Offerings from Disciples

offerings-GN-1There are scores of people visiting Gyalwai Nyugu Rinpoche every afternoon, and I often go to help him. After the disciples left, I would do some chores such as cleaning the house, putting away khatas and so on.

Today, the last batch of guests dropped in to Rinpoche’s home, presenting exquisite Buddhist ritual implements to him and introduced them one by one. The last disciple put a box which was not very big in front of Rinpoche and whispered: “My offerings for you.”


After Gyalwai Nyugu Rinpoche had expounded teachings, everyone left the house with great happiness. I began to tidy the house quickly as a matter of routine. I put all the offerings in one bag in an abrupt manner. Rinpoche saw that and said to me kindly, “Be careful! These gifts must be carefully put away as people have brought them from so far away from their home town.” He asked me to open that little box and I noticed that inside the box were a few simple crafts. Gyalwai Nyugu Rinpoche chanted mantras for good wishes while looking at these offerings. Then, he said in delight, “Now, the merits of the donor’s offerings have been completely fulfilled.” These words made me aware of my carelessness, limited compassion and superficial wisdom. It is the lack of compassion and wisdom that I can’t keep in complete awareness in daily life.

The meaning that disciples brought gifts to their Buddhist Guru is to connect them with their Guru and to receive the good wishes and blessing from Guru. The gifts can be any kind of present, or money. The real value of the gifts do not matter that much, only that it is offered from the disciple’s heart.

offerings-Achuk-2It reminds me every time when I visited His Holiness Lama Achuk Rinpoche. His attendent would always explain the details of every single tribute to him. He enjoyed the process so much that even a tiny toy would cause him to break into laughter. Each time when His Holiness visited a holy shrine, he would pick up a tiny stone and put it in his Gawu box along the way. He said that each stone is a mandral. His Holiness always showed his respect to every single object to such extent that all of us were deeply moved. It is also the case with Gyalwai Nyugu Rinpoche. Once a disciple gave Rinpoche a remote control toy plane as a tribute and he put it on the table during a teaching. When he made a phone call to the donator, he joked: “You know what? I’ve got a plane now. From now on, I can fly with the plane to see you, haha…” Being themselves, His Holiness and Gyalwai Nyugu Rinpoche have always been so real and at ease. They never deliberately conceal anything in that they are people who live in the present.

We have missed so many opportunities to face the real self as we are always living in hope and fear. We are so blinded by crazy desires that we fail to appreciate the beauty and preciousness around us. The farther we go away from goodness, the more eagerly we chase it, only to find that we are far away from our initial motive. We tend to recall the glory of the past and fantasize about the future, while ignoring the beauty of the present. His Holiness and Gyalwai Nyugu Rinpoche have always taught us by their practical action that we should perceive beauty and happiness once we respect our own feelings and all things around us no matter how tiny they are.

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