Salute to Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche on His 90th Birthday, by P.C. Chen (English and Mandarin versions)

September 1, 2013

c

90 years ago,

about 7,503.7 miles from  here,

a baby boy was born in a remote place in Tibet.

His birth did not cause any pain to his mother,

instead, was accompanied with many auspicious signs

foretelling the unusual qualities that would gradually manifest throughout his life.

You might wonder what these qualities are,

but I cannot tell you

as it would exhaust the ink as vast as the ocean

to have them written down and

it would be much harder to recount them

than to figure out the number of sand in the River Ganges.

A more comprehensible approach though

would be recollecting the qualifies

that he does not have

in terms of body, speech, and mind.

There are 12 in total.

♦   ♦   ♦

To begin with, he has no attachment.

At age 12, he turned away from the nonsense of samsara,

entered Thrangu monastery to become a monk,

determined to cut the ties to this life

once and for all.

♦   ♦   ♦

Second, he has no flaws in moral disciplines.

At age 20, he received the full ordination

from the 11th Tai Situ Rinpoche.

Since then,

he kept his moral disciplines intact, and

would never compromise even at the cost of his own life.

♦   ♦   ♦

Third, he has no expectation.

By age 30, he had completed the traditional 3 year retreat

and 5 year academic study.

For several years, he trod across the boundless field of the snow-caped mountains, spreading the Dharma and performing rituals,

feeling life would be just as simple and sweet

as the taste of the water of a Himalayan stream.

But life took an unexpected turn, in which

♦   ♦   ♦

it shows that he has no hesitation .

At age 35, he had to quickly flee the political turmoil

that led to the deaths of half a million in Tibet.

Finally, at age 44, he arrived in Rumtek Monastery,

the Karmapa’s main seat in Sikkim,

and taught there among other places in India.

In less than 10 years, life took another unexpected turn

♦   ♦   ♦

that shows that he has no doubt .

At age 53, he boarded an airplane bound for New York to fulfill his role appointed by the 16th Karmapa, as the abbot of a yet-to-be-built monastery,

Karma Triyana Dharmachakra.

Coming to a country with drastically different culture and language from his own,

in this the Karmapa’s decision, he has no doubt,

and works diligently to fulfill the guru’s vision.

♦   ♦   ♦

Six, he has no fixed-identity.

He worked on every possible job to actualize the monastery.

He is an architect, an interior designer, and a geomancer;

he is a construction worker, mixing cement, cutting logs;

a tailor, fabricating cushions, dharma robes;

sewing brocade for thangka frames, tables, and statues.

♦   ♦   ♦

Seven, he has no vacation.

For the past 30 years continuing,

he has set his foot around the globe,

establishing dharma centers across the country

as well as in South America and Taiwan,

teaching, and bestowing refuge and empowerments,

placing beings on the path to liberation.

♦   ♦   ♦

Eight, He has no retirement.

At age 70, an already retirement age for most people,

he started incubating domestic lamas

by putting his most diligent students through the traditional three year retreat,

elevating the dharma practice of the lineage in this country to a different level.

At age 89, he traveled to Taiwan to teach as well as to fundraise.

Even now at age 90, his teachings and responsibilities are still in increasing demand.

♦   ♦   ♦

Nine, he has no enemies.

Since becoming a monk, he has never quarreled with any other monks,

young and old, always in harmony with all.

He extended that pure discipline in working with staff,

his equals or subordinates,

after all, for what enemy can possibly outlive him?

♦   ♦   ♦

The remaining 3 qualities concern aspect of body.

Apparently,

he has no wrinkles, freckles, and white hair.

♦   ♦   ♦

He is a fountain of immortality and liberation,

so drink from him, praise him, and pray to him.

Request teachings from him, for he will fill your cup to the brim

the amrita of transcendental knowledge.

Entreat him to remain on earth,

for a Buddha in a human form is difficult to come by.

