Message from Khenchen Pema Sherab Rinpoche to all the Rigpa students worldwide
I was saddened to hear of the passing away of Sogyal Rinpoche, receiving the news when I was preparing to travel from India to France. Owing to the above circumstance, I could not send a detailed message to all the Rigpa students at that moment. Now that I have arrived in Paris, I thought I would share my thoughts in a more elaborate way.
First of all, I would like to offer my condolences to all the devoted students of Sogyal Rinpoche, with his departure from this world into parinirvana. I sincerely share the moment of grief and pain that you all are experiencing now.
When Rinpoche was sick, you all did everything that you could in your own way, in order to see to the restoration of his health—from physically attending to him at his bedside and providing the best possible treatment, to praying for his good health from afar and performing various pujas for his well-being. These efforts show how much you cared for your master and how devoted you are to him.
Even though the demise of the master is heartbreaking, we as practitioners should know that this very event in itself is the greatest teaching of impermanence that the master can provide the students. Even the Buddha left this world, which echoes the most profound teaching: “All conditioned phenomena are ephemeral.” Hence, we should learn from this fact and try to make the best use of our existence.
Sogyal Rinpoche has left behind a wealth of teachings, instructions and guidance for all the Rigpa centers throughout the world, and the time has come for all his students to renew their faith in him and reaffirm their commitment to his messages of love, compassion, wisdom and enlightenment.
In order to continue Sogyal Rinpoche’s enlightened activities and his far-reaching vision for the world and for all sentient beings, all his students should stay united and focused at this critical juncture and take all the necessary measures to ensure that his legacy continues into the distant future for the benefit of all.
From the time that Rinpoche was unwell till his last breath, I had been praying for his good health and long life. Even after his passing away, I pray that there is no obstacle to his advancement in the stages of the path to enlightenment.
I also offer my prayers for all the Rigpa students so that you gain the mental strength to turn adversities into the path and to make your lives meaningful through the study and practice of the Buddhadharma.
With heartfelt wishes,
Khenpo Pema Sherab