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My Father

My beloved father, commonly known as Zhichen Bairochana. Nowadays people call him Bairo Rinpoche, the 36th incarnation of the Lotsawa Vairochana. Lotsawa Vairochana was a renowned enlightened translator and he made all the Dharma teachings of three different Yanas available in Tibet through his enlightened skills, translating them into Tibetan language. My father’s main seat or monastery is Zhichen Kharmar Sangag Tangye Ling in Gulok, one of the major branches of Kathog Dorje Dhan in eastern Tibet. Zhichen has its own group of over 20 branch monasteries throughout the region.

My father came out of his area, Gulok, in eastern Tibet in about early 1958 with out telling other people the truth where he was heading to, because people did not want him to leave them. But my father said he could foresee that there was not much point in continuing looking after all the affaires of monasteries and people back in Tibet. So he took his liberty and made his journey by way of Lhasa and down to the Bhutanese border from Lhodrak in the south of Tibet, where my mother was from. They met there for the first time when my mother was nineteen years old and they met again in a sacred place of Guru Padmasambhava known as Beyul (Hidden valley) on the Tibet and Bhutanese border after three years. They were in a retreat for a couple of years there. My birth took place when they were on their pilgrimage in India.

My father is a spiritual master for those who need him as guidance on their spiritual path of life. For me, it has been a great gift being his only son. I love him not only in relationship to him as a father but also as a father but also as a companion for every moment of my life. I have never felt lonely in my life despite having gone through a lot of difficulties in my younger days, and I now understand that it was him who gave me the strength to pass through all the difficult periods. I do not think anyone of us could possibly think of being as good a father as he was and is to me! When I was a child, he used to come up with lots of attractive toys that were invented by him out of the parts of broken watches, radios, tape recorders, etc. I never liked those other commercial toys. I found homemade toys were much more interesting than those expensive electronic toys. When I was a bit older, he had boundless energy and patience to play, jump and run after footballs, shuttlecocks, Frisbees and the like for hours with me. I also remember him making approximately one kilometer of winding road on a big hill next to our home and pushing me in a three-wheeler bicycle all day long up and down, pretending to be going up to see my parents and coming down with them back home to where I was. He would not give up entertaining me even on the rainy days. It seemed much harder for him to push me on the slippery muddy surface. So he would lift both me and the cycle up in his arm from behind and take me on the same journey, up and down imaginary hills, and make lots of noise to imitate the 4-wheel drive struggling with a steep muddy off-road climb. After becoming more of a man, I always liked horses and he often caught wild, unattended horses from the mountains for me to see and touch, and sometimes he even put me on the back of them if they were not too big and ferocious. He finally bought one for me to ride on. My father has given me virtually everything that I want in this world. It is such an honor to have not only a holy but a loving father like him and I feel more honored and content to realize the fact of him being such a nice father.

Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro recognized my father as the reincarnation of Vairotsana, at the age of eight. My father lived and educated in his main seat educated in Zhichen Kharmar Sangag Tengye Ling Monastery in Gulok, eastern Tibet. I think he had a very hard upbringing in his childhood, which is what I gather from some of his conversations, as well as from some other sources. His parents or any family members did not accompany him throughout his childhood from the time he was sent to Gulok as a tiny reincarnation. Actually, I never heard him say a single negative word in criticism of others’ behavior or their treatment of him. He does not say many good things about others as well; I guess he is not bothered as much as we are. However, we should remember that these things do not really bother his type of being easily, because they are well prepared long before they decide to take rebirth in this world for the welfare of others. However, I, as his son still feel pity for him even though I can do nothing for him now. Besides that, although he never commented about his hardship in younger days, and happy times of later days, I have actually gathered that, later on, with the moral support of my mother and the genuine love that they have for each other, his life has been very much filled with joy and peace. I always thank my mother from the depth of my heart for being so genuinely loving and understanding for the sake of our family. I should also share part of the credit with my father for appreciating this and valuing it. What a great combination they are! Especially, I appreciate my father’s deep knowledge about how to discriminate between the happy life and the miserable life. Not like many of us who run after different attractions and get ourselves caught in a soup. He knows where to place the boundary to avoid all the unnecessary traps of attraction in this world. I think that it is one of the many great methods that he uses to keep our family, as well as everybody around us, in super happiness and peace. Despite being known as the head of an important lineage with over 20 monasteries comprising thousands of families and monks, my father prefers a simple and humble life with none of the strings that are normally attached to those associations and organizations belonging to different races, schools and lineages. He says getting caught by these movements would eventually cause one’s own life and the lives of others to be miserable. “It is just a cause of negative accumulation. Why bother? Better to mind one’s own business.” he says.

My father never cares about his fame. The first priority for him is to create a comfortable environment for all of us and try to have it not be corrupted by unnecessary circumstances. Therefore, we never find him talking about his own knowledge. In fact, he will indicate to you that he knows nothing! For example, in his younger days in Tibet, after he finished his thorough education, my father left several palm and footprints in rocks as signs of his achievement, which are still visible to this day and remain as objects of homage for devout pilgrims. However, I, as his own son, never heard a word from him until today about these things. I am very tempted to hear something from him about his divine knowledge and how he did those marvelous drawings and handprints on the rock but my mother warned me numbers of times not to ask him directly because he could have got annoyed as he wants this to be secret. I understand why, because unlike many of us, he does not want to show himself off and get caught by fame. Not only that, it may be that it is not meant to be mentioned at this point of time in this age, and to people like me he is seen instead as merely a beautiful, loving father. I, myself, would also not feel so at ease to ask him of these things, as he is so warm and human to me. Therefore, I have had no perseverance to question him directly.

Due to the divine realization and compassion, those who meet with my father and receive teachings from him will always be spiritually encouraged and one-pointedly motivated to work for the benefit of every being. For that, I really admire him, and therefore, recently, I requested him to give more teachings to those monks, nuns and devotees from different parts of the world. He said nothing but laughed. Eventually, my mother told me that he said he would teach because I have requested him. True enough, nowadays, he is making himself available one month or so in a year to give commentaries on various teachings of the spiritual path at his own new seat (Zhichen Bairo Ling) in Kathmandu. I feel quite sorry for not asking him to teach during those early years. What a waste! Not one of us ever had any idea of requesting him to give teachings on realization. Instead, many of us have used him as a repairer of watches, tape recorders, radios and a lot of other junk, because he can repair almost every manual machine. I remember my father was once very interested in developing films. He had several of those developing machines to play with. Obviously, people liked the idea of having somebody there doing the job for free. Everyday, he had something to do. My mother was not very happy with the idea of him working under the bright light with a magnifying glass, sitting there gazing at the machine for many hours everyday.

She thought it might deteriorate his eyesight and the systems of circulation in his body. Therefore, she requested him not to do those things any more. Normally, knowing my father, he would never stop his favorite hobbies whatsoever, but knowing that this request was coming from the genuine love and care of my mother, my father left his hobby within a month. Ever since then, I have not seen those machines at all. I wonder what happened to them! They may have spoiled after years of not being used due to the humidity of the Himalayan valley.

Well, there are lots of things to write but that is all for the time being.