Advice from His Eminence Khabje Dorje Chang Luding Khenchen Rinpoche
on 26 July 2002 at Sakya Tenphel Ling, Singapore.
It is not enough just to receive teaching and initiation because you must practise it and apply to your daily life. Like planting a seed, if you throw a wild seed on the ground it won't grow - it needs fertilizer, water and sunlight. With all these collective conditions, it will yield result. Therefore in the Dharma, after receiving initiation and teaching one should practise it.
So in order to receive important teachings it is very necessary to know what kind of Lama (teacher) he is. Just by sitting on high throne and looking majestic is not good enough. One should observe carefully whether he is a good guru to receive important teachings because after having received the teachings then one should not speak ill of that guru. So it is very important and one should be very careful. You should not attend the teachings of a certain guru simply by hearing the name or knowing all the ranks or just seeing an imposing position.
As many people are going for blessing and teaching from Lama, sometimes we even don't know what is his name and simply say we just want to receive teaching and initiation. We go and receive teaching and initiation without knowing the Lama's background and his qualities. Many people tend to receive teachings from Lamas who sit on very high throne. Even Lama themselves prefer to have high throne but the high throne itself doesn't mean anything. The person sitting on high throne must possess certain qualities.
For instance, the Sakya designated throne which was called Padmo Kalpo, although the throne itself was not very high but many banners were placed on top to make it high. So on this throne, where Sakya Pandita and many of the Great Sakya Lamas sat and preached the Dharma. Such a throne also make the preacher to become very blissful and powerful. Receiving teaching from these kind of gurus who sat on that throne has got many meanings.
Likewise, the Ngorpa also has a throne called Temana, the red throne. Although it is not so high, Kunga Zangpo sat on that throne and preached the LamDre Teaching. So till now there are about 75 successive throne holders (of Ngorpa Khenpos). Every year, they give the LamDre Teaching. This throne become very important and sacred. Likewise, the Gelugpa throne like Ganden of Tibet, which was used once by Kay Rinpoche. Maybe about 100 successive Gelugpa throne holders had sat and preached the Holy Dharma from this throne. Similarly, in Nalanda there is also a similar throne, which was used by Kunghen Rangten Chenpo. So like these and other thrones that have been blessed and sat by very Holy Gurus, these kind of thrones carry significant meanings.
This Ngorpa throne has actually been used by Ngorchen Kunga Zangpo also. It is believed that Pangu Sanseba Chuturnurkha himself is inside the throne. during the period of Khenpo Konchog Kundrup, there was a chieftan named Sangay Zhompa. He was like a governor general in the upper part of Tsang. He and his men were very powerful. The Ngorpa had some enmities with this governor and could not challenge this governor with force because the Ngorpa has not fighting force, but for spiritual power, Ngorpa was superior. The governor was reluctant to send this forces, but he wanted to eliminate the Ngorpa monastery through sending some supernatural power or spell.
The governor requested one of the Ngorpa Lamas, who had the attainment of Yamantaka or who had become the Yamantaka yogi. He was ordered by the governor to come and throw tormas against the Ngorpa. So this lama sought the advice from Khenpo Konchog Lundrup. Khenpo replied that he should go there but should not give much emphasis and concentration when throwing the tormas. However, when the lama arrived at the governor's place, the governor made a very massive offering and the lama used a lot of concentration when throwing tormas against the Ngorpa. When he threw the tormas, through Yamantaka manifestation, one wild yak came against the lamas and finally entered the temple where Khenpo Konchog Lundrup was sitting on the throne. There was a small table just near the throne and the guru (Khenpo) threw his vajra onto it causing the Yamantaka to be dissolved into this small table. Then this table became inside the throne. So the guru who was sitting on this throne must have possessed great qualities and must have also been accepted by the Yamantaka.
Thus, the throne story goes like that. In India, there is no old throne, but just the replicas of these old thrones on which some great teachers have used. Therefore normally the throne by itself has no meaning.
Extracted and edited from the advice by H.E. Khabje Dorje Chang Luding Khenchen Rinpoche on the night of 26 July 2002 at Sakya Tenphel Ling after the completion of bestowing the 13 Golden Dharmas Teachings.