Shuksep Jetsun: Woman and Grand Master of the XNUMXth Century

- through Francois Leclercq

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In the collective imagination, the religious universe is generally very masculine. Men seem to be the only ones capable of achieving the highest achievements. This is the case for the religions of the Book, the Buddhists do not escape it either.

However, in this tradition, there are many women who have developed very high qualities and who have subsequently had many disciples, men and women alike. In the 50s, it was possible to meet, for example, an unusual lady named Shuksep Jetsun. All those who knew her, like the Venerable Dagpo Rinpoche, unanimously underlined how much they had been impressed by his energy, his luminous presence and his qualities.

An extraordinary destiny, some would say. Take a look!

Her story begins when, at the end of her pregnancy, her mother had very inspired dreams. In one of them, while the mother-to-be is in the midst of women with whom she is washing her hair at a spring, her gaze is suddenly drawn to a climax where she sees someone who looks like herself. mistake the deity Heruka – Buddha who personifies the union of compassion and emptiness -, look at her with intensity. Moved, she knows that in her tradition, this type of dream is considered to be very auspicious.

The day of the birth of little "Lochen", which could be translated as "great spirit", the 15th day of the 1st month of 1852, is marked by strange phenomena. Witnesses say there was a slight earthquake, a shower of flower petals fell from the sky, and they heard voices reciting the syllables of the mantra of Avalokiteshvara, the Buddha of Compassion. Some also specify that the toddler would be born cross-legged and arms positioned on the small chest in the gesture of holding a vajra (symbol of wisdom) and a bell (symbol of perfections such as generosity, ethics, patience, etc.) ; others that the child would have recited the mantra “Om Mani Padme Hum”!

One day, while she was meditating in a cave near Lhasa, she was abruptly pulled out of her practice by the yelps of a dog who came trembling, followed by a leopard who was determined to make a meal of it. Far from feeling the slightest fear, Lochen subjugated the predator. The leopard became as gentle as a big cat and the dog then remained with her.

However, the first years of little Lochen were not very happy. Frequent arguments from her parents, an alcoholic father who does not hesitate to sell her more than once to be able to continue getting drunk, fortunately without consequence, because the authorities are watching… Her daily life is not simple. Despite this, the little girl showed certain predispositions very early on. For example, when she was only four years old and ran away to escape her father, finding refuge in a cavity protected by thick bushes, she says that despite the circumstances, she remained immersed in an indescribable state of physical and mental happiness, losing all sense of time. From the age of six, she also began to teach and explain without the slightest error the meaning of the mantra of the Buddha Avalokiteshvara. And it was not uncommon for the words of this small piece of cabbage, tall as three apples, to cause the appearance of tears of faith in the eyes of the assistance.

Its qualities and its earliness make it very quickly very well known in the country.

Especially since always placing the well-being of other beings before her own, she was an example for all those around her. Rather judge! As a young teenager, she did not hesitate to dive into a torrent in which one of her friends had just fallen to bring her back safe and sound to the bank. Afflicted by the condition of the animals, she used to use the money offered to her as a gift, to buy back those she could save from butchery or other. She was also capable of correcting serious ethical disturbances. In particular, she manages to put an end to the bad behavior of villagers who followed the erroneous directives of a lama asking them to sacrifice buffaloes and place their heads as an offering on the altars.

His ability to make himself understood by animals was also exceptional. An anecdote tells that one day, while she was meditating in a cave near Lhasa, she was suddenly pulled out of her practice by the yapping of a dog who came trembling, followed by a leopard determined to make his meal. Far from feeling the slightest fear, Lochen subjugated the predator. The leopard became as gentle as a big cat and the dog then remained with her.

Memories from beyond the grave

Recognized despite her young age for the purity of her practice, Lochen demonstrated throughout her life an astonishing strength of character coupled with immeasurable compassion. His abilities were, by all accounts, immense.

Considered a "delog" by the Tibetans, a person who enters the bardo (intermediate state which follows death) and who comes back from it, she told her contemporaries what she had seen when she was in these states of death. apparent, generating in those who heard it an unparalleled faith. For an uninformed reader, it is important to specify here that these experiences are powerful educational tools that encourage those who receive them to practice and meditate on principles such as that of impermanence, the law of causality and many others. others.

Lochen, which became Shuksép Jetsun, named after the region where she had established her monastery, devoted herself without counting until 1953, the date of her death. Her indomitable courage, her unparalleled faith in her masters, her immeasurable compassion towards all beings, her immense generosity and will, still mark the minds of those who knew her. Until the end, she continued to receive the faithful who came to seek her blessing, even though she became an invalid and could only remain seated thanks to straps hung from the ceiling. Her visitors, anonymous and great characters mixed together, were transported by this small piece of accomplished woman, living witness that faith - in the spiritual masters - and love for all beings move mountains and make it possible to achieve the highest achievements, regardless of external conditions. A life lesson, a personified teaching that speaks to all

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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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