By Adrienne Chan, May 2019
Worldwide memorial ceremonies were held in honor of H.H. Jigdal Dagchen Dorje Chang’s parinirvana. Often in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, more emphasis is placed on a Lama’s parinirvana than their birth. The reasons for commemorating a Lama’s passing are twofold: 1) disciples are celebrating the guru’s lifetime accomplishments, and 2) they are supplicating for the Lama’s rebirth to benefit all beings. This year, 2019, is the third anniversary of His Holiness Jigdal Dagchen Dorje Chang’s parirnirvana. Memorial events were held by devotees all over the world including: Seattle, India, Nepal, Taiwan, Hong Kong, New York and Hawaii.
For the Royal Sakya Phuntsok Phodrang Family and Sakya Monastery, year 2019 is auspicious because it marks a time when many of H.H. Dagchen Dorje Chang’s wishes have been or are being realized:
1) Consecration of two life-size statues of H.H. Jigdal Dagchen Dorje Chang, Sakya Monastery, Seattle
2) Consecration of the H.H. Dagchen Dorje Chang memorial stupa in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
3) Completion of life size statues of H.H. Jigdal Dagchen Dorje Chang in Tibet, Hong Kong, China, Nepal and India
4) Completion of H.H. Dagchen Dorje Chang’s book, “The Life and Legacy of H.H. Jigdal Dagchen Sakya”.
5) Completion of Holy tsa tsas (relics made from blessed ashes and bones of H.H. Dagchen Dorje Chang)
6) Beginning of the construction of Sakya Monastery in Jaigon, India
7) Hosting the Monlam Festival for Peace in Seattle, July 12-14, 2019
H.H. Dagchen Dorje Chang’s parinirvana was on April 29, 2016 according to the western calendar or the 3rd month 22nd day of the Tibetan lunar calendar.
Hence, we honored the above milestones by celebrating H.H. Dagchen Dorje Chang’s memorial on two occasions: April 29, 2019 (western calendar date) and May 25 (lunar calendar date)-May 27, 2019. For both ritual ceremonies, the center of reverence was a domed, encased 4-inch holy tsa tsa relic of H.H. Dagchen Dorje Chang.
The April 29th memorial to our beloved Guru was led by Omze, Ven. Khenpo Jampa, Lama Migmar, Lama Kelsang, Gen Tashi Nyima, Lama Norbu and Ven. Lekshey. The Guru Devotion practice was recited in the morning and afternoon. At the conclusion of the afternoon practice, an auspicious photo of the 35 Buddhas signed by H.H. Dagchen Dorje Chang was distributed to all.
From May 25-27, 2019, the Chenrezi Drup Choe practice was recited for 3 days to honor H.H. Dagchen Dorje Chang. Prayers were led in Tibetan by Dorje Lopon Khenpo Jampa. The ordained who assisted were Ven. Tulku Yeshi, Lama Migmar, Lama Kelsang, Gen Tashi Nyima, Lama Norbu and Lama Thupten Dhargye. In attendance also were H.H. Dagchen Dorje Chang’s devoted wife H.E. Dagmo Kusho, their five sons: Khondung Minzu Rinpoche, Khondung Ani Rinpoche, Khondung Mati Rinpoche, Khondung Zaya Rinpoche and Khondung Sadu Rinpoche and members of the Dungseys’ Seattle families. H.H. Dagchen Dorje Chang’s sisters, Jetsun Tsegen, Jetsun Chime and Jetsun Kunyang also participated. Other extended family members included H.H. Dagchen Dorje Chang’s niece, Tsering Walgren and her husband Blaine Walgren, and Mangtho Gyatso (Jetsun Chime’s husband). Over the three days, in addition to our sangha members and the Seattle Tibetan community, H.H. Dagchen Dorje Chang’s disciples from California, Indiana, Colorado and Vancouver, Canada also participated.
A most auspicious ceremony was held on Sunday, May 26, 2019. That morning H.E. Dagmo Kusho and the Sakya Phuntsok Phodrang Khondungs distributed holy tsa tsa pendants in the likeness of H.H. Dagchen Dorje Chang to all the attendees—about 180 devoted students. Over the last 3 years, the holy tsa tsas were made and prayed over by devoted Sakyapa monks and finally, the Eminent Sakya Khondungs. H.E. Ngor Luding Khen Rinpoche presided over hundreds of lamas, tulkus, and sangha members to consecrate and bless the holy tsa tsas. With faith and Guru devotion, the tsa tsa relics will bless you with all things good and will protect you.
After the three days of glorious prayers, a candlelight vigil was held on the final evening, May 27, 2019.
His Eminence Avikrita Rinpoche arrived at Pema Ts’al Sakya Monastic Institute in Pokhara, Nepal on May 23, 2019. From May 24th-May 26th to commemorate the 3rd Anniversary of the Parinirvana, his grandfather H.H. Jigdal Dagchen Dorje Chang, he led a three-day Vajrakilaya Drub Choe (grand puja). During that time, he also bestowed a Vajakila Torma Empowerment and gave a public talk. When he returned to New Delhi, India, he continued honoring Dagchen Dorje Chang’s memory by leading and dedicating an India-Marici Fellowship event to feed the poor.
His Eminence Abhaya Rinpoche and monks honored H.H. Dagchen Dorje Chang’s memorial at Dzongsar Institute through the recitation of the Guru Puja prayers.
His Eminence Asanga Rinpoche and sangha commemorated the 3rd Anniversary of the Parinirvana of H.H. Dagchen Dorje Chang on May 25, 2019 in Manali, India by performing the Lamdre Lama Chopa puja in the morning and protector deity puja in the afternoon, under many auspicious signs.
Gen Kungsang led 55 of the New Delhi Ashram monks in Guru Puja honoring H.H. Dagchen Dorje Chang.
Ven. Gongpo and David Lim led the Sakya Sonam Dargye Choling members in the Guru Puja practice in memory of H.H. Dagchen Dorje Chang.
Led by Dr. Lam, William Wong and Edward Wong the Maha Sandhi Yoga Center members celebrated H.H. Dagchen Dorje Chang’s memorial through the recitation of the holy Padmasambhava Guru Puja prayers.
The Sakya Tsechen Association (New York/New Jersey) members recited the Sakya Pandita Guru Yoga, Manjushri, Aspiration of Samantahbhadra and dedication prayers in memory of H.H. Dagchen Dorje Chang
Amidst thousands of people honoring the U.S. Memorial Holiday by the releasing of floating lamps, Dr. Kristine Honda, Wangla and Samten released a floating lantern commemorating H.H. Dagchen Dorje Chang.