I will always be with you
Many times Venerable Geshe-la told how he visits all Kadampa centers with his mind every day, frequently saying, "I will always be with you."
Now that the Emanation Body Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche has dissolved into the clear light of the great bliss of Heruka, how are we to understand this?
Guru Sumati Buddha Heruka
According to the Ganden Oral tradition we understand that our root Guru is inseparable from the enlightened being Guru Sumati Buddha Heruka, and although his emanations appearing in the aspect of ordinary beings are born and die according to our karma, he himself never dies but abides always in his actual deathless body of Union.
In truth, Guru Sumati Buddha Heruka is our Spiritual Guide.
ALWAYS IN OUR HEART
Venerable Geshe-la taught us how to rely on Guru Sumati Buddha Heruka continuously by holding him in our heart at all times, receiving blessings directly from him and eventually transforming our mind and becoming one with him.
In the precious prayer Request to the Holy Spiritual Guide, which we now recite daily, we pray:
"O Guru Sumati Buddha Heruka,
Please remain at my heart forever"
ALWAYS Appearing in front of us
Venerable Geshe-la also taught us that when we practice the uncommon Guru Yogas of the Ganden Oral tradition, such as Hundreds of Deities of the Joyful Land, we request Guru Sumati Buddha Heruka always to appear in the space in front of us so we can make offerings, prostrations and requests to him continually. He taught us to pray that even when we die he will appear in front of us in our next life. In this way he continuously remains as a supreme field of merit for us.
Countless emanation actions
During his life, Venerable Geshe-la performed countless emanation actions for the benefit of the people of this world, laying the foundation for Kadam Dharma to flourish in this and all future generations, and bringing true peace and happiness to countless living beings. These activities are seeds that we can continue to nurture during our daily actions. In this way we can dedicate ourselves to fulfilling his heart wishes. Nothing will hold us closer to him than this.
Appearing in the west
On August 27, 1977 Venerable Geshe-la arrived in the west at the invitation of Manjushri KMC. His arrival heralded the dawn of Modern Buddhism and a new spirit of hope in this world.
Opening Dharma centers
Almost immediately, Venerable Geshe-la opened his first Dharma center in the West, Madhyamaka KMC in the UK. He went on to establish literally hundreds of centers around the world.
Building Temples for World Peace
In 1997, Venerable Geshe-la blessed and opened the first Kadampa Temple for World Peace, which he had designed and overseen at Manjushri KMC. Later, he created five other such Temples.
Statues & art for the modern world
Venerable Geshe-la oversaw the design, production and finishing of new statues and artwork for all the new Temples. Here he is welcoming from the foundry the first Buddha statue that he designed for the Temple. Later he established Kadampa Art Studio to provide qualified statues and art for future Temples and centers.
An ocean of teachings
Venerable Geshe-la gave literally thousands of teachings at Manjushri KMC and other centers around the world, including Spring, Summer and Fall Festivals. These extraordinary teachings were unique and life-changing for everyone who heard them.
Books & Study programs
In total Venerable Geshe-la composed 23 extraordinary books on Buddhism and meditation. Based on these, he developed the three study programs - the General, Foundation and Teacher Training Programs - that are the core of all Kadampa centers around the world. In particular, hundreds of qualified modern Kadampa teachers are arising from the Special and Intensive Teacher Training Programs.
Tantric empowerments & practices
Venerable Geshe-la granted many Tantric empowerments and taught all four classes of Tantra. Based on these, Kadampa centers and practitioners around the world now enjoy authentic Tantric books, sadhanas and practices.
Having himself spent almost a third of his life in retreat, Venerable Geshe-la always encouraged us to engage in retreat to gain authentic experience of Dharma. For our benefit, in 1987, he entered into a three-year retreat in Tharpaland, Scotland. Later, he inaugurated a number of dedicated retreat centers.
pujas & prayers
Thanks to Venerable Geshe-la's dedication, Kadampa centers around the world now have a complete collection of authentic pujas and prayers in all languages that are the basis of individual and center practices.
Venerable Geshe-la personally ordained hundreds of people as monks and nuns, using a modern presentation of the vows. He established a special tradition that will continue into future generations.
Venerable Geshe-la was the holder of the uncommon lineage of the Ganden Oral Tradition. He transmitted this lineage through his senior disciples, making it available to everyone in the modern world.
International community dedicated to world peace
The International Kadampa Buddhist Union is a global family of fortunate modern Kadampa disciples bound by a common intention to bring peace into our world by developing peace in our minds. This precious union grows year by year, and Venerable Geshe-la's enduring legacy is the conviction that world peace is really possible through the practice of Kadam Dharma.
As we can see, in so many ways Venerable Geshe-la will always be with us, and us with him.