Pilgrimage to India

June 26, 2012 by  
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We went to India to celebrate the dedication of the new Shar Gaden temple and along the way, we had an opportunity to walk in the footsteps of thousands of Buddhists who went before us. This journey began on Oct. 23 with three monks and 16 lay students heading to Mumbai, India.

Our first visit was to the Kanheri Caves in the Sanjay Gandhi National Park. These caves were carved out of cliffs as a place for monks to study and practice Buddhism. They date from 1st century BCE to 9th century CE. They were commissioned by royal families, merchants and other segments of the old society to support the monks in their efforts to practice the Dharma.

In the center of some of the caves are large Stupas. Thousands of intricate carvings of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and other Buddhist images cover the walls. As in other cultures, much of the ancient art in India is based on religion. So these caves and their art (sculptures, painting, etc.) and architecture are of interest to many historians.

After a quick plane ride south to Hubli, we stopped at Ven. Kuten Lama’s favorite boyhood restaurant – Ayodhya – for tea. Then we drove through a part of the Indian countryside that few foreigners get to see. Fields of sugar cane, rice and corn lay next to tree-lined roads that took us through the town of Mundgod and to a warm welcome by the Shar Gaden monks.

After we arrived and enjoyed tea, we settled into our rooms. The next day was a “play day” before the official festivities began. We met briefly with Abbot Geshe Losang Phendey and then Kuten Lama took us on a tour of the grounds. Everywhere we went, preparations were underway – hanging flags, putting up banners, hauling boxes of supplies. But there were no apparent concern for the preparations being completed “on time” but just a sense of purpose and excitement.

The celebrations began at 6 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 28. A parade of monks carried pictures of lineage masters with a procession of senior monks and students following. Hundreds of people from all over the world sat with local Tibetans around the perimeter of the temple for prayers. The younger monks sitting near us were very busy watching us most of the time.

What followed were an official ribbon cutting ceremony, a meeting of the Dorje Shugden Religious and Charitable Society and an evening performance by the monks of a monastic debate and traditional dances and songs. Over the course of the next three days, there were an education conference, a Je Tsongkhapa Long Life initiation, invocation and Lama Choepa at Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang’s Labrang and Kangso.

Time at Shar Gaden seemed to go very slowly even though the days were filled with so much activity. We were so completely separate from our everyday lives – no clock to watch, no work to do and meal times announced with a gong – but we also felt right at home. No one wanted to leave. But next on our trip was a visit to Serpom Monastery to the south.

We enjoyed a brief tour of the grounds and had an opportunity to see the new temple that still under construction. After a delicious meal we were on the road again to Mysore. There, we visited Chamundi Hill and the Mysore Palace before going to see Kundeling Rinpoche’s monastery in the heart of the city. An extra day to rest and we were on the road again – north to Bangalore to catch a train that took us to Aurangabad.

There we visited the Ajanta and Ellora caves. Both are UNESCO World Heritage Sites and are undergoing preservation. Ajanta is known for the ancient paintings found on walls, ceiling and pillars. The paintings were not painted directly onto the rock walls. After the surface of the rock was made as smooth as possible with hammer and chisel, the rough surface was coated with a layer of clay and cow dung mixed with rice husks. Then, a topcoat of lime was then applied and polished smooth. Then the paint would be applied. Many of the paintings have been lost, but the few that remained hint at how beautifully decorated the caves once were.

Ancient teachers in this lineage have practiced the same prayers, chants and other rituals that we do today. So, when we had an opportunity to do Lama Choepa in one of the caves, Kuten Lama explained that it was auspicious that we were able to carry on this tradition.

On our second day in Aurangabad, we went to the Ellora caves. This set of caves is a mix of Buddhist, Hindu and Jain religions. There are some features of these caves that are all the same – channels cut into the rock to direct rainwater into large cisterns, windows and holes to let in light and fresh air – but the carvings and ornamentation were all unique.

On our last night in Mumbai before we returned to the United States, we had one last meal of spicy Indian cuisine with Kuten Lama. Sitting around the table talking and laughing, it could have been any meal at any time in any place. But it wasn’t – it was the end of a historic trip that included an important time in our lineage. It was, in a single word, amazing!

