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Published on Oct 13, 2006
Mingyur Rinpoche talk about HH the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa (An interview with Venerable Haitao) ------------------------------------------------------- Part I - One of the deep impressions that I had about the Karmapa was during the first few months after He came to India. At that time, Thrangu Rinpoche was selected to teach the Karmapa and I was selected to accompany the Karmapa to study. As I had already studied for 7 years, I felt I was very experienced and was a bit arrogant. Since the Karmapa was very young then and had just started to learn the teachings, I thought, "oh! I had more experience while He is just a newbie..." (laughed)
Part II - After that, as I got to know the Karmapa better, I realized He had such a great wisdom and He didn't look like a normal human! The more I looked at Him, the more I found Him not a human... (audience laughed) The thought that "He is a human" diminished gradually and at that time, the Karmapa was only very young. ..(audience laughed)
Part III -
Here, I would like to share a story with you.
One day, the Karmapa summoned me and said, "Let's have a competition and see who can memorize the scripture faster!" Hence, we were required to find a scripture that neither of us had read it before and we managed to find one subsequently. It was a one and a half page Tibetan scripture and I promptly agreed to take up the challenge. There were two copies of the scripture and each of us took one copy.
Part IV - I sat facing Him and began to memorize the scripture painstakingly by reading it aloud (laughter). On the contrary, the Karmapa did not make any noise while he was memorizing the scripture. He read the scripture slowly (Rinpoche demonstrates how the Karmapa read the scripture and the audience laughed) while I was trying hard to read the scripture. Usually, I will be able to memorize it after reading it out 100 times and hence, I kept on reading, reading....
Part V - When I was at my 10th time of reading, the Karmapa said, "I've finished!"
At that moment I was totally stunned...(laughter)
But I didn't believe Him and exclaimed, "Impossible! Let's see how you recite it!" Next, I took His copy and He began to recite the scripture. He recited it very smoothly from the beginning till the end while I couldn't even memorize the first sentence of the scripture! Hence, my arrogance was being half subdued! (laughter)
Part VI - On another day, we had a debate on "Pramanavarttika". I was the one sitting down to answer while Karmapa stood to ask questions. The debate went on and on and suddenly, I was totally speechless and couldn't respond. There are usually 4 ways to answer but I couldn't even think of one.
Part VII - Hence, I thought, "Can I find the answers in the scriptures?" The Karmapa used logic thinking that couldn't be found in the scriptures.
Hence, I couldn't utter any word except grinning sheepishly!
Henceforth, my arrogance has been totally subdued. (laughter)