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Culture, History, Society, Uncategorized

A letter to H.H. the Tenth Panchen Lama

Source: Tibet Web Digest
By Yumtso

Yumtso is a prominent contemporary Tibetan woman blogger from Karze, Kham. Her real name is Yama Choetso, and she graduated from the Central University for Nationalities in Beijing in 2010. Her pen name Yumtso means “turquoise colored lake”. She blogs on Sangdhor net and focuses on current social changes inside Tibet.

Now I have lost my refuge and protector. I will never forget the year Mother wept and Father sighed with depression, both of them like abandoned orphans, and their intense invocations for blessings from the three Jewels of the precious Buddha, the precious Dharma and the precious Sangha.

Since I was still a child at that time, I can’t remember any vivid details, but that was my first time seeing my mother weeping and my father crying with torment. Yes, it has been twenty-three years. You left us for twenty-three years. As the years have gone by like rosary beads under my thumb, I gradually understand my parents’ warnings of having no refuge or protector and being left behind as orphans.

Every time when I hear your voice and see your works, I understand the meaning of the word “kyabs-mgon” (savior or protector). Every time as I watch you on TV visiting snowland areas, I can feel the happiness of a complete family. From the smiles on people’s faces, I can feel the full meaning of the term “happiness”. However, why can’t we enjoy this happiness? What is the cause? Whom should I ask this question? How can I send the letter to you? Please tell me what to do.

You left us for twenty-three years. It has been twenty-three years. How can I explain to you the changes in the last twenty-three years? How can I send to you the happiness and sufferings of the last twenty-three years? From the day you left us, we became like the fawn in “The Suffering Song of Wild Animals.”* We are stopped by a storm in front and pushed by a cyclone from behind. We slowly crawled forward into the boundless wilderness. Again, it has been twenty-three years. Today, after twenty-three years, when the 60 and 70 year old grandfathers and grandmothers seek audience with your relics, they cry like three year-old children. How can I have the courage to write that they are happy and comfortable?

How should I continue writing this letter to you? The song “Homeland” goes “the snow outside of our homeland has turned to rain, and I feel like going home”. I will offer you a song of praise called “Changing the Prayer Flags and Thangkas of your Palace Tashi Lhunpo”. These words of the heart that I cannot say, can I write them exactly? Respected Panchen Rinpoche, you left us for twenty-three years. It has been twenty-three years.

Today, after twenty-three years of missing you in our life, today, after twenty-three years of your death, I send you this letter written with 34 consonants and vowels. I sing you a song in the pure mother tongue. It is understood from your every speech that this is something you must like. Although the path forward is harder than before, there are now more brothers and sisters to walk forward with your lessons engraved in their hearts.

During the twenty-three years that you have been missing from our lives, Mother has been praying and lighting butter lamps and Father sending wishes by making water offerings. In the twenty-three years, they have never stopped making butter lamps and water offerings to you. Although your body left us for twenty-three years, your lessons and teachings have never left us. They will be with us forever.

*The Suffering Song of Wild Animals is a very famous song in Amdo by popular Tibetan singers Palgon and Dubey.


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