Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche's health, passing away and after
Mid July 2006, venerable Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche was
diagnosed with liver cancer in an Israeli hospital and passed away on
December 16, 2006.
Below is a collection of emails we received so far
with updates on his health situation and what happened after his passing
away. Advice for practice is printed in bold red letters. (Voula Zarpani
is Rinpoche's translator, Michael Mueller is Rinpoche's occasional assistant.)
You can find a brief biography on our Kirti
Tsenshab Rinpoche page.
Click for latest
July 14; July 16; July
17 (FPMT); July 17;
July 19; July 23; July29;
August 5, August 6, August
8, August 9,
August 9 - second opinion New York cancer specialist
August 14 - medical report New Delhi hospital,
August 16 - Dr. Yeshe Donden examination,
August 19 - message from Rinpoche,
August 24 - summary of of current situation
August 27 - Rinpoche's meditation
August 27 - Update from Voula
September 21 - Update from Voula and Michael
September 25 - Update from Voula
September 28 - About practice at the time of
death, from Voula
September 30 - Advice from Lama Zopa Rinpoche
October 4 - Message from Voula
October 8 - Tsog offerings for Rinpoche, from
October 8 - An auspicious dream, from Voula
October 10 - A commentary on the King of Prayers
October 18 - Message from Voula
23 October 2006 - Evening, from Voula
25 October 2006 - Protectors, from Voula
29 October 2006 - From Voula
3 November 2006 - New groth detected in the throat,
Note: at Rinpoche's request, references
to his visions were removed
3 December 2006 - Limited news, from Voula
16 December 2006 - Rinpoche's passing
19 December 2006 - some practical info
20 December 2006 - Cremation details, from Voula
January 3, 2007 - Cremation, from Voula
January 13, 2007 - Prayer
for the Quick Return of the Reincarnation of Kirti Tsenshap Rinpoche,
Note: above prayer is now also available in Polish,
Spanish translation here) and in
February 17, 2007 - a revised
version of Rinpoche's Guru-yoga prayer.
March 13, 2007 - Update on Kirti
Tsenshap Rinpoche’s relic stupa and finances
March 17, 2007 - Prayer
for the quick return in Italian
May 5, 2007 - Building of the relic stupa has
October 12, 2007 - Progress on the stupa and commemorating
Rinpoche's passing away
December 13, 2007 - See this Web
page by Vajrapani Institute
February 26, 2008 - Photos of the stupa nearing
January 13, 2009 - Consecration of Rinpoche's stupa
January 21, 2009 - foto of completed stupa
June 5, 2009 - Consecration of Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche's stupa on Saka Dawa
June 18, 2009 - Foto's of completing the stupa & blessing puja
Collecting practices that have
been done for Rinpoche
Rinpoche has requested that practices done for him are
collected and added to his biography, so if you have done any number
of mantras, pujas, tsatsa's, liberating animals or prayers for his health
etc., please let me know in a short
To reduce the number of emails, perhaps it is possible for Dharma
centers to collect numbers from their members and send them in one email?
totals per February 17, 2007: 1,970,309 liberated animals, from
insects and small fish to cats. In the 8 days after Lama Zopa Rinpoche
requested his students to perform tsog for Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche,
they collected more then an amazing 121,000 tsog offerings! Some other
practices: 1629 King of Prayers, 236 Medicine Buddha practices, nearly
600,000 Medicine Buddha mantras, over 48,000 long Vajrasattva mantras,
30,800 short Vajrasattva mantras, 16,250 long-life prayers, nearly 450,000
Tara mantras, 24 all-night Tara practices, over 1 million Mani-mantras,
600,000 Kalachakra mantras, 100,000 Yamantaka action mantras, 20,000
Yamantaka essence mantras, 200,000 Hayagriva mantras, 730 Yamantaka
pujas, 31 Nyung Nes, and many more. Rejoice!
Foto's of completing the stupa and blessing puja, June 18, 2009
Michael Mueller kindly put some photo series of the stupa at Picasaweb. Click below links to see the images.
Puja Before Filling the Stupa
First Day of Filling the Stupa
Small Statue Inside the Stupa
Final Finishing Touch
Consecration of Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche's stupa on Saka Dawa, June 5, 2009
I have just talked with Alak-la and he told me that last night he received a phone call from Dharamsala informing him that the monks have begun filling Rinpoche’s relic stupa with powdered incense. The filling and prayers will take a few days to complete and it is expected that the consecration will be completed by Sunday 7th June coinciding with the full moon of Sakadawa. Once the stupa is consecrated it will be placed in Rinpoche’s room. All students and the general public are invited in Kirti Monastery on Sakadawa, to participate in the prayer and tea offering, mang-ja, that will be offered.
Kindly pass the message around.
Many thanks and best wishes,
Photo of completed stupa, January 21, 2009
Here is the latest photo of the completed stupa. As they say one picture equals a thousand words! What you see here is the result of many months of hard work of many students around the world, generous offerings, hundreds of emails, phone calls, meetings, doubts, sleepless nights, agonising moments, and immeasurable patience and skillful guidance on behalf of Alak Rinpoche.
It is what I call a moment of "click and rejoice"! Please pass it around to those in your mail list, or put it up in your website. Unfortunately I am on dial up connection at present and it is not possible to send the photo to everyone in my list.
Thanks again and enjoy!
Consecration of Rinpoche's stupa, January 13, 2009
Venerable Alak Tsangla, attendant to the late Venerable Kirti Tsenshap Rinpoche, would like to invite to you to Dharamsala for the arrival and consecration of the Relic Stupa of Rinpoche.
After two years of sourcing precious materials and crafting the stupa, we are very happy to announce the completion of this project. All students, sponsors, benefactors and the general public are invited to attend the consecration of the Relic Stupa that will take place in Kirti Monastery, Dharamsala. The exact date and time of consecration of the Relic Stupa has not been finalized yet, and will be given in due course.
As of today, January 14th, only a small number of the smallest precious and semi-precious stones remain to be fitted to the Stupa and all work is expected to be finalized by the end of this week. The stupa is then expected to arrive in Dharamsala sometime between January 24-26th. Everyone is welcomed to greet the stupa when it first arrives with Venerable Alak Tsangla. Unfortunately the actual time of the arrival of the stupa in Dharamsala can only be given at short notice. I hope to be able to give you an approximate time at least 24 hours prior to its arrival.
With heartfelt appreciation and gratitude for everyone’s generous support and untiring efforts,
Voula Zarpani on behalf of Venerable Alak Tsangla
February 26, 2008 - Photos of the stupa
The work on the relic stupa is well in progress and we are now in the
last phase of ornamentation.. The parts have been assembled and the
metal plates upon which the precious stones will be set have been gilded
and, once this is completed, the stupa will be freighted to India and
concecrated in Dharamsala.
With best wishes,
October 12, 2007 - Progress
on the stupa and commemorating Rinpoche's passing away
I am happy to be sending you some photos of Rinpoche’s
relic stupa. As you can see most of the parts of the stupa are completed.
We still need to get the precious and semiprecious stones cut to size
to fit their respective places. Then the different parts will be assembled
and once the stupa is completed, it will be taken to Dharamsala. Rinpoche’s
remains have been pulverized and will be deposited in the stupa which
will then be placed in Rinpoche’s room.
Regarding commemorating Rinpoche’s passing away, Alak Rinpoche has suggested
that our focus will be Lama Tsongkhapa day. Last year December 15th
coincided with Lama Tsongkhapa day, but this year December 15th is an
inauspicious day. Therefore we will commemorate the passing away on
Lama Tsongkhapa day. Prayers will be offered in Kirti Monastery in Dharamsala
and Taktshang Lhamo in Tibet. You can participate by offering Lama Choepa
with tsog and reciting the King of Prayers, but of course any virtuous
activity and practice performed on that day can be equally dedicated
towards meeting again Rinpoche’s reincarnation.
With best wishes,
May 5, 2007 - Building of the
relic stupa has started
I am very happy to tell you that the construction of the relic stupa
has begun. Last month Alak Rinpoche took a quick trip to Nepal and met
with various stupa makers and saw their work. He quickly chose the craftsmen
whose work he liked best and commissioned the relic stupa for Rinpoche.
The initial payment of gold and silver has been made and the construction
has begun. It is estimated that the stupa will be ready sometime in
October or November and upon completion it will be taken to Dharamsala,
so that Rinpoche’s relics can be deposited inside. You can check the
quality of the work of the stupa makers on their
Once the stupa was commissioned Alak returned to Dharamsala and met
with Kirti Rinpoche who gave him the permission to leave the premises
of the monastery. Following that Alak handed over Rinpoche’s belongings
to the Monastery for safe-keeping until the reincarnation returns. In
return the Monastery has handed Alak and official receipt.
With that task completed Alak is now ready to move to Varanasi for
his long retreat. Valentino from Alice Project – Universal Education
has very generously offered long term accommodation and logistic support
for Alak. Rinpoche and Alak had visited the place and stayed there for
a few months on a few occasions and Alak was happy to be going to a
familiar and holy location for his retreat. The school now has a new
Temple dedicated to Tara and they plan to have people engage in ongoing
daily prayers. They very generously provide food, lodging, medical insurance
and a monthly offering of about 1,500 Rs for those who wish to join
the daily prayers. So those of you who are inspired, make sure you contact
Valentino and register as there are no more than 10-15 places available
and everyone is welcomed.
Although the school is always busy with students and practitioners,
Alak will be staying in his private and quiet accommodation and he is
very much looking forward to settling in. You can find out more about
Alice Project and Valentino by checking their
With best wishes,
March 17, 2007 - Prayer for the quick
return in Italian
Ivan Zerlotti has made an Italian translation of the Prayer for the
quick return of Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche; you can find the Word
document here, and the pdf-file
March 13, 2007 - Update on Kirti Tsenshap
Rinpoche’s relic stupa and finances
It has been a while since I last sent out any information about Kirti
Tsenshap Rinpoche’s relic stupa and the finances involved in this project.
