When first asked to write this piece on the passing of Ven. Geshe Ngawang Dhargyey I knew there was nothing to say. All the words of any consequence have already been spoken by Gen Rinpoche in the course of his life and anything I could say would be without merit. I am however able to share a few personal thoughts; others will have their own.
I have a habit of listening to Gen Rinpoche's teachings on tape as I drive. Today I listened to such a teaching, given in New Delhi in I982, some thirteen years ago at a time when I would have been blissfully unaware of both the Teacher and his words. On the same day that I learnt of Gen Rinpoche's passing, one of his final teachings, given in Dunedin late in 1994 arrived by post.
The basis of both teachings was unchanged—the development of bodhicitta and equanimity. The universal significance of Buddha Shakyamuni's words was apparent. What was also apparent was that what the Buddha taught and what Gen Rinpoche taught and practised during the course of his life were the same.
In our own lives we meet many people. With some we form friendships and many of us form close relationships. However, even in our close relationships we experience difficulties and often the nature of these relationships is conditional on what we give at an emotional, physical or material level.
So what happens when one meets a being whose acceptance of our ignorance and delusions is boundless; whose actions of body, speech and mind are without fault and whose warmth and compassion are all pervading regardless of our circumstances, our appearance and our obvious shortcomings.
Is not one drawn to this person? You search for faults, you question, you probe for weaknesses, yet none appear. Eventually you are forced to accept that the faults and weaknesses that you look for are your own and the taming of the mind begins. In time you realise there is no greater gift that could be given.
Gen Rinpoche's every word was motivated by compassion itself and I can only reflect with reverence on the immeasurable kindness of his every action of body, speech and mind, and attempt, as we all should, to put into practice now, without hesitation, the essence of His life, His teachings, His practice, His heartfelt wish, bodhicitta and equanimity.