speech, and mind will be pure. With their bodies pleasantly tingly, they will feel very clean, light, and tranquil anywhere and anytime. If they remember this Dharani upon dying, they will be able to be reborn in Buddha Lands.”

When the god-king Sakra heard the Buddha praise the inconceivable virtue of this Superb Victory Dharani, he was filled with joyful appreciation and whole-hearted longing. He said, “World-Honored One, I pray only that the Tathagata, taking sympathetic consideration of Good Stay and the rest of us as well as the sentient beings in the expected Dharma-ending age, will pronounce this Superb Victory Buddha-Crown Dharani Mantra. I should train myself to have all sentient beings forever leave the sufferings of the eight difficulties.”

At that time the World-Honored One, for the sake of the god-king, the god-son Good Stay, the four groups of disciples, and others, pronounced the Mantra:

namo bhagavate trai-lokya prativisistaya buddhaya bhagavate | tad-yatha om visodhaya visodhaya | asamasama samanta-avabhasa spharana gati gahana svabhava visuddhe | abhisiñcatu mam | sugata vara vacana | amrta-abhiseke maha-mantra pane | ahara ahara ayuh sandharani | sodhaya sodhaya gagana visuddhe | usnisa vijaya visuddhe | sahasra-rasmi sañcodite | sarva tathagata-avalokana sat-paramita paripurani | sarva tathagata hrdaya-adhisthana-adhisthita maha-mudre | vajra-kaya samharana visuddhe | sarva-avarana-apaya-durgati pari-visuddhe | prati-nivartaya-ayuh suddhe | samaya-adhisthite mani mani maha-mani | tathata bhuta koti parisuddhe | visphuta buddhi suddhe | jaya jaya vijaya vijaya smara smara | sarva buddha-adhisthita suddhe | vajre vajra-garbhe vajram bhavatu mama sariram | sarva sattvanam ca kaya pari-visuddhe | sarva gati parisuddhe | sarva tathagatas ca me sama-asvasayantu | sarva tathagata sama-asvasa-adhisthite | budhya budhya vibudhya vibudhya | bodhaya bodhaya vibodhaya vibodhaya | samanta parisuddhe | sarva tathagata hrdaya-adhisthana-adhisthita maha-mudre svaha ||


  1. If there is a sentient being who is in total misery due to his grave sins and has no one to rescue him, he should, on the fifteenth day of a waxing moon, bathe clean, wear clean clothes, and accept the eight precepts. He should mindfully kneel on his right knee, facing the image of an enlightened being, and recite this Mantra 1,080 times. Then all his sins and karma-hindrances will be totally annihilated. He will be able to retain all the meanings of this Dharani Door and command unimpeded eloquence, and he will be purified and liberated.
  2. If a person expecting a short life desires longevity, he should, on the fifteenth day of a waxing moon, bathe clean, wear clean clothes, observe the precepts single-mindedly, and recite this Dharani Mantra 1,080 times in total. This person expecting a short life will thus gain longevity, all his karma-hindrances having been annihilated.
  3. He should recite this Dharani Mantra 1,080 times in total without interruption. Then he should sprinkle the water in all four directions, also up and down, wishing all sentient beings be purified. After he has performed this rite, his evil karma as stated above, which should cause him to go to hell or to become an animal or a hungry ghost, will all be obliterated, and he will be liberated. The exoneration officer of Lord Yama, not angered but respectful instead, will joyfully join his palms and praise his virtues. After death, he will be reborn in a Buddha Land, and he can visit Pure Lands in the ten directions as he wishes.
  4. In addition, you can recite the Mantra on the fifteen day of a waxing moon to pippala figs in butter-honey 1,080 times and let the sinner eat them. Having eaten, his sins of the ten evil deeds and five rebellious acts will all be expunged. Furthermore, he will eventually attain anuttara-samyak-sambodhi.
  5. All his sins such as the ten evil deeds will thus be expunged, and he will eventually attain anuttara-samyak-sambodhi. Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will rub his head, personally bestowing upon him the prophecy of his attaining bodhi. If he wants to visit the abode of Bodhisattvas, they will take him to their own palaces, traveling to and fro among the Buddha Lands in the ten directions.

