Aug 06

Chamgon Kenting Taï Situpa | The connection between Kalu Rinpoche, Palpung Shangpa retreat, and Shangpa lineage

Okay, I left out one small part of that. Without that, it will not be complete.

So, how did the Kalu Rinpoche Rangjung Kunkhyab get involved in the Palpung monastic seat and Shangpa retreat, I’ll make that very clear.

So during the time of the second Jamgon Kongtrul, actually during the time of first Jamgon Kongtrul’s end of life, and at the time of the 10th Taï Situ, then Kalu Rinpoche’s father Ratak Tulku came to Palpung. And he was a very accomplished Yogi, and as well as a doctor, Tibetan Medicine doctor, Sowa Rigpa, and also a very accomplished astrologer, ‘Tsi’ [astrology]. And then he came there, and then he’s not a Bhikshu. So then a lady from that area, from Drodak family called Drolkar, then she went back to the Ratak.

And then from Ratak Tulku and Drodak Drolkar, two sons and two daughters were born. The oldest is Karma Rangjung Kunkhyab. So Karma Rangjung Kunkhyab, in the Tumur area, the people are very soft spoken. So they speak very beautifully. And so somebody who is Karma Rangjung Kunkhyab, they will call Kalu. And somebody who is Dechen, they will call Delu. Somebody who is Rinchen they will call Rilu. So like that. It’s like in the western, let’s say everyday language, father, they call pappy, mother, they call mummy, like that, no? So that kind of way, the Karma Rangjung Kunkhyab, everybody call him Kalu.

And then, when he was young, when he was a teenager, he came to Palpung and he studied there in the Shedra. Palpung Shedra is known as དབྱར་གནས་ ‘yar né’, the summer retreat, that’s what they call it. So there he studied and he became very learned. And then at the end of that, I believe he was 19 years old, I believe, then he entered the three years retreat in the Tsadra Rinchen Drak, Palpung’s Shangpa retreat. And then, after completing, but that time, the retreat master is my teacher’s father’s brother. So my teacher is now 100 years old. He is with me everywhere. Right now he is here upstairs, so doing his prayers and making dedications. So, his father’s brother.

Then Kalu Rinpoche after completing retreat still not yet Kalu Rinpoche, the Kalu, and Karma Rangjung Kunkhyab. So, then he went back to his monastery, I mean, in which monastery he is a monk. That is called དཔལ་དགེ་དགོན། (Pegen gon). དཔལ་དགེ་དགོན། (Pegen gon) is an old monastery, older than Palpung, many years older than Palpung. But since Situ Banchen established Palpung, it became one of the branches of Palpung, among the 180 Kagyu monastery, it is one of them. So Rinpoche went back.

And then, as usual, Ratak family is very capable family, very established family. So, every monastery in that area, they have an endowment funds. So, the capable monks have to take charge of that, and from the proceeds, then monastic activities will be conducted. So, then Kalu Rinpoche was asked with these.

And then he said, ‘No, I don’t want to do this, I want to practice and be a yogi.’ So, his very close disciple, and also a helper, called Karma Tenzin. So, people also call him Kalu, because he is Karma Tenzin, and Karma become Kalu. So, then Karma Rangjung Kunkhyab and Tulku Karma Tenzin together, and one yak, full of provision. So then they went to a glacier in Yilung area, quite far for that time, but right now, it will be just maybe one hour’s journey by car.

So anyway, that is near the glacier, there are caves and beautiful secluded places. So he went there, he did retreat and Karma Tenzin assisted him. And then the yak was freed, but everyday came back, and it was a good companion. So, throughout the retreat long as Yak lived, came back and went and came back like that. So he stayed there for many, many years.

Then at Palpung, three years retreat of Shangpa, there was a retreat Master, and his name is Chayoul Tenpel. So, he had to stop in the middle of retreat because of some reason. Then my predecessor the 11th Taï Situ sent a messenger called Tenzin Tso, with a letter to Karma Rangjung Kunkhyab, asking him to immediately come to Palpung.

So that time, Kalu Rinpoche or Karma Rangjung Kunkhyab, was in retreat for 12 years in that area, Yilung Ratak caves, caves in Yilung Ratak. And so, then he came and then he was appointed by my predecessor as the retreat master of Tsadra Rinchen Drak. And then that half-retreated Kalu Rinpoche conducted as a retreat master. Now will be Kalu Rinpoche, not just Kalu anymore. Kalu Rinpoche, because he did 12 years retreat, goodness sake, if not Rinpoche, then what? No.

So then Kalu Rinpoche and then he is retreat master of the Tsadra Rinchen Drak. Then during the second retreat, then his helper or disciple Karma Tenzin, also have done the 3 years retreat in Tsadra Rinchen Drak. And so, there after, Kalu Rinpoche continued for some time and then he took a leave and went to central Tibet and became Guru of many many important masters. Then the 11th Taï Situ was in central Tibet, he brought him back to Palpung and then retreat master of the Tsadra Rinchen Drak, Shangpa retreat. And also he oversee, he was given the charge to oversee the Naropa retreat as well. Naropa retreat has its own retreat master, and he was above and then to oversee.

Then political upheaval happened then after that, all the story everybody knows. So, like this. So, that is how everything took place and the Kyabje Kalu Rinpoche, Rangjung Kunkhyab, the first, did so much in Himalayan areas and in West, in so many ways.

And now Kalu Rinpoche the second is his incarnation. And of course, Rinpoche’s, our duty we know. Because Kalu Rinpoche’s number one priority is to take care of all of the previous Kalu Rinpoche’s disciples, monasteries, retreats, centers, and in India, in Sonada, there is the Kalu Rinpoche Rangjung Kunkhyab’s body remains relics are still there, and their monastery is there. Retreat is going on. And then monks are there. So, they were raised and looked after by Kyabje Kalu Rinpoche Rangjung Kunkhyab as father and mother. So, it is definitely continuation of Rinpoche to look after them, as father and mother, spiritual father and spiritual mother. And then all the centers, everything.

So, that is what I know about how Kalu Rinpoche came into Shangpa lineage, because of the Tsadra Rinchen Drak 3 years retreat. And then right now, there are so many three years retreats of Shangpa lineage, starting from the Palpung Shangpa. I’m not mentioning retreats in India and Nepal and in the Himalayan areas, I’m not mentioning but all over the world you know very well.

And so, for that, my sincere prayer is there. And the Six-Armed Mahakala, the protector of the Shangpa lineage, should protect all the genuine, good, pure lineage and activities. And Six-Armed Mahakala should not allow anything to degenerate and corrupt the lineage and shorten the Buddha’s Dharma lineage by one minute. I tell you, the Six-Armed Mahakala all 13 manifestations, I have that duty and authority. And you have that duty over me also. So, that is the Mahakala’s, that is ‘Don’t let any kind of shortening of Dharma caused by human, spirit or anything.’ So, protect and that is your job. You, the Six-Armed Mahakala, it is your duty, it is you the all 13 manifestations of Six-Armed Mahakala, it is your duty, you don’t fail, okay?

So, I somehow looking at the clock then slipped that out of my mind. So I have to say this and otherwise it will not be complete. Okay, all the best, Buddha bless you, Buddha bless you, Buddha bless you.


H. H. the 12th Chamgon Kenting Taï Situpa’s Teachings – August 1, 2021 (3h 26′ 20”)
Prayers and Dedication by Kalu Rinpoche