But first I would like to take the opportunity to again thank everyone
who has contributed while Rinpoche was still with us. The total of your
donations came to some 2,400,000 Indian Rupees. From these, 1,000,000
was spent on medical expenses, including hospital bills, private care
at the farm (where Rinpoche stayed in Delhi), medicine and equipment,
twice a day transport to and from the hospital for the nurses, doctor’s
fees and offerings, and finally transport of Rinpoche’s holy body from
Delhi to Dharamsala for the cremation.
Some 400,000 Indian Rupees were spent to cover our living expenses in
the farm. Although Bonnie had very generously offered that magnificent
and spacious house free of any rent, at any given time there were 9-11
monks residing in the house, plus Michael and myself. The remaining
1,400,000 rupees were spent as offerings towards prayers for Rinpoche.
Of those, 220,000 rupees were offered for prayers performed prior to
Rinpoche’s passing way and the remaining 780,000 rupees were offered
during the 49-days period.
A more detailed list of prayers and practices that were sponsored and
performed for Rinpoche’s sake is presented here in two parts. Part A
includes practices offered while Rinpoche was still with us and Part
B includes practices offered once Rinpoche passed away. These were the
during the 7 week period of 49 days. Kirti Monastery organized and sponsored
prayers during the first 3 weeks. Then from the 4th to the 7th week,
all prayers were sponsored by Alak Rinpoche through your donations.
Also Alak sponsored two “mang ja” pujas with money offerings in Kirti
Monastery during the first week, again through your donations.
A. Long Life prayers and practices offered before Rinpoche
1) As Rinpoche’s condition was becoming more serious, Rinpoche was
approached and asked which practices would be beneficial to practice
for his long life. Rinpoche suggested that the mantras of Yamantaka,
Kalachakra and Mahakala, the dharani of Medicine Buddha, Samantabhadra’s
Prayer, the Prayer from Bodhicaryavatara and OM AH HUM should be recited.
These were recited 900,000 times in the monasteries of Sera, Ganden
and Drepung, in India, and 12,000,000 times in the monasteries of
Sera, Ganden and Drepung and 500,000 times in Kirti Monastery, in
2) When Rinpoche’s condition worsened further, Kirti Monastery advised
that the attendants in the house should recite the Grounds and Paths,
the Threefold Praise, Gurupuja, Direction Protector practice, torma
offerings and entrustment practices and the three ceremonies daily.
Also Lama Choepa Tsog was offered on the tenth and twenty-fifth without
break until Rinpoche passed away. Once Rinpoche passed away his holy
body was taken to Dharamsala where a cremation was offered according
to the Kalachakra rites. All relics were then placed in Rinpoche’s
residence while all powder ashes have been released in the Ganges.
B. Practices during the 49-days period:
During the first 3 weeks offerings for the deceased were completed
by the entire Dratsang of Kirti Monastery, including the temporary abbot,
and temporary representative, administrator, master of discipline and
1) In the first week, two pujas with offerings of 100Rs to each
monk were made in Kirti Monastery.
2) For the remaining 4 weeks Gyuto monastery was requested to continue
with Heruka self initiation, the Kirti Monastery did Kunrig self initiation,
and Nechung Monastery did Akshobya self initiation.
3) At the end of the 49-days period Gyuto monastery was again requested
to perform Guhyasamaja self initiation.
4) According to the tradition offerings were made requesting dedication
prayers to 46 lamas and abbots of the three main monasteries and so
on trough the auspices of His Holiness, and also to 72renunciates
who had an established connection with Rinpoche in Dharamsala.
5) Kirti Monastery and its thirty two branches in Tibet recited dedications
6) Further offerings were made to both His Holiness and the great
monastery. To HH we gave a statue of Amitayus and the Amitayus sutra,
a Kadampa stupa, a precious silver mandala and precious stones, 100,000
Rs, a five colored silken pennant. To the main monastery we gave a
statue of Manjushri, the Amitayus sutra, a stupa, a mandala base containing
14 tola or 300 gram of gold and one kilo and 14 tola of silver, one
silver spoon, and 1,113Rs.
7) On the forty-ninth day, in front of the relics, we made one hundred
waterbowl offerings and lit one hundred butter lamps. Then one lama
and three monks performed Gurupuja, Yamantaka, purification prayers
for the relics, ablution practices, mandala offerings, prayers for
the quick return of the
reincarnation, the five fold prayer and so on without break.
8) And for each of the seven weeks 1,000 butter lamps and 1,000 divine
food offerings were offered in front of the relics through Gurupuja.
9) Then in the last week, in accordance with Rinpoche’s wishes, from
among his material possessions new robes that were offered by others
during the long life prayers, items from the house such as the television,
fan, kitchen utensils and so on were sold and the money used for a
Dratsang puja with 100Rs offered to each monk. Old robes, bases of
the body, speech and mind (of the Buddha), texts, offerings and so
on that should be given to the next incarnation were collated and
placed in Rinpoche’s residence.
10) On the 49th day in Taksang Lhamo Kirti Monastery in Tibet, a “mang
ja” puja was offered, with 130Rs for each monk, and to Kirti Monastery
in India an extensive Gurupuja, “mang ja” puja, and 2,300Rs offered
to each monk.
11) Then in both Bodhgaya and in Lhasa Jokhang, in both the stupas
of Nepal, in the main temple in Dharamsala, and in front of the relics
of Lhamo Tenpa Gyaltsen, for each of the seven weeks, 100 butter lamps
were offered, and in front of the sandalwood statue of the Buddha
during the forty-nine days butter lamps were offered.
12) In front of the great Golden Reliquary of Ganden, the great Maitreya
of Tshang, the self arisen Hayagriva of Sera, and the Maitreya of
Drepung, 100 butter lamps each were offered. And to the (statue of)
Chenrezig at Trokyab 103 butter lamps were offered.
This completes the list of prayers and practices that were offered
for Rinpoche and were sponsored by your generous and on-going donations.
So, there are plenty of reasons for everyone involved to rejoice, many
Soon after the period of 49 days was completed Alak had an interview
with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. During this interview Alak discussed
Rinpoche’s extensive teaching and traveling activities and his recent
ravels to Canada and Antarctica with special emphasis on blessings that
were aiming at harmonizing the environment and the weather patterns.
These particular blessings that involved the emerging of a blessed Buddha
statue in the waters were performed in South Africa, Antarctica, New
Zealand and Israel.
Following that, Alak relayed to his Holiness the events that led to
Rinpoche been diagnosed with cancer, his hospitalization and the last
period of his life and the experiences he had during his stay in the
farm, in Delhi. Alak requested His Holiness to pray for Rinpoche’s quick
return and that all remaining tasks, including the construction of the
relic stupa and the recognition of Rinpoche’s reincarnation, will be
competed without any obstacles. His Holiness prayed to that effect and
told Alak that these activities will be completed without delay or obstacles
and that He will recognize the child in 1-2 years. During that interview
Alak also asked for some direction about the type of practices he should
be doing for the following couple of years. Alak is planning to travel
to Nepal in order to supervise the commencement of the work on the stupa
and will then retire for a while and spend some time in retreat.
A few students have been asking which practices
should be done at this stage and the answer to that is that any practice
you are doing can be dedicated towards the quick return of Rinpoche.
Of course a special prayer has been composed for
that purpose by Kirti Rinpoche and has been translated by
Lama Zopa Rinpoche. The prayer has been released some time ago and it
available through the FPMT and this website.
We will continue to update you with news on the progress of the relic
stupa as the project evolves.
With best wishes and much gratitude for your amazing and on-going support,
February 17, 2007 - Slightly revised version
of Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche's Guru-yoga prayer
We received a slightly revised version of the prayer in pdf-format.
You can download the A4-sized
version here, and the letter-sized
January 13, 2007 - Prayer for the Quick
Return of the Reincarnation of Kirti Tsenshap Rinpoche, from Voula
I have just received the English version of the Prayer for the Quick
Return of the Reincarnation of Kirti Tsenshap Rinpoche. Alak offered
the Tibetan version of the prayer to Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche with
the request to be translated, intending to deepen the auspicious connection
already existing between these two lamas.
THE PERSUASIVE DRUM SOUND OF THE SPHERE
OF GREAT COMPASSION
INVOKING THE BLESSINGS OF THE QUICK RETURN
OF THE INCARNATION OF THE GREAT VIRTUOUS FRIEND KIRTI TSENSHAB RINPOCHE
Realm of compassion of all Victorious Ones of the three times
Compassionate deity playfully manifesting the major and minor marks
Treasure of compassion, fortunate destiny of the migrators of the Land
Please enable the accomplishment of these pure prayers.
Profound, fearless intelligence of pure wisdom
Eloquent speech of the sublime Dharma
Spreading like a smiling garland of gentle waves
Treasure filled with a wealthy abundance of instructions
The virtuous friend, the great ocean
You are the one I miss from the heart.
Recollecting all qualities of your Holy Body, Speech and Mind
In distress I single-pointedly request:
Please, our Protector, in all lifetimes
Never let us slip from the lasso of your compassion.
Alas! Lacking the virtuous friend who is the sole Refuge
The teachings of the tender Savior, Lama Tsong Khapa will end.
Migratory beings' happiness will darken like shadows of a setting sun.
Therefore you must come to relieve this sad and urgent plight.
Training over an extensive period of time
You took responsibility for performing the great activities
Of the Buddha's Teachings as well as those of transmigratory beings,
And generated completely the full capacity of the Holy Mind.
Yet do you comprehend the nature of our devastation?
For we, the ignorant thick-skulled ones, are abandoned to a forlorn
While you enjoy the spheres of bliss and peace!
In this period when five degenerations' faults gather and explode
It is now especially critical that you adopt the armor of zeal.
Since this is the promise of the Heroic Sons of the Victorious One
Quickly reveal again the Emanation Body's Holy Face.
