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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.

Recognition:

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.

Humility:

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.

YTR-India

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.

Biography:

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.

Parinirvana:

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

Stupa:

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).

Benefits:

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.”

YANGTHANG-JULY1024f10def

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Benefits of the Festival of the Tenth Day


Taken in part from the Lotsawa House website:

guru rinpoche

On each one of these successive tenth day festivals, the specific benefits of observing the practice follow in this order:

In the sixth month, all kinds of illness, döns, and obstructors are pacified, and lifespan, merit and prosperity are increased.

In the twelfth month, happiness and sharpness of mind are accelerated and confidence increases, so that humans and non-humans are brought under your power.

In the first month, power, position and wealth will grow, and earth-lords and guardians obey you like servants.

In the second month, harm and damage caused by the lord of death and the eight classes of gods and spirits are pacified, discipline is purified, and unlimited wisdom blazes.

In the third month, you are untouched by harm from inauspicious conjunctions of planets and stars, and from enemies and thieves. At home and abroad, auspiciousness, peace and goodness increase everywhere.

In the fourth month, you will be immune to harm from earth-lords, nāgas and nyens, and dharmapālas and guardians will accomplish whatever activity you have entrusted to them.

In the fifth month, all harm from obstacles, enemies and döns is pacified, and the objects of your wishes are brought under your control.

In the seventh month, chronic ailments, weaknesses of the immune system and the like are purified, the body is healthy, the mind is happy, your entourage and wealth increase, and your aspirations are fulfilled.

In the eighth month, obstacles of the year, month, day and time, as well as evil signs and the like, are all pacified, and any decline in wangthang or lungta is restored.

In the ninth month, sickness and döns caused by the eight classes and jungpo demons, untimely death and fatal accidents all are pacified, serious curses are eliminated, you are freed from sorcery and psychic attacks, and your own body becomes vajra.

In the tenth month, wrongs and downfalls of the three vows such as disrespecting sacred objects, and breakages and impairments of samaya are all healed, and your mind stream is purified.

In the eleventh month, sudden misfortune, such as untimely death, will not occur, and as soon as we transfer from this life, we are born in the pure land of Lotus Light before Guru Rinpoche himself.

Not only are the benefits of observing the tenth day absolutely limitless, but for concentrating on the various practices of gathering merit and making prayers, these occasions are praised as extraordinarily special.

Composed by Jikdral Yeshe Dorje, Kyabjé Dudjom Rinpoche

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Kilaya Drupchen


Kilaya Retreat 2017

Padmakilaya & Vajrakilaya 

with Lama Padma Gyatso

Feb 20th – 26th

Padmakilaya Empowerment: February 20th
Padmakilaya Practice: February 21st – 23rd
Vajrakilaya Practice: February 24th – 26th


Kilaya rituals are traditionally practiced during the final lunar month of the Tibetan calendar to dispel obstacles before the coming year begins (Losar). Rigdzin Ling will practice three days of Padgyal Lingpa’s terma of Padmakilaya, followed by three days of H. H. Dudjom Rinpoche’s terma of Vajrakilaya, The Razor That Destroys at a Touch. 

Padmakilaya is a revelation of the great terton, Padgyal Lingpa, who initially transmitted it directly to Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche. It became the wrathful guru practice that Rinpoche practiced exclusively for decades. It was then passed on to Tulku Sang-Ngag Rinpoche who bestowed it several times at Rigdzin Ling, authorizing Lama Padma to uphold and propagate it.

For those who wish to attend this retreat but have not received the empowerment for Vajrakilaya, there will be a blessing-permission given on the first day of the Vajrakilaya practice.

If you are unable to attend the event but would like to participate,
we encourage you to offer butterlamps and tsog

Dedications will be read during the event.

Click here for more information.

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Pilgrimage to Tibet


pilgrimage

Message from Dechen Yeshe Wangmo:

Dear Sangha,

Today, on Dudjom Rinpoche’s 30th Parinirvana Anniversary, I’m happy to announce my July 2017 Pilgrimage to Tibet! This year, we’re returning to Lhasa, Tsogyal Latso and Samye but then we’re venturing west to Everest, Kailash and Lake Manasarovar!

Everything’s in place for a sacred 19-days in Tibet for 12 pilgrims, including myself and Dechen Chodon, pilgrimage manager and trip leader.

Everything’s on the website at www.sangha-journeys.com

Everything’s ready to assist you in making this journey if it’s right for you!

Where are we going?
Lhasa (Jokhang, Ramoche, Potala, Lukhang), Tsetang Tsechu Stupa, Samye, Tsogyal Latso, Yamdrok Turquoise Lake, Gyanste Kubum Stupa, Shalu, Rong Puk, Mt. Everest Base Camp, Mt. Kailash (3-day circumambulation), Manasarovar Lake and Guge Kingdom!

Don’t delay. There’s early bird pricing!

Head-on over to the website and let us know if we can be of assistance

Tashi Delek!
Lama Dechen Yeshe Wangmo
PS: Don’t miss the Full Itinerary —detailed descriptions and photos to enjoy!

