'An Amazing Story: Finding the Reincarnation of Tenga Rinpoche - Part 2
This text is based on a draft by Michele Martin who conducted interviews with Tempa Yarphel, the search team and others. Thankfully this text was edited by Tempa and Tashi Sautter and may deviate from Martin’s final version that will be published elsewhere.
The second time that His Holiness gave them information about the yangsi was during this ceremony at the Vajra Vidya Institute in Sarnath. The Karmapa had arrived here on March 20, 2016 from Bodh Gaya, and on March 21st, 2016, he began three days of pujas in the radiant shrine hall of the Institute.
Two special altars had been arranged: one for the Guru Yoga of Karma Pakshi, which took place in the morning, and another for the practice of the Five Tseringma sisters in the afternoon. Said to reside in the Himalayas, the five sisters are protectors of the Kagyu lineage, and the main Tseringma is also a lineage holder of Milarepa’s Dharma teachings. In particular, Tseringma is considered the special spirit that has dominion over the area of Nubri. These two practices of Karma Pakshi and Tseringma are the same ones that the Karmapa led in Bodh Gaya during the annual nuns’ gathering. At Vajra Vidya, the rituals were augmented with copious offerings and continued for three days, finishing on the auspicious full moon of the second Tibetan month.
The Karmapa had remarked about these special pujas, “At this time perhaps I will see the yangsi more clearly.” On the third day, March 23rd, 2016, after the puja on his way out His Holiness gave Tempa a paper. When he opened it, he found the drawing of a house with a large boulder and an indication of the direction in which the door faced. Written at the top was “Year of the Horse.” In the evening of that day the search team asked His Holiness for further clarification and advice during an audience. The Karmapa told them that they did not know how to search in Samdo. “It could be that the mother went as a bride to another village or that the father went as a groom elsewhere. They will probably have a child. Look for them.”
So the search team returned to Samdo, Nubri, and this time Khenpo Garwang requested the head of the village and resident lama, Lama Urgyen, to call for a big meeting with the local villagers. All of them gathered and Khenpo Garwang asked for family members who moved to other places and had children. The villagers were very cooperative and even called abroad to relatives in Europe, America, and Australia to see if they had such a child but they only found a young girl born in the Year of the Horse, not a young boy.
Three days passed by, and then late in the day around 5:30, Tempa felt like having some coffee, so he walked over to a small shop where a woman was selling tea, coffee, and some snacks. He bought a cup of coffee and while he was drinking it, as is the custom in remote mountain areas, the owner, whose name he found out to be Sithar and who is the sister of Lama Urgyen, struck up a conversation, “Well, did you find the child?”
“No,” Tempa sighed, “We’ve looked everywhere and could not find him.”
She asked him, “Did you know that my older sister’s daughter has a boy born in the Year of the Horse?”
“Where is she?” Tempa immediately asked.
“My sister moved to Rö as a bride.“
“Where is this place?”
“Oh, you walk down the mountain about three or four hours and you’ll get there.”
Tempa was as surprised as he was elated. He paid for his coffee, leaving it half finished, and went as quickly as he could to find the search team in their guesthouse. Khenpo Garwang remarked, “That’s quite strange. We had so many meetings and no one mentioned this child. Let’s go tomorrow as early as possible in the morning. Since Lama Urgyen is a respected person and the relative of the boy, it would be good to take him along.”
As they found out later the shopkeeper’s oldest sister and yangsi’s maternal grandmother was called Ngakwang Dolma. As Lama Urgyen was staying close by, the search team went right away to see him and Khenpo Garwang asked, “Did your sister’s daughter go as a bride to Rö?”
“Yes, but she did already pass away quite some time ago,” he replied.
“Her daughter has a boy. Isn’t it?”
“Could it be that he was born in the Year of the Horse?”
“Well, it is possible. I will call her.”
Lama Urgyen made a phone call to the yangsi’s mother and he found out that, indeed, the boy was born in the Horse Year. He even was the one who made the astrological chart for the boy after his birth when he had given him the name Nyima Döndrub. Happily he agreed to join the search team on their trip to Rö.
With joy and anticipation, the search team traveled on the following day with Lama Urgyen to meet his sister’s grandson (this uncle’s grand nephew). After their trek down the mountain, the search team at last came to the house, which was known as the New House in Rö of Nubri (Nub ri ros khang gsar). When Tempa saw the yangsi, he thought, “This child’s eyes have a special brilliance.” The parent’s names turned out to be just as the prediction letter had indicated: the father was named Tsering Wangdu, (though he was usually called Wangdu), and he was known as Urgyen Pasang Wangpo when he was a monk for four years at Tsoknyi Rinpoche’s Monastery in Swyambhunath which is now under Mingyur Rinpoche‘s guidance and called Tergar Özel Ling. It also has turned out that the mother of both Tsoknyi Rinpoche and Mingyur Rinpoche came from Rö. The yangsi’s mother was called Dawa Potri, and when she was a nun at Penor Rinpoche’s nunnery in southern India, she was known as Tsultrim Chödrön. She has two older sisters and three younger brothers.
Nyima Döndrub, who was usually just called Nyima, was born on the 23rd day of the tenth Tibetan month in the Year of the Wooden Horse (December 14th, 2014) at 11:30pm. The previous Tenga Rinpoche had passed away in the early hours of March 30th, 2012, so he did not wait long to take rebirth, just as the Karmapa had predicted. By Tibetan counting, the yangsi is four years old since he was born in the tenth month, and whenever Losar (the New Year) comes around, everyone is considered a year older no matter when they were born. So when the Yangsi was two months old, he was already considered to be a one-year old. Then two years passed, making him three, and this year Losar just happened on February 27th, so he turned four. However, in western terms he is only two years and some three months old.
When the search team first came, the young boy was about a year and three months old. He got up and went toward the door to see who was there. When he saw Khenpo Garwang, he said, “Tashi Delek La,” a polite way to say in Tibetan, “Welcome.” What was unusual is that the child did not know Tibetan and had never spoken these words before. When the team came inside, the young boy grabbed his mother‘s chuba several times saying something to her in the local Nubri dialect. When Tempa asked Khenpo Ösung for a translation, it came out to be a traditional gesture of welcome, “Pour them some tea.”
The search team took many photos of the yangsi, his family, and his home. There were four members in the family: the two parents, the yangsi, and his sister, Kelsang Chökyi who was two years older. When asked about it the mother said that her periods were regular. So she was not pregnant at that time which did not match the prediction. Tempa further asked the parents about the boulder that was in the Karmapa’s drawing. They replied that their old house had a boulder that formed the corner of the first floor but they had taken it down and broken up the boulder to use in building a new home in an L-shape with several extra rooms, thinking that they might open a guest house. It was in this new house that the yangsi was born.
While remaining in Rö Khenpo Garwang reported to His Holiness. Even though there was half a family member missing Khenpo gave a full account of all details. After three days His Holiness answered and requested Khenpo Garwang to return to India and the others to Kathmandu. Once back in India, Khenpo Garwang briefed His Holiness with all the details and showed him the photographs but at this point, the Karmapa did not say whether or not the young boy was the reincarnation.
To be continued ......'
Text and Photo @ http://www.benchen.org/en/monastery-nep ... che-part-2