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Vimala Treasures

Stories From the Early Life of Gyatrul Rinpoche

Stories From the Early Life of Gyatrul Rinpoche

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Venerable Gyatrul Rinpoche is an esteemed Buddhist master and among the great spiritual mentors living at this time. Stories from the Early Life of Gyatrul Rinpoche is filled with tales of his early years: from his birth in 1925, up to the time he left for the West in 1972, where he traveled from one world to another—leaving the lands of Tibet and India and entering the speedy, modern Western world, becoming a pioneer in establishing Vajrayana Buddhism.

Gyatrul Rinpoche is magical, a highly refined master who is completely unassuming and very down to earth. His spontaneity, playfulness, disarming humor, and hilarious impressions of students’ expressions, speech, and gestures could reduce them to tears. And he has always been a storyteller. Whether sitting on a throne in a temple during formal teachings, stopping by a dharma center kitchen to visit a work crew busy with the preparations for a retreat, or relaxing with a cup of afternoon tea, Rinpoche has always told stories: stories about his childhood and training, funny stories, bizarre, often terrifying stories, stories with pointed life lessons, countless awe-inspiring stories of the great masters he has known—every kind of story.

These tales circulated among his students like precious treasures and were gathered and written down by Gaea Yudron, one of his long-time students. They give a glimpse into the traditional way of training and relating to the dharma as it took place in Tibet over centuries of time. As a recognized tulku, a being who has consciously reincarnated to continue to guide others, Rinpoche had unique opportunities, and many of those are shared here for the reader to enjoy.

As soon as you begin perusing these pages, you will find yourself immersed in the world of far eastern Tibet at a time when it was still quite untouched by modernity. The stories begin with his early childhood, as his family followed centuries-old traditions of moving their livestock with the seasons. They continue with his travels with his root guru, the renowned yogi Tulku Natsog Rangdrol, and cover his harrowing escape across Tibet to India, as well as his fourteen years teaching and serving in the refugee communities there. The book concludes with the circumstances that brought him to the West in 1972, at the direct request of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Within these pages, you will read about the auspicious signs at Rinpoche’s conception and birth, and during his infancy and childhood. You will meet an array of Rinpoche’s family members and friends, as well as the renowned masters he trained with for many years. A few of his adventures with uncles and aunts serve as a reminder that even a tulku can have his share of family problems.

If you have never met Gyatrul Rinpoche, these stories will provide an excellent introduction. And if you have been Rinpoche’s student or friend for many years, your appreciation for his stainless qualities and everything he has lived through and accomplished to bring dharma into this world may very well deepen.

Now in his late ‘90s, Rinpoche remains a beacon of bodhicitta and profound wisdom in this world.

Format: Paperback

Pages: 115

Published: Vimala, 2022

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