Salut mes amis !
I submit for your consideration the following interview Gesar Mukpo “Am I reincarnated?” to contrast with Dzongsar Khyentse’s description of his experience as a young tulku.
“I only ever had an argument with my father twice. One of those times was in this restaurant when I was a young kid. He wanted me to use chopsticks and I couldn’t use them and didn’t want to use them. He was like, ‘You are from Tibet—you need to know [how to use] these chopsticks.’ I refused and I kept using this fork. He took the fork away from me and bent the fork in half with one hand, then we left the restaurant and he said to me, ‘You are the most arrogant person I’ve ever met.’ He kept that fork on his shrine for years and years and years. But in general my father was just always accepting. Even if I did anything bad, he dealt with things in a very calm way. That was a good lesson: you just make a mistake, which doesn’t make you a worse person, which was, I think the way he treated me constantly. He wanted me to learn and evolve which was something that he had done obviously throughout his life.”
Dzongsar Khyentse on his generation of tulkus.
“In my time we went through a lot of hardship, eating nothing but rice and potatoes for up to a year, travelling on India’s cheapest public transportation, sleeping on railway platforms, having no more than 10 rupees in our pockets for six or seven months, getting by with one pencil for a year, and even having to share our study books with 18 other students. As a child I had just two handmade toys that I made myself.
“Worse, my tutor confined me to one room not just for a few weeks or months but for a whole year, so that even going to the toilet became a long awaited excursion. We also suffered regular verbal and physical abuse, which went as far as making us bleed from the head and whipping us with nettles.”
Food for thought.
Bon appetite !