—Margo Pierce

Source : www.ganden.org/uploads/news/pdfs/Garuda_Winter2010.pdf


A Tribute to His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche

May 3, 2012 by  
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HH Ling Rinpoche, HH the Dalai Lama and HH Trijang Rinpoche

Whenever we speak of Buddhism, we cannot avoid the names of a few Masters who achieved such tremendous feats that Buddhism will probably not be what it is today without their contribution.

We must start with Siddhartha’s charioteer whose great contribution was to take the Prince on the expedition of The Four Sights (the old man, the sick man, the corpse and the ascetic) to not only make the Prince witness, but also explain what the Prince saw. It was this expedition that awakened Prince Siddhartha to the truth of Samsara. After witnessing the four sights Siddhartha decided to renounce his throne and went on a spiritual journey that eventually saw the rise of The Victorious One.

Later on who can ignore Atisha, who manifested at the critical time when Buddhism and the corresponding human condition was in great decline. The great pandit who established Buddhism firmly in Tibet, Atisha eventually wrote Lamp Of The Path To Enlightenment which was to become the source for the great Pabongkha’s “Liberation In the Palm Of The Hand”.

Even before that, there was Chandrakirti. If Nagajurna whose writings are used as the main source on the teachings of “emptiness” in most Tibetan Monastic colleges, is regarded as a undeniable key figure in Buddhism, then it was Chandrakirti who received all of Nagajurna’s teachings and transmitted them forward in a number of important commentaries and works including the Pransangika Mandyamaka.

The greatness of these names and the significance of their contribution to the Dharma is unparalleled…and what is amazing is that the same mindstream, the same greatness in the Dharma, and the same immeasurable compassion continues to this day.

All the great Masters mentioned are past reincarnations of the illustrious Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang, the principle student of Pabongkha Rinpoche and the Master whom His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama – the emanation of Avaloketeshvara, considers to be his Root Guru. This is not the first time Trijang Rinpoche has performed the function of tutor the Dalai Lama.

In the 17th century, Trijang Rinpoche was the brilliant Zurchen Choying Rangdrol, one of the great 5th Dalai Lama’s principal Masters. And as the 69th Ganden Tripa, Trichen Jangjub Chopel, Trijang Rinpoche taught the 9th Dalai Lama. The great 5th, 9th and 14th Dalai Lamas acquired their knowledge and attainments from Trijang Rinpoche.

Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche divine greatness has been acknowledged by many Tibetan Buddhist Masters including Zong Rinpoche, Lama Yeshe, Geshe Rabten and Geshe Kelsang Gyatso and it is widely accepted that most modern day Masters owe their attainments to Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang, one way or another.

Today, this great mind-stream lives in the form of Choktrul Trijang Rinpoche as the world and all sentient beings wait with hope and anticipation for Trijang Rinpoche to turn the wheel of dharma, as he has done from the time of the Tathagatha, Buddha Shakyamuni.

We wish to share this biography with you so that you might rejoice in the great deeds of this living Buddha whose work to spread the Buddhadharma continues today in the form of Trijang Chocktrul Rinpoche, for whom the world and all sentient beings wait with hope and anticipation for Trijang Rinpoche to turn the wheel of dharma, as he has done from the time of the Tathagatha, Buddha Shakyamuni. May Trijang Rinpoche surpass the heights of his predecessors in the golden age of Buddhadharma.


For more information about this great master, check out these links:

The Third Trijang Rinpoche, Lobzang Yeshe Tendzin Gyatso

Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang

Dalai Lama says Trijang Rinpoche can practise Dorje Shugden


All of us at shugdentoday.com make this virtual offering of a butterlamp to the incomparable master
His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Dorjechang, requesting him to remain for another 1,000 years
to continue turning the wheel of Dharma and benefiting countless beings.



Source: http://www.treasuryoflives.org/biographies/view/Trijang-03-Lobzang-Yeshe-Tendzin-Gyatso/4309

The Third Trijang, Lobzang Yeshe Tendzin Gyatso (khri byang 03 blo bzang ye shes bstan ‘dzin rgya mtsho) was born on March 10, 1901, in Gungtang (gung thang). His mother was Tsering Dolma (tshe ring sgrol ma, d.1956); his father, Tsering Dondrub (tshe ring don sgrub, d.u.), was a descendent of an uncle of the Seventh Dalai Lama, Kelzang Gyatso (bskal bzang rgya mtsho, 1708-1759). Tsering Dondrub had previously been Tsering Dolma’s father-in-law, until they married after the death of his son, Tsering Dolma’s husband. Altogether Tsering Dondrub fathered children with three women, and in each case at least one male child was recognized as a tulku.

