By Stephanie Prince
We were very happy and honored to have His Eminence Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche visit Sakya Monastery on June 27, 2011. We were a large assembly to greet him. H.E. Khyentse Rinpoche expressed his delight to be at Sakya Monastery.
H.E. Khyentse Rinpoche bestowed upon us the oral transmission of the Aspiration of Samantabhadra, which is one of the most devotional prayers recited regularly by members of Sakya Monastery under the guidance of His Holiness Jigdal Dagchen Rinpoche. Additionally, Khyentse Rinpoche gave us a brief explanation of the deep importance of the sevenfold branches found at the beginning of the Aspiration: taking refuge with prostrations, confession, rejoicing in the happiness of others, making offerings, requesting that the buddhas continue to turn the wheel of Dharma, beseeching that they remain for the benefit of all sentient beings, and dedication for the benefit of all beings.
He clarified for us the difference between Samantabhadra, the Bodhisattva, and the Samantabhadra who is the Primordial Buddha (in the Tibetan Nyingma tradition). He also related a memory from his youth when he was instructed to pay respect and homage to one of the Sakya Dhungseys (lineage holder) who was visiting the monastery where Khyentse Rinpoche was living and studying. He told how very revered and important are all members of the Sakya Khon family.
At the conclusion of the Dharma teaching, dedication prayers were recited and katags were offered. Khyentse Rinpoche specifically dedicated merit to H.H. Dagchen Rinpoche, praying for his long life. We disciples, in the traditional manner, requested three times for Khyentse Rinpoche to return to Sakya Monastery.
Mandala offerings were made to Khyentse Rinpoche first by the Sakya Phuntsok Phodrang family and then by the Sakya Monastery Board of Advisors. H.H. Dagchen Rinpoche then arrived at the Monastery and Khyentse Rinpoche offered a mandala to this senior-most member of the Sakya Khon lineage. It was a rare and auspicious opportunity for us to behold these two great masters of the Sakya tradition performing the activities of enlightenment in each other’s presence.