Und seine Inthronisation im
Kloster Tabo in Spiti.
A video document by
German, 1988, 120 minutes
On the 27th of August 1983 one of the Most influential teachers
of Tibetan buddhism, of its iconography, of the oracles' education,
of the calacakra ritual and of philosophical disputes,
the Tsenshap Serkong Rinpoche, debate master of H. H. the XIV. Dalai Lama,
and his lifelong close companion since Lhasa times,
passed away at the village of Khibber in the secluded country of Spiti.
This high plain desert country, situated in the most eastern corner of
Himachal Pradesh, only a few days walk distant from Guge,
and Tholing, if there were not the Chinese border now,
is hard to get to, because it is enclosed by high mountain passes
and cut off by political restrictions.
Serkong Rinpoche died practicing the tantric ritual "donglen", contracting
suffering, illness, danger or death off somebody else.
1988 his rebirth had been found and in September the five year old
was ordained as a monk and enthroned as a tulku
in a three days long series of ceremonies.
This film draws a picture of the late Serkong's life,
his exttaordinary death, connected with miracles"
ea the inhabitants of the 4200 hundred meter high village experienced them.
lt introduces us to the young ordinary looking "good for nothing" boy,
a few days before the enthronement, at his patents farm house.
We accompany him through the long night of his hair cutting ceremony,
the enrobing into monk's cloths and
an the road to the 1000 year old monastery of Tabo, where hundreds
of people and monks await him at daybreak.
It pictures the "chams" and peoples' dances and rituals,
while he is patiently blessing innumerable ones,
who worship his incarnated high consciousness.
Finally at the third day, three oracles go into trance,
one with a dagger through his cheeks,
and ohe predicts Serkong Rinpoche the future.
This is the only authentic documentary, of a series of
humble, dignified events, (as humble as the previous Serkong, was) .
The film is not only of high historic and philosophical value,
but also, since seen through the eyes of an artist,
an exiting and touching experience.
It could not have been done without the active help and full sympathy
of Tabo's abbot Sonam Wangdu, the monk body
and especially the initiative of Serkong's junior attendant Ngawang
and the precious notions of Rinpoches close student for many years
and his translator an travels abroad, Dr. Alexander Berzin,
and through the hardships ridden team of my
International Thang-stong rgyal-po Expedition
Padma Wangyal, Marek Kalmus and Waldemar Czechowski.
There is other than a German version a Tibetan one.
We like to return the knowledge and experiences to the world they stem from.
(The film is free of any western fictitious ideas, utopias or dreams,
and of political power plays, which, as history proves, even nowadays, may
try to interfere into not only high lamas findings of reincarnations.)