Patrul Rinpoche and The Silver Thief.

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Patrul Rinpoche and The Silver Thief.

Postby muni » Mon Jun 25, 2012 11:40 am

Once Patrul Rinpoche spent a week giving teachings on the Bodhicharyavatara at a place called Zamthang. During the teaching an old man offered him a large silver ingot in the shape of a horse’s hoof. Among the crowd who saw this offering made was a thief. While Patrul Rinpoche expounded Santideva’s inspiring text, the thief’s mind was full of plans for getting his hands on the silver.

Finally Patrul Rinpoche had finished expounding his heart text, and he left Zamthang and resumed his wanderings. The thief tracked him silently for hours, waiting for his chance. His job was made easier because Patrul Rinpoche as usual was alone and unattended. That night Patrul Rinpoche lay down to sleep in an isolated spot. The thief crept up and peered around in the darkness. Where was the silver? All that lay near Patrul Rinpoche was a small shoulder bag. Feeling silently within it, the thief found nothing but a clay teapot. There was nothing for the thief to do but begin rummaging surreptitiously in Patrul Rinpoche’s bedding.

The hands exploring his clothes startled Patrul Rinpoche awake, and he demanded to know what was going on. The thief threateningly replied that he knew Patrul Rinpoche had been given a large piece of silver, and demanded that he hand it over.

Patrul Rinpoche wasn’t in the least intimidated by being threatened by a robber in such a lonely place. He shook his head, and replied: ‘ Look what a mess you make of life, running around like a madman!’ You poor idiot, you came all this way, just for that silver.’ Then he explained that he had left the silver on the ground at the place where he had been offered it. He had used it as a stand for his teapot and then gone off leaving it in the ashes of the fire.

The thief found this story almost impossible to believe. But Patrul Rinpoche spoke with total certainty, and the silver didn’t seem to be anywhere about. Eventually the thief had no choice but to go back and look for it where Patrul Rinpoche claimed he had left it.

You can imagine his state of mind as he stumbled back towards Zamthang in the darkness. Part of him was cursing himself for a fool for allowing himself to be tricked by that lying old lama, who could not possibly have left something so valuable behind. Part of him was hurrying forward to find the campfire in case the silver was there and someone else found it first. Eventually after a long sleepless night, around dawn he came upon Zamthang and found the campfire. There in the ashes, catching the sun’s first rays, was the gleaming silver ingot.

The thief’s emotional responses to his discovery were a mixture of surprise, relief, exultation, and then a deep unease, followed by an outburst of much deeper feelings. We can imagine that a western thief in such a situation would feel challenged by the situation. People who cheat and steal often justify their actions to themselves, semiconsciously, with the idea that this is a bad old world, everyone is out for what they can get, and so forth. It would be challenging for their deeply-held emotional attitudes to come across someone as unattached to wealth and possessions as Patrul Rinpoche. However, this thief was a Tibetan, and though (as we can gather from his actions) he was not a Dharma practitioner, nonetheless he had been brought up with Tibetan Buddhist beliefs. One of these is that the karmic effects of an action differ depending on the spiritual status of the person to whom the action is directed. For example to attack a bodhisattva is considered to be a much more weighty negative karma than to attack an ordinary person. Now it dawned on the thief that Patrul Rinpoche must be a highly realised practitioner, and that by threatening and trying to steal from such a person, he had created a karmic effect which would result in some very serious future suffering for himself.

The thief’s heart was gripped by a pincer movement of powerful feelings: on one side the impact of the revelation that there really were lamas who did not just mouth the Dharma but who totally embodied their teachings; on the other the awful fear and dread of what the repercussions of harmful actions against such a lama must be. This combination cracked open the protective emotional carapace which had allowed him to be a thief. Sobbing deeply, he set off once more in Patrul Rinpoche’s footsteps, but this time with a very different motivation.

When he finally caught up with Patrul Rinpoche, he got a seemingly-frosty reception: ‘Here you are again, driving yourself crazy! I told you where to find what you wanted. What is it now?’ The tearful thief poured out a remorseful confession that he had been ready to beat and rob such a highly-realised master. He begged his intended victim’s forgiveness. Patrul Rinpoche told him not to worry about confession or asking forgiveness. He said that all the thief really needed to do was to develop a good heart and go for refuge to the Three Jewels.

