Traling is a relatively large and famous monastic complex in the Golok area.
Many venerable monks and great masters from this monastery are famed throughout Tibet: Tulku Tenpai Nyima Rinpoche, Khenchen PadmaLod ro, Siddha Khenpo Tarding Rinpoche, Lingtrul Rinpoche Chöying Dorje the tulku of Ling Lama Chöje Dorje, Vajra Master Khenpo Panchen Dawa, the learned Kunzang Gyaltsen
founder of the orphan school affiliated with the Lion & Dragon Palace at Traling.
Khenpo Padma Lodro highly valued and entrusted by Khenpo Münsel Rinpoche was given special recognition after the passing of Münsel Rinpoche when he was enthroned. He is a great master and lineage holder of Dzogpa Chenpo and has become one of the authorities on Dzogchen teachings in Golok. He has established many retreat centers all over Tibet. Regardless of his old age and weakness, every year he travels tirelessly as far as Samye Monastery in Central Tibet, as
well as to mainland china, in order to propagate the Dzogchen teachings and guide disciples in retreat.
I am very fortunate that every time I return to Tibet, I have the opportunity to visit a group of practitioners who are in lifetime retreat in the hills behind Traling Monastery, and to bring them some modest offerings. Every time I do this it is a time of reconnection with my lineage and a renewal of devotion. As is well known, living conditions are quite hard and material comforts are insufficient in Golok. However, the infinite Dharma joy that radiates out from these practitioners during our communication has affected me deeply. In today’s materialistic age, it is really rare and precious that they practice the Dharma so diligently. Their perseverance is worthy of rejoicing and praise. Each and every one of these practitioners is excellent and I admire them greatly. However I would like to share with you, my dharma friends, some deeds of two of these special practitioners.
The first one is called Gelok Lama. He is nearly 50 years old, with dark skin and a lanky build. It is said that he has achieved the signs of realization of the rainbow body: knowing others’ thoughts,transcending time and space without hindrance, etc. Personally, when I first met him I experienced a feeling of complete exposure – as if he were totally able to behold my entire being. I then understood that he is not at all living as an ordinary person.
He was prophesied by Kyabje Kathok Moktsa Rinpoche to realize the rainbow body in this very life. His only possessions are poverty and peace, as well as a group of vultures. Every day he shares his already very limited food with this group of vultures and often chants scriptures to them. I once heard him say with my own ears, that his way of calling the vultures over was to chant the Seven Line Prayer once. If you have ever been to a sky burial ground in Tibet, you would be deeply impressed by the ferocity and barbarity of the vultures. However at the feet of this realized being they seem so gentle and obedient. One of my very dear teachers, Khenpo Kuncho, told a story about how he witnessed Gelok Lama feeding vultures yoghurt from his hand. The wild creatures would turn their heads sideways since their large beaks prevented them from holding their heads upright to eat.