Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Did Padmasambhava Visit America

Over at TBRC, they have The All Pervading Melodious Sound of Thunder: The Outer Liberation Story of Terton Migyur Dorje online and available for sampling, which is a good thing. I have been reading this with great interest, and find several passages most memorable.

Of particular interest is this quotation from the Pema Kathang, wherein Guru Rinpoche states:

"Six types of person are given authority to reveal treasures:
One who is harmed by enemies will have authority over concealed treasures,
One whose loved ones all die will have authority over concealed treasures,
One who is in danger of being afflicted by leprosy will have authority over concealed treasures,
One who lives a life of poverty will have authority over concealed treasures,
One who always falls into debt will have authority over concealed treasures,
One who lacks power will have authority over concealed treasures.

"Tertons who reveal concealed treasures
Will not be born everywhere;
Like anise, nettles and other medicinal herbs
They will be born in a place beyond the five-peaked mountains of China,
To the north of Lake Mansarovar,
And to the northwest of Danakosha lake in Oddiyana.

"If a terton who is a descendent of a king is born,
a plant with white flowers will grow,
When the terton enters the womb, the flower bud will appear
When the terton is born, the flower will blossom
One of the parents will die
When the terton reveals the treasure the flower will be in full bloom
Dakinis, dharma protectors, the eight classes of gods and demons will assemble.

"When the flower is full blown, like sitting in the midst of a violent battle
Gods and evil spirits with mental bodies will create obstacles.
Appearing in different forms of illusory appearances like
Female spirits born out of desire,
Spirits assuming the form of monks who have transgressed their vows
and are born out of anger, and
Spirits assuming the form of ngagpas who are samaya violators and are born out of ignorance.
Through these and other such manifestations they will change the minds
of tertons.

"Hindrances will come from hostile gods, spirits, and men
Some as serious as being unable to reveal treasures and causing danger to one's life
Some as small as posing danger to humans' wealth and food.
At this time forces of dark evil spirits will increase
The lords who have authority over treasure will be jealous and
They are driven by karmic forces; one should be cautious and not lead them astray.

"When the fortunate ones meet my treasures
They will meet two types of gods, spirits, and men: calm and hostile.
The malevolent gods and spirits of Tibet and China will assemble
And bring all misfortune while acting supportive
All the unfavorable circumstances will gather."

Now, to find out how Migyur Dorje reflected all of this, and ultimately overcame this, you'll have to buy the book (even the picture of Guru Rinpoche's personal seal is worth the price of admission), which seems like a good idea, as his is a fascinating story. For example: stupas in which his relics are enshrined are known to have almost miraculous healing properties, as I myself can testify to be true. 

However, here I am not so much concerned with Migyur Dorje, as I am with certain issues raised by the above quotation, and the oft-posed question:

"Do you think Padmasambhava ever visited America?"

Elsewhere, I have read remarks attributed to Chatral Rinpoche, one hopes correctly, to the effect of, "Padmasambhava never visited America, so why should I want to go there?"

Yet, I have personally heard His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche state his certainty that Padmasambhava not only visited, but remained in residence for some considerable time.

Note that we are not discussing whether Padmasambhava is here now -- I believe with all my heart that he is -- but whether he was here in the past.

We have already had the benefit of three different tertons disclosing mind treasures in the United States, so it does give one pause....

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