A Fulfilling Experience

A Fulfilling Experience
It is said that the Stupa at Boudhanath, Kathmandu, has the power of fulfilling all the wishes and aspirations one makes in front of it. However, for me the mere fact of living here, next to the stupa, somehow represents already an accomplishment of my wishes of having a meaningful life. Here, the environment is pervaded by the spiritual life of the people, with their gestures and expressions. For instance, every single day there are hundreds of people circumambulating the stupa. People from all over the world join together in venerating this holy place. Some of them come from foreign countries excited about seeing this monument for the first time; some others arrive walking from the Himalayas, after a long pilgrimage, just to see the Stupa once in their lives; others spend the whole day doing prostrations in front or around the Stupa; and even others just want to live nearby to be blessed every day. Not only that, but also the whole area has plenty of activitie…

A local girl moves out of her family home to learn a lot more

A local girl moves out of her family home  to learn a lot more
It was not easy. Not at all, for her to go through that phase when she was breaking a traditional value, social appearance, going against decisions of her family, going against what is “normal” but going for what she wanted, what she needed, what was exactly conducive for her and her studies at that time. To be glared at to be going against their decisions, to be looked down for listening to her heart, to be not listened to, to not be allowed to change the traditional values, to be stopped using reasonings that were nothing but guilt-trips, to need to close oneself inside the cocoon because everything was becoming a little too much. Yes, beginning of this academic year was a tough one. She was breaking a tradition - she decided to move out from her family home for a year due to various reasons. In the society where families are mostly joint families with almost every family member living under one roof, for the youngest daug…

Field Trip to Swayambhunath Temple

On a Saturday morning, the ten or so of us who were able to brave the February cold got on the bus and reached Swayambhunath promptly. Just after entering we encircled Father Greg who was our gracious guide and listened to him talk about the history of Swayambhunath Temple and its importance in Newari Buddhism. Swayambhupuraṇa is the Sanskrit text in which is written the story of the origin of Swayambhunath Temple. Swayambhupuraṇa is unique; it is the only puraṇa text associated with Buddhism. The rest of the puraṇa texts concern Hindu gods. The story goes: Where the Kathmandu valley is today, there used to be a lake filled with Nagas (snakes). In this lake, a Buddha called Bipaswi Tathāgata planted a lotus with one thousand petals. This lotus flower emanated a bright light signifying the Buddha nature. According to legend, Mañjuśri who was called by a Buddha cut a gorge and drained the lake, leading to the creation of the valley. Then, at the location of the lotus, the stup…

My notion of Buddhism changed after enrolling at RYI

What is your religion status? It is the most asked question when meet with foreign people, new friends or fill out the official forms. I used to tick or reply ignorantly that I am a Buddhist without knowing much about it, besides its founder. I had the idea of Buddhism as being proficient in ritual and recite some ancient scriptures. I have never thought it could be a combo of philosophy, religion and science. I came to my senses and could comprehend the Buddhism at a broader perspective only after accessing with RYI. 

My conservative outlook of Buddhism and Buddhist practitioner is changed drastically. In Nepal, Dharma is the generalized term or cliché that every activity which we perform under the rubric of religion is Dharma, for instance, doing prostration, generosity, circumambulation around stupa, reciting sutras, counting rosary and so forth. Previously, I was unmotivated towards practicing Buddhism because for me to cultivate Buddhism is to perform the rituals. But, joining at …

Pilgrimage trip to Sankhu

This year (2017), on September, RYI Students along with the Staffs went to Sankhu for pilgrimage trip. It was an amazing experience for all of us. Sankhu is an ancient Newar town located in the North-Eastern corner of Kathmandu valley.
Sankhu was once an important stop on the old trade route from Kathmandu to Lhasa (Tibet), but this historic settlement was severely damaged by the 2015 earthquake, so it is under renovation process. The temple of Vajrayogini is
one of identity of Sankhu. It is situated on the middle of hill. The goddesses are worshiped with high beliefs, by both Hindu and Buddhist.

This place is also known as the Eighty Siddhas as there are four caves where the Siddhas of India are said to have stayed. The oldest inscription found in Sankhu is dated 538 AD. There was a myth which says the Vajrayogini temple was built by King Prakash Malla in 1655. It is one of the best attractions of Sankhu for national and international tourists. It enriches the main sacred representation…

Translation work by RYI students published

A team of RYI students has just finished a translation of the history of the precious Boudha Stūpa and it was published on the Lotsawa House website.

It is with great joy that we announce that the full English translation of the History of the Jarung Kashor Stūpa, otherwise known as the Boudhanath Stupa, is now available. Auspiciously, the release of this translation coincides with the Tibetan Year of the Bird – the same year in which, generations ago, the precious Jarung Kashor was first completed and consecrated.
The story of this stupa has been told in myriad ways, but one of the best loved and most authoritative is the version first discovered by Khandro Lhatsün Ngönmo and later rediscovered by Yolmowa Shakya Zangpo (15th century), on his pilgrimage to Samye monastery in Tibet. Having deciphered the text, Shakya Zangpo travelled to the Kathmandu valley in search of this unique and precious stupa. Discovering upon arrival that it had been reduced to rubble, he immediately commissione…

Reports from a dharma talk I heard

Once a small bud asked : Bhagwan, why & when does a Buddha gives initiation ?

The brightest flower said, Intellect is the starting point of Dharma, not the end point. This is why there is initiation. This is why there is invitation. But this invitation is not just for anybody, only for those who have gone beyond refusal and rejection. For anybody who comes, they are given analysis and explanations. Then those starts to  infer, explain, searches every nook of all the scriptures and finds that they are just completely useless, and they say “you’re absolutely right!!! Dharma is not tradition (parampara); Dharma is rebellion (vidroha); we thought and thought, and now all our thoughts are finished, Now what? Now lead us further…” Then the Buddha gives initiation. To the one who is beyond inference, completely devoid of inference, standing outside the net of inference, receives initiation.
One who out of fear, chants Buddha, Buddha and count beads, never chanted the name of the Buddha bu…