As a child he was recognized as the reincarnation of the Second Trijang, Lobzang Tsultrim Pelden (khri byang 02 blo bzang tshul khrims dpal ldan, 1939-1901), who served as the Eighty-fifth Ganden Trichen (dga’ ldan khri pa 85) from 1896 to c. 1899.

After his recognition he was moved to Lhasa in 1904, first to Trijang Labrang (khri byang bla rang) and then to the Chuzang Ritro (chu bzang ri khrod) hermitage of the First Trijang, the sixty-ninth Ganden Tripa, Trichen Jangchub Chopel (dga’ ldan khri pa khri chen byang chub chos ‘phel, 1756-1838). Although the young tulku had been recognized by both the Nechung (gnas chung) and Gadong (dga’ gdong) state mediums, the title was contested by a rival candidate for some time.

It was during these early years that Tendzin Gyatso first met his would-be root guru Pabongkha Dechen Nyingpo (pha bong kha bde chen snying po, 1878-1941). Pabongkha spent a number of years at the hermitage and spent time playing and eating with his young student. He also received teachings from Pabongkha, such as the jenang (rjes gnang) empowerment related to Mañjūśrī, including Dharmarāja, and instructions on how to draw the hearth maṇḍalas for fire rituals.

HH Trijang Rinpoche

Tendzin Gyatso also studied with other teachers in his early youth. When he was eight he received the Kālachakra initiation from the famed yogi Serkong Dorjechang, Ngawang Tsultrim Donden (gser kong rdo rje ‘chang ngag dbang tshul khrims don ldan, 1856-1918). In 1907 he received novice ordination from the fourth Reting Rinpoche, Ngawang Lobzang Yeshe Tenpai Gyeltsen (rwa sgreng rin po che ngag dbang blo bzang ye shes bstan pa’i rgyal mtshan, d.u.).

His life was not without difficulties. When Tendzin Gyatso was five years old, his father took monastic vows, which eventually caused considerable difficulties for the family. His mother and her two other children were evicted from their house by the relatives who had been left to care for her, in a situation which Trijang Rinpoche compares in his autobiography to what happened to Milarepa’s (mi la ras pa, 1040-1123) mother. Tendzin Gyatso himself also often lived on the edges of poverty, at times going without sufficient food. To make things worse, during the brief Chinese occupation of Lhasa, which began in 1910, he contracted a severe case of smallpox. His brother, who also contracted smallpox during this epidemic, died.

When he was fourteen Tendzin Gyatso received numerous empowerments and teachings from Drepung Gomang’s Buldud Tulku Lobzang Yeshe Tenpai Gyeltsen (‘bul sdud sprul sku blo bzang ye shes bstan pa’i rgyal mtshan, d.u.), including those of Vajrabhairava (both Ekavira and Thirteen-Deity), Guhyasamāja Akṣobhyavajra, Luipa’s Sixty-two Deity Heruka Cakrasaṃvara, Ghaṇṭāpa’ Five-Deity Heruka and the initiation of The Great Compassionate One, Avalokiteśvara according to the lineage of Bhikṣuṇī Śrī Lakṣmī (alternatively Śrīmatī, 8th. century).

Most of Tendzin Gyatso’s youth was spent studying. He joined the Dokhang Khamtsen of Ganden Shartse Monastery (dga’ ldan shar rtse rdo khang khams tshan) and was tutored by Geshe Lobzang Tsultrim (dge bshes blo bzang tshul khrims, d. 1936). After concluding his study of the five topics of Pramāṇa, Mādhyamaka, Prajñāpāramitā, Vinaya and Abhidharma, in 1919 he received the Geshe Lharampa (dge shes lha rams pa) degree as well as full bhikṣu ordination from the Thirteenth Dalai Lama Tubten Gyatso (ta la’i bla ma 13 thub bstan rgya mtsho, 1876-1933). After this he entered Gyuto Monastery to engage in a detailed study of the tantras. When he turned twenty-one, at Chuzang, he received from Pabongkha the jenang of the Mañjūśrī cycle again, as well as the Thirteen Golden Dharmas of the Sakyapas. He also received the four initiations into the sindhura maṇḍala of Vajrayogīni Naro Kechari, together with commentaries on the generation and completion stages, as well as the Thirteen Pure Visions of Takpu (stag phu’i dag snang bchu gsum), including Cittamaṇi Tārā. Furthermore he received other teachings associated with the Ganden Nyengyu (dga’ ldan snyan rgyud), such as the Geluk Mahāmudrā and the First Panchen Lama Lobzang Chokyi Gyeltsen’s (pan chen bla ma 01 blo bzang chos kyi rgyal mtshan, 1570-1662) Guru Puja (bla ma mchod pa).

