Gyaltsèn Lhamo: nun and great meditator

- through Francois Leclercq

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One of my masters often spoke to me about one of his masters, exiled in India then returned to Tibet around 1982. No, the "e" above are not disagreements. If I put the feminine, it's because Gyaltsèn Lhamo is a woman. A nun who has many disciples, religious and lay people, and not in the Middle Ages, but nowadays!

Gyaltsen Lhamo was born in central Tibet in the 1920s. As we have not heard from her since her return to Tibet, we do not know whether she is still alive or not. Married against her will, after having a baby who died at an early age, she remained bedridden for years, struck down by an illness that no cure or ritual could overcome. Until the arrival of Kangyour Rinpoche, respected lama of Drepung Loseling. According to custom, all the other members of the household had gathered outside to welcome the high dignitary with the honors. As they bowed before the master, still seated on his horse, who granted them the traditional blessing by placing his hands on their bowed heads, to everyone's surprise, the young Gyaltsèn Lhamo appeared, hair disheveled and dress askew. , grayish complexion. It was the first time she had gotten up in months. The stupefaction was at its height when the great lama took off his hat and bent down to touch his forehead… the patient's forehead, equal to equal! After she regained her strength, Gyaltsen Lhamo told her family of her decision to retire to a mountain cave to meditate. Her mother, very impressed by what had happened with Kangyur Rinpoche, decided to accompany her to serve her. From then on, our Tibetan yogi devoted himself to the practice without ever giving the slightest importance to the material side. Her skirt was so patched up that it was impossible to distinguish the original fabric from the multiple patches.

The emanation of Dulzin Takpa Gyaltsen?

Curiously enough - in our eyes of Westerners not always well informed -, it was only after having carried out a long tantric retreat of three and a half years that Gyaltsen Lhamo received the teaching of the Lamrim from Geshe Nyima, a learned monk of the monastery. of Ganden Jangtsé, who in turn retired to a hermitage after the 1959 exile. Tibetan scale. It was in the years 1954-1955. In Tibet as in India, Gyaltsèn Lhamo was often asked to perform divinations, because she was considered to have realized at least the powers of clairvoyance, which are consecutive to obtaining mental calm (shamatha), both the answers and her gave just fell. Living on nothing, she used the offerings she received to make the gift in its different forms, especially the gift of Dharma, that is to say of the Teaching.

Gyaltsèn Lhamo used the offerings she received to make the gift in its different forms, especially the gift of Dharma, that is to say of the Teaching.

At the beginning of exile in India, when the refugees lacked everything, it was she who for the first time invited Kyabjé Trijang Dorjéchang, junior tutor of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, to the Bylakuppe camp, where she lived, and who took charge of all the expenses for organizing the Great Lamrim Teaching which he then dispensed at his request. She thus invited to Bylakuppe many other lamas, including Zong Rinpoche, to teach of course. In addition, she erected large statues, which she offered to monasteries. Warm and available, she was extremely humble, but her qualities were such that they could not escape those who were lucky enough to meet her. A great Gelugpa lama once let out a short sentence implying that she was an emanation of Dulzin Takpa Gyaltsen, disciple of Je Tsongkhapa (1357-1419) and specialist in Vinaya, the monastic Rule

photo of author

Francois Leclercq

François Leclercq is the founder of Buddhist News, a website which aims to disseminate information and practical advice on Buddhism and spirituality. François Leclercq was born and raised in Paris. He studied Buddhism at the University of Paris-Sorbonne, where he graduated in social sciences and psychology. After graduating, he devoted himself to his passion for Buddhism and traveled the world to study and learn about different practices. He notably visited Tibet, Nepal, Thailand, Japan and China.

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