by Trinly Gyatso
Long time student of His Holiness Jigdal Dagchen Sakya aka Dagchen Rinpoche, Tho Luu generously and devotedly sponsored three days of traditional prayers and meals for Dagchen Rinpoche’s, long life.
On June 1st and 2nd 2012, the lamas and monks of Sakya Monastery participated in two days of Drokor Yeshin Korlo pujas ( White Tara long life prayer service) and prayers of the Three Long Life Deities for the longevity of our revered Head Lama, Dagchen Rinpoche. The pujas were led by Ven. Khenpo Jampa, whose official title for that occasion was of “Dorje Lopon” (leader). The religious chants led by Dorje Lopon Khenpo Jampa were supported by Her Eminence Dagmo Kusho, Ven. Tulku Yeshi, Lama Migmar, and Lama Lekshey. The following day, June 2nd, Lama Lungrik from Nalanda Institute, Olympia, joined the Tibetan sangha.
While the lamas chanted in Tibetan, Monastery students and guest Vidya Gauci, representative from the Tara Ling, Santa Barbara (founded by Dagmo Kusho), participated by reciting in English the Three Long Life Deities prayer, Aspiration of Samantabhadra, and
Dagchen Rinpoche’s long life prayer.
Friday’s and Saturday’s pujas were graced with snacks, vegetarian lunches, and Tibetan tea prepared by Tsering Drolkar and Tsering Tsechoe— repasts to please even unfamiliar palates. Superb! Thank you so much, Ladies!
Sunday morning brought everyone (Sakya Phuntsok Phodrang family, members and friends) together at 8:30am for the final recitation of Drokar Yeshin Korlo. When those prayers were completed, His Holiness arrived and Sunday’s early prayers segued into a Tenshu (mandala long life offering prayers). When His Holiness arrived, prayer flags waved gently in the cool morning breeze. Sakya Monastery Lamas, Board members, students and friends devotedly and respectfully greeted Dagchen Rinpoche offering him long white khatags.
The Tenshu program began with Ven. Tulku Yeshi giving a brief biography of His Holiness. Ven. Khenpo Jampa then spoke in Tibetan. Following their talks, eight processions of mandalas were offered to His Holiness.
The first mandala and two sets of auspicious offerings were presented to His Holiness by the Sakya Phuntsok Phodrang Family. The Sakya Khondungs (sons) : Minzu Rinpoche, Ani Rinpoche, Mati Rinpoche, Zaya Rinpoche, Sadu Rinpoche and Ananda Rinpoche made the mandala offerings. Other Sakya family members made offerings of the Eight Auspicious Symbols: Parasol, Twin Fish, Treasure Vase, Lotus, Conch Shell, Eternal Knot, Victory Banner, Dharma Wheel, and the Seven Royal Emblems: Precious Wheel, Precious Jewels, King, Queen, Ministers, Precious Elephants, Precious Horse.
Subsequently, the following groups offered mandalas to His Holiness: Sakya Monastery; Virupa Educational Institute; Sakya Nalanda Institute (Olympia); Earth Sanctuary (Whidbey Is);
Tara Ling (Santa Barbara, CA); and the Tibetan Association of Washington /Tibetan Youth Congress. Lastly, sangha members and friends offered their good wishes and khatags.
At the conclusion of the mandala offering ceremony, Dorje Lopon Khenpo Jampa asked His Holiness Ngawang Kunga Sonam Jigdal Dagchen Sakya to stay with us longer— His Holiness Dagchen Rinpoche replied he would accept the request so long as he was able to continue to share the Buddha Dharma!
Just prior to the final concluding prayers, numerous musical performances were offered to Dagchen Rinpoche. Members of the Tibetan Association of Washington/Children’s Tibetan Language class dressed in traditional attire, played traditional Tibetan stringed instruments (one like a xylophone and another like a shamisen) and sang some traditional songs. Sonam Yangsom and Sonam Tsesom (both age 7) sang traditional Tibetan songs and the Children’s Dharma School sang “Sakyapa Kheno” honoring His Holiness. They were followed by Tseringkyi, who sang a traditional Praises of Sakya Lamas song. Metta Mayes age 7 offered a violin piece for His Holiness.
After the concluding prayers, we enjoyed a sumptuous lunch together and more performances were offered: Nyima Choedrak sang traditional songs and Wangdu-la age 11 played a violin piece. Outside the morning clouds dissipated allowing for warm sunshine. It was a beautiful poetic ending—some members enjoyed their noon meal amongst the blossoms of spring.
Lha Gyalo!!! Long live H.H. Dagchen Rinpoche!
(note: photos courtesy Khenpo Jampa Tenphel and Tashi Paljor)