Meeting with HH the Pope

Tendzin Gyatso was Pabongkha’s closest student, the one to whom he passed all of his lineages. In his autobiography Trijang Rinpoche notes that during his time at Gyuto he would often travel to wherever Pabongkha was teaching to receive instruction and that he would spend his free time meditating on the Lamrim and completing the approximation retreats (las rung) of deities such as Vajrayoginī, Vajrabhairava Ekavira, Ghaṇṭāpa’s Five-Deity Heruka, Secret Hayagrīva and Bhikṣuṇī Śrī Lakṣmī’s Avalokiteśvara cycle. Each of these deities features prominently in Trijang Rinpoche’s writings. He also received the lineage of the Kadam Lekbam (bka’ gdams glegs bam) from Pabongkha.

From Pabongkha Tendzin Gyatso also received teachings and transmission for the deity Dorje Shugden (rdo rje shugs ldan), which was the main protector practice emphasized by Pabongkha. Trijang Rinpoche never spoke out publicly on the controversy that erupted over the worship of Dorje Shugden in the later half of the 1970s due to the Dalai Lama’s disapproval of the practice; instead he instructed his students to keep faith in both the Dalai Lama and Dorje Shugden.

HH Trijang Chocktrul Rinpoche meeting Lama Gangchen Rinpoche and Lama Michel

After completing his education Tendzin Gyatso travelled throughout Tibet, including a visit to Kham. By this time he was already giving teachings, oral transmissions and empowerments, including those of Heruka, Vajrayoginī and Guhyasamāja. One of his earliest teachings took place when he was twenty-four. At the request of Geshe Yonten (dge shes yon tan, d.u.) of Ganden Shartse’s Dokhang Khamtsen, he gave the oral transmission of the collected works of Tsongkhapa and his main two students (rje yab sras gsum gyi gsung ‘bum) to about two hundred monks.

Tendzin Gyatso visited India and Nepal in 1939, passing through Dungkar Monastery in the Chumbi Valley (gro mo lung), where he bestowed the empowerments of Guhyasamāja, Heruka Cakrasaṃvara, Vajrabhairava and others. Although the majority of his teaching activities were associated to the Geluk tradition, there are exceptions. When he was twenty-eight years old, for example, during a stay in Chatreng (cha phreng), Kham, he gave the jenang for the peaceful and wrathful forms of Padmasambhava and other Nyingma empowerments. Interestingly, later on in India, in 1965, he also gave the Fourteenth Dalai Lama the oral transmissions for two treasures of the Nyingma terton (gter ston) Chokgyur Lingpa (mchog gyur gling pa, 1829-1870), the Barche Lamsel (bar chad lam sel) and Sampa Lhundrub (bsam pa lhun ‘grub).

After the passing of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama in 1933, Tendzin Gyatso played an important role in the construction and enshrining of the Dalai Lama’s remains inside a golden stupa in the Potala Palace. In his autobiography he recounts how he visited the Potala every day for year in order to perform the necessary offerings and rituals.

Following the discovery and selection of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, Tendzin Gyatso (ta la’i bla ma 14 bstan ‘dzin rgya mtsho, b.1935), in 1941 Trijang Rinpoche was appointed as his assistant tutor, and, in 1953, as his junior tutor, or yongdzin (yongs ‘dzin), teaching him grammar and spelling. It was also in 1941 that Pabongkha Dechen Nyingpo passed away.

