Birthday Speech for H.H. Jigdal Dagchen Sakya

by David Spiekerman

To celebrate today the birthday of HHJDS is to acknowledge that we here are fortunate to know him as our true spiritual true friend.  HHJDS is that rare and precious being who nurtures our trust so that we can discern for ourselves, like Manjushri, the truth of our nature and of the impediments blocking our experience of liberation.

Each of us can count on one hand the number of friends that we can trust to always tell us the true truth.  Our friendships generally are based on emotional affinities and common interests and values that happen as a result of our circumstances.  In our lives, we have had many “fair weather” friends and friends that we out grow.  However, with HHJDS, we have carefully and consciously chosen to admit him into our lives so that we can learn to be free of fear and to be happy serving others.

We recognize HHJDs as a being who with his pristine activities and qualities accesses the universal mind.  In our friendly exchanges with him, he reflects back to us the nature of reality.  And he has the power to help us dispel, like Vajrapani, the demons dancing a war dance around our egos, scaring us to death and demanding complete loyalty.

In our service to HHJDS if we are diligent, faithful, and patient, we learn to model our behavior after his Vajrasattva like integrity.  He has taught us what the great sages of India discovered.  That is that we can rewire our brains when we devote ourselves to a guru that we can trust as a true spiritual true friend.

HHJDS, like Chenrezi, has tirelessly and kindly guided us through the beguiling and sticky morass of samsara to reveal to us the diamond like quality of the Dharma. When we truly trust the meaning of the Dharma and unequivocally incorporate its truth into our behavior, consciousness, and practice, we experience our defilements and delusions disappearing into emptiness.  HHJDS has taught us that the Dharma, the precious teachings of Lord Buddha that have been tested and revealed for over 2500 years by great spiritual masters, is a faithful spiritual friend as well.

Although birth is considered one of the imperfections of samsara,  HHJDS, through his vast spiritual activities and faithful devotion to the Buddhadharma, has transformed the “fault” of birth into a jewel.  Fortunately, his birth made it possible for the brilliance of his being to shine into our hearts and motivate us to become bodhisattvas.

Happy Birthday Rinpoche.