The-Tibetan-Book-of-Living-and-Dying

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The-Tibetan-Book-of-Living-and-Dying

BARDOS AND OTHER REALITIES 113understand about the bardos is this: By following the trainingof these practices, it is actually possible to realize these states ofmind while we are still alive. We can actually experience themwhile we are here now.This kind of complete mastery of the different dimensionsof mind may seem very hard for a Westerner to comprehend,but it is by no means impossible to attain.Kunu Lama Tenzin Gyaltsen was an accomplished master,who came originally from the Himalayan region of northernIndia. When he was young he met a Lama in Sikkim, whoadvised him to go to Tibet to pursue his studies of Buddhism.So he went to Kham in eastern Tibet, where he receivedteachings from some of the greatest Lamas, including my masterJamyang Khyentse. Kunu Lama's knowledge of Sanskritearned him respect and opened many doors for him. The masterswere keen to teach him, in the hope that he would takethese teachings back to India and pass them on there, wherethey knew the teachings had almost disappeared. During histime in Tibet, Kunu Lama became exceptionally learned andrealized.Eventually he did return to India, where he lived as a trueascetic. When my master and I came to India on pilgrimageafter leaving Tibet, we searched for him everywhere inBenares. Finally we found him staying in a Hindu temple. Noone knew who he was, or even that he was a Buddhist, letalone that he was a master. They knew him as a gentle,saintly yogin, and they offered him food. Whenever I think ofhim, I always say to myself, "This is what St. Francis of Assisimust have been like."When the Tibetan monks and Lamas first came into exile,Kunu Lama was chosen to teach them grammar and Sanskritat a school founded by the Dalai Lama. Many learned Lamasattended and studied with him, and they all considered himan excellent language teacher. But then one day someone happenedto ask him a question regarding the teaching of Buddha.The answer he gave was extremely profound. So they wenton asking him questions, and they found that whatever theyasked, he knew the answer. He could in fact give any teachingthat was asked for. So his reputation spread far and wide, andin no time at all he was teaching members of each of the differentschools their own unique traditions.His Holiness the Dalai Lama then took him as his spiritualguide. He acknowledged Kunu Lama as the inspiration for histeaching and practice of compassion. In fact, he was a living

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