HH Trijang Rinpoche on his throne

Trijang Rinpoche’s Collected Works (yongs ‘dzin khri byang rin po che’i gsung ‘bum) comprise eight volumes. Famous examples of his work include a condensed sādhāna of the Heruka Body Maṇḍala, a gaṅacakra offering text of Heruka and a sādhāna of Cintacakra White Tārā. A comprehensive collection of ritual texts associated with Dorje Shugden which Pabongka Rinpoche asked Trijang Rinpoche to complete entitled “Music Delighting an Ocean of Oath-Bound Protectors” (dam can rgya mtsho dges pa’i rol mo), comprises a whole volume of his Collected Works (volume five, ca). The second volume (kha), further includes a number of essential ritual texts associated with the cycle of Cittamaṇi Tārā such as a four maṇḍala offering text, a gaṅacakra ritual, and a pacifying fire ritual text. Another important example of his writing includes the lyrics of the Tibetan National Anthem (bod rgyal khab chen po’i rgyal glu).

Trijang Rinpoche’s most famous work is undoubtedly Liberation in the Pelm of the Hand (rnam grol lag bcangs) a Lamrim text based on notes taken over twenty-four days during Pabongkha’s 1921 Lamrim teachings at Chuzang, which intertwined the Swift Path (myur lam) and Mañjūśrī’s Own Speech (jam dpal zhal lung) Lamrim systems along with the instructions on the Seven-Point Mind Training (blo sbyong don bdun ma).

During the turbulent years following the Communist Chinese takeover of Tibet in 1949, Trijang Rinpoche stayed close to the Dalai Lama. In 1954, he accompanied the Dalai Lama to Beijing on the ill-fated meeting with Mao Tsedong, and, in 1959, he went into exile with him to India.

In India Trijang Rinpoche continued teaching and travelling throughout the Tibetan communities such as Buxa, Dalhousie and later in the Karnataka settlements. Ganden Monastery was re-established in Lama Camp no.1 in Mundgod, and a residence, Trijang Labrang was established there for his use. Apart from teaching to the assemblies of Ganden, Sera and Drepung, Trijang Rinpoche also regularly taught in Bodh Gaya and Dharamsala. During the late 1960s and early 1970s he frequently met with Ling Rinpoche Tubten Lungtok Tendzin Trinle (gling rin po che thub bstan lung rtogs bstan ‘dzin ‘phrin las, 1903-1983), the Dalai Lama’s senior tutor, in order to exchange teachings and empowerments.

Trijang Rinpoche travelled widely internationally, teaching and giving empowerments in countries such as the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Switzerland, amongst others. In 1966 Trijang Rinpoche performed the site blessing ritual (sa chog) for the Tibet-Institut in Rikon. Later, in 1968, he consecrated the building together with Ling Rinpoche. During this 1966 trip to Europe, a delegation which included Trijang Rinpoche also met with Pope Paul VI (1897-1978, r. 1963-1978) in the Vatican, following the instructions of the Dalai Lama.

Trijang Rinpoche’s most famous students and lineage holders include figures such as the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, Zong Lobzang Tsondru Tubten Gyeltsen (zong blo bzang brtson ‘grus thub bstan rgyal mtshan, 1905-1984), Loden Sherab Dagyab (blo ldan shes rab brag gyab, b.1940), Dakpo Lama Jampa Gyatso (dwags po bla ma byams pa rgya mtsho, b.1932), Denma Locho (ldan ma blo chos, b.1927), Gelek Rinpoche (dge legs rin po che, b.1939), Geshe Rabten (dge bshes rab brtan, 1920-1986) and Lama Yeshe (bla ma ye shes, 1935–1984), all of whom were instrumental in diffusing the Geluk teachings internationally.

Trijang Rinpoche passed away on November 9, 1981.

Another view of His Holiness Trijang Rinpoche meeting with His Holiness the Pope

His Holiness Trijang Rinpoche (centre), junior tutor of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, sits with His Holiness Ling Rinpoche (left), senior tutor of the Dalai Lama, and his own student His Holiness Zong Rinpoche (right)

Rare Video Footage of the Previous and the Current Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang

July 25, 2009 by  
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Part1 Part2 Part3 Part4 Part5 Part6 Part7

May we receive the vast reservoir of blessings from this illustrious master, perfect lineage holder
and heart disciple of Je Pabongkha.


His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang Chants the Prayer of Dorje Shugden

July 25, 2009 by  
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View the original video on YouTube:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8cpn5TAzoI

Watch and listen to the holy chant of Trijang Rinpoche. May our minds be blessed by this
holy master.