The Last Days of Khenpo Abbey

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The Last Days of Khenpo Abbey

Post by phantom59 » Sat Feb 11, 2012 2:35 pm

One of the attendants who were with Appey Khen
Rinpoche during his last days, recounts:
“There were five of us taking care of Rinpoche
during his last days. With Lama Thubten we would
have been six, but he was only able to come at the last
minute. At about nine on the night before his passing,
he asked us to take shifts, so that we would all be
able to get some sleep. And he said: “If something
happens, please just inform His Holiness, but don’t
tell anyone else.” His voice was a little bit weak, and
he had turned to lie on his right side, so we all thought
that he was going to leave us, because he had prepared
for that day it was the anniversary of the parinirvana
of Chögyal Phagpa and also that of his guru Dezhung
Anjam Rinpoche. He had asked us to instruct IBA to
perform a Guru Yoga puja and a Mahakala puja on
that day, and to conduct a Monlam three days later.

And then he said: “If something happens tonight, best
not to inform His Holiness. He shouldn’t be disturbed,
and so you should wait till tomorrow morning.” And
then he said that three of us should get some sleep, so
I went to my room.At two in the morning, it was our turn
to be with Rinpoche. Lama Thubten had arrived, but didn’t
want to startle Rinpoche, and decided to wait until morning
to see him. During the night, Rinpoche would sit up
for a while, then he would lie down. He asked me if
I knew how to turn on the massage machine, and I
said yes, which wasn’t true. But I did switch it on, and
placed it under his back. After an hour or so, he said
that he wanted to lie down, and he slept for a while.
He woke up and asked for a drink of water. I held him
up as he sipped, and then laid him back down. Jampa
Losal was beside me, holding his hand. Then he said:
“Don’t be sad, there’s no need to be sad. I’m all right,
there’s no problem.” And then he said in English:
“My only problem is blood pressure. That’s my only
problem. Other than that, everything is all right. Don’t
be sad.” He repeated this several times.

Around six thirty, he told us to wake everybody
up. We all went to his room, and he said: ”Everyone is
up, now I can go to sleep.” He fell asleep, so I went to
my room to do my sadhana, and when I finished I lay
down for a while, as I hadn’t been able to sleep during
the night. At around nine, Lama Thubten came in and
said that things weren’t looking good, so I went with
him to Rinpoche’s room. Rinpoche stopped breathing
at nine thirty. He was gone. It was very simple, very
soft, there was no pain, nothing. Gendun had gone out
to get some medicine and when he came back, he said:
“No, you’re mistaken, he’s still alive.” He couldn’t
believe it, because Rinpoche looked so vibrant. He
had turned to his right side, and looked very peaceful,
as if he was sleeping.

Right to the end, suffering as he was from such a
terrible disease, Rinpoche was always worrying about
others. As I was standing there next to his bed, he
kept looking at me, from head to toe, up and down,
and said to the others about me: “His clothes are not
warm enough. Give him socks. I’ve got socks in my
cupboard. Please give him some.”

When he left India for Nepal in 1986, I took him
there. I was hoping to stay with him, but His Holiness
asked me to come back to Dehradun to finish the
construction of Sakya College. So a few weeks ago,
when he heard that I was coming, he said: “Ha! Once,
he sent me to Kathmandu, and now he’s coming to
send me up there!”

And then he kept saying: “There’s no point in
staying on too long, it just becomes a burden for
others.” And we would say: “Please don’t say these
things, Rinpoche. His Holiness requested that you stay
long, so please try your best to stay long. But finally
he went – everybody has to go.”

Khenchen Appey Yöngten Zangpo was born in
Dergé, East Tibet, in 1927. Shortly after his birth, he
was recognised as the reincarnated tulku of Khenpo
Tsewang from Karma Palpung Monastery. His parents
were enjoined to let him enter the monastery but,
being ardent Sakya followers, they refused to grant
their permission. And when he was nine, Rinpoche
was sent to Serjong Monastery in Dergé, where
he was to spend the following fourteen years, nine
of which were dedicated to intensive study at the
monastery shedra, the final ones under the tutelage
of Khenpo Dragyab Lodrö. Right from an early age,
it became obvious that he was no ordinary student
he was always ahead of the lessons being taught, and
showed a deep degree of realization of the texts he
studied, aside from memorising them with the greatest
of ease.

Rinpoche then went on to pursue his studies at
the Dzongsar Shedra. Conditions at the college were
harsh, there was no money, and the study load was
heavy. At night, this had to be done by candlelight,
a strain to the eyes. So when the moon was bright
enough, Rinpoche would bring his sutras near the
window, and read the scriptures using the moon as his lamp
As the moon moved across the sky, Rinpoche
would shift his books to follow its rays. He was so
captivated by what he was studying that, on one
occasion, he found himself outdoors: unawares, he
had followed the moon's rays right out of his room
into the courtyard!

After completing his studies at the Dzongsar
Shedra, Appey Khen Rinpoche returned to Serjong
monastery and, at the age of 25, became its abbot.
Rinpoche was known for the strict observance of his
samaya, and was such an accomplished scholar and
practitioner, that he was highly respected by all four
branches of Tibetan Buddhism.
In 1957, he was made abbot of Ngor Monastery,
during which time he travelled briefly to Sikkim to
visit his teacher Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodrö. He
returned to Ngor, where he stayed until 1959, when
he again travelled to Sikkim in order to seek a mo
(prediction) from his teacher.

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Re: The Last Days of Khenpo Abbey

Post by maybay » Sun Feb 12, 2012 1:20 pm

thank you for posting this
People will know nothing and everything
Remember nothing and everything
Think nothing and everything
Do nothing and everything
- Machig Labdron

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