Already the time of the Buddha's teachings has reached the end of the
Almost all the Great Holy Beings who could wishfully descend to this
world have departed to the Sphere of Peace (Dharmakaya).
We, pitiful fledglings, find ourselves left behind - bereft and alone.
Please recall the commitment generated in your Holy Mind:
To assume responsibility to uphold the Lamp of the teachings of the
land of Rongchen (region of Amdo).
Smiling face of the Supreme emanation, the creator of day,
Like the rising sun come quickly without delay.
Not degenerating qualities acquired across lifetime's trainings
The smile of the white cooling moon of explanation and attainment
Our only friend who cultivates the Kunu (flower) of the Victorious One's
May the youthful moon of your unmistaken manifestation immediately appear.
Protectors of the words of the Lamas
Guardians of the Buddha's teachings
Special watchers over what has been requested
Great Victorious Active Heroes
And all Powerful Protectors
Please impel the unmistaken incarnation to arise.
In short, by the power of the incontrovertible dependent arising
Of the students' fervent faith,
Together with blessings of the Protectors of the Three Sublime Ones,
Like a wish-fulfilling jewel may our prayers without exception
be instantaneously accomplished.
I, the student disciple bearing the name of the incarnated Thashel Kirti,
Lozang Tenzin, having heard that at the age of eighty one the incarnation
of the Great Virtuous Friend Tsatrug Geshe Tsang, the Holder of the
Lineage of the Near Instruction, the Great Abbot Vajradhara Jetsun Lozang
Jigme Damcho Pel Sangpo had seriously ailed and Gone Beyond, felt impelled
to compose this requesting prayer titled The Persuasive Drum Sound of
the Sphere of Great Compassion invoking the blessings of the Quick Return
of the incarnation of the great virtuous friend Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche.
May my incontrovertible pure prayers to the Three Supreme Ones in general
and to the Supreme Arya the Great Compassionate One in particular, be
accomplished as here expressed.
It was written in the village of the Sublime realm of Bodhgaya on the
15th of the ninth month 2006.
The most devoted protector, Alak Rinpoche, attendent of Kyabje Kirti
Tsenshab Rinpoche whose name is extremely rare to mention and who is
the embodiment of and kinder than the Buddhas of the Three Times, and
the Translator Voula who offered him so many years of service requested
me, the Mickey Mouse, Thubten Zopa to translate this Requesting Prayer.
With the help of the Venerable Nun Jane, Venerable Tenzin Namdak and
Ross Moore I have done so with devotion. Due to the merits may all sentient
beings of this world be able to soon see the Smiling Face of the Unmistaken
Incarnation, and enjoy again the nectar of Kyabje Rinpoche's teachings,
in order to achieve Enlightenment as quickly as possible.
Sera Je Monastery, South India, January 2007.
Note: above prayer is now also available in Italian,
Spanish translation here) and in
||Click to enlarge
Photos © Sandra Galistan 2007
January 3, 2007 - Cremation, from Voula
Rinpoche's holy body was taken to Dharamsala on Thursday night and
it was kept in public display in Rinpoche's room at Kirti Gompa for
three days prior to the cremation. Many Tibetans and some Western students
who were able to make the trip to Dharamsala made offerings to Rinpoche's
holy body that was in the laying posture covered with his yellow ceremonial
robe. I had received numerous emails asking me to offer a last khata,
so I decided to offer one khata for each country Rinpoche visited, including
Antarctica and its penguins. I also offered one khata for all the places
Rinpoche did not visit in this life.
When I entered Rinpoche's and Alak's room I was struck by how many
items were there collected from all over the world: a set of walki-talki
from California, a traditionally hand painted little box from Russia,
pictures from Rio de Janeiro next to some old pictures of the Dalai
Lama among Nerhu and Indira Gandhi, a water bottle in the shape of Mother
Mary from Mexico, a toy woolen lamb from New Zealand, a picture of Ayers
rock from Australia, a bath mat with dolphins from Puerto Rico, shopping
bags from Athens, certificates from the boat that took Rinpoche and
Alak to Antarctica, a stupa from France, tsa-tsas from Taiwan, fridge
magnets from South Africa, a sweater from Colombia, a camera bought
in Washington DC, a pair of crocs from Israel and so on. Rinpoche and
Alak have been in so many places, connecting with so many students around
The cremation site below the Tibetan Childrens Village had been prepared
for the ceremony and a temporary brick stupa was erected for the cremation.
When they were digging the ground in preparation for the stupa they
unearthed some Nepali coins featuring a stupa and a vajra and everyone
interpreted that as a very auspicious sign of stability.
|Click to enlarge
Photos © Sandra Galistan 2007
Early on the morning of December 25th Rinpoche's holy body was placed
in the full lotus posture, dressed in brocade, adorned with the crown
of the five dhyani buddhas, and his face covered with red silk. The
body accompanied by the same monks who took care of Rinpoche during
the last six months was taken from his residence at 5.30am and was carried
to the cremation site. Rinpoche's holy body was then placed on a throne
and people had the opportunity to offer a khata for the last time. When
that was done, the same group of monks circumambulated the cremation
stupa carrying Rinpoche's holy body and they finally lowered it into
the stupa. Monks from Namgyal Monastery performed the Kalachakra fire
puja while at the same time monks from Kirti Monastery recited the prayers
of refuge and bodhichita, the King of Prayers, Lama Choepa tsog, and
so forth. The fire was lit and soon smoke and flames emerged.
Once the ceremony was over the stupa was covered and the fire was left
burning till Saturday Dec 30th when the stupa was opened again. The
relics were collected and placed in a specially prepared vase and then
taken down to Rinpoche's room once again. In the meanwhile all signs
were carefully recorded. An elder monk from Ling Labrang who specializes
in interpreting signs appearing at the cremation was invited to participate.
He commented that there were a lot of auspicious signs but also a number
of signs that he had never seen before and therefore could not interpret
at the moment. Rinpoche's relics will be kept in the vase until a proper
relic stupa is constructed however it was not seen necessary to erect
a permanent stupa at the cremation site.
A lot of people are asking for the translation of the Prayer for
the Quick Return of the Reincarnation. The prayer has been handed
to Lama Zopa Rinpoche and is currently being translated. I would encourage
you to keep checking the FPMT and IKN websites for the English version
of that prayer.
And as a final note, as many of you might know, Michael Mueller has
been collecting Rinpoche's teachings from around the world over the
last few years. This is done with the aim to publish all of Rinpoche's
teachings and advice, in Tibetan as well as in English. If you have
any recordings of teachings that you would like to share, please contact
I am attaching a few photographs of the cremation together with this
message. In the first photograph you can see Alak standing next to Rinpoche
and in the other two you can see the smoke and flames in the cremation
stupa. These photographs were taken and are copy-righted by Sandra Galistan.
With best wishes for the New Year,
20 December 2006 - Cremation details, from
Rinpoche's thukdam has ended this morning and we will be leaving Delhi
tomorrow, Thursday 21st. We will arrive in Dharamsala on Friday morning
and the creamation of Rinpoche's holy body will take place early morning
on Monday December 25th, in TCV. Prior to the cremation there will be
a public audience during which people will have the opportunity to offer
Those of you who will make it to Dharamsala, please make an effort to
see Alak Rinpoche, who was Rinpoche's attendant for the last 19 years,
and communicate with him directly. I am sure he will appreciate your
support very much.
19 December 2006 - some practical info
For the moment, Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche is still in 'thukdam' (meditation
before the bardo state) so cannot be moved from Delhi. His body will
be brought to Dharamsala, where people can offer a khata before his
cremation, but dates cannot yet be fixed,as they will depend on Rinpoche's
thukdam. The cremation will probably be at TCV and public, so everyone
The advised practices are still the same, such asreciting
the King of Prayers and Vajrasattva practice/mantras.
Kirti Rinpoche has composed a prayer for the quick return of Kirti Tsenshab
Rinpoche, and we will try to post it here as soon as it is translated
and becomes available. As I will be on holiday for over two weeks, it
is possible that this prayer will be posted at the FPMT
website before we are able to.
16 December 2006 - Rinpoche's passing away
After demonstrating the appearance of serious illness for many months
Kirti Tsanshap Rinpoche entered tukdam, the final meditation, early
this morning at 2.30am, Saturday 16th December 2006 in South Delhi,
India. The day of the 15th, which was Lama Tsongkapa Day - one of the
holiest days in the Geluk callendar-, special offerings and prayers
were offered at the house and in the evening extensive light offerings
During this period Rinpoche revealed just how we should practice when
death approaches, with the same skill he has perfectly demonstrated
how we should practice in all circumstances in this life.
We can only rejoice at having the fortune to meet this perfect master,
with limitless excellent qualities both seen and unseen, whose compassion
and patience is immeasurable, and whose knowledge and wisdom are vast
and clear like a crystal ocean.
3 December 2006 - Limited news
I have not written for a while now because it appears that there is
no major news to communicate. Rinpoche has not been able to consume
anything orally for a number of days and he continues to loose weight
and strength. Even so, his blood pressure, temperature, oxygen intake,
pulse and other parameters remain within the normal range.
Perhaps this is the most extraordinary manifestation of “normality”
while the cancer is at such an advanced stage. Rinpoche continues with
his daily practice and prayers and all attendants continue to offer
their services tirelessly, around the clock.
Earlier this year a student asked Rinpoche the following question:
“Rinpoche, I have been thinking that most of my teachers are advanced
in age and that inevitably they will pass away. I hope that they will
all choose to return among us but, it will be a few years before they
are recognized, trained and begin to teach again. By then, chances are
that I will be too old to receive teachings again. Is there anything
I can do about it?”
