It is not easy to know where to start when trying to describe someone like Chadral Rinpoche. Imagine a Master, 98 years of age. 98 years of life experience! He is like a living, walking, breathing encyclopaedia of knowledge.
His areas of expertise cover fields from astrology and medicine right through to such mundane things as construction and masonry.
In his younger years he walked the length and breadth of Tibet in the days well before Chinese occupation and he did so in the simplest possible way, with little more than a flimsy tent, a pot for boiling water, a few bricks of tea, dried cheese and tsampa (barely flour).
All i can really do is bow down in wonder and recall some of the multitude of memories that come to mind and that so beautifully reflect the many facets of this amazing being.
One morning Rinpoche, me and Rinpoche's daughter Tara Deva, were strolling about inside his temple compound at Salbari near Siliguri in West Bengal. Rinpoche was stretching his legs and looking over some small construction jobs that were going on, when he suddenly turned to the gate and strode out towards the main road mentioning, almost as an after thought, in his deep, booming voice that we would go and purchase such and such building materials from the market.
We had no time to grab a bag, or any money, nothing.
When Rinpoche got an idea, he would just act on it spontaneously in that very moment. Everything would happen around him in this way and could be very stressful for those of us who were attending him at any given time. One had to be constantly prepared for any possible eventuality!
Read on in Masters, Mice and Men