Current events in Benchen monastery in Kathmandu

Recent news by Agnieszka Zych from the Karma Kamtzang Association Poland

The Prajna Paramita Lung (reading transmission of the text) transmitted by His Eminence Drubwang Sangye Rinpoche Nyenpa is being carried on in Benchen monastery in Kathmandu. Today, on April 8th, the Prajna Paramita Abhisheka was given. The monastery is experiencing a real siege of monks and nuns from many other monasteries, including five Tulkus and about twenty Khenpos and Dorje Lobpöns. The special guest is the General Secretary of Tsurphu Labrang representing His Holiness the Gyalwang Karmapa. His Holiness Karmapa is personally sponsoring the event. His Holiness has also sent a Kathak to Kyabje Tenga Rinpoche, that has been placed by Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche directly around the Kudung’s neck.

There are also many lay people receiving the Lung: Tibetans and Nepalese, as well as a large group of Western students. The main Lhakang (shrine hall) is admitted only to monks and nuns due to lack of space. On the first floor and in the old Lhakang large screens are placed on which you can see Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche. A sound system makes Rinpoche’s voice heard in every corner of the monastery.

The Kudung of Kyabje Tenga Rinpoche continues to reside in the Tara Temple at the highest level of the old monastery. It is surrounded by rows of offerings. Day and night the monks sing a special mantra invoking the blessing of the Guru, chanted only when a great master passes. The same mantra was sung, for example, after the Parinirvana of His Holiness the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje. In addition, there are different pujas recited every week untill the cremation ceremony. At the moment the Sadhana of Gyalwa Gyamtso (Jinasagara) is being performed.

Each day, at a certain scheduled time, flocks of people are queuing to bow before the Kudung, to offer a Kathak and to pray to receive Kyabje Tenga Rinpoche’s blessing. Kyabje Rinpoche’s disciples from all over the world are arriving every day, even those who have not been in Kathmandu for many years. In the evening, after the Lung, everyone gathers in the temple with the Benchen monks chanting prayers. At night, light from butter lamps offered around the monastery illuminates the yard.

Delegations carrying an official invitation to attend the cremation ceremony were sent from Benchen monastery to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, His Holiness the Karmapa, and to all the great Rinpoches of not only the Kagyü lineage, but also to Nyingma, Sakya, Jonang, Gelug and Bön masters. The cremation ceremony will be held on May 18th.

(Translation from Polish to English by Tim Tashi Boldt & Thea Boldt)

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