 

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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.”

dudjom-rinpoche

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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Virtual Stupa Walk


The summer of 2015, in upstate New York, the Migyur Dorje Stupa was finally completed at our retreat center.

I uploaded a new video to YouTube and now you can listen and meditate while visualizing yourself doing Korwa (circumambulations) around the stupa to generate a limitless supply of merit.

Benefits:

Guru Rinpoche states:

If there is a man who offered melody music to the great stupa, shall be able to propagate the sound of dharma throughout the ten directions.  If there is a man who offered drum and melody sounds, shall obtain vast wisdom and prosperity.  If there is a man who offer the sound of bell, shall obtain a soft and harmonious voice, which is the voice of brahma.” — The Legend of Maha Buddha Stupa

From the book “Crystal Mirror 12” by author Elizabeth Cook states:

  1. Whoever offers prayers finds immediate fulfillment of his wishes for both himself and others.
  2. Whoever offers flowers to the Great Stupa obtains ease and contentment, prosperity and health.
  3. Whoever offers incense achieves pure action.
  4. Whoever offers lamps has the darkness of unknowing illuminated.
  5. Whoever offers perfume is freed from anxiety and suffering.

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama states:

“It has long been the tradition that wherever the teachings of the Buddhas have been revered and practiced, communities of followers have built reliquary monuments known in Sanskrit as stupas and as chörtens in Tibetan.

And wherever they have been built, they have been regarded as sacred, for like religious images and scriptures, they represent aspects of enlightenment.”

The Sutra On The Merit of Bathing The Buddha states:

At that time, the World Honored One uttered these verses:

After my death
You will be able to honor my relics
Some will build stupas
Or images of the Tathágata.
At the place of the image or stupa,
One who anoints that spot of ground
With various incenses and flowers Scattering them over its surface
Uses pure, beautifully scented water
To pour onto the body of this image,
Offers it various flavorful drinks and foods,
Fully maintaining it with oblations,
Eulogizes the virtue of the Tathágata,
Which is endlessly difficult to conceive;
Through the wisdom of skillful means and the supernatural power of the Buddha
Such a one will quickly reach the other shore of Nirvana.
He will obtain the diamond body
Complete with the thirty-two marks of a great person
And the eighty minor signs of excellence.

Video:

Artist: Caitlin – Laxmi’s Dream
Song: Om Mani Padme Hum (track 5)

Video Produced with CyberLink PowerDirector 13:

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Two ways of growing


Thirty Pieces of Sincere Advice

by

Longchenpa

From the infinite sky of your pristine awareness, the totality of experience, and the great clouds of your aspirations and prayers  warm rays of compassion and showers of elixir stream down, ripening the three forms (1) in the fields, your students’ minds.  I bow to you, my teacher, my protector, supreme among the Three Jewels.  With stronger aspirations I might have joined the practice lineage.  I didn’t make the effort and now enter the twilight of a meaningless life.

I intended to follow the ancient masters, but I’ve given up and I see others like me. 

So, I’ll outline these thirty pieces of sincere advice to evoke some determination in me:

Too bad!  You’ve built up a large following, one way or another.
You look after a large institution where all the right conditions are present.
But it’s all just a basis for conflict and ideas like “This is mine.”
Live alone – that’s my sincere advice.

In public ceremonies you heal children or subdue demons.
You give your capabilities away to the crowd.
Because you really want food and money, your own needs cloud your judgment.
Tame your own mind – that’s my sincere advice.

You collect a lot of pledges from the poor
And use them to build big monuments, help the needy, and so on.
The good works you do cause others to live badly.
Goodness must be in your mind – that’s my sincere advice.

You’ve taught the Dharma to others because you wanted to be famous.
You cleverly keep a large circle of admirers around you.
To take these to be real is the seed of pride.
Limit your projects – that’s my sincere advice.

You earn money by trading, charging interest, cheating or other dishonest ways.
Although you make large offerings with your accumulated wealth,
Good actions based on greed lead to the eight conventional concerns (2).
Cultivate non-attachment – that’s my sincere advice.

Although you think you’re serving the welfare of beings
By acting as a guarantor, witness or advocate to help settle others’ disputes,
Your own opinions will inevitably assert themselves.
Don’t be concerned – that’s my sincere advice.

Your political power, wealth, connections, good fortune and reputation
May spread all over the world.
When you die, these things will not help you at all.
Work at your practice – that’s my sincere advice.

Managers, assistants, directors, and such
Provide the infrastructure for both communities and religious institutions.
But your involvement in such matters gives rise to worry and concern.
Limit your business – that’s my sincere advice.

You take what you need, images, offerings,
Books, cooking gear, whatever, and stay in solitude.
Right now you have it all together but later difficulties and disputes arise.
Don’t need anything – that’s my sincere advice.

In these difficult times you may feel that it is helpful
To be sharp and critical with aggressive people around you.
This approach will just be a source of distress and confusion for you.
Speak calmly – that’s my sincere advice.