Later, other people who were devoted to Patrul Rinpoche heard what had happened. They caught the thief and started beating him. Patrul Rinpoche was nearby, and heard the commotion. Following the noise and seeing what was happening, in his usual forthright way he shouted at them: ‘If you harm my disciple, it is as if you are harming me. Leave him alone!’

In this story we see Patrul Rinpoche’s fearlessness in confronting the robber very directly. He doesn’t cower to avoid possibly being beaten up. We also have a demonstration of his great kindness and compassion toward a man who had threatened and tried to rob him. However, what is perhaps most striking is his extraordinary, carefree unconcern for wealth and possessions. His actions in this story are typical of him. He used to wander from place to place with nothing but a small cloth shoulder bag, his clay teapot and a copy of the Bodhicharyavatara, his favourite text. When people made offerings to him he would refuse them. If they insisted, when he left the place where he had been given them, he would simply leave them on the ground where they had been given to him. In our ‘shop till you drop’ society, such behaviour would be eccentric to put it mildly.

http://www.vessantara.net/home/talks-an ... es/patrul1
muni
 
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Re: Patrul Rinpoche and The Silver Thief.

Postby oldbob » Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:41 pm

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Joined: Sun May 06, 2012 8:19 am

Re: Patrul Rinpoche and The Silver Thief.

Postby muni » Tue Jun 26, 2012 5:17 pm

Many many thanks, oldbob! I am going to put it open here:

:smile:

Chase them away!

When this old dog was living in solitude

After hearing the words of the trusty World-Protector,

He had the desire to speak likewise.



When first I met my teacher supreme,

I had the feeing of having found what I wanted

Like a merchant having reached the golden isle:

That's what is meant by engaging oneself in the many topics and their
investigation.

When later I met my teacher supreme, I had the feeling of there being danger for
me

Like a criminal facing the judge:

That's what is meant by getting a sound scolding.

If now I meet my teacher supreme,

I have the feeling of meeting with an equal

Like pigeons sleeping in a temple:

That's what is meant by keeping one's distance.



When first I heard instructions,

I had the feeling of wanting to turn them immediately into action

Like a hungry person pouncing on food:

That's what is meant by making an experience of it.

When later I heard instructions,

I had the feeling of great uncertainty

Like words spoken far away:

That's what is meant by not having got rid of notions.

When now I hear instructions,

I have the feeling of disgust

Like someone being made to eat his vomit again:

That's what is meant by having no desire to ask questions.



When first I went into solitude,

I had the feeling of my mind being at ease

Like a traveler having reached his own house:

That's what is meant by enjoying one's stay.

When later I went into solitude,

I had the feeling of not being able to stay

Like a beautiful girl living alone:

That's what is meant by frequently coming and going.
When now I go into solitude,

I have the feeling of it being a nice place to stay

Like an old dog about to die under some shelter:

That's what is meant by tying up a corpse for disposal.



When first I thought about vision,

I had the feeling of becoming overjoyed the loftier it grew

Like a wild bird searching for its nest:

That's what is meant by giving good advice.

When later I thought about vision,

I had the feeling of being lost

Like someone who has reached a crossroad:

That's what is meant by remaining silent.

When now I think about vision,

I have the feeling of my head spinning

Like an old man telling stories to children:

That's what is meant by not believing it.



When first I thought about meditation,

I had the feeling of delight in the joy and happiness it brought

Like the meeting of a man and woman of similar temperament:

That's what is meant by tasting the very essence of meditation.

When later I thought about meditation,

I had the feeling of being exhausted and tired

Like a weak person crushed by a heavy burden:

That's what is meant by short-lived meditation.

When now I think of meditation,

I have the feeling of it not lasting for a moment

Like a needle being balanced on a stone:

that's what is meant by having no desire for meditation.



When first I thought about conduct,

I had the feeling of being constrained by constraints

Like a wild horse put into harness:

That's what is meant by showing off.

When later I thought about conduct,

I had the feeling of being free to do what I liked

Like an old dog that has broken loose from the stake it was tied to:

That's what is meant by constraints having slipped.

