Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche (Tibetan: དིལ་མགོ་མཁྱེན་བརྩེ་) (c. 1910 – 28 September 1991) was a Vajrayana master, scholar, poet, teacher, and recognized by Buddhists as one of the greatest realized masters. Head of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism from 1988 to 1991, he is also considered an eminent proponent of the Rime tradition.
As the primary custodian of the teachings of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, Dilgo Khyentse was the de facto custodian of the vast majority of Tibetan Buddhist teachings. He taught many eminent teachers, including the Dalai Lama. After the Chinese invasion of Tibet, his personal effort was crucial in the preservation of Tibetan Buddhism.
- Once you have the view, although the delusory perceptions of samsara may arise in your mind, you will be like the sky; when a rainbow appears in front of it, it’s not particularly flattered, and when the clouds appear, it’s not particularly disappointed either. There is a deep sense of contentment. You chuckle from inside as you see the facade of samsara and nirvana; the View will keep you constantly amused, with a little inner smile bubbling away all the time.
- If your mind is constantly preoccupied by your money and possessions, you are in reality only preparing the ground for rebirth as a spirit tortured by hunger and thirst. If your thoughts are obsessed with your family and loved ones, you are only strengthening the pangs of separation you will suffer when you die.
- The Hundred Verses of Advice: Tibetan Buddhist Teachings on What Matters Most (2005); ISBN 1-59030-154-4
- To have devotion constantly in your mind will endow you with lasting serenity and satisfaction. Remembering even the name of your is enough to completely transform your perceptions. Visualizing the guru above the crown of your head, even for an instant, can dissipate the veils of illusion.
- The Hundred Verses of Advice: Tibetan Buddhist Teachings on What Matters Most (2005); ISBN 1-59030-154-4
- Devotion is the ring that allows the hook of the teacher’s compassion to pull you out of the mire of samsara.
- Even if death were to fall upon you today like lightning, you must be ready to die without sadness and regret, without any residue of clinging for what is left behind. Remaining in the recognition of the absolute view, you should leave this life like an eagle soaring up into the blue sky....
- When death finally comes you will welcome it like an old friend, aware of how dreamlike and impermanent the whole phenomenal world really is.
- Never forget how swiftly this life will be over, like a flash of summer lightning or the wave of a hand. Now that you have the opportunity to practice dharma, do not waste a single moment on anything else.
- Quoted in Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche’s Last Teaching By Matthieu Ricard, Tricycle Magazine (Fall 1997)
Heart Treasure of the Enlightened Ones (1992)
- Not long ago your conciousness
was wandering alone.
Swept by karma,
it took its present birth.
Soon, like a hair pulled out of butter,
Leaving everything behind,
you’ll go on alone.
- This body of ours, which we cherish so dearly, will turn into a corpse that our friends and family will only want to dispose of as quickly as possible.
- If you continue investigating, you will find that there is nothing anywhere, not even a single atom, that has a verifiable existence.
- The mantra Om Mani Pädme Hum is easy to say yet quite powerful, because it contains the essence of the entire teaching. When you say the first syllable Om it is blessed to help you achieve perfection in the practice of generosity, Ma helps perfect the practice of pure ethics, and Ni helps achieve perfection in the practice of tolerance and patience. Pä, the fourth syllable, helps to achieve perfection of perseverance, Me helps achieve perfection in the practice of concentration, and the final sixth syllable Hum helps achieve perfection in the practice of wisdom.
- Recitation of the mantra helps achieve perfection in the six practices from generosity to wisdom. The path of these six perfections is the path walked by all the Buddhas of the three times. What could then be more meaningful than to say the mantra and accomplish the six perfections?"
- Om Mani Pädme Hum is the compassionate wisdom of all the Buddhas manifested as sound. Within it is contained the essential meaning of all eighty-four thousand sections of the Buddha's teachings. Of all the many mantras of various kinds, such as awareness mantras... and secret mantras... not one is superior to the six syllables of Chenrezi. The great benefits of reciting this mantra, commonly known as the mani, are described again and again...
- There’s no time, no time!
There’s no time to rest!
When suddenly death is upon
you, what will you do?
Now you’d better start practicing
the sublime Dharma right away;
Now, quick, hurry-recite the six-syllable mantra.
The Heart of Compassion (2006)
Part One: The Preparation
- You have not obtained this precious human existence just by chance. It is the result of having heard the buddha's name in a past life, having taken refuge in him, accumulated virtuous actions, and of having developed some wisdom. There is no certainty that you will obtain this vessel again. If you fail to practice the Dharma in this life, it is certain that you will not obtain a human existence in the next life. To neglect such an opportunity would therefore be very foolish. Do not waste it. Practice day and night.
- Every day, remind yourself that if you do not study and reflect upon the teachings, meditate, and recite prayers and mantras, at the moment of death you will be helpless. Death is certain. If you wait for the moment of death to begin your practice, it will be too late. Think about why you are engaging in practice. Wishing to obtain a long life free from illness, or hoping to increase your wealth and influence are petty aims. Practice to free yourself and all others from the suffering that is samsara.
