Khenchen Namdrol Rinpoche’s concluding Words and advice to Sogyal Rinpoche’s disciples, Translated by Sangye Khandro
(Lerab Ling, September 23, 2017)
So just as the Dharma is profound then we should also keep in mind that the demonic forces can be just be as profound. So, we are also facing many obstacles that have come up here just recently that all of us need to be careful about. And when you think about it, these days you are all disciples of Sogyal Rinpoche, and so were the eight people who put their names on the letter that they issued. But whether they really know it or not, then, that was really an attempt to not only just disparage the master but to try to destroy him and everything that he has done. And that is something that really, really makes me feel upset and upsets everyone else too. This kind of activity is so completely unnecessary. Why? Because it is so detrimental to the doctrine. From a spiritual point of view, it goes against every aspect of Dharma and from a worldly point of view it also is so disrespectful and unnecessary and also instilling doubt and wrong view in the minds of so many disciples, unnecessarily, to the point where they may even turn their minds away from the Dharma for good. Imagine that. Imagine doing something that would cause that kind of result or repercussion. In fact, it falls into the category of the five heinous non-virtues. Slandering the Sangha. These non-virtues occurred at the time of Buddha’s life. That is why they are put into categories and mentioned as the worst crimes of all, the worst sins of all. And all other broken vows became the vows to abstain from and so just like that. Among them all due to the historical account of what happened during Buddha’s own life this is placed as one of the five heinous [non-virtues]: to slander or to cause division in the Sangha, to divide the Sangha. So, that means what happens is: you are causing a disciple of Dharma to doubt the grounds and paths of Buddha’s teachings and it makes an obstacle towards their accomplishment of liberation and it also causes many, many others to be led away from the path to liberation right along with them. Not only that, it makes everyone uncomfortable, it makes everyone unhappy. It is nothing but negative. And so it is just the poorest choice they could have made forever. And so unlike that, I know that all of you have tremendous faith and devotion in the master and I can feel it. It is obvious. And so you must maintain that, as much as you possibly can and try to always use the methods to increase your faith and devotion. That is very important. Once you rely upon a teacher to the degree that you all have relied and they did too, no matter what happens you are supposed to apply the methods of Dharma teachings to increase your faith and devotion because that is benefiting you. The teacher is there to benefit you, not himself or herself. And so in this case, all of this that is happening to the Rigpa sangha, to Sogyal Rinpoche, it is an obstacle for the entire doctrine. Not only just one person, not only just one sangha, but the entire Buddhist doctrine and it’s really such a shame, so unnecessary. Matthew was my friend and student. Actually, I really thought of him as having a very good and kind heart. I thought of him as a good person and I have known him for many years. I have given him many profound Dharma teachings and of course he has probably been Sogyal Rinpoche’s student even many more years than that and received many teachings. So, just because he may have thought he was physically harmed on one occasion and was offended by it. Is it really worth it? To do what he has done as a retribution? Is it really worth it? I think it is more like… it is so kind of unusually surprising. It’s more like the rising up of the Maras, the demonic forces. And this is well known in Dharma that these obstacles come when something is going really well. And so I think that it is somehow the magical play of non-human entities more than the humans that we are pinning it on. There is more to this. And also Damcho, in terms of her, she was also close with me. I thought she had an excellent character. She seemed to have tremendous faith in the teacher and when I hear that her name is on this list… It is impossible even to even imagine. How could it be the same person? It is hard to even believe. Unbelievable! So that why I think that this is maybe the magical manifestation of Mimayan, non-human entities. Trying to destroy the doctrine in general Buddhism, in particular Nyingmapa and especially the Rigpa Sangha. And so what we need to do now is: neutralize this. Just neutralize. Go into evenness and with faith towards the master and Dharma, lift ourselves up and be even stronger than ever before with faith in this doctrine of the Dzogpa Chenpo. More than ever before and to inspire others with our examples in this way. This is not a doctrine that’s new. This is thousands of years old. It is time-tested material. It delivers liberation to countless practitioners and has actually cultivated countless realized, accomplished masters and scholars. We can have confidence in every single word of this doctrine. And so that is what we need to learn, that is what we need to practice, that is what we need to have faith and devotion in. We do not need to have faith and devotion in some Lama coming along and making up his or her own idea and because you like that then you have faith for a while. Because that is gonna fall apart. But this is time-tested. This doctrine that you have connected to, that Sogyal Rinpoche has connected to you, gives you all the material you need to be liberated and bring others along that path. So always try to be in harmony with whatever Dharma says and never go off track just following your own whims or the customs of modern society.
And so, I am telling all of you this because I know you have faith and I am hoping that you will spread the word of what I am saying. And therefore, in this way it is your responsibility to let everyone know how they should approach this obstacle and deal with it in their own minds and hearts as a Sangha community. And anything that makes people unhappy in this and future lifetimes, whatever you do that is negative like that in this life, it will bring you unhappiness but you can be assured that in the next life the karmic ripening is going to occur. Whatever we do that’s negative if it does not ripen up in this life, it will at some time or another. So, we have to be very careful about all of our actions, thoughts, and words and so we should not do things that are harmful to others and that are not beneficial and that we get nothing from doing. And that is exactly what they have done. There is no positive result anyway you look at it. There is no benefit and there is only the disturbance of thousands and thousands of people unnecessarily, so meaningless. And so, in order to pacify these demons, then we should practice according to the Sutra and Mantra tradition to the best of our ability. To hold up this tradition in this life and beyond with pure aspirations and excellent conduct. The Prayer for Excellent Conduct. We should try our best at least to be reborn iraculously in a Nirmanakaya pure realm if not liberated before that. So please think in this way carefully. I had all these thoughts that I wanted to share with you when I got here and while I have been here too. But because while I am teaching I don not mix this kind of thought process with the transmission, now that the transmission is complete I have the opportunity to share with you sincerely from my heart. I am sorry if I’ve gone over time.