The following was submitted by a student of Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo, Kunzang Drolma:
From Student to Teacher
His Holiness Pema Norbu Rinpoche
I dream of the day my Guru will be reborn and found. I long for it. This Precious Incarnation is sorely missed–every day.
I have my Palyul Lineage and all our AMAZING throneholders. But His Holiness Penor Rinpoche is my root Guru, enthroned upon the Lotus in my heart.
His Holines Penor Rinpoche is present always! Through my humanness I long to see His Precious Face- hear His voice, the fragrance of His holy breath! Ah, tears…
I must satisfy my heart with His many teachings, prayers, and mixing my mind with His. Like milk with water, inseparable! The way…
I have never seen such compassion in anyone else but His Holiness Penor Rinpoche. He was a living Buddha, peerless. He made Palyul what it is today!
~ Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo
The relationship between Teacher and Student is the foundation of Tibetan Buddhism. Devotion is the method of awakening to the true nature of compassionate wisdom or Bodhicitta, and through which the Teacher’s pure blessings pass to the Student. The Student is in a posture of offering, of holding nothing back, with the certainty that their pure Teacher will not, can never, abandon them, but will work ceaselessly for the benefit of the Student and all beings.
Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo has never wavered in her devotion to her Root Guru, His Holiness Penor Rinpoche, who passed from this life in 2009. Her public expression of her love of, devotion to and yearning for His Holiness is a display of humble reverence for the most holy being who appeared in her life. Holiness recognized Jetsunma as the reincarnation of the first Ahkon Lhamo, who – along with her brother Kunzang Sherab – founded the Palyul Lineage in the Nyingma School. In so doing, Holiness firmly established the presence of Palyul in the West and acknowledged the purity of Jetsunma’s presence in the world. On one occasion, as Jetsunma was prostrating to welcome Holiness to the Sates, he responded. “It is I who should be prostrating to you.” Such was his reverence for Jetsunma.
Jetsunma never ceased to make offerings to Holiness during his most recent lifetime, including a song she wrote and recorded for him, titled, Father. Holiness in turn never ceased to support and respect all of Jetsunma’s activities, even in the face of overt criticism and hostility from Westerners who questioned Jetsunma’s authenticity. At least twice, during Palyul Summer Retreat, Holiness spoke from the throne about Jetsunma and her purity as a Tulku or reincarnate Lama, and her absolute commitment to ending the suffering of all beings.
It is no surprise that Jetsunma’s generosity and gratitude to her Root Teacher did not end with his passing from this life, as evidenced by her heartfelt prayer to him. For she and Holiness remain inseparable in her heart. It is from this pure posture that Jetsunma has offered the entire holdings of Kunzang Palyul Choling, the Buddhist Temple of which she is Spiritual Director, to the Labrang of His Holiness’ Yangsi.
Labrang refers to the offerings held on behalf of His Holiness Penor Rinpoche until his Yangsi, or reincarnation, is recognized. His Holiness Karma Kuchen Rinpoche, current Throne-holder of Palyul, will hold the Labrang on behalf of the Yangsi until his reappearance and recognition. Jetsunma is making a pure and uninhibited offering of her activities and her purpose in this lifetime, in the form of the KPC Mandala, because she can hold nothing back from her Root Guru. It is this posture that proves her purity of heart and devotion, and teaches all of us that Vajrayana is not an intellectual concept; it is an expression of love, commitment, yearning, joy, devotion and certainty there is nothing of true value in this ordinary world, other than the constant presence in one’s heart and mind of the blessings of one’s Root Guru.
To His Holiness Penor Rinpoche, Tsawei Lama I pray
O great treasure of Love and Blessing, Supreme Wisdom Holder! Return for the sake of all sentient beings!
Come, lead us out of confusion into Pristine Awareness as only a true Buddha can! I await the Bliss of Your return!
Show us the way to attain Supreme Enlightenment as you have always done! Return to us! There is such suffering!
Show us how to awaken from this deep, narcotic trance- to the Pristine Primordial Nature, free of contrivance! E MA HO!
Beloved Guru, may I always, in every future time be reborn in Your Entourage and serve you and all beings with body, speech and mind.
~ Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo