Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The best food in Nepal.

Nepal is nice in many ways but there is one way in which it is more wonderful and nice than many other places in the world and that is when it comes to the momos. All momos are nice, but one kind is superior to pretty much all food in all of Nepal, the buff momo. 

It is the perfection of food, really. It is cheap, fast and available all over Boudha, and elsewhere. In fact, there are so many places that make nice momos that it would be impossible to list them all. It is enough to say that there are big places, small places, ugly places, decent looking places, shady places, hidden places and so forth that are full of spectacular momos, on every street and in every corner.

And there is more than just food and eating to momos! There are so many other benefits also that I have experienced around momos. It is perfect to eat before studying, and also after studying, like a unique fuel for midterms and finals and quizzes. After long empowerments, days, weeks, classes, years I have found that it gives me so much energy that all the hardships of life doesn’t really matter. In those moments where there is only the big plate of wonderful amazing glorious momos and a dear friend on the other side of the table and the little plate of soup to dip the momos in, life is more than good. Probably as good as it gets!

Momos are also tasty whenever you eat them. It is nice to eat them late at night, but also in the morning, and at lunch or anytime in between. And the more you eat the better they get. I would recommend everyone to never ever stop at a single plate when you can order at least two (but three would be nicer since you will have a mountain of momos in front of you then and such a momo mountain beats the cloudy/half invisible Himalaya Mountains you can see from Kathmandu any day.)  

~Rebecca from Sweden

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Nepal: A Land of Many Festivals.

Nepal is an old historical country and filled with folk tales. Nepal is defined as the place in which the Lord Buddha was born in two thousand five hundred years ago. Not only is there a long history, but also there are many interesting folk tales in this holy place. Relating to these interesting folk tales, there are many different festivals in Nepal. Therefore, Nepal has become a land of many festivals. As a person who is interested in Nepali folk tales, I would like to share one of these stories with you and hope you will enjoy these interesting festivals when you are visiting this holy place.

There is a magic jacket of Karkotak, the king of serpent, at Bhaktapur. Bhaktapur is the oldest city of three old cities in Nepal. Once upon a time, there was an old farmer, who was famous for curing sore eyes. One day, Karkotak took a human form as a young Brahmin, a highest class in Hindu system. He asked the old farmer to come with him, because his wife had very sore eyes and nothing could cure her. The old farmer followed the young Brahmin and went to the side of Taudaha Lake, where Karkotak lived.  Karkotak showed his original form to the old farmer and asked the farmer to have faith in him that Karkotak means no harm to the farmer; at that moment, a splash of water appeared in the lake. When the farmer blinked his eyes, he found himself in front of a splendid mansion at the next moment. After the Karkotak offered the dainty meal to the farmer, he took the farmer to see his wife, who was suffering from sore eyes.

The old farmer prayed to Bhaisajya Tathagata, the Medicine Buddha, and made a pill by rubbing his ear. He put the pill in water and prayed. He put this liquid to the eyes of the Karkotak’s wife three times a day. On the fifth day, her eyes became clear and the cure was very successful. Karkotak gave his jacket, which the old farmer asked as a return for treating his wife. After the old farmer got the jacket, he found himself standing with the young Brahmin, who is Karkotak, at the lake side. The old farmer followed the young Brahmin back to the place where they met. Before the young Brahmin, Karkotak, left the old farmer, Karkotak told the old farmer not to talk about the jacket nor show it to others. The old farmer had to be careful because the jacket was very valuable.

On the next day, the old farmer put on the jacket when he went to the field. A spirit saw the jacket and tried to steal it from the old farmer. When the sun became hot noon, the old farmer put the jacket aside his field. It was a good chance for the spirit to steal the jacket. The spirit stole the jacket. The farmer saw it but could not catch the spirit successfully. The farmer was very heart broken from losing his jacket.
The old farmer went to Jawalakhel with his broken heart on the third day of the Bungadyah Chariot Festival, one of the oldest festivals in Nepal. Karkotak took a human form and attended this festival in the crowd. The spirit, who stole the jacket, was also there for stealing the food that people brought.  The farmer found the spirit, and people crowded around the spirit at once. The spirit said he did not steal the jacket but he found it in the field. He began to physically abuse the old farmer. Karkotak got into the crowd at once and helped the farmer to fight back.

At the end, the spirit was defeated by Karkotak and told the truth. The spirit stole the jacket when the farmer put it on the ground. Karkotak showed his true form for a brief moment and changed back to a human form. Karkotak ordered the spirit to give the jacket back to the farmer, because the jacket was the gift, which he gave to the farmer. The spirit said he would not give the jacket back to the farmer because of the farmer’s fault of being careless. However, the spirit would not keep it. It would be offered to Karunamaya to whom people pray on the Bungadyah Chariot Festival.

