Excerpt from a speech delivered by His Eminence Dagpo Rinpoche in November 1996

Below is an excerpt taken from a speech delivered by His Eminence Dagpo Rinpoche in November 1996, when he welcomed to Paris the fourteen-year-old reincarnation, Kyabje Chocktrul Rinpoche Tenzin Lobsang Yeshe Gyatso:

For the benefit of the new people who have joined us today, I will mention, all too briefly the activities that have been accomplished by your predecessors, Rinpoche. The beneficial deeds of a supreme guide such as yourself are truly countless. In fact, only a Buddha endowed with the ten powers can comprehend them.

If I limit myself only to what you have dedicated yourself to doing in the Land of Snows, there would still be countless deeds to relate. There are so many wonderful and complex tales, melodies that can enthrall those with the gift of understanding, melodies that can fill them with faith. The whole topic is inexhaustible; I have given up trying to cover it. Today I will limit myself to just a few words about how, from the distant past, at all times and in all places, you have continued to work together with the Lord of the world Avalokiteśvara to achieve the good of beings and to give them access to the Teachings.

To accomplish this, both of you have shown yourselves capable of every conceivable kind of relationship. You have alternated the role of Master with that of disciple, the role of donor with that of chaplain, parent, friend, or servant.

From the immense ocean of deeds that you have thus carried out together, I will take a very small drop, a drop no bigger than the pearl that sparkles at the tip of a human hair, but quite enough to inspire faith. Everyone knows that our Tibet has long benefitted from the Lord of the World Avalokiteśvara’s caring protection.

He appeared at different times as king or as minister, as learned pandit or as a complete siddha. Each time, he made the light of religion and culture shine brightly so as to dispel the darkness that enveloped Tibet, and each time you were at his side.

In the eighth century when Avalokiteśvara manifested as the great king Trisong Detsen, you, Rinpoche, were the pandit Śāntarakṣita, the Indian monk who brought and established in Tibet the tradition of vows and religious commitment which form the basis of Buddha’s Teachings. It was you who brought to light the vast and profound systems, while assuming the shape of the victorious Padmasambhava, first among the Tantrikas. As such, you overcame the obstacles that stood in the way of spreading the Dharma on earth. It was you also who passed the profound and secret teachings to the King and his ministers (how lucky they were!) and thus justified their waiting.

When the good qualities of human beings and the doctrine declined, you were the second Buddha, well known by the name of Atiśa Dīpaṃkāra Śrījñāna. During the middle of the eleventh century you founded the Kadampa tradition with the help of his spiritual son Dromtönpa Gyalwé Jungne, who was none other than Avalokiteśvara.

In order to consolidate and spread that tradition, you soon reappeared under the name of Lang-ri Thangpa Dorje Senge, well known as the eminent guardian of bodhicitta, in other words, a bodhisattva.

Some time afterwards, the good qualities of human beings diminished yet again, and the doctrine underwent another decline. You immediately assumed the shape of the second Buddha Je Tsongkhapa. That time your disciple was Avalokiteśvara, later considered the First Dalai Lama. Together you took it upon yourselves to spread and expand the Teachings of the Buddha throughout the entire country.

Shortly afterwards, you were Mönlam Pelwa, one of the First Dalai Lama’s main disciples. You succeeded yourself, becoming the eighth Ganden Tripa, that is, the eighth head of the Gelugpa school.

Later on, as the head of the Kagyupa order, you were the eighth Karmapa, Mikyö Dorje, close friend of the Second Dalai Lama Gendun Gyatso.

When you returned to the school of the Nyingmapas in the seventeenth century, you were the dazzlingly brilliant light with the name of Zurchen Chöying Rangdröl, one of the Fifth Dalai Lama Ngawang Gyatso’s principal Masters.

Next, during two consecutive lives, you again took charge of the Gelug school: you were the sixty-ninth Ganden Tripa, Trichen Jangchub Chöpel, who was also the tutor of the Ninth Dalai Lama Lungtog Gyatso, and later the eighty-fifth Ganden Tripa, Trichen Lobsang Tsultrim.

And now we come to your immediate predecessor Kyabje Yongdzin Trijang Dorje Chang Chenpo, who for forty years was assistant and then tutor of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama.

Here you have a brief reminder of how and for how long you and the Buddha Avalokiteśvara have been doing significant and enduring work for the benefit of sentient beings.