♦   ♦   ♦

His name is so difficult to utter,

especially on this day of celebration,

that I only dare to refer to him as  ——

the Forever Abbot of Karma Triyana Dharmachakra.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

噶瑪三乘法輪寺永遠的住持

禮敬90大壽的堪布卡塔仁波切

c

距今90年以前,

此去7503.7里,

一名男嬰誕生於西藏偏僻的山區。

他的出生

沒有帶給母親任何的痛苦,

反而伴隨著許多吉祥的徵兆,

預示他將於一生中

逐漸展露的非凡功德。

c

或有人問曰:

他具備的是何等功德?

但恕我無以告知,

因為他的功德 ——

想要記述之,窮蒼海筆墨寫不盡;

想要度量之,難於計量恆河沙數。

c

因此,欲聞其德的較為可行之道,

便是思議他身、語、意三門所沒有的特質 ——

茲歸納整理如下,共計一十二項。

c

首先,他沒有貪執。

12歲時,他捨離輪迴的荒誕無稽,

入創古寺為僧,

矢志永斷此生的束縛。

c

再者,他的戒律沒有染垢。

20歲那年,

他由第11世大司徒仁波切處受具足比丘戒,

執持戒律未有稍損,

寧可犧牲性命也絕不妥協。

c

三者,他沒有希求。

30歲上下,

他已圓滿三年傳統閉關、

五年佛學院的聞思。

有幾年的歲月,他悠遊於雪域無垠的大地,

傳揚佛陀的法音,為眾生廣修佛事,

感覺人生的滋味如喜馬拉雅的溪水

簡樸而甘甜。

不意無常陡至,人生遂悄然起變 ——

c

這,顯示出他沒有猶豫。

35歲時,他必須迅速逃離最終導致50萬藏人殞歿的局勢。

動盪不安的日子,漫長而艱辛。

44歲時,他抵達法王噶瑪巴於錫金的法座隆德寺,

自此展開在寺內及印度各地的教育生涯。

但不到十年的光陰,人生再次翻天覆地——

c

而這一次,彰顯出他沒有懷疑。

53歲時,他登上飛往紐約的班機,

奉第十六世噶瑪巴之命,

出任尚待興建的寺院——噶瑪三乘法輪寺的住持。

來到這個語言文化大為迥異的國度,

對於法王噶瑪巴的這個決定,他沒有懷疑,

惟日夜精勤奮鬥,圓滿上師的願望。

c

六者,他沒有定職。

為了建寺,他什麼工作都做。

他是建築師、室內設計師、風水堪輿師;

他是砍木頭、和水泥的建築工人;

他是裁縫師:

大殿的禪修坐墊、弟子的閉關法袍,

出自他的一針一線;

唐卡布框、壇城錦緞、帷簾與佛衣,

無非是他的手工裁剪。

c

七者,他沒有假期。

過去30年以來,並且將持續不斷,

他的足跡遍佈全球,

在全美各地、南美以及臺灣成立佛學中心,

傳授佛法、皈依及灌頂,

將眾生安置於解脫的大道上。

c

八者,他沒有退休之日。

70歲時——

此多數人早已退休的年齡,

他卻著手培育本土的喇嘛,

把他最精進的弟子送入傳統關房

淬礪冶煉三年三個月,

將實修傳承在西方世界的修證,

提升到另一個層次。

c

89歲那年,他遠赴臺灣弘法並募款。

乃至在90歲的今天,

他受邀講學與肩上的責任,惟有與日俱增。

c

九者,他沒有敵人。

出家以來,他未曾與其他僧人有過爭執,

無論長幼尊卑,他總能與大眾和諧相處。

其後,他將此淨律發揚光大,

無論共事的是同儕、或下屬,

他皆能所向「無敵」;

畢竟,世上何等敵人能夠比他長壽?

c

最後三項,是他身相上所缺乏的特質。

顯而易見地,

他臉上沒有皺紋,頭上沒有白髮,手上沒有老人斑。

c

他是永生解脫的源泉,

暢飲他、讚美他、祈請他!

求教於他,因為他超世間智的甘露,能盛滿你渴慕仰止的杯。

請他駐世,因為化現人身的佛,萬劫難逢。

c

他的大名

在此歡慶的日子,

尤其難以說出口,

我等小輩

只膽敢稱他為 ——

噶瑪三乘法輪寺永遠的住持。

c

金吉祥女2013年9月1日誦其英文版於噶瑪三乘法輪寺

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