After both the farmer and Karkotak agreed, Karkotak told all the people that the jacket from the world of the Nagalok, serpent, would be shown three times in the four directions during this festival. The first time is for the benefit of the gods, men, and Naga. The second time is for the benefit of the venerable teacher, Bandhudatta; the great King, Narendradeva and the farmer, Rathchakra, as well as for Karkotak. The third time is for the benefit of the spirit, the farmer, and the Vajracharya as well as the people assembled here and the yaksas. Karkotak disappeared from sight after making this announcement. Since then, the jacket is shown at Bungadyah Chariot Festival to this day.

~Lobsang from UK

Wednesday, April 26, 2017


“It is only natural that various obstacles and hurdles occur in the spreading of the True Dharma’s rule. However, to overcome or ward off these Dharma-opposing elements while remaining true in mind, body and speech is another personal dharma and duty of each of the sanghas.” 
As various hurdles arise in my path, born from the fruition of the seeds of my own past actions, I find myself taking solace in these words uttered by my Guru.

Three and a half years ago when the bud of the Dharma’s flower began to sprout in my heart, immense motivation arose in me with regard to seeking liberation from the sorrows of the world. But with the passage of time, as the reality of the difficulties of the path began to be more visible, and the need to replace motivation with discipline took form, the various hurdles that had arisen seemed to overcome me, a na├»ve traveler on the path, and as such the budding flower was prevented from blossoming. Blinded by ever growing despair, unable to scale the tall wall that loomed over me, my faith and determination grew ever weaker. My reasons for coming to study at R.Y.I were all but forgotten, and indulgence in the world’s fleeting pleasures was given priority. However, as the year comes to an end, I have been
fortunate enough to begin to come back to my senses and once again begin to orient my mind towards the melody of the pure Dharma. That the Dharma may saturate my very being is my current wish. Where my path shall lead me from here on out is beyond my capacity to know, but so be it, the journey goes on.

~Wesley from Kenia

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Importance of Tibetan language to understand Buddhism

The Tibetan version of Buddhist canon whether sutra or shastra, is treated as the most authentic or significant version for the study and practice of Buddhism in modern days. 
It is undoubtedly as it was given with extraordinary care, consideration and every possible skillful means during the transmission, translation and interpretation from the original sources. 
The Tibetan version of Buddhist canon therefore has the quality to serve for us to comprehend the core message, the message what the Buddhist original canon has to convey and elucidate.  

Therefore, it seems that the study of Tibetan language is crucial to study to understand Buddhism in a far better way.

Evidently, a numbers of Buddhist sutras and shastras have been translated and interpreted into modern languages whereby one can study Buddhism and advance knowledge in it, although a number of significant issues with the translation and interpretation of key terminologies are yet to be solved. 
They have remained vaguely and are in the need of finer retranslation and reinterpretation if possible. 

Therefore, even for a non-native Tibetan speaker, there is essentiality of studying Tibetan to understand Buddhism in a far intensified way.

For the excellent study of Tibetan language what one needs is a good environment and a great possibility. 
Rangjung Yeshe Institute is indeed where one meets these needs. Tibetan language is studied from the two modes of classical and colloquial. 

One can study from native speakers and build every necessary skill from them. Moreover, one has ripe opportunity to communicate with foreign folks in Tibetan whose skills of speaking and writing Tibetan are immensely awesome. 

Additionally, one has opportunity to share their feelings and experiences regarding learning Tibetan. One could know how conducive the study of Tibetan has been for their study and penetrating or intensifying understanding in Buddhism. 

In RYI one has great possibility to make considerable improvement in a short time. The possibility is great as the atmosphere is conducive to the Tibetan study. 

Due to the kindness of generous sponsors and dedication of faculty members RYI has been successfully serving courses on Tibetan language as one of the main curriculum features to serve for us to understand Buddhism vastly and yet profoundly.

~ Karma Namgyal from Nepal
BA Student

Monday, April 3, 2017

Healthy Food for Studying Well

Eating healthy food is how we can maintain healthy body and mind. Healthy body and mind are what we need to study well. Studying well without consuming healthy food is unthinkable and implausible in our life.

Indeed, Rangjung Yeshe Institute not only has awesome intensive courses on Buddhist studies for international folks in a spiritual environment, but also has a small wonderful canteen. The canteen serves healthy food for you to be mentally and physically fit to study well at RYI.

There is no need to worry about food items, serving time, and price. The canteen serves vegetarian food with various items that are tasty and healthy. Everyday you have a chance to taste different items of food. Along with various tea and coffee items, the canteen mainly serves breakfast and lunch. Considering the importance of your time, the staff serves foods punctually and respectably. Unlike other places, there is no disappointment regarding food-serving time. When it is lunchtime, it is not you that is waiting for lunch; rather, it is your food that is freshly waiting for you.

Likewise, there is no need to be disappointed regarding prices, either. The prices are considerably reasonable. Moreover, the canteen has special discount for local students.

Another important factor is this: the wonderful service of vegetarian foods at RYI’s canteen will definitely help you to switch your meat-based diet into vegetable-based food. For the most time, I eat my 
meals at RYI’s canteen, as foods served there are tasty, healthy and prepared fast.

