THUPTEN RINPOCHE'S ACCOMPLISHMENTSTHUPTEN RINPOCHE'S NEW TEMPLE IS COMPLETED-- Thupsung Dhargye Ling
In Arunachal Pradesh, northeast India
Opening ceremonies took place on April 5-7, 2017 presided over by His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama. Events included teachings from His Holiness, a Chenrezig (Buddha of Compassion) empowerment and The National Seminar on Buddhism and the People of the Himalayan Regions.
His Holiness, the Dalai Lama during the teachings holds up a prayer book which was compiled and published by our Center in Los Angeles, Chokhor Gepel Ling.
As Tibetan culture becomes ever more endangered in its places of origin, it becomes critical to preserve and protect all regions of indigenous Tibetan identity. The area where this temple is located, on the south side of the eastern Himalayas, is home to an ethnic group that is of culturally Tibetan origin, speaking a unique dialect of Tibetan language and having lived in the area for hundreds of years. Strengthening this legacy is one of the missions of this temple, as well as to provide a hub for Tibetan religion and culture along the southern section of the Himalayan range (now in India).
The temple brings opportunities for culture, literacy and health to local people of all ages. In addition it offers retreat space and learning situations for overseas students of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.
The site’s hilltop land was acquired in 2007 and construction of the temple started in 2009. Formal consecration took place April 5, 2017. For more info about Thupsung Dhargye Ling Temple please visit http://www.thupsung-dhargye-ling.org/index.html.
KALACHAKRA 2012 Bodhgaya, India, conferred by His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama.
(Photo courtesy of: Tenzin Choejor, Official Photographer of His Holiness the Dalai Lama)
Over 250,000 people attended from all over the world.
(Photo: Tenzin Choejor)
There was a massive tent to house the event outdoors and many logistical challenges such as adequate broadcasting of the Dalai Lama’s lectures, translations into 22 languages, staging, security, religious rituals, lodgings, medical clinics, adequate clean water and portable sanitary facilities, to name just a few. Thupten Rinpoche was on the executive organizing committee for the event.
(Photo: Tenzin Choejor)
Kalachakra is a Sanskrit word meaning “Time Wheel”. It is called an initiation because the teacher (HH Dalai Lama) confers an “empowerment” enabling the religious student to engage in that particular Buddhist practice (involving specific meditations and visualizations) so as to progress along the spiritual path towards liberation from suffering (enlightenment).
However, most people who attend the Kalachakra receive it as a blessing rather than as a religious commitment. It is traditional for the Kalachakra to be staged as large public events for the purpose of generating strong energy for world peace within each person and within the larger group. In that way, the “Time Wheel” becomes a vehicle for universal qualities beneficial to our planet and all beings.
As explained on the event's official site (www.kalachakra2012.com), “…much in the Kalachakra tradition revolves around the concept of time and cycles; from the cycles of the planets, to the cycles of our breath and the practice of controlling the most subtle energies within one's body on the path to enlightenment.”
TANTRIC GESHE DEGREE
at Gaden Jangtse Monastery in Mundgod, south India
Thupten Rinpoche became a novice monk at age 11. In 1992 he received his first Geshe degree, based on study of the sutra teachings of the Buddha and the Buddhist philosophical tenets. The learning, rigorous study and monastic-style debate typically take 20-25 years to complete. The Tibetan Buddhist Geshe degree is often compared with a western PhD degree.
Monks that complete the first (sutra) Geshe degree mentioned above then have the opportunity to continue their studies and eventually obtain the Tantric Geshe Degree, based on the tantric, or esoteric body of knowledge related to the Buddha’s teachings. The tantric practices are about ways to transform ordinary qualities into the manifestations of enlightenment within one’s own energy field.
Receiving the Tantric Geshe degree is a major honor and milestone within the monastic system. Only two monks at Gaden Jangtse have the chance to receive this degree each year, and many wait for years before their turn comes.
The formal ceremonies for Thupten Rinpoche’s Tantric Geshe degree took place during the month of August 2011, as part of the monastery’s annual summer retreat. Rinpoche had to spend hours each day reciting memorized texts and answering questions in formal monastic-style debate.
Rinpoche made numerous offerings of ritual items to the monks in his own monastery as well as at surrounding institutions in the Tibetan settlement.