So when we go to the temple, when we go to the main monastery, Sharpa Choje sits on a huge throne. Lati Rinpoche is also on a throne like that. Huge. Sharpa Choje wears the Pandit’s hat and Lati Rinpoche wears a normal hat because he is in the presence of the Sharpa Choje who is above him on the hierarchy. Actually, it’s not necessary for Sharpa Choje to attend Lati Rinpoche’s talks because he is above Lat Rinpoche on the hierarchy
When Lati Rinpoche gives these teachings, Sharpa Choje is a Geshe Lharam. He is a disciplinarian. A lead Umze and an abbot, an ex-abbot of Gyurtoe and on top of that, he has ascended the throne of Gaden throne of Sharpa Choje. Lord of the East and he is going to be Gaden Tri Rinpoche. latierrademisamores He told us “I forgot some things and I want to go and learn (from Lati Rinpoche)” and I was like (gasp). I heard that with my own ears because I went for teachings with him and I asked are you attending teachings. He says, “Oh of course”.
He says it is a must to attend Dharma talks so I asked why. He told me that I must plant imprints in my mind for the future. I must plant imprints and I realized what he meant. Imprints – how important they are. Being a great teacher, he still attends Dharma teachings. Still attends Dharma activities. Still does all the Dharma work and he is the Lord of the East and I am Lord of the Cockroaches and I don’t want to go. But from that day on, my mind changed. No joke. You know what happened? I will tell you why I changed. I realize that when we understand the Dharma enough we can gain enthusiasm. We can cut away laziness. We can gain enthusiasm that grows and grows and grows and this enthusiasm infects everybody around us. Inspires everybody around us and it blesses people around us. Why? It’s very nice to see everybody attending Dharma or doing Dharma or being together. That’s why its always important to attend Dharma talks and perform Dharma activities
I used to grab the opportunity to wash Sharpa Choje along with his servant. He would always say no, no, no, no. I would beg because that’s what it says in the 50 verses of Guru Devotion and I believe in the verses. In any case, he is the Lord of the Dharma of the East. In all of the eastern direction, he is the Lord. There is no one greater. But when Lati Rinpoche gave teachings, Sharpa Choje still attends his talks. Lati Rinpoche is Sharpa Choje’s guru but lower in rank then him.Sharpa Choje is like 70 years old, he still attends the Dharma talk. I was like shocked.
At that time I spent a lot of time in my house because I have a very nice house, really, it’s a very nice house. I am very comfortable. I have my hot water heater. I have electricity and when there’s none, I have a generator. But I can’t live without hot water and other luxuries. I even have netting on my windows so mosquitoes don’t come in and feed on me. No, seriously if you think it’s not a big deal, it is, it’s a big deal because netting is expensive. I have beautiful flowers. I have a lot of servants in my house, a lot of assistant monks. I can eat what I want. I have my own cook. I have my people. I change my clothes maybe 2-3 times a day. They will wash it all. No problem. Sometimes when I feel they are smelly, they will boil my clothes outside and wash it. They will do anything for me.
And I have heard it all, Lamrim, Lamrim, Schlamrim. And I heard it all, I thought. I really thought that. And I am not going to go to these teachings. I am not going to attend and I am not going to these pujas. No, really I did that for years. I am famous for skipping pujas and skipping things in the main monastery because I have a nice house.