(Speech by David Spiekerman as offered to the Sakya Monastery Sangha on May 5, 2019)
Good morning! On behalf of H.H. Sakya Dagchen Dorje Chang, the Sakya family, and Sakya Monastery of Tibetan Buddhism, I would like to welcome all of you to our birthday celebration for H.E. Khondung Asanga Vajra Rinpoche, the grandson of H.H. Sakya Dagchen Dorje Chang and HE Dagmo Kusho. In our world of 7.7 billion people, our being in the spiritual family of a rare and precious Sakya lineage holder, HE Khondung Asanga Vajra Rinpoche, is a testament to the accumulation of merit and wisdom of all of you. Please protect your virtue by practicing loving kindness and compassion at all times, and the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will protect you.
H.E. Khondung Asanga Vajra Rinpoche turned 20 years old according to the western calendar on May 1st. According to the Tibetan calendar, he would be a year older. Rinpoche celebrated his birthday by giving a long-life initiation as requested by the tutors and students of the Sapan College of Five Sciences and the Sakya College for Nuns in Manduwalla, Dehradun, India. This was followed by mandala offerings to Rinpoche by H.E. Luding Khen Rinpoche, H.E. Khangsar Khen Rinpoche, Her Eminence Gyalyum Kaldan-la, the Sakya Representative in the Tibetan parliament, and representatives from the all the major Sakya monasteries in Dehradun.
Following the morning ceremonies, all the dignitaries, monks, and nuns were invited to an elaborate vegetarian lunch hosted by Asanga Rinpoche’s staff. In the evening, Rinpoche and his classmates along with the nuns of the Sakya College for Nuns planted many beautiful flowers and plants in the courtyard of Rinpoche’s residence in Dehradun.
Rinpoche’s birthday also was celebrated with tradition and festivities both at the Guru Sakya Monastery in Darjeeling, which is Asanga Rinpoche’s official seat in northern India, as well as by his students worldwide.
On May 3rd, Asanga Rinpoche and his entourage of tutors and classmates left Dehradun for their annual trip for the cooler climates of Manali in northern India where they will spend their summer studying.
Asanga Rinpoche will visit Seattle briefly for the three day North America Sakya Monlam for World Peace to be held between July 12-14th.
And finally, I would like to re-cap briefly the auspicious events that occurred in Vietnam during the first week of January 2019.
On January 2nd, Asanga Vajra Rinpoche arrived at the Long Tho Cremation Park/ Sakya-Vietnam Center site. Over 5 days he led his Instatement Ceremony as the Head Lama of the Sakya Vietnam Center, bestowed a Chenrezi and Mahamudra initiation, oversaw the auspicious installation and consecration of H.H. Sakya Dagchen Dorje Chang’s holy relics into the Parinirvana Stupa, and offered several fire pujas to benefit the deceased and to remove obstacles.
Happy Birthday Asanga Vajra Rinpoche! We are grateful for all of your splendid Dharma activities motivated by your excellent bodhicitta for the benefit of all sentient beings.