Monday, September 17, 2012

In August 1998, when he was not yet five years old, Pawo Rinpoche and one of his attendants went with a few monks to the southeast of Nenang where a river flowed beneath a soft meadowed mountain. As the monks were washing their clothes in the stream, Pawo Rinpoche began to climb up the mountain all by himself. The monk Urgyen noticed him leaving and thought, “It’s not good for him to go alone up the mountain,” and so he followed after him. They had walked up quite far, when Pawo Rinpoche asked him, “Do you need a zi stone?” Urgyen responded, “Yes, I do need one. Where can I find it?” “If you need a zi, it’s here under the ground,” Pawo Rinpoche replied. “Really?” “Yes, really. If you don’t believe me, then dig and you’ll see.” Breaking off a small branch from a nearby bush, they marked the spot and went back down the mountain.

When they returned to the river, Pawo Rinpoche said to his attendant, “On that mountain there is a zi stone. If you go there, you’ll see the place we’ve marked.” The attendant was doubtful. “Rinpoche, you are an important lama, and if you say that there is something there when there isn’t, you’ll be ashamed.”“It’s really there,” Pawo Rinpoche affirmed. “If you don’t believe me, then go and dig.”

So all the monks went up to the place and dug down about three feet with-out finding anything. Their enthusiasm seemed to flag, but Pawo Rinpoche encouraged them to dig a little bit more, and soon they found a flat black stone that had the shape of a bird and the size of an open hand, an oval black stone, and a small conch shell. Pawo Rinpoche commented, “That’s exactly right. The zi will not come out today. These three are enough for this time. We can go back now. If we come back the day after tomorrow, the zi stone will come out.”

The party returned to the monastery and spent the next day there. Early the following morning, they went back to the special place. On the way there, Pawo Rinpoche said, “This dawn two zi stones have come out. The protector [of Nenang Monastery, Gongtsen] dug them out last night.” When they arrived,there was a zi stone protruding from the earth at the bottom of the hole they had dug. Digging farther, they found another zi stone, plus coral, turquoise, silver, and gold—in all, about two handfuls of semi-precious stones in many different shapes. Pawo Rinpoche said, “That’s enough. Now carry them down to the monastery.” Once there, he layered five silk cloths of different colors—white, blue, yellow, red, and green—and then he put the precious stones inside, folded the silk up, and tied and sealed them. This packet was placed in the glass cabinet containing a statue of the protector Bernachen, and the cabinet was then sealed as well.

The three objects that came from the ground on the first day were placed in the shrine hall for everyone to see. Pawo Rinpoche explained that the black bird-shaped stone was the emanation of the Buddha, the oval stone symbolized the Buddha, and the conch shell was the symbol of Guru Rinpoche. When Nenang Lama returned from Lhasa, he asked Pawo Rinpoche, “Who buried these objects?” He replied, “The one who buried them is the eighth Pawo Tsuglak Chögyal.”

Later, when Bokar Rinpoche was asked about the story, he said that Pawo Rinpoche is a very precious lama, and that about two hundred years have passed since the objects were buried by the eighth Pawo Rinpoche, who thought they would be beneficial in the future when his incarnation would find them. Bokar Rinpoche continues: In the Buddhist tradition, there are past and future lives. Especially in the case of a tulku, there is a clear continuum of mind between the past and the future. The truth of that continuum is revealed by signs and unusual events. In the case of Pawo Rinpoche, he revealed treasures that had been hidden by his previous incarnation. The young Pawo Rinpoche has a memory of deeds from his previous life and this shows that he is a true reincarnation. The body disappears, but the essential nature of the mind remains the same. Due to our ignorance, we have doubts about karma and past and future lives. Such a wondrous event will help to eliminate these doubts and wrong views, showing that past and future lives do indeed exist. His discovery of the hidden objects also indicates that this is the true reincarnation of Pawo Rinpoche.

Excerpt from 'Music in the Sky' by Michele Martin.

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