Due to the constant generous help and dedication of sponsors, RYI has been successfully serving people like you to study well with healthy food. I would like to express my sincere gratitude for your generosity with a prayer for the prosperity and good health of all sponsors and well-wishers.

~ Karma Namgyal from Nepal

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Sutta Gurumantra

( Self translation from a talk I heard in waking life)

The little boy asked, “Bhagwan, you have initiated us into sanyas but you haven’t given us any mantra. Traditional practitioners come and ask us, “what is your gurumantra?! ” Bhagwan, Why haven’t you given us a gurumantra?

Then Bhagwan said, “Now, little boy, you have to be free of mantras, just as you have to be free of the mind. If there remains no mind then where would you hold your mantra? And you if you could hold your mantra then you also need to keep your mind alive. Sure indeed, I haven’t given you any mantra. Because I don’t want, that your mind survives. I am here to snatch away all your mantras. Already you have too many mantras. Infact, you have a whole compilation of mantras. And that is the whole of your past. Much you have known and much you have gathered knowledge. Someone is Hindu, someone is Muslim, someone is Issaih, someone is Jaina. Someone’s mantra is in quran, someone’s mantra is in Ved. Someone believes this, someone believes that. My only effort is that you get rid of all of your beliefs.

You remain neither as a Hindu, nor a Christian, nor a Muslim. You are attached neither to Ved nor Koran. Your hands become completely empty. Only in these empty hands the ultimate showers. Only in an empty chitta dawns the ultimate. The doors open. You are a temple. Become totally empty and the Lord rushes to you. Give it space. Make the space. Now your house is too stuffed. You have stuffed all kinds of things and you keep on stuffing more. Even if the ultimate dawns it just hovers around as there is no space in you to accommodate it. Even if the rays comes shining down, where is the space inside you? You are filled. Being filled is your only suffering. Become empty. This is your mahamantra, this is your gurumantra. This is why I haven’t given you any mantra, because I don’t want to fill you up more.

Mind is what you need to get free from. But if you are too much in love with the word mantra and being without a mantra makes you uneasy, then just say this, that this is the mantra that you are being given, “the sutta of being free from the mind; the sutta of being (just) the witness.”

Does anything come out of repeating? That you keep on mumbling Ram, Ram, Ram, Ram, Ram, and something happens? So many are there to repeat. So many has repeated. They are repeating for ages and it has brought about absolutely nothing. From where you repeat? The act of repeating occurs through the mechanism (yantra) of the mind only. Either if you repeat quickly or if you repeat slowly the mind causes to repeat. In every repetition mind is present. I am saying, just be a witness. All these procedures of the mind, all these ripples of the mind—you just become a witness. Just keep on watching. Among all that you see, don’t choose anything. Somebody is humming a filmy song and you say that he is adhammic !! Somebody is singing a bhajan and you say he is dhammic !!! You must understand they are both in mind; hence they are both adhammic. Being in mind is being in adhamma (devoid of religion). 

Then, just contemplate the third option, that even if the mind is humming filmy song or reciting the buddhacharita you are just a witness. You hear, you see, but you don’t get adjoined with the mind. Your distance, your disconnectedness remains. Whatever is happening is enough. No mantra is needed. Get awakened in this—just be a witness of all. “

~Sagnik from India

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Lucky Me

“School life is a golden life,” I often used to cherish this quote and feel it is so true until I joined the RYI.

The beautiful environment here, students came from almost every corner of the world, Modern students learning from the traditional teacher and exposure to the daily life of Monks in RYI made me rich as a person. Moreover, studying in RYI proved my presupposed notion of college life as boring life infused with boring lecture to be wrong rather it induced me to think out of the box and have broader approach to life.

First and foremost I feel blessed to be at RYI is that I got precious opportunity to study Buddhism under the constant vigilance of Rinpoches and their priceless guidance which I find very rare and I could never trade it for anything else in life. I feel embraced by Rinpoches’ compassion all the time at RYI.

As a student, I got to learn several things in various topics here such as Himalayan Languages, Buddhist Philosophy and its history. I am provided with one of the valuable tool to enhance my skill is writing skill in which I had no knowledge beforehand. Also, constant visit of veteran professors as a guest lecturer and their valuable lecture is another benchmark of RYI in terms of its quality of learning supplement where we get to sharpen our knowledge and get to deal with distinct ideas and thoughts. It really adds the flavor to academia.

RYI student also have the privilege to learn Himalayan languages. I am thoroughly enjoying learning Tibetan language and by now I can understand and also speak correct Tibetan language pretty well. This makes my life more enriching and worthwhile as a follower of Tibetan Buddhism. For which, I am truly thankful to our qualified teacher who succeed to make us learn faster. Moreover, cooperative administrative staff who are always there to assist us in every possible way, and their endeavor to build better RYI is immensely praiseworthy. 

Thus, I am completely blissed-out and lucky to be at RYI and it has given me a chance to sharpen my knowledge in the field of my choice.

~ Choki Gurung from Nepal.