- When buddhas look at samsara with the eyes of their omniscience, they do not see it as an enjoyable place. They are acutely aware of the sufferings of beings... and they see how senseless are the pointless, temporary goals that beings try so hard to attain.
- It is important to become more and more clearly convinced that the only thing worth achieving is supreme enlightenment.
- Contemplate death and the sufferings of samsara, and you will not want to waste a single moment in pointless distractions and activities, such as trying to get rich, defeating your enemies, or spending your life protecting and furthering the interests of those to whom you are attached. You will only want to practice the Dharma.
- A bedridden patient only thinks about getting well again. He or she has no wish to remain sick forever. Likewise, a practitioner who yearns to leave the miseries of samsara behind will make use of all the ways in which that can be done, such as taking refuge, generating the mind set on attaining enlightenment for the sake of others, undertaking positive actions, and so on, with a firm determination to get out of samsara constantly in mind. It is not enough to wish from time to time that you could be free of samsara. That idea must pervade your stream of thinking day and night.
- When the Buddha first turned the Wheel of Dharma, he taught the Four Noble Truths.
The First Noble Truth is that there is suffering, and it should be recognised.
The Second Noble Truth is that suffering has a cause, which therefore needs to be given up. That cause is the kleshas, the negative emotions or afflicting mental factors. Although there are many such obscured states of mind, the five principal obscurations are desire, aggression, ignorance, pride, and jealousy.
The Third Noble Truth is that there is a path that leads beings away from suffering; this path therefore needs to be followed.
The Fourth Noble Truth is that suffering can thus be brought to cessation.
Through the Four Noble Truths, the Buddha urged us to renounce worldly concerns and strive for liberation from samsara.
- As you progress through these three steps, spiritual qualities will naturally arise, and you will see the truth of the teachings. Those qualities will bloom spontaneously because the buddha nature within you is being revealed.
- The buddha nature, or tathagatagarbha, is present in all beings, but is hidden by obscurations, in the same way that buried gold is hidden by the earth under which it lies. As you listen to, reflect, and meditate on the Dharma, all the inherent qualities of your buddha nature will be actualized.
- When a field has been carefully prepared and planted with seeds, and all favorable conditions are present, such as temperature, moisture, and warmth, the seeds will germinate and grow into crops. It is said that there is nothing, however difficult, that cannot become easy through familiarization. If you persevere in the practice of these instructions, you can be sure of achieving results.
- In my native land waves of attachment to friends and kin surge,
Hatred for enemies rages like fire,
The darkness of stupidity, not caring what to adopt or avoid, thickens -
To abandon my native land is the practice of a bodhisattva
- The meaning of leaving behind your native land is to leave behind the emotions of attachment, hatred, and the obscuring ignorance that permeates both. These three poisons, generally speaking, are most active in the relationships you establish with family and friends in your own homeland. There, it is all too easy for the protection of those to whom you are attached, and the increasing of their wealth and happiness, to become your main preoccupation... you end up engaging in meaningless activities without end, frittering away what is left of your precious life...
Not to see how pointless it would be to waste your life with such goals is simply ignorance.
- So, rather than stay near the people and things that are liable to arouse your attachment and resentment, go to a completely unknown place where there is nothing that will engender negative emotions. Your mind will not be disturbed, and you will be able to devote your time and energy to the practice of Dharma.
- As it is said:
Go hundreds of miles away
From places of dispute;
Don't stay for an instant
Where disturbing emotions prevail.
- As time goes on, it will become obvious through your practice of the Dharma that hatred toward anyone is a mistake.
You will have nothing but good thoughts and intentions toward all beings.
So, too, the pointlessness of becoming attached to anyone and anything will also become obvious,
and you will see that all objects of attachment are like things perceived in dreams,
like phantasmagoric illusions.
Quotes about Him
- Thirty-six hours after his teacher’s last breath, Trulshik Rinpoche decided that Khyentse Rinpoche’s last meditation was completed, and his body... was enshrined and carried in procession... to the main temple of Thimphu Dzong, where everyone, from the king and the royal family to the most humble people, came and paid homage. Within hours, and day after day, many masters from all schools converged in Bhutan to pay homage. At the request of disciples from Tibet and all over the world, so that they could come to pay a last homage to their teacher, Khyentse Rinpoche’s body was preserved for a year using traditional embalming methods. Every Friday (the day of his death) for the first seven weeks, one hundred thousand butter lamps were offered at the Bodhnath stupa near Shechen Monastery in Nepal. Finally, his remains were cremated near Paro in Bhutan, in November 1992, at a three-day ceremony attended by over a hundred important lamas, the royal family and ministers of Bhutan, five hundred Western disciples and a huge crowd of some sixty thousand devotees...
- Matthieu Ricard in Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche’s Last Teaching, Tricycle Magazine (Fall 1997), a gathering unprecedented in Bhutan’s history.