Rinpoche: "You should be more specific when you are praying. It
is not enough to simply say: 'I wish to meet such and such a teacher
again'. Rather you should be praying along these lines: 'I wish to meet
this teacher again, as early as possible in life. I wish to be among
the guru’s first disciples. I wish to be present as soon as the guru
begins teaching again and I wish that I will remain connected to the
guru for a very long time. I wish that the guru will teach for a very
long time and that my mental capacities will be active for an equally
long time.' "
3 November 2006 - new groth detected in
Last week I sent an email starting with the phrase "Rinpoche had
breakfast by the swimming pool." A lot of people wrote back saying
they were delighted to hear that Rinpoche is improving.
It is of course my fault that I did not clarify what I meant by "breakfast".
Breakfast consists of a few spoonfuls (and that is teaspoons) of either
milk or some light soup made of tsampa (roasted barley flour). The same
is true for lunch and dinner.
Rinpoche's condition is declining daily, mainly because he is not able
to eat enough food, and his calory intake is very low. Rinpoche is wasting
before our very eyes, and that is very hard for everyone involved. Rinpoche
weighs less than 39 kilos now and Alak said that he does not want to
check Rinpoche's weight anymore because it is depressing. We are trying
various methods for inclreasing Rinpoche's calory intake, but so far
we have not been successful. There is a method, but it requires hospitalization
and the use of heavy drugs, and Rinpoche has said very clearly that
he does not wish to return to the hospital. The Tibetan doctors have
urged us to avoid heavy westerner medication, as it will harm Rinpoche's
meditation by affecting the channels.
If this situation continues, the prognosis is that Rinpoche will not
remain with us for much longer.
Finally today, a throat specialist was brought in the house. A new growth
could be clearly seen in Rinpoche's throat, close to the vocal chords.
We are not sure of the nature of this growth yet. We have been advised
to administer a certain medicine that is belived to bring some relief
and facilitate swallowing. If there is no relief by the end of the week,
we will proceed with more detailed checks.
Thank you all again for your prayers and inspiring messages,
29 October 2006
Alak said: "But, now Rinpoche perhaps it is time to relax your
practice a little bit and start focusing on your health. I believe that
it is now time to start healing your body. In this way you can live
for many more years and continue to benefit many sentient beings, and
of course continue to practice tong-len for a long time in the future.
Rinpoche, please consider the benefit of this."
Rinpoche nodded and indicated that he will consider it.
25 October 2006
Rinpoche had breakfast by the swimming pool. It was very peaceful and
Rinpoche wanted to speak. This is what he said:
„I know that this illness is very strong in my body, but I do not feel
any sense of pain or discomfort. If I had not been told by the doctors
that I have a tumor in my liver, I wouldn't have known that somethomething
is wrong. I am sorry to have bothered you all for so long. For the last
couple of months you have been attending to all my needs. I do not want
to tire any of you."
At this point Alak urged Rinpoche: Please Rinpoche, don't speak in this
way. No one is tired. Remember how His Holiness the Dalai Lama has said
that you are full of vitality and that everywhere you go, you benefit
a vast number of sentient beings. Please Rinpoche remain with us. There
are still so many countries to visit. We have received many invitation
letters. Students all over the world continuously express the hope that
soon you will resume your travel and teaching activities. We have a
full schedule ahead of us. Please, Rinpoche, remain with us."
Rinpoche nodded and then said: „This house is like the inestimable mantion
of the deity. The gardens and the house itself are very pure and they
both have a very positive effect on me, externally as well as internally.
The property is protected by guradians in an external and internal level."
At this point Alak asked: "Are there secret guardians as well,
Rinpoche replied by saying: „Yes, there are secret guardians as well.
I am very happy to be here. I want the owner of the house to know how
perfect this property is."
Rinpoche continues to join the palms of his hands together while gazing
at the space above and he often offers mandalas by interlocking his
Evening of 23 October 2006
Rinpoche has not been able to partake any solid food for the last few
days. Monasteries all over India and Tibet have started reciting prayers
to eliminate any obstacles that might be present so that Rinpoche s
passing away will be gracefull. These prayers include Medicine Buddha,
Kalachakra and Protector practices, as well as Samantabhadra s Prayer.
October 18 - Message from Voula
I am writing to let you know that Rinpoche‘s condition does not appear
to be very good. Although the Tibetan and Western doctors have told
us that Rinpoche's condition is stable and that he is not deteriorating,
our own experience is that Rinpoche is getting weaker every day and
that he requires more intensive care and assistance to perform even
the most basic activities. On one hand, the doctors reports are heart
warming but on the other hand, seeing how much Rinpoche's body has deteriorated
During the last week Rinpoche has relocated from the hospital to a private
house in Delhi. This was in accordance with the advice of His Holiness
the Dalai Lama, in accordance to Rinpoche's wishes and in accordance
with the opinion of the Tibetan and Indian doctors.
The house is really beautiful and spacious (there are about 12 people
staying here), with very nice gardens and a swimming pool. Rinpoche
is attended by 2-3 monks around the clock and a nurse visits every day,
while blood tests are routinely performed to monitor Rinpoche's condition.
As we are told once again to be prepared for any eventuality, I would
like to share the following story with you. While we were in israel
and after some 5 days of diarrhea, Rinpoche was not feeling well and
it became obvious that we had to go the hosptial to run some more serious
tests. While undergoing various checks and answering general medical
questions, we noticed that there was a commotion and everybody seamed
to be glued to the tv screen that has reporting some sort of news bulletin.
We could see from peoples faces that something serious was happening
so I asked someone to translate the news to me. I was told that within
the last 6 hours Israeli airplanes had started bombing the southern
suburbs of Beirut and in effect war was declared between Israel and
Lebanon. I started wondering whether I should let Rinpoche and Alak
know straight away, given Rinpoches delicate condition, or whether I
should wait untill all tests were completed and then find a proper time
to discuss the news.
The situation was developing reapidly because we were very close to
the border and the hospital was put on high alert. At the same time
the doctor told us that the blood tests indicated that there was something
more serious than diarrhea and we were advised to have more tests done.
I quickly made the decision to inform Rinpoche and Alak straight away
and then made the recommendation that we try to do these tests in a
hospital further down the south, putting some distance between us and
the Lebaneze border. Within the next 24 hours, Rinpoche was told that
he had a large tumor in his liver and that southern Beirut was almost
A couple of days later Rinpoche said this to Alak and myself: `You should
always be prepared. You never know where you will be in the next 6 hours.
These Israeli pilots who were asked to bomb Beirut in such a sort notice
were only able to do it because of their previous training. As buddhists,
we have to be prepared for death. Look at my case for exaple: I though
I came to the hospital to treat a simple case of diahhrea and now I
am told that I have advanced liver cancer. Like an Israeli pilot, I
do mot know where I will be in the next 6 hours. But if I am prepared,
then I can go anywhere. It is very important to train and prepare yourself
for the time of your own death. Then, it will be easy to go at a short
October 10 - A commentary on the King
As Rinpoche requested his students to recite the King of Prayers, and
he recently gave teachings on it based on the commentary by Jang Lung
Pandita at Land of Medicine Buddha (USA), Voula has made a translation
of the commentary. You can download the text here as PDF file in letter-size
and in A4 size.
October 8 - An auspicious
dream (see also the previous message below!)
This morning Rinpoche told Alak about the dream he had last night.
In the dream Rinpoche was advised to do some long-life practices and
in order to do that he needed to present offerings. At that time an
ocean of offerings appeared. These were offering that were presented
to Rinpoche by all of his students. It was an endless banquet of every
food imaginable, drinks, and various other beautiful and useful substances.
The offerings appeared to be inexhaustible.
Rinpoche commented: “Alak, my students around the world are making
continuous prayers, they practice animal liberation and offer Lama Choepa
tsog for my well-being. I feel that the message of the dream was that
my resources, including my life and realizations on the tong-len, will
be vast and inexhaustible, just like the appearance of these offerings.”
October 8 - Tsog offerings for Rinpoche,
from Claire Isitt
Dear FPMT Family,
Thank you so much to all those centers and individuals
who offered tsog and dedicated in the way advised by Lama Zopa Rinpoche
for Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche's long life - I am very happy to let you
all know that we very quickly accumulated 100,000, and that now the
figure stands at over 121,000! Thank you, this is such an opportunity
for us all to rejoice.
We offered these practices to Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche
via Voula Zarpani, the LRZTP graduate who has been interpreting for
Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche and helping Rinpoche so much over the last few
years. Voula is also the one who is kindly sending out updates on Kirti
Tsenshab Rinpoche's health (which you can read at http://www.fpmt.org/teachers/kirtitsenshab_news.asp)
"yes I will be delighted to offer these practices to Rinpoche,
the number is really very impressive. The whole effort really is impressive.
Rinpoche from his side feels very supported and I believe that he wishes
to remain with us. We often speak about our future plans, in terms of
travel or this and that activity. Maybe I am stupidly optimistic but
I do believe that Rinpoche will overcome this."
So that is some great news to share.
I will not be keeping count of further tsogs, but of
course I'm sure that many of Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche's students will
continue doing practice dedicated to Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche's long
October 4 - Message from Voula
The latest blood tests have indicated that the Alpha Fetoprotein (which
measures the presence of cancer in the body) has gradually dropped from
408,000 to 253,000. Still this is a long, long way from the normal rates
that are below 30. The doctors told us that they are quite surprised
with this gradual fall in the numbers, however other parameters do not
indicate any substantial recovery.
Dr Yeshe Donden has been saying from the beginning that he is confident
that Tibetan medicine can deal with the cancer in the liver and that
the medication is really working for Rinpoche. So perhaps these latest
figures reflect the positive effect of Tibetan medicine. However Dr
Yeshe Donden has
stressed once more that this treatment will take a long time and that
we should not expect any quick results. His Holiness’s advice remains
that the best course of treatment for Rinpoche is Tibetan medicine.
In the last three days the doctors, both Indian and Tibetan, have agreed
that Rinpoche does not need to be on the drip any more so the drip has
discontinued. Rinpoche still experiences difficulty when swallowing
or verbalizing but he is able to eat a moderate amount of food and he
sleeps well. On most days he is also able to go for a walk in the hospital
Once more I would like to impress upon you that this is a private time
for Rinpoche and Alak. When Rinpoche visits the garden of the hospital
for his afternoon walk, he is not expecting to meet students. As Rinpoche
is unwell he is not up to socializing and sharing a public space.
