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Buddhadharma : Spring 2018
90 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER'S QUARTERLY offered to him should be kept and put aside for a very special guest he was expecting who would be needing provisions. The next day, everyone in the valley had heard the news of the great lama’s return. “Patrul Rinpoche has come!” people said. “He’ll be giving teach ings on The Way of the Bodhisattva!” Men and women, young and old, monks and nuns, male and female lay practitioners, everyone went hurrying to hear the great Patrul Rinpoche. People began to gather into a huge crowd, bringing along horses and yaks that carried their tents and provisions. When the widow heard the news, she was thrilled, thinking, “A great lama has come! This will be my chance to make offerings and request prayers on behalf of my late husband!” Along with everyone else, she climbed up to the monastery, bringing along her three fatherless children. The poor widow and her family had to sit at the far edge of the large crowd to hear Patrul’s teachings. She was so far away that she could not see his features clearly. At the end of the teachings, like everyone else, she stood in a long line, waiting to receive the great lama’s blessing. Eventually, she moved up in the long line till at last she came close enough to see that the great lama, Patrul Rinpoche, was none other than her shabby, kind, faithful traveling companion. Moved by both devotion and amazement, she approached Patrul, saying, “Forgive me for not knowing who you were! You are like the Buddha in person! Forgive me for making you carry my children! Forgive me for asking you to marry me! Forgive me for everything!” Patrul brushed off her apology lightly, saying, “Don’t give it a second thought!” Turning to the monastery attendants, he told them, “This is the very special guest I’ve been expecting! Please bring all the butter, cheese, and provisions that we have been setting aside especially for her!” Patrul generally refused to accept the offerings that are often made to a teacher. Presented with valuable gifts such as gold and silver, he would leave them on the ground.