Narrated by Khenpo Sherab Zangpo:
(Translated from Chinese)
This practitioner Tsewang Trinley was my Vajra sibling. He was from Ganzi, Rongpatsa. Once, we were together with the accomplished master Khenpo Tsewang Jigme receiving teachings on the “Six Bardo Teachings of Padmasambhava” and “Choying Dzod (Treasury of Dharmadhatu)”. We got along very well and would often joke with each other.
When His Holiness Jigme Phuntsok came to Rongpatsa, Tsewang also approached His Holiness for teachings. In his life, Tsewang recited a total of 100 million Guru Rinpoche mantras, he also recited more than 100,000 repetitions of the 35 Buddhas Confession Prayer, 1.1 million times of the 21 Tara Praises, undertook the Eight Precepts (editor: may have been the 2-days fasting ritual Nyungnay – not clear from the text) for 200 times, and made more than 1.4 million prostrations. Through his prostrations, the board beneath was worn out by his blood and flesh. It could be said that his life was solely devoted to Dharma practice.
Later, when Achuk Lama Rinpoche came to Rongpatsa, Tsewang supplicated Lama Rinpoche to ascertain his meditative realisations in Dzogchen. After having examined him, Achuk Lama Rinpoche was delighted and said that he had completely realized Dzogchen. Tsewang then told his disciples, “If I were to die now, I would not feel any fear, instead I would experience great joy; this is because I now possess complete confidence.”
Later, Tsewang had a messenger inform a disciple who was out travelling to quickly return to his hometown, he said, “This disciple wishes very much to travel to foreign countries, I have a passport to give him.” Actually Tsewang had no ‘passport’ at all and everyone was mystified at his words. Looking at his robust state of health, no-one imagined that he was going to pass on soon.
It took that disciple several months to return, and he finally came home on 26 February 1995.
Tsewang then told his disciple to write a biography detailing how he (Tsewang) had relied on his Guru and did Dharma practice. He explained, “When practitioners read this in the future, there would definitely be some benefit.” Having entrusted this task, he went on as usual to have his dinner, perform his customary recitations and nothing out of the ordinary occurred. The next day, at noon, he suddenly felt some discomfort and at 6pm, he had his disciples help him remove his extra clothing and then sat in Vajra posture facing west. When his disciples came again to check on him, he had already entered parinirvana. His body remained in meditation for 21 days and his skin took on a fair radiance far beyond his usual complexion when he was alive.
On March 21, when the monastery arranged for his cremation, the sky was cloudless and a white vulture came from the sky and circumambulated clockwise. Everyone present saw this.
People then began to understand what he meant by ‘going abroad’ and ‘passport’. His notion of ‘passport’ was to record how he had practiced in his life. I believe Tsewang wanted to tell us that someone who wished to attain liberation should practice with the same diligence as he did, so that when death came, we would be able to travel to liberation with this ‘passport’ just as he did.
I am telling everyone this story because I wish you to understand that all your efforts in doing Dharma practice in this life will definitely not be wasted. Only someone who practices diligently need not fear death and he would be able to attain the joy of liberation.
After completing Ngondro and Guru Yoga, one’s mind-stream would definitely experience changes, at that time, one can rely on a qualified teacher to request the teachings and empowerments related to Dzogchen.