For animals or our pets:

The Buddha said to the god-kings, “Furthermore, if a person recites this Dharani Mantra into the ears of an animal only once, this animal, having heard this Mantra once with its ears, will not assume an animal’s body again after this life. Even if the animal is supposed to enter hell, it will be exempted.”

To read the whole sutra:  Sutra of the Buddha-Crown Superb Victory Dharani


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Parinirvana of His Holiness

As some of you may know, on March 27th, 2009 His Holiness Penor Rinpoche passed into parinirvana.  He was considered to be one of the strongest emanations of Longchenpa and Vimalamitra in our time.

The Palyul Clear Light magazine has a special issue (p. 42) with two great quotes about the merits of performing Ganachakra ceremonies or Tsok Feast offerings on this day.

The Kalachakra Tantra of Holding the Qualities of the Lama teaches:

Whatever virtue is accumulated by relatives for the sake of the dead will ripen upon the dead wherever he or she is born, just as a calf follows the cow.

Likewise the offerings devoted disciples make out of sorrow when their master passes away will ripen upon the master, whose wishes will be fulfilled; this will enable the disciple to follow his master’s example.

Whoever marks the date, month and the year of their master’s demise and makes offerings on that day will extinguish negative karma accumulated over many eons.

Achievement of the unsurpassable state will certainly be enabled.

It further states:

This merit is not equaled even by the merit of donating eyes or giving life to all beings in the three thousand world systems who are either blind or whose life is deteriorating.  This merit is not equaled even by the merit accumulated by leading all beings of the three thousand world systems towards arhathood or by making offering to them for eons.  The merit accumulated by making offerings on the anniversary of one’s lama will dispel negative karma and obscurations accrued for countless eons, like the rays of the sun dispelling darkness.

This merit is superior to that accumulated by all beings in the three thousand world systems who gained merit through venerating and serving the Buddha.  Moreover, this merit is greater than the merit accrued by donating eyes, curing disease, and dispelling the sorrow of beings who are blind, ill or tormented by suffering in the hell realms and who are as numerous as the dust particles of the three thousand world systems.

The Tantra of the Protector Crow states:

One who holds ceremonies
During the anniversaries
Of the lama’s passing.
Will attain the irreversible state
And after death will be reborn in the realm of
the Khachod dakinis

Vimalamitra statue:

On November 12, 2009 the Vimalamitra statue was consecrated in honor of His Holiness Penor Rinpoche at Tashi Choling, Oregon.  Dharma artist, Lama Sonam Tsering, worked on the construction of the Vimalamitra statue.  It has been said that His Holiness came to visit the center long ago and the statue now resides exactly where he had sat and gave teachings.

The Shurangama Sutra states:

Mahakasyapa who was present with the bhiksuni Golden Light and others (of his group), then rose from his seat, prostrated himself with his head at the feet of the Buddha and declared:

“In a former aeon, when Candra-surya-pradipa Buddha appeared in this world, I had a chance of following him and of hearing the Dharma which I practised.  After he had passed away, I revered his relics, lit lamps to perpetuate his light and decorated his statue with pure gold powder.  Since then, in every subsequent reincarnation, my body has been radiant with perfect golden light.”

You can make donations to partake in the supreme merits of creating a statue of His Holiness Penor Rinpoche at this site: http://tashicholing.org/

Ganachakra ceremonies:

For Buddhists, the Ganachakra tsok is a puja or ceremony which includes the recitation of sacred text and mantras.  In addition, there are many abundant offerings of music, candles, food and even wine.  These ceremonies are traditionally based on the Lunar Calender.

Therefore, each year His Holiness Paranirana Day will be celebrated on a slightly different day.  It is important to know, when His Holiness passed away, it was on the First day of the Second month of the Tibetan lunar calendar.  Past dates have landed on:

  1. April 4, 2011
  2. March 23, 2012
  3. March 12, 2013
  4. March 31, 2014
  5. March 21, 2015
  6. March 10, 2016

The next ceremony will be held on:  March 29, 2017

Hope that helps!

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