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photos by Filip Wolak
 

Please click here to read a report by TseNam about this precious event on kagyumonlam.org.

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by Naomi Levine
 

The first Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche was predicted by the Buddha. He travelled throughout Tibet and received all the transmissions that anyone had. Once he even received transmission from a blind person. When he was over 80 and his hand shook so much he couldn’t write, he tied a pen to his hand. He composed the well-known prayer for the well-being of Tibet.

The second Jamgon Kongtrul was the son of the 15th Karmapa, Khakyab Dorje. The father had great devotion for his son. They had actually discussed the reincarnation beforehand and worked out that Jamgon Kongtrul would reincarnate as the 15th Karmapa’s son. The 16th Karmapa would refer to the second Jamgon Kongtrul when he had doubts about Mahamudra. Thus he was also a teacher to the 16th Karmapa.

The third Jamgon Kongtrul passed away very young. Many people believe, said His Holiness, that had he not passed away, many problems in the Karma Kagyu may not have happened. He served the 16th Karmapa so well that the Karmapa said he would never be able to repay him.

‘When I was in Tibet there were some restrictions in recognising tulkus. However I recognised some 40 tulkus, some overtly and some secretly. Out of the forty that I recognised that of Jamgon Kongtrul was the clearest and the one I had the most confidence in. I request you all to support him in his activities.’

This morning the 4th Jamgon Rinpoche gave a reading transmission of Calling the Lama from Afar, to a packed audience in the shrine room at Tergar. There had been only a last minute announcement of this event sent round the circuit mainly by word of mouth. As he recited the last stanza of the prayer, his voice was so like that of the previous Jamgon Kongtrul that some of us dropped into the heart centre and wept spontaneously.

When he strode confidently out the door, it seemed that the 4th Jamgon Rinpoche had suddenly manifested his lineage through this spontaneous wave of devotion from his disciples. How wonderful to see it!

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Emaho ~ His Eminence Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche arrived this afternoon in Bodhgaya. He was joyfully welcomed by hundreds of monks, nuns and lay people in front of Tergar Monastery.
 

Bodhgaya, 11th of February

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by Ken Holmes

England, late 1977
 
I think we were in Birmingham at the time … but not sure. It was towards the end of the six-month trip around Europe, during which Katia and I served the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa as multi-tasking aides: getting visas, cooking, fixing, promoting… Throughout the journey, His Holiness had been buying birds and I sometimes accompanied him on bird-seeking excursions. Jamgon Rinpoche explained to us that this was not just a hobby of His Holiness but that the birds were his former disciples, now blessed to be born close to him. I have particularly fond memories of evening returns from long avian sorties, with His Holiness next to me and Jamgon Rinpoche behind, fulfilling their daily commitment to Mahakala practice, reciting it by heart, making mudras and occasionally clapping theirs hands as I drove them through the dark.
 
One evening, Tsultim Namgyal, His Holiness’ personal attendant at the time, sought us out to usher us into a dimly-lit room in the house lodging the party. He made a gesture to keep quiet. There was a bird cage on the far side, with two good sized birds on a perch, next to each other, physically dead but mentally in deep samadhi. The feeling around them and all over the room was one of immense stillness and the sense of a profound centre that cuts through everything and carries you into somewhere timeless.
 
When birds die in normal circumstances, they keel over and you find them dead – stiff on the cage floor. The fact that these two died together and standing so perfectly in samadhi was a living proof of His Holiness’ power of “liberation through contact” and of his ability to draw beings into his inconceivable blessing. The birds stayed in samadhi for a couple of days. Then, their minds liberated, their bodies eventually fell down.
 
Ken Holmes
Director of Studies
Kagyu Samye Ling Monastery

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by Hella Lohmann

Unfortunately I did not have the karma to meet the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa personally. But something incredible and very special happened in 1990 during my very first visit to Rumtek Monastery.
 
I immediately felt close to His Eminence Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche at Rumtek, one of the four lineage holders and heart sons of the Gyalwang Karmapa. In fact, I saw him almost every day. During one meeting, I confessed candidly that I did not feel any connection or devotion to the Karmapa as I had never met him. At the same time, I expressed how much devotion I felt for the Dalai Lama whom I had met several times in Europe and India. Jamgon Rinpoche listened attentively and nodded his satisfaction.
 
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