When now I think about conduct,

I have the feeling of it not being important

Like a harlot with no shame:

That's what is meant by there being neither happiness nor misery.



When first I thought about the goal,

I had the feeling of its attainment being something valuable

Like a cheat praising his merchandise:

That's what is meant by having great expectations and desires.

When later I thought about the goal,

I had the feeling of it being something far away

Like the ocean extending from here to there:

That's what is meant by having little dedication.

When now I think about the goal,

I have the feeling of being without means

Like a thief when the night is over:

That's what is meant by having cut off all expectations.



When first I gave a talk,

I had the feeling of being clever and important

Like beautiful girls parading in the marketplace:

That's what is meant by desiring to give talks.

When later I gave a talk,

I had the feeling of being quite familiar with any topic

Like an old man telling worn stories over and again:

That's what is meant by being loquacious.

When now I give a talk,

I have the feeling of overstepping my limits

Like an evil spirit harassed by spells:

That's what is meant by being embarrassed.



When first I partook in debates,

I had the feeling of making a reputation for myself

Like someone instituting legal action against an obnoxious adversary:

That's what is meant by giving vent to righteous indignation.

When later I partook in debates,

I had the feeling of searching for the definite meaning

Like an unpright judge looking for an honest witness:

That's what is meant by concentrating one's capacity.

When now I partake in debates,

I have the feeling that whatever is said will do

Like a liar roaming about the countryside:

That's what is meant by everything just being fine.



When first I wrote treatises,

I had the feeling of the words arising immediately

Like the siddha composing the Dohas:

That what is meant by naturalness.

When later I wrote treatises,

I had the feeling of forcing the words together

Like a skilled person fashioning his poems:

That's what is meant by expressing things beautifully.

When now I write treatises,

I have the feeling of futility

Like an inexperienced person drawing a road map:

That's what is meant by not wasting ink and paper.



When first I gathered with intimate friends,

I had the feeling of competitiveness

Like young men having met for an archery contest:

That's what is meant by loving and hating.

When later I gathered with intimate friends,

I had the feeling of being in accord with all

Like whores having come to a fair:

That's what is meant by having many friends.

When now I gather with intimate friends,

I have the feeling of not fitting into the human herd

Like a leper having ventured into a crowd:

That's what is meant by staying alone.



When first I saw wealth,

I had the feeling of momentary joy

Like a child gathering flowers:

That's what is meant by not hoarding riches and wealth.

When later I saw wealth,

I had the feeling of there never being enough

Like water being poured into a pot with a broken bottom:

That's what is meant by making small efforts to gain something.

When now I see wealth,

I have the feeling of its being a heavy burden

Like an old beggar with too many children:

That's what is meant by rejoicing in having nothing.



When first I hired attendants and servants,

I had the feeling of having to give them lots of work

Like hired workmen gathering in a row:

That's what is meant by having good intentions.

When later I haired attendants and servants,

I had the feeling of losing my independence

Like child monks serving their superiors:

That's what is meant by severing all ties.

When now I hire attendants and servants,

I have the feeling that whatever I have is lost

Like a thievish dog having been let into one's house:

That's what is meant by doing things by yourself alone.



When first disciples came,

I had the feeling of self-importance

Like a servant having occupied the master's seat:

That's what is meant by a job well done.

When later disciples came,

I had the feeling of my mind and thoughts having some purpose

Like a guest having been accorded the seat of honor:

That's what is meant by doing what is advantageous.

When now disciples come,

I have the feeling of having to scowl at them

Like demons rising form the wilderness:

That's what is meant by chasing them away with stones.
muni
 
Posts: 2975
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:59 am

Re: Patrul Rinpoche and The Silver Thief.

Postby oldbob » Wed Jun 27, 2012 4:41 pm

oldbob
 
Posts: 529
Joined: Sun May 06, 2012 8:19 am

Re: Patrul Rinpoche and The Silver Thief.

Postby muni » Thu Jun 28, 2012 11:21 am

oldbob wrote:http://undumbara.wordpress.com/2009/05/29/now-that-i-come-to-die-longchenpa/

:heart:


Thank you very very much.

:heart:
muni
 
Posts: 2975
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:59 am


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