Intending to be helpful and without personal investment,
You tell your friends what is really wrong with them.
You may have been honest but your words gnaw at their heart.
Speak pleasantly – that’s my sincere advice.

You engage in discussions, defending your views and refuting others’
Thinking that you are clarifying the teachings.
But this just gives rise to emotional posturing.
Keep quiet – that’s my sincere advice.

You feel that you are being loyal
By being partial to your teacher, lineage or philosophical tradition.
Boosting yourself and putting down others just cause hard feelings.
Have nothing to do with all this – that’s my sincere advice.

As you carefully go over the teachings you’ve studied
You may think that picking out others’ mistakes is real understanding.
You will just build up a lot of negative fixations.
Keep your perception clear – that’s my sincere advice.

Mindless talk of emptiness ignores causation.
You may think the ultimate teaching is that there is nothing to do,
But when you stop the two ways of growing (3), your practice will wither.
Cultivate these two together – that’s my sincere advice.

You think that you will enhance your practice by taking a partner
And transforming sexual energy in the context of the third empowerment,
But the path of non-retention has snared many great meditators.
Keep to the natural path – that’s my sincere advice.

Giving empowerments to those who aren’t ready,
Or even distributing sacred materials in large gatherings,
Leads to abuse and causes commitments to be broken.
Be precise – that’s my sincere advice.

You may think that you practice deliberate behavior (4)
By going naked in public and shocking people in other ways.
Such actions just cause ordinary people not to trust the Dharma.
Be impeccable – that’s my sincere advice.

You work at being ethical, learned, and noble
So that you will be the best person in your district.
But from this peak you can only fall to a lower status.
Be moderate – that’s my sincere advice.

Wherever you live, in towns, spiritual communities or in isolation,
Don’t seek out special friends.
Don’t be close or at odds with anyone, no matter who is around.
Be independent – that’s my sincere advice.

Maybe you appear deferential and appreciative
To your faithful supporters who provide you with your livelihood,
But in deceiving others you only entangle yourself.
Treat everyone equally – that’s my sincere advice.

Countless books on divination, astrology, medicine and other subjects
Describe ways to read signs. They do add to your learning,
But they generate new thoughts and your stable attention breaks up.
Cut down on this kind of knowledge – that’s my sincere advice.

You stop arranging your usual living space,
But make everything just right for your retreat.
This makes little sense and just wastes time.
Forget all this – that’s my sincere advice.

You make an effort at practice and become a good and knowledgeable person.
You may even master some particular capabilities.
But whatever you attach to will tie you up.
Be unbiased and know how to let things be – that’s my sincere advice.

You may think awakened activity means to subdue skeptics
By using sorcery, directing or warding off hail or lightning, for example.
But to burn the minds of others will lead you to lower states.
Keep a low profile – that’s my sincere advice.

Maybe you collect a lot of important writings,
Major texts, personal instructions, private notes, whatever.
If you haven’t practiced, books won’t help you when you die.
Look at the mind – that’s my sincere advice.

When you focus on practice, to compare understandings and experience,
Write books or poetry, to compose songs about your experience
Are all expressions of your creativity. But they just give rise to thinking.
Keep yourself free from intellectualization – that’s my sincere advice.

When a thought arises, the key is to look right at it.
When you know about mind, the key is to be right there.
Although there isn’t anything to cultivate, the key is to keep cultivating.
Keep yourself free of distraction – that’s my sincere advice.

Act from emptiness knowing the effects of your actions.
When you understand not doing, observe the three vows (5).
With non-referential compassion work to help beings
Keep the two ways of growing inseparable – that’s my sincere advice.

I’ve studied with many learned and masterful teachers and received their profound instruction.
I’ve read some profound sutras and tantras and understood a little of them.
But I don’t practice what I know. It’s too bad. I just fool myself.
So, for me and those like me I offer these thirty pieces (6) of sincere advice.

May the good from writing these verses with this attitude of determination
Guide all beings out of the desolation of existence and bring them great joy.
May we follow the way of the buddhas of the three times, their followers and the ancient masters, And become their great and powerful offspring as well.

Thirty Pieces of Sincere Advice was written by Tsultrim Lodru out of some slight feelings of determination. Ken McLeod translated this work because it spoke to him.

Footnotes

  1. The three forms (three kayas) are the form of what is (dharmakaya), the form of enrichment (sambhogakaya) and the form of manifestation (nirmanakaya).
  2. Pleasure and pain, gain and loss, praise and blame, fame and obscurity.
  3. The two ways of growing are through goodness and through pristine awareness.
  4. A discipline in vajrayana in which you directly test the depth of your understanding.
  5. The vows associated with individual liberation (the five precepts and monastic ordination), the bodhisattva vow, and the vajrayana vows.
  6. There are actually only twenty-nine verses of advice. I don’t know whether this is due to a corrupt Tibetan text or, as is often the case, the whole work is counted as one, too.

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