H.H Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoches’s Activities in Nepal.
By Konchog Tendzin.
His Holiness Dilgo Khyense Rinpoche (1910-1991) was born in the valley of Denma in the eastern Tibetan province of Kham. At birth he was blessed by Lama Mipham, who was Manjushri in human form. In his youth he met and studied with over fifty great teachers, especially with his main spiritual masters shechen Gyaltsab Rinpoche and Dzongsar Khyenst Chokyi Lobro. He spent many years in solitary hermitages and caves where his spiritual realization and knowledge became as vast as the sky. After receiving from Dzongsar Khyentse Chokyi Lodro the initiations of the Rinchen Terdzo (the Collection of Revealed Treasures), His Holiness told his Guru that he wished to spend the rest of his life in solitary meditation. But Khyentse Chokyi Lodro’s answer was: “ the time has come for you to teach and transmit to others the countless precious teachings you have received.” Since then Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche worked constantly with tireless energy for the benefit of beings.
In Nepal especially, he transplanted the rich Shechen tradition of the Nyingmapa School to a new home- a magnificent monastery in front of the great stupa of Bodhanath. This monastery houses a large community of monks, many of whom come from the high mountain areas of Nepal, led by their abbot Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche. It was Khyentse Rinpoche’s particular wish that this should be a place where the Buddhist teachings are continued in their pristine purity, just as they were previously studied and practiced in Tibet, and he invested enormous care in the education of the prominent young lamas capable of continuing the tradition. Rinpoche has stated that building stupas and monasteries in sacred places, such as Bodhnath, helps averting wars, disease and famine, promotes harmony and peace, and furthers Buddhist values and practice.
Several enlightened saints, including the great master Chogyur Dechen Lingpa (1829-1870) and Khyentse Chokyi Lodro (1993-1959) prophecied that if a monastery of the Nyingma tradition was built near the Bodhnath stupa, boundless benefit would ensue for the Buddha Dhadrma and for all beings.
The construction of Shechen Tennyi Dargyeling Monastery began in 1980. In order to establish perfect and auspicious connections, Trulshik Rinpoche, together with Tranghu Rinpoche, Trarig Rinpoche, Dabzsang Rinpoche, Tulku Chokyi Nyima and many others performed a confession ceremony of good omen. His holiness himself blessed the ground and performed a pacifying fire
ceremony. The main temple was well planned and of beautiful appearance. The roof was surmounted with a golden pinnacle. On the four corners golden banners of victory were placed, with a golden Dharma Wheel flanked by two deers in the front, glimmering their light to all horizons.
During ten years more than fifty artists, sculptors, painters, goldsmiths, tailors, etc…completed
Over three hundred statues, frescoes covering the walls of the main temples, a hundred and fifty masks and ceremonial robes used during sacred dances, and numerous art works of gilded copper.
Inside the great temple the main sacred image is the statue of Lord Buddha Shakyamuni, the compassionate sun of the Three Jewels in this decadent age. To his right is the past Buddha Kashyapa, to his left the future Buddha Maitreya. These images, which grant liberation by sight, are fifteen feet high. In the main temple there is also a life-size statue of Minling Terchen Terdak Lingpa (1646-1714) the founder of Mindroling Monastery and the great chariot- leader of the Nyingma tradition. The frescoes on the vast walls were drawn on the bassis of varoous visions which the all- knowing Jamyanag Khyentse Wangpo had of the teachers of various lineages of Buddhst teachings. On the third floor is large library in which countless rare manuscripts and newly printed texts are preserved. Behind the main temple, on the north side of the monastery is an another temple with a wondrous seventeen-foot high statue of Guru padmasambhava surrounded by the Five Thodrengtsal, the Eight Manifestatopm the Eight Vidyadharas and the Twenty- five Disciples.
All these statues have been thoroughly filled with sacred relics of the past saints and Buddhas, as well as with hundreds of millions of mantras. The life tress in these statues have been brought from various holy places, over a hundred consecration rituals were performed to bless all these sacred objects. Making them worthy object of veneration and prayers for all, and dedication them to the prosperity of the Buddha Dharma and the welfare of all beings, As the Dharma King longchen Rabjam said:
“The images of the Buddhas are man- made emanations permeated with the Buddhas’s blessings They are worthy of offerings, and no other material objects can match them. So have faith in the Buddhas’ images.”
Regular yearly, monthly, and daily ceremonies are held in the monastery, including several elaborate Mahasadhana (Drupchen) that last for nine days and nine nights without interruption A sacred dance festival is performed every year during the first month of the lunar calendar.
On many occasions H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche set in motion th Wheel of Dharma in theis monastery, which became his main seat, Among the precious teachings that he bestowed in Nepal upon hundreds of incarnate Lamas and thousands of disciples, one may mention the Revealed Spiritual Treasures of Chogyur Lingpa (1829-1870), those of Jatshon Nyingpo (1985-1656), the Four Heart Essences of Kunkhyen Longchen Rabjam (1308-1363), the Mind Treasures of Rigdzin Jime Lingpa (1729-1798), of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo (1820-1892, the first Khyenhtse Rinpoche,) the collected Writings of Jamgon Kongtrul (1813-1899), those of Shechen Gyaltsap Rinpoche (1871-1926), and many others.
In addition to these major occasions that used to draw large crowds of disciples, His Holiness would constantly teach, day and night, Whoever needed spiritual guidance and advice.
Hi was also an exemplary exponent of Tibet’s non- sectarian movement and was renowned for his ability to transmit the teachings of each Buddhist lineage accruing to its own tradition. As such he was venerated by the four major Tibetan schools. His Holiness the Dalai Lama regarded Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche as his principal master in the Nyingma tradition.
His Holiness also founded a monastic college for advanced Buddhist studies, which will take over thirty students thorough as nine year course. A Buddhist elementary school also shelters fifty young monks.
After the systematic destruction of books and libraries in Tibet, many works existed in only one or two copy. His Holiness was involved for many years in publishing as much of Tibet’s extraordinary heritage of Buddhist teachings as possible, over three hundred volumes altogether.
His Holiness himself composed numerous meditation texts. Commentaries and poems filling over fifteen volumes, He was also a Terton, a discoverer of spiritual treasures whose visionary revelations bring Guru Padmasambhava’s profound oral pith- instructions directly to us.
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