Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche’s Remarks About Lama Yeshe Losal at the Thrangu Tsedrup
Posted on 26 Nov 2016
Below are wonderful remarks by Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche, Abbot of Karma Triyana Dharmachakra (KTD) Monastery in Woodstock, New York, regarding Choje Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche. These remarks were made during the first Thrangu Tsedrup conducted at KTD where Lama Rinpoche was a guest of Khenpo-la.
"I feel especially fortunate in having the opportunity to convene this Kagyu Tsedrup.
But in particular I want to say how happy I am and how fortunate I feel that Lama Yeshe Losal was able to join us for this event this year.
Lama Yeshe Losal was someone who was extremely very much loved and trusted by the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa. And therefore when KTD was first established, the Karmapa placed him here as an assistant or deputy to Lama Tenzin Choyni.
And therefore, at that time, he was instrumental in the very founding and proper functioning, creation and maintenance of Karma Triyana Dharmachakra.
During that period, Lama Yeshe Losal developed a sincere desire for freedom from samsara. Which caused him to request of the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa the vows of renunciation and completion.
Accordingly, in the year 1980 on the 15th day of the month Vaisaka (Saka Dawa) he received all at once both the novitiate (the vow of renunciation) and the full ordination (the vow of completion) in the presence of His Holiness the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa, and an august assembly of great masters.
Since that day and up to and including the present day, Lama Yeshe Losal’s maintenance of his monastic discipline has been in all ways both flawless and exemplary, and before saying more, I want to thank him for that.
Soon after that, he said to me that he was concerned that if he did not enter into retreat he would not be able to perfect the life devoted to the dharma that he wished to pursue. So therefore he entered into retreat, and as (unlike most of us), he has no interest in the distractions of conversations, socializing and so on, he entered into solitary retreat, which he did, in a cabin behind the monastery.
He remained in retreat for just about five years, and during that time he gave rise to authentic realization to a degree that is extremely rare in these days and times. For example, the Lord of Refuge Kalu Rinpoche said of Lama Yeshe Losal that although in these dregs of time we no longer dare to hope for disciples to give rise to authentic realization, it seems it is still possible for someone to become heroic, like a lion, like a garuda, in their level of Dharma realization. Saying that and other things, Kalu Rinpoche praised Lama Yeshe Losal greatly.
After his five years of retreat, Lama Yeshe Losal returned to Samye Ling in Scotland, which was established under the blessing and remains holding the blessing of the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa and since that time, he has overseen its community, directed the practice and the retreat facilities associated with it, and also encouraged many others both by his teaching and his example of flawless discipline and intensive practice, bringing real accomplishment.
I have therefore offered him today these emblems of body speech and mind, and I have done so because I feel tremendous gratitude, tremendous appreciation, for the way he has lived his life, and the way he practices, and I feel that should be acknowledged whenever the opportunity arises. Since it arose during this assembly, I took that opportunity and have made these offerings to him.
The emblems that have been offered are small, but we have a saying in Tibet that even one small flower, when offered to the buddhas and bodhisattvas, can embody Mount Meru and all the continents in the universe, and thus can have great meaning. I hope that Lama Yeshe Losal will take these emblems back with him to Scotland, and that he will have a long life.
Also, during our meals we had several conversations, and I made a special request to Lama Yeshe Losal, and hope that he will carry through on his promise.
I think it is highly auspicious that he has joined us here in spite of the great distance between his seat in Scotland and here in America, that he has joined us here for our first performance of the Thrangu Tsedrup. And I pray that this auspiciousness indicates that he will come back again and again, and I also pray that he and I, in spite of the great distance between where he lives and where I live, be able to enjoy one another’s company as we have been this week, frequently, in the future. I realize that the likelihood of that is slightly diminished by my great age and his. But I still, that is my prayer.
If he is able to return here often and frequently, that will fulfill my wishes. But even if he can’t, having him here now is of tremendous meaning to me personally, and I wanted everyone to understand that.
Rough transcript by B. Keenan, Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016, 5:49 pm"