Thank you all for your continuous support and interest, as well as
September 30 - Advice from Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Lama Zopa Rinpoche is requesting for students to do Lama Chopa puja
and try to accumulate 100,000 tsog offerings for Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche's
Please do Lama Chopa puja and offer Lama
Chopa tsog - and as part of the tsog recite the two tsog verses which
Lama Zopa Rinpoche translated as many times as you can. (These verses
are on page 119 in the FPMT Lama Chopa booklet. Also, there are instructions
there on how to do the extra tsog offering verses.)
Please count the number of times each
person recites those two verses and let me know so I can keep count
and work out if Rinpoche's student can offer 100,000 tsog offerings.
During Lama Chopa, when you reach the
long life prayer for the gurus verse in the 7 Limb Prayer section please
recite this verse slowly 3 to 5 times strongly praying for Kirti Tsenshab
Rinpoche's long life. At the end of the puja please dedicate with the
King of Prayers.
There are three specific dedication prayers
to make when you finish the above:
1. For all Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche's
Holy wishes to succeed.
2. To purify our own negative karma.
3. For Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche's long life.
Then make your usual dedications.
Thank you so much, and do let me know how many you are able to do at
All practices are available at
September 28 - About practice at the time
of death, from Voula
The extract comes from a private interview that was given 3 years ago.
Q: At the time of death should I be practicing powa or should I be applying
the practice of taking the three bodies in the path?
KTR: The main practice is to bring the three buddha bodies in the path.
If you can not do this, then you try doing other things. If you can
purify death by seeing it as the dharma body, if you can purify the
intermediate state by seeing it as the enjoyment body, and if you can
purify birth as the emanation body, then the process of your transference
(powa) is complete.
Of course if you want to specialize in powa, you can study it in detail
and train yourself every night when you go to sleep as well as when
you are awake. Practice it again and again, just like the army practices
before going to the real battle.
In terms of powa there are two types: the sutric and tantric powa. When
powa is practiced in the context of sutra, you decide that after your
death you want to be reborn in a specific pure land, be it Shambala,
Akanista, the pure land of the dakinis and so forth. So then you realize
that you need to establish a certain type of body that can reside there
so you must accumulate the causes for such a type of rebirth. So while
you are still alive you try to establish these particular causes. Then
at the time of death you do very strong prayers and dedications. You
reaffirm your goals, you recall the practices you have done in order
to create the necessary causes, and you conclude by saying “may I be
able to reach there with the blessing of my lama”. In the context of
tantric powa the process is more or less similar with the difference
that at the end you actively project your consciousness out of the body.
For me, the main thing is to be able to remember bodhichitta and emptiness
at the time of death. If you are able to remember these two, then you
will be able to establish your inner pure land of Shambala or Tushita.
In name it is called powa, in other words transference, and it is presented
as sutric or tantric powa, but really there is no where to go. It is
all an internal process of being able to remember bodhichitta and emptiness.
We use all these different terms but really, there is no where else
to go. This for me is the ultimate powa, the ultimate Shambala. - END
September 25 - Update from Voula
There is some more news from Delhi, regarding Rinpoche’s condition.
Just as I sent out my previous medical update, the doctor visited Rinpoche
with some bad news: the latest blood test indicated that the presence
of cancer in Rinpoche’s body is increasing rapidly. He said that the
readings were almost beyond the scale and said that the situation was
really bad. Rinpoche appeared to be extremely weak and was not able
to eat but a minute amount of food for two days. He was also unable
to go out for his afternoon walk that he seems to enjoy so much.
At that time, it was suggested that perhaps Rinpoche should leave immediately
for Dharamsala because delaying the trip any longer than 48 hours, may
make travel difficult. Rinpoche requested a divination from His Holiness
the Dalai Lama.
We were also asked to finalize all pending administrative and financial
It took about two days for the reply to reach us. His Holiness indicated
that Rinpoche should remain in Delhi, perhaps move to a private house,
and continue to rely on Tibetan medicine. And as that answer was received,
Rinpoche started taking food again, small amounts but many times a day,
almost every two hours. He is up and walking again and he is quite alert.
His weight has increased from 43 to 45.5 kg.
The following conversation took place between Kirti Tsensap Rinpoche
and his attendant Alak Rinpoche, on September 24th:
KTR: Alak, could you please massage me here, around the liver?
AR: Rinpoche, is that bad cancer causing you pain?
KTR: Alak, there is no such thing as “bad” cancer. When you practice
tong-len, all sickness is good. If you say that you will take upon yourself
the suffering of all sentient beings, you should expect some physical
discomfort. It is not possible to practice tong-len without physical
discomfort. In order to practice you must have something that causes
you pain and discomfort. This illness is good. This illness allows me
to practice. Without it, I could not practice.
AR: Rinpoche, when you experience pain, would it help if you were to
meditate on yourself as being the deity?
KTR: Alak, I am constantly meditating, either seeing myself as the deity
or equalizing and exchanging self and others. It always helps. Most
of the time, I am free of pain.
Please keep checking the International Kalachakra Website (www.kalachakranet.org)
September 21 - Update from Voula and Michael
It has been a while since we last send an update on Rinpoche’s condition
and we have received a lot of emails asking for more recent news.
Rinpoche situation remains stable and although that means that the
situation is not deteriorating, it also means that there has been no
noticeable improvement either. Rinpoche has lost a lot of weight and
is quite frail, despite the fact that the diarrhea has stopped and the
fact that he enjoys good sleep at night. Every physical activity requires
a lot of effort and Rinpoche is assisted around the clock by Alak and
Tsultrim who attend Rinpoche very lovingly. Speaking and swallowing
appear to be quite difficult.
Rinpoche had an ultrasound last week and further blood tests. The ultrasound
revealed that the size of the tumor has increased slightly, but the
doctors believe that this slight difference from the previous reading
can be explained as an operational error. The function of the liver
itself seems to be marginally improved and all other organs are in a
fine condition. The doctor commented that he has not met anyone with
a tumor that big who is still alive and from his knowledge even if one
were alive with such a tumor, he or she would be in great pain. However
Rinpoche is not in pain and he is able to meditate and is also taking
a long walk every afternoon, now that the weather has improved a bit.
Most noticeable the doctor said that Rinpoche’s eyes and in general
his face is very alert, which indicates that he is fighting cancer very
Last week Rinpoche had re-occurring fever for three days and also seemed
to be less interested in eating. The explanation for these two symptoms
according to Western medicine is that the toxins produced by the cancer
cause his temperature to rise and also suppress his appetite. However,
since Rinpoche is on the drip that provides about 50% of his daily needs
in terms of calories, it is also natural that he has reduced his intake
of external solid foods, as his body feels nourished. And it is true
that in days that Rinpoche is not on the drip or on days that he has
only one bottle, his intake of external food increases.
Dr Yeshe Donden still visits Rinpoche weekly and adjusts his Tibetan
medicine accordingly. He has commented that all these symptoms, such
as fever, lack of appetite and so forth are caused by wind (“lung”)
and that the Tibetan medicine is working very well and is having an
I know that many of you have asked recently for advice and guidance
but from my side, I found it very difficult to ask Rinpoche any questions.
It simply takes so much effort for Rinpoche to verbalize that it feels
almost like a torture. I am sure that you would feel the same if you
were in my position.
I also wanted to tell you how impressed we all are with the hospital
and the staff. All doctors and nurses are very attentive and respectful.
They support Rinpoche and those around him always with a smile and sincere
care. They rejoice every time they hear that Rinpoche has been well
and has had the opportunity to meditate. Really, words such as “meditate”
and “guru” have still a great impact in India which is delightful to
Thank you all for your continuous interest in Rinpoche’s health. We
will continue to update you regularly through the IKN website. Pease
check the website for additional information such as prayers, commentaries
and so forth.
Voula Zarpani and Michael Mueller
Note: a new long-life prayer combined
with Guru-Yoga was written for Rinpoche by Kirti Tulku, and is now available
at the end of Kirti Tsenshab
August 27 - Update from Voula
As most of you know Rinpoche is in a private clinic Delhi for the last
3 weeks. Soon after arriving in Delhi, Rinpoche’s general conditions
appeared to be improving due to better sleep and rest patterns, as well
as a noticeable increase in his appetite.
However the Indian doctor who is currently treating Rinpoche detected
some lumps in Rinpoche’s thyroid while Rinpoche started experiencing
some trouble verbalizing and swallowing. After consulting the specialists
in Israel, New York, India and Germany, the decision has been reached
to avoid radiotherapy, as at this stage it is seen as having the potential
to cause more harm than benefit.
The doctors decided that it was not important to perform further examination
in order to determine the exact nature of the thyroid lumps, since the
size and nature of the liver tumor is considered to be the main determining
factor in Rinpoche’s condition.
As this conclusion was reached by the Western doctors, the Tibetan
approach was somehow different. Dr. Yeshe Donden and Dr. Tseten, who
examine Rinpoche regularly and adjust his Tibetan medicine weekly, have
commented that the difficulties in swallowing and verbalizing are due
to disturbance of the winds that are responsible for performing these
particular functions. Therefore they are now treating Rinpoche with
medication that aims to normalize the flow of winds in the throat, in
addition to the medication that aims to control the liver tumor. The
Tibetan doctors have commented that although Rinpoche’s condition is
a serious one, they feel confident that improvement is achievable through
gentle, Tibetan medicine specifically adjusted to Rinpoche’s needs.
When requested to give us a time frame, Dr. Yeshe Donden replied: “This
is not a case of flue and one should not expect it to simply clear away.
