Posts

Showing posts from 2017

Translation work by RYI students published

Image
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

Image
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…

Power of Dharma

Image
Studying at RYI has been the most precious time of my life. Philosophy classes at RYI taught by learned Khenpos (holders of the high monastic degree) enriched my view of Mahayana Buddhism. Other classes on Buddhist Ethics, History and Culture, Buddhism and Modernity, the Fundamentalism of Buddhism, Methodology of Buddhist Studies, and so forth, instructed by Western professors taught me about the formation of my own Buddhist cultural identity as well as the power of dharma. 

Historically, the teaching of the Buddha traveled almost the entire Southeast Asian region and contextually it reached Tibet at a late stage. In my knowledge, after the advent of Buddhism, Tibet politically and economically became ravaged yet literaturally and spiritually prosperous. Thousand monasteries were built and almost the entire population became pious Buddhist. Tibet was led by religious leaders for many centuries and it established itself a knowledgeable dharma preceptor both to Tibetan themselves and to …

The Goddess Grandmother

Image
If you live with a family with grandparents, your grandparents may spend quite a lot of the time telling old stories. It will not be different in Nepali families. There are countless stories in Nepal. Some stories are true and some are not. No matter those stories are true or not, those stories are trying to teach people something. In here, I would like to share one of a Nepali story with you.

Long time ago, there was a couple demons living in Nepal. Their names were Unmantak Bhairav and Harati. They had 500 children in their family. Because of many children, Harati had to catch many human children from the village and feed their own children. After a while, the villagers suffered very much from losing their children. The people went to their king with their suffering and asked protection from the king. 

However, because Harati was very powerful, the king could not do anything to protect the children from Hatati’s attract. At the end, the king went to the Buddha and requested the soluti…

Learning a language like Tibetan

Image
Hello, I’m Pemba,  a 3rd year BA student. Having been brought up in a multi-cultured community, I grew up learning and being most familiarized in our national language, ‘Nepali’, which is the common language for all ethnics and communities of Nepal. I had my schooling in English medium school, so I ended up getting used to Nepali and English language only, rather than my own mother tongue. 
Since my parents were from different castes so neither of them communicated to me and my siblings through their respective mother tongues. We were socialized as typical city’s children. 
As a result, I ended up being alienated to my own family languages, ‘Sherpa’ and ‘Tamang’ which has very close relation with Tibetan language since both languages were originated from Tibet. 
As I grew up becoming more aware and enthusiastic about my family religion, ‘Buddhism’ and its profound philosophy, I realized how important it was for me learn ‘Tibetan’ to be able to understand the teaching and oral instruction…

Precious Dharma Teaching

Image
For those are in search of dharma teachings, Nepal is the right place to be.  Since this land is an ancient Buddhist country, various teachings from different Buddhist traditions are still preserved well. The most influential is Tibetan Buddhism and wherever one goes in Nepal, one will see monks and nuns from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. The masters from that lineage are kind and easily accessible. One will encounter the precious teachings being given to the public without any charge almost everyday around the Boudhanath Stupa.  Importantly, most of those who give teachings are very experienced and always ready to bestow blessings to anyone. They attract not only local Tibetan and Nepalese but also thousand people from the west and other part of the east.
Regarding the masters, Tsonyi Rinpoche is a great example of a master from the Tibetan tradition.  His teaching which took place a few days ago was one of most penetrating teachings I have ever had. His words were very lucid and s…

DHARMA: STUDY VERSUS PRACTICE

Image
Contrary to common outsider conceptions of monastic life, the place held by meditative practices (here defined as practices involving states of absorbed concentration) within the everyday practices of the average Tibetan Buddhist monk is quite minimal. Indeed, the majority of monks within the Tibetan tradition we are primarily exposed to at the shedra do not or rarely practise meditation of this kind, instead spending the bulk of their monastic time studying different Buddhist texts and engaging in different ritualistic practices. Certainly this revelation serves as a source of surprise for many of us that held rather romanticised ideas of monks and monastic life prior to being exposed to the reality of the tradition. One then has to question the importance of the study of texts and rituals as compared to practising meditation (if a distinction is to be drawn between these kinds of practices).
       Depending on a person’s particular inclinations, the conclusion they would arrive at …

The Hidden Story of the Golden Temple at Patan

Image
There are many stories in Nepal. Because these stories are very interesting-- as last time I had shared the story about the Jacket from the Naga land-- I would like to introduce the story of the Golden Temple in Patan at this time.   When people talk about Patan, the Golden Temple will show up in everyone’s mind. The Golden Temple is one of the famous Buddhist temples in Patan. However, few people know that there was a love story, which was between a king and a queen, behind the holy Golden Temple. Once upon a time, there was a king called Marwad and he had a lovely queen called Pingala. They loved each other very much. As a return for his lovely queen, King Marwad planned to make an image of Shakyamuni as a gift to her. When the image had been finished, another king, from other country, asked for a gift as a sign of good relations with King Marwad’s kingdom. For the people’s safety in the country, Queen Pingala chose to give up the image for the peaceful relationship with other country…

My Dream to be a Translator

Image
I learned the Tibetan alphabet years ago but I had never learned the language itself until I came to RYI. What did actually inspire me to follow my dream to be a translator? Seeing many translators translating Rinpoche’s teaching directly from Tibetan to English and other languages. Won’t it be incredible to be able to understand Rinpoche’s precious words without even waiting for translations? Surely it will. Won’t it be even more beneficial if you were able to be a medium through which Rinpoche connects to his upcoming and current students? Definitely it will be! Wow, I dream of this every day. Dream to be a translator so that words of Dharma can be listened to in native language and understood exactly the way Rinpoche wants us to. When I first heard about RYI - co-incidentally via Kyabje Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche- I was so glad to get a chance to study in-depth about Buddhism. On top of that, learning Himalayan language especially Tibetan and Sanskrit grabbed my attention. Hearing that mos…

My Experience at RYI

Image
One of the best decisions I ever made was joining Rangjung Yeshe Institute (RYI). It is indeed a great institute where one can have experience of both academic and traditional teachings from the sophisticated masters. Precious teachings from Lopens and Khenpos help surprisingly to overcome the stresses of our daily lives.

When I first came to this institute, I felt very welcomed. Warm greetings from RYI’s Staff made me feel myself very special! In fact, such warm greetings really motivates student to study sincerely. From the very first orientation, I started experiencing the great quality of education and the excitements that inspired me to make commitment to study further from BA. Moreover, Students are given the great opportunities to do pilgrimages, retreats and practice rituals which have equally importance as with the theoretical and philosophical knowledge. One even becomes blessed already under the guidance and protection of precious Ven. Guru Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche. It is so fo…

The Best Food in Nepal

Image
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 i…

Nepal: A Land of Many Festivals.

Image
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 …

Obstacles on the Path

Image
“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 naïve traveler on the path, and as such the budding flower was prevented from blossoming. Blinded by ever growing despair, unable to scale the tall wa…

The Importance of Tibetan Language to Understand Buddhism

Image
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…

Healthy Food for Studying Well

Image
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…

Sutta Gurumantra

Image
( 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,…