From our side as doctors we offer the treatment that is most suitable
to the particular needs of the patients. In the case of such high lamas
though, it is really the lama who decides whether it is beneficial to
remain among us and for how long.” His Holiness the Dalai Lama is regularly
updated on Rinpoche’s condition and His advice remains that Rinpoche
should rely on Tibetan medicine.
In the meanwhile Rinpoche and Alak are both quite comfortable in the
hospital and quite satisfied with the level of attention they receive
there. Although Rinpoche’s appetite is somehow restored, his body is
still in need of many supplements which are received though the drip.
Rinpoche is able to sit and walk but he chooses not go out for a walk
every day since at the moment the weather in Delhi is typical of the
monsoon period, with steady rain and temperatures around 35 degrees
Regarding interviews and questions, Rinpoche is not seeing people.
This period is similar to having entered retreat, in the sense that
everyday activities such as these are put to rest.
Thank you all for your continuous interest and support and also your
understanding. We will continue to update you as the situation unfolds.
August 27, 2006 - Rinpoche's meditation
To give an idea of what meditation Rinpoche is doing at the moment,
is his story about Ditsa Gompa in Tibet (unfortunately, we do not have
access to Rinpoche's teachings in Haifa at the moment):
core practice of the Kadampa Masters was the meditation on Death and
Impermanence. They hold that so important because that helps to keep
the mind focused only on Dharma practice without distractions toward
worldly activities. They taught that, when our body is healthy, deep
down in our mind there is always kind of an attraction for this life.
There is a tendency to cling to the pleasures and good things of this
life and that interrupts and disturbs our Dharma practice. Kadampa Masters
would strengthen this awareness of Death and make it more real by praying
in this way: "How wonderful if I could get a terminal illness that
cannot be cured and causes death!" I heard about this kind of prayers
in Ditsa Gompa (Amdo, Tibet).
monastery was founded by Shamar Pandita who also gave teachings even
to the 13th Dalai Lama and who wrote a beautiful Lam Rim text that H.H.
the 14th Dalai Lama praised and said it should be included in the traditional
set of the "Great Lam Rim Texts teachings" if its lineage
could be found here. Shamar Rinpoche was one of the root Gurus of Jigme
Damchoe Gyatso, Ven Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche's Lama from whom He received
among others the Kalachakra lineage. Ditsa Gonpa is like a hermitage
in terms of lifestyle, teachings and practice.
the practitioners pray for there is to get a "Pho-wa sickness,"
a kind of stomach ulcer. In those days they didn't know about cancer
but I guess that is what that sickness was all about. What they clearly
knew is that once you get sick with it, there is no way to be cured.
At the same time the pain is bearable so it doesn't prevent you from
practicing meditation. One will certainly die, but not right away, one
would still have some time for meditation.
This was considered a blessing since it would allow them to finally
practice successfully "Tong-Len" meditation (Giving and Taking)
and a sign of fulfillment of their prayers.
By getting sick in that way three goals would be achieved:
able to concentrate genuinely on Dharma practice,
Being able to "take" on themselves all mother sentient beings'
Being able to remove obstacles from other Holy Beings.
would recite again and again verses from "Lo-jong" Texts (Mind
Training). They were not only completely delighted with being sick but
they would keep hoping for more so that other beings would not experience
that sickness and sorrows and Holy Beings would meet no obstacles in
their carrying out activities of benefit for others.
August 24, 2006 - summary of the current
It was decided that western treatment is not advisable
due to the negative side-effects of radiation treatment (which appeared
to be the only valid option). So Rinpoche is continuing with his
Tibetan medication, as advised by His Holiness and Dr. Yeshe Donden.
On the 17th, a representative of His Holiness' Private
Office came to visit Rinpoche to look at the reports and the actual
condition of Rinpoche to inform His Holiness (who was in Delhi on his
way to Japan). He then suggested that, because the Tibetan treatment
does not require any specific location, Rinpoche could now stay in any
place of his choice, possibly in the the current hospital in Delhi.
After this advice, the representative of Rinpoche's monastery left for
Dharamsala and any visitors to Rinpoche were discouraged from coming,
"as Rinpoche would now want to rest". This actually means
"to allow Rinpoche to deepen his meditation on the purpose of his
life - to benefit others".
Rinpoche feels that the hospital is convenient, and he
will stay there (without any indication of time).
When asked again for practice
advice for his students, Rinpoche mentioned one could focus on Medicine
Buddha mantras and puja
(as suggested by His Holiness), as well as the King
of Prayers (now also available in
Polish) and the 10th
(dedication) chapter of the Bodhicharyavatara.
August 19, 2006 - message from Rinpoche
Rinpoche expressed his gratitude for the long-life prayers
so many people all around the world have done for him.
August 16, 2006
Report on the examination of Most Venerable Kirti Tsenshab
Rinpoche by Dr. Yeshe Donden at Privat Hospital, 16/08/2006:
Dr. Yeshe Donden examined Rinpoche and gave the following information:
1. There is no spreading of the cancer, meaning that there is no
2. It seems that in Tibetan Medicine understanding, the tumor has
3. The cancer is under control.
Rinpoche will continue to take Tibetan Medicine.
All other treatments, radiation etc. have been excluded due to the
side effects, which, as most of the doctors in Western and Tibetan medicine
have underlined, would be very strong, particularly in Rinpoche’s case.
When asked, Dr. Donden offered no suggestion about the course of the
tumor or the period required for more stable results to appear.
Rinpoche’s general condition has improved a lot since he arrived in
Delhi, he can now even walk in the garden in the evenings.
August 14 - Medical report
Gurgaon Hospital, New Delhi
August 9, 2006 - Second opinion
New York cancer specialist
DR’S …..(Name) Chair in Medical Oncology
Chief, Gastrointestinal Oncology Service
August 9, 2006
TO Professor ………….
Chairman, Department of Medicine B
(Hospital in ISRAEL)
Faculty of Medicine Technion
Haifa 31048, Israel
RE: Lozang Zagnet (aka KIRTI TSENSHAP RINPOCHE)
Dear Prof. ……….
I reviewed the medical records regarding the above named patient. I
have not yet had the opportunity to see the computed tomography. In
brief, it is my understanding that this 80 year old man was found during
a recent visit to Israel to have a hepatic mass. His symptoms included
anorexia and weakness with right upper quadrant tenderness. He has no
history of cirrhosis on the basis of infection, or other causes. There
is no history of blood transfusion. Laboratory tests demonstrated modest
increase in liver function tests with an elevated GGT and LDH, an albumin
of 3.3, and a total bilirubin of 1.1. His serologies for viral infection
were negative, but his alpha fetoprotein was 420,000. The CT scan showed
“huge liver tumor with large necrotic areas without metastasis”. A CT
guided core livery biopsy showed necrotic material with malignant cells
positive for alpha fetoprotein described as diagnostic for hepatocellular
carcinoma. The question now is what are the treatment options.
Assuming that the patient has a primary hepatocellular carcinoma, not
on the basis of cirrhosis, this may be a fibrolamellar variant. The
markedly elevated alpha fetoprotein, however, is against this. The clinical
scenario suggests that the patient has underlying hepatic cirrhosis
of an uncertain etiology with the development of hepatocellular carcinoma
on that basis.
The description of the CT findings suggests that a partial hepatectomy,
which might be a treatment option in a patient with minimal or no cirrhosis
is not possible. Liver transplantation would be an option for a patient
with a relatively small but unrectable hepatocellular carcinoma. Hepatic
transplant, which might be a reasonable option for a patient without
evidence of metastasis, but with a smaller primary tumor, was also felt
not to be appropriate presumably in view of the extent of disease, as
well as the patient’s age.
Regional therapy, such as radiofrequency ablation and alcohol injection
are best reserved for patients with lesions that are substantially smaller
than that described from the CT scan. This decision can best be made
by a review of the actual images themselves.
Assuming that none of these options are applicable in this patient,
because of the factors outlined above, options for palliative therapy
primarily involve systemic treatment (See below for discussion of embolization).
Outside of a research study setting, standard of care options for chemotherapy
have unfortunately been associated with substantial toxicity and quite
limited benefit. Systemic chemotherapy has been fairly extensively explored
in patients with advanced unresectable or metastatic hepatocellular
carcinoma. Conventional agents have very limited activity, with no clear
standard of care. Although Doxorubicin was initially reported to have
substantial activity, subsequent studies have failed to confirm this.
A number of experimental options are underway. These include the use
of targeted agents, such as Sorafenib. Initial Phase II trials suggested
modest activity for this agent with acceptable toxicity. Larger scale
studies are currently underway adding cytotoxic agents to drugs such
as Doxorubicin. Lastly, intraarterial therapy, either as embolization
or chemoembolization or infusion therapy using an implanted pump has
undergone substantial study. There is, however, insufficient data to
routinely recommend the use of intraarterial therapy, either using embolization,
chemoembolization, or implanted pump outside of a study setting.
In summary, while several novel new agents are under study and offer
at least hope of improved outcome, these are still experimental. Conventional
systemic therapy using cytotoxic agents has only modest activity. Chemoembolization
or embolization has offered palliation in selected patients, but careful
assessment of the patient’s ability to tolerate this therapy, as well
as assurance, for example, that the portal vein is patent, is important.
A firm recommendation regarding the specific therapy to an 80 year old
patient with extensive hepatocellular carcinoma can only be made by
physicians who are actually seeing him. We would, of course, be happy
to see the patient in New York or alternatively suggest that he be seen
at a center with experience in treating hepatocellular carcinoma.
I hope this is of some use. Let me know if I can be of further assistance.
Best personal regards.
Sincerely yours, ……………., MD, FACP
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center 1275 York Avenue, New York, New
August 9, 2006
Rinpoche is now in Gurgaun private hospital, which is
located next to the airport in Delhi. It is not 100% sure that Rinpoche
will be treated there, but he is certainly resting there and they have
done some basic tests on him.
August 8, 2006
I am writing to let you know that Kirti Tsenshap Rinpoche is now in
Delhi, preparing to receive some radiotherapy.
After returning from Israel, Rinpoche proceeded to Dharamsala. Unfortunately
Rinpoche's general condition appeared to be deteriorating in Dharamsala:
persistent diarrhea and total lack of appetite resulted in further loss
of weight. Soon Rinpoche started feeling uncomfortable when sitting
crossed-legged and had to start using a chair. At one point the doctors
suspected that there might have been liquid collecting in his lungs.
However, an x-ray in Delek hospital revealed that Rinpoche's lungs were
clear. His Holiness the Dalai Lama performed a second observation and
for the second time the mo indicated that Tibetan medicine was the best
treatment, but radiotherapy might be beneficial as well. With the all
clear from the x-rays, Dr Tseten as well as His Holiness agreed that
Rinpoche could travel as far as New Delhi in order to receive radiotherapy
while still relying on Tibetan medicine.
With this advice, Rinpoche proceeded to Delhi where he is now resting.
For the last couple of days the diarrhea has stopped, Rinpoche has slept
well and he seems to have more interest in taking food. We are all very
happy with these small signs of improvement and hope that Rinpoche will
soon start showing more signs of gaining his strength and vitality.
Rinpoche and Alak are very grateful to all those who made Rinpoche's
trip down to Delhi possible and are very satisfied with the level of
care they have received.
I will be back with more medical updates as the situation develops.
August 6, 2006
Rinpoche is scheduled to travel to New Delhi (by air
from Jammu) tomorrow.
August 5, 2006
Rinpoche has decided (also on the advice of His Holines
the Dalai Lama) to have radiation treatment. Due to his health condition,
this is planned to happen in a New Delhi hospital. Further details are
not yet known to me.
According to the doctors, this will not cure the cancer, but it can
slow it down.
July 29/30, 2006
News extracted from phone and email correspondence with Prof. Brenner,
who was in charge of Rinpoche's treatment in Israel:
Prof. Brenner sees no possible cure. He did mention the possibility
of a liver transplant, but would not recommend it himself. Rinpoche
may not be interested in that option. Prof. Brenner advises radiation
treatment. Under the circumstances, Prof. Brenner also does not advise
any pharmacological or chemotherapy treatment.
Rinpoche has not yet decided to have treatment. We have no news of
what the Tibetan doctors are advising.
July 23, 2006
We have just received the results of Rinpoche's biopsy. As you can
see there are some good news there, together with the bad ones.
What does not appear in the doctor's email is a fourth option, which
is that of liver transplant. Although such an operation is not recommended
for patients over 50 years old, the doctors have commented that although
Rinpoche's biological age is 80 years old, the age of his organs is
much younger due to his practices and capacity to control mind and body.
Therefore, a liver transplant is one of the possibilities discussed
at the moment. Already two people have offered to act as donors for
For the nest week we will analyze all results and suggestions made
and ultimately request an opinion from HH the Dalai Lama.
Thank you very much for all your interest and support,
Here is the message from Rinpoche's doctors:
Thank you for your patience, I know it isn't easy at all.
Today I got the answer from my father saying the tumor is Hepatocelular
Carcinoma (HCC). It is the most common tumor and it usually develops
in patients with hepatitis B or C virus or liver chirrhosis. Rinpoche
tested negatve for this viruses. It can also be caused by prolonged
exposures to AFLATOXIN which is a kind of mycotoxin (from fungi) which
is carcinogenic (causes cancer) and is found in food . It is known
to be an important health hazard in Asia. From western medicine point
of view it is not the target of the treatment since it already caused
the cancer , and the tumor should be treated. Rinpoche has 3 good
prognostic criteria : 1- no ascites (fluid in the abdominal cavity)
2- no elevated bilirubin (no jaundice) 3- good level of albumin (protein
syntesized by the liver).
On the other hand the tumor is very large and the cancer marker (called
AFP) is very elevated. The options in general are 1- surgery 2- hepatic
artery embolization and chemotherapy 3- alcohol or radiofreqency ablation
4- cryoablation . Rinpoche has a big tumor which is not resectable
but it appears most of it is necrotic (not alive), possibly it doesn't
get enough blood and it dies (or something else which has to do with
Rinpoche's abilities). I think first of all is very important to consider
Rinpoche's phisycal and mental condition. Physically he fells well,
he has good prognostic factors and he is in a very good general condition.
I believe he also has mental abilities which enable him to influence
his physical condition. Anyway he will send on Sunday all the official
documents, release form, etc.
End of message.
July 19, 2006
This is a quick message to let you all know that Kirti Tsenshap Rinpoche
and Alak are both resting in Delhi after a comfortable flight out of
Tel Aviv. Rinpoche is resting and happy to be back in India. Tomorrow,
July 20, they will be travelling to Dharamsala.
A lot of people have expressed the wish to visit Rinpoche in Dharamsla.
It is completely understandable that most of you feel the need to see
Him and communicate with Him at this time. However Rinpoche really needs
the time and space to relax, adjust and just concentrate on his practices.
I have to stress that all activities such as interviews, teachings,
travelling etc., have been completely removed from Rinpoche's schedule.
I have relayed every message that I received and you will be very happy
to know that Rinpoche acknowledged every single message and was so pleased
to hear about your wishes, prayers, practices, retreats and so on.
I would like to thank all those you have send medical suggestion, advices,
recommendations and inspiring stories. I have forwarded all medical
emails to Rinpoche's doctors and they have assured me that they are
taking every suggestion into consideration. From their side they recognise
Rinpoche as being a very special person and the most unusual patient.
This is one of the main reasons they have not even attempted to give
us a time estimate, since they believe that Rinpoche has the power to
control his physical functions. This is a remarkable remark from doctors
who have just met Rinpoche for the last week. They are not students
or buddhist. So when they make any recommendations they will certainly
take into consideration Rinpoche's special characteristics as well.
Further Rinpoche would like to thanks the Friends of Dharma in Israel,
for their exceptional level of organisation and support and the warmth
of their love and care. A heartfelt thank you to those sponsors who
helped with all medical and travel expenses.
Best wishes to all,
July 17, 2006
First of all I would like to let you all know that Rinpoche is recovering
in Caesarea, a small city by the sea, between Haifa and Tel Aviv. We
are staying in a very peaceful place with wonderful gardens and we are
all quite comfortable. Many peopel have asked me to include them in
the email list, but I would like to ask you to please pass the messages
around yourselved. Due to the deteriorating situation here we are not
always able to connect, and if we connect we do not have much time.
Yesterday (Sunday) has been a very testing day. Rinpoche was scheduled
to have his biopsy in the morning sometime between 9-12. Around 9am
rockets started falling in Haifa, some of them pretty close to Bnai
Zion hospital where Rinpoche was hospitalized. In the beginning doctors
and nurses were jokingly saying that if it got any worse they would
all come into Rinpoche's room for refuge. However, by 9.30 the rockets
were falling fast and furious and the alarm sirens started ringing.
We were told that we had to be evacuated in the bomb shelter, three
stories under ground level. Rinpoche did not have much strength at that
time and we were all worried about having to walk down what seemed to
be endless steps. Once at the bomb refuge, we made ourselves as comfortable
as possible and started reciting as many mantras we could do. A lot
of people were crying and everyone was trying to use their mobile phones.
Of course it was impossible to connect with so many people calling each
other and while being under masses of cement. Soon people gave up trying
to reach friends and family on their mobile phones and gradually those
who had cameras on their mobiles started taking pictures of Rinpoche
and Alak, commenting that they were the only two people still smiling
in the mist of all the panic and fear.
We were told that there would be no hope of carrying the biopsy on Sunday
as the hospital had to prepare to receive casualties. The doctors were
to perform only emergency operations. At that point we started wondering
who long we might have to stay in the bomb shelterâ€¦.Around 11.45 a
nurse came to say that the doctor who was to perform the biopsy really
wanted to help Rinpoche and since the bombing appeared to ease at that
time, we were hurried up at the ground level of the hospital. By the
time it took Rinpoche to assume the necessary position for the biopsy
the sirens started ringing again and we could clearly hear rockets exploding.
We were rushed to a room near by where we had to wait for about half
an hour. The explosions were constant. Rinpoche started telling us the
story of his escape from Tibet in detail, but at the end he agreed that
the situation we were in appeared to be more intensive.
Luckily after half an hour the firing of rockets eased a bit and the
doctor came to take us to the biopsy room again. He gave Rinpoche some
brief instructions and told us that he would try to be as quick as possible,
because technically we were not supposed to leave the shelter at all.
As the procedure of the biopsy began, the explosion of the rockets intensified
and at one point the doctor turned his eyes to the ceiling and said:
"can you please hold these rockets for a little while? I am trying
to perform a biopsy to one of the teachers of the Dalai Lama!"
we all had a good laugh, including Rinpoche who was supposed to remain
very still for the duration of the procedure. The needle biopsy was
completed in about 7 minutes and by then the bombing had almost stopped.
From that time on Rinpoche had to remain laying on his back and was
not supposed to rise or walk for about 4 hours. We had to monitor his
blood pressure and pulse every fifteen minutes. Just as Rinpoche was
settled in his room, the sirens started ringing again. We felt completely
hopeless because by that time Rinpoche was not allowed to rise but also
he was not in a condition to walk. So we just remained in Rinpoche's
room, frantically reciting as many mantras as we could.
Gradually the situation eased, and by 5pm things had more or less returned
to normal. We were able to leave the hospital at 6.30 pm after all the
doctors and nurses came in to thank Rinpoche for having stayed in their
hospital. They all said that they felt a sense of peace during the whole
day and many brought pictures of their families to be blessed.
We were relieved to leave Haifa behind and soon reached Caesarea which
felt like heaven, after the days' experiences. Rinpoche will be leaving
from Tel Aviv airport early Tuesday morning and is expected to arrive
in Dharamsala on the evening of Thursday, 20 of July.
The results of the biopsy should be ready by the end of the week.
I'll be in touch,
July 17, 2006
Dear FPMT Family,
Please find below the latest update on Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche's health
(sent by Voula Zarpani, who is with Rinpoche in Israel), together with
advice from Lama Zopa Rinpoche.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche has checked (and there
is no conflict here with the advice from Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche, Lama
Zopa Rinpoche says) and Lama Zopa Rinpoche's advice to students for
Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche's health is the following:
1) Long life tsa tsas x 1300
2) 16 x The
16 Arhant puja
3) Liberation of 100,000 animals
4) Recitation of Vajrasattva mantra*** (as many
as you can) and/or doing self initiation
Please dedicate to Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche's long life and for the fulfilment
of all his wishes.
These practices can be done individually or as a group. So, if you would
like to commit to what you can do at your center or individually, as
quickly as possible, and let me know, then as soon as we have reached
the totals above, we will let everybody know.
love Claire (FPMT International Office)
July 16, 2006
Here is yesterdays update. Haifa has been under serious attack this
morning as we were waiting to have the biopsy. We were hurried down
to the shelter and stayed there for several hours. some time later the
doctors made every effort possible to perform the biopsy even as the
sirens were ringing and rockets started falling again. All test are
now completed. Rinpoche has to rest in the hospital for 6 hours. Right
after that we are leaving Haifa for Cecaria, a small town to the south.
Rinpoche and Alak, and Amy are flying out of Tel Aviv 6.30 am Tuesday,
with Swiss Air.
Will write more later. PLEASE PASS ON THE FOLLOWING MESSAGE TO EVERYONE.
I have to run in order to complete all necessary preparations for Rinpoche's
release from the hospital.
We have received so many emails from all over the world, full of good
wishes, prayers, concerns, questions and of course much love. Many people
have asked whether there are some specific practices that should be
done for Rinpoche’s health and Rinpoche
has indicated that the best practices to be performed in this occasion
are the recitation of the Samantabhadra
‘s Prayer* (the King of Prayers) and Medicine Buddha
Today we spend most of the day discussing various pending issues. Rinpoche
has given a number of specific instructions regarding the completion
of various projects, such as translations - especially of his biography
- publications, financial matters and so forth. Rinpoche has made it
very clear that he wishes to see certain things finalized and clarified
as soon as possible. I will be contacting some of you to pass on Rinpoche’s
instructions within the week.
In the afternoon Rinpoche spoke about his recent experiences to the
core group of the Friends of Dharma, who have invited us to Israel .
The talk has been videotaped and I am sure that at some stage it will
be transcribed. Here are some of the points that Rinpoche made:
“Soon after I was informed about the results of my CT scan, people asked
me whether I wished to publicize my condition or not. I always thought
that trying to hide one’s age or state of health, is very strange. So
I asked my translator to let people know what is going on.
I am fully aware of the fact that the disease, especially at this stage,
is incurable. But I am not sad, or disappointed in any way. When Professor
Oliven Arye informed me of the presence of a tumor in my liver, I thought
immediately that he was so very, very kind. He was extremely kind to
We all practice tong-len with the specific
aim to prolong the life of HH the Dalai Lama. Of course I have recited
certain verses from Lama Choepa many times:
“And thus compassionate gurus, we seek your blessings that all karmic
debts, obstacles and suffering of mother beings, may without exception,
ripen upon us right now and that we may give our happiness and virtue
to others and thereby invest all beings in peace.”
, as well as
“ In order to rescue all beings from the vast seas of existence we seek
our blessings to become adept in bodhichitta through a pure selfless
wish, and by love and compassion conjoined with the visual technique
of mounting, giving and taking upon your breath”.
But it was more or less mere theory for me.
When I was told that I have cancer, I did not feel sad or upset. On
the contrary my mind was uplifted, and it felt light and open. I thought:
“Finally, I have the chance to put this theory into practice now! My
prayers have come true. How wonderful!”. I intent to use whatever time
I have left in order to deepen my practice of tong-len. What would be
the benefit of trying to conceal my situation? I think it is far better
that people know that I have come to manifest this tumor and now I can
really practice. I don’t want you to be sad. I want you to be happy
and inspired since I now have such a wonderful opportunity to practice
in a way that all bodhisattvas do. My doctor has been so kind to me.
Why would I ever want to hide the fact that I am now practicing in the
footsteps of the bodhisattvas?”
Towards the end of the talk Rinpoche expressed his wish to record his
experiences as the disease develops further. He believes that this material
can be very useful to many other cancer patients, their families and
hospices, everywhere in the world.
Finally Rinpoche has explicitly said that he wishes to reduce the number
and duration of interviews once he returns to Dharamsala.
I am aware that many of you are worried about the rapid deterioration
of the situation in Israel and its neighboring countries. Rinpoche has
decided to travel back to India with a more direct flight, as soon as
the biopsy is completed and he is released from the hospital. We expect
to be ready to fly as early as Monday or Tuesday. Although we can hear
airplanes flying above Haifa all day, the atmosphere here is still peaceful,
and hopefully it will remain so for the following days.
I will keep you updated,
July 14, 2006
It is with great sadness that I writing this email to inform you about
Kirti Tsenshap Rinpoche's health.
For the last month or so, Rinpoche had been experiencing some health
problems that unfortunately intensified during Rinpoche's visit to Israel.
The problem manifested as intermitted diarrhea resulting in gradual
loss of weight. We decided to run a number of routine test and soon
after that Rinpoche was admitted to the hospital. A CT scan revealed
a big tumor in Rinpcohe's liver. The size of the tumor is such that
it is not possible to be removed with an opperation. Although the doctors
are 99,99% sure of their diagnose, a biopsy will be performed on Sunday
and a few days later we will consult with an oncologist. Rinpoche's
wish is to cancel any further travel and teachings scheduled for the
rest of the year and return to India, as soon as the consultation with
the oncologist is completed.
I understand that most of you must also be worried due to the latest
developments in the Middle East. Although Haifa has been hit by two
rockets yesterday, the atmosphere here is calm and we do not feel under
threat. Our hosts have been extremely caring and supportive and the
stuff in the hospital has been amazing.
Needless to say that Rinpoche has completely transformed the hospital
ward: doctors and nurses are fighting over the privilege to attend to
him and there is a constant stream of patient in the corridor, hopping
to catch a glimpse of Rinpoche. Rinpoche is not in pain and he keeps
smiling and blessing everyone. Most of the nurses by now know how to
say "Tashi Delek" and "Thu-je-che" because they
are so eager to communicate with Him.
Although today has been an emotional day, Rinpoche himself made every
effort to entertain us. He started recalling funny stories and events
that took place in different countries and at the end we just could
not help laughing. Rinpoche's room is not an ordinary hospital room:
it feels quite different and whoever comes in for a visit, does not
seem to be in a hurry to leave! Of course Rinpoche and Alak maintain
their privacy and have plenty of rest.
I will keep you all updated as the results of the biopsy become available.
Summary of advised
practices for Rinpoche
(You can click on the underlined links for more information.)
Rinpoche has indicated that the best practices to be performed
in this occasion are:
- Recitation of Samantabhadra
‘s Prayer or the 'King of Prayers' (now also available in
Polish), and you can listen to Rinpoche's commentary on
this prayer at Lamrim
- Medicine Buddha
mantras** (also advised by His Holiness the Dalai Lama)
(dedication) chapter of the Bodhicharyavatara (Guide to
the Bodhisattva's way of life)
Lama Zopa Rinpoche's
advice to students for Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche's health is the
1) Long life tsa tsas x 1300
2) 16 x The
16 Arhant puja
3) Liberation of 100,000 animals
4) Recitation of Vajrasattva mantra***
(as many as you can) and/or doing self initiation
Please dedicate to Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche's long life and for
the fulfilment of all his wishes.
These practices can be done individually or as a group.
Also on September 30:
Please do Lama Chopa puja and offer Lama Chopa tsog - and as
part of the tsog recite the two tsog verses which Lama Zopa
Rinpoche translated as
many times as you can. (These verses are on page 119 in the
FPMT Lama Chopa booklet. Also, there are instructions there
on how to do the extra tsog offering verses.)
Please count the number of times
each person recites those two verses and let me know so I can
keep count and work out if Rinpoche's student can offer 100,000
During Lama Chopa, when you reach
the long life prayer for the gurus verse in the 7 Limb Prayer
section please recite this verse slowly 3 to 5 times strongly
praying for Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche's long life. At the end
of the puja please dedicate with the King of Prayers.
There are three specific dedication
prayers to make when you finish the above:
1. For all Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche's
Holy wishes to succeed.
2. To purify our own negative karma.
3. For Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche's long life.
Then make your usual dedications.
Note: a new long-life prayer combined
with Guru-Yoga was written for Rinpoche by Kirti Tulku, and is
now available at the end of Kirti
Tsenshab Rinpoche's page.
Medicine Buddha mantra:
OM NAMO BHAGAVATE BHAISHAJYE / GURU BAIDURYA / PRABHA RADJAYA
/ TATHAGATAYA / ARHATE SAMYAKSAM BUDDHAYA / TADYATHA / OM BHAISHAJYE
BHAISHAJYE MAHA BHAISHAJYE [BHAISHAJYE ]** / RAJA SAMUDGATE
TADYATHA / OM
BHAISHAJYE BHAISHAJYE MAHA BHAISHAJYE [BHAISHAJYE]** / RAJA
[Common pronunciation: TAYATA
OM BHEKANDZYE BHEKANDZYE MAHA BHEKANDZYE [BHEKANDZYE]** RADZA
** word in brackets is optional
Om vajrasattva samayam anupālaya
vajrasattva tveno patishtha
dridho me bhava sutokayo me bhava supokayo me bhava
anurakto me bhava sarva siddhim me prayaccha
sarvakarmasu ca me cittam śreyam kuru hūm
ha ha ha ha hoh bhagavan sarvatathāgata vajra mā me muñca
vajrī bhava mahā samayāh sattva āh hūm phat