Celebrating Lama Tsongkhapa Day

2009年5月11日 星期一 上午8:55 评论关闭

Today is a special day remembering Lama Tsongkhapa’s Parinirvana, celebrated all over the world – from the huge monasteries of Tibet, India, Mongolia and China to the thousands of Tibetan Buddhist centers that have mushroomed in almost every country. Even the poorest household would offer at least a single butter lamp by the window to Lama Tsongkhapa on this very special day. So monasteries today would be aglow with thousands of flickering butterlamp offerings to Lama Tsongkhapa.

At Kechara House, Lama Tsongkhapa is our main yidam which makes this day amongst our most anticipated celebrations of the year. Preparations began a week ahead with the Ladrang preparing gift packs for many ‘newbies’ who would come and refuge cards for each of the 40 people planning to take refuge. Now that Setrap Chapel has moved to Buddha Oasis and the statues of Tara, Manjushri, Buddha Shakyamuni, Guru Rinpoche and Vajrasattva were invited to other Kechara departments, the hall is much bigger.

At Kechara House, there had been extensive refurbishing supervised by KHEC’s hardworking Head of Renovations, Margaret Lee. This occasion was doubly auspicious as it was the first official event at Kechara House after the renovations were complete. The Dalai Lama’s throne, Rinpoche’s throne and the remaining Lama Tsongkhapa statue were moved to a more strategic location. A grand new altar was commissioned for Lama Tsongkhapa along with a set of new brocade robes and traditional skirting was sewn for the statue by Kechara Saraswati Arts. The ceiling above the thrones was recessed to accommodate auspicious lharis (parasols) for the thrones and new lighting was installed to highlight all the biographical thangkas of Lama Tsongkhapa and the resplendent statue.

The big day began with Madam President, Tan Sio Chian, giving a splendid speech welcoming everybody and there was also a little introduction of all the committee members of Kechara House and the Liaisons to the audience. Then, Liaison Loh Seng Piow gave a presentation on the upcoming comic book of Lama Tsongkhapa’s biography. This was followed by a video presentation of the recent Gaden trip that also showed the offering of the money raised for the Gashar Clinic project made by Liaison Joseph Chan on behalf of the Gashar Clinic project. was After this, KH Committee member, Ashlee Tam, gave a brief explanation of Lama Tsongkhapa’s life, which was much appreciated by newcomers.
Around 9pm, Rinpoche emerged looking resplendent in his monk robes. Ushered by celestial sounds of long horns and cymbals, he made three prostrations to H.H. the Dalai Lama’s throne (representing all his gurus) and proceeded to his own throne. We prostrated and the traditional Body, Speech and Mind offerings were made by the KH Committee along with the offering of the Mandala. Rinpoche then started by making a few announcements. In gratitude to Kechara House for the Gashar Hospital contribution, Gashar offered a holy thangka of Medicine Buddha to Kechara House and an Amitayus statue to Rinpoche, representing a request that Rinpoche live long to turn the wheel of Dharma.

Rinpoche announced that it was also a celebration shared with the birthdays of KH members, Chris and Sean. Then he announced that he wished to offer khatas to Phoebe, Adrian and Mrs. Ngeow. Phoebe and Adrian had selflessly offered their own savings, originally meant for a statue, to feed traveling Gaden Monks who were going to engage in a month long debate competition. Humbled by their generosity, Rinpoche offered the young couple a Lama Tsongkhapa statue that they had originally intended to invite! Then Rinpoche announced with joy, the appointment of Mrs. Ngeow as Liaison of Ladrang. Finally, Rinpoche praised young Sean’s generosity in donating his RM150 birthday ‘Ang Pow’ to Tsem Ladrang, giving an example of generosity at his young tender age.

After the announcements, we began our special Puja to Lama Tsongkhapa. It was the Lama Chopa with Tsog Offering by the Tantrikas. The beautiful chanting, mantras and mudras enveloped the whole hall thus blessing everybody present. After the puja ended, we had a short break and Rinpoche offered refuge to 40 people. He gave a talk to them, explaining the meaning of refuge before engaging in the actual ritual. Instead of the standard visualization of taking refuge with Shakyamuni Buddha, Rinpoche used the visualization of Lama Tsongkhapa. He had a Guru Tree Thangka held aloft to aid the visualization of the refuge seekers. After the short ritual, Rinpoche gave an explanation on how the refuge names were given and gave each refuge seeker a card printed with the name. Then, he further explained the meaning of each name to the refuge seekers.

Rinpoche rewarded those who stayed through it all with an excellent explanation of Lama Tsongkhapa’s practice, meditation and benefits. Finally Rinpoche saved the best for the last when he gave all who remained the ‘lung’ or oral transmission of Manjushri’s Mantra, Lama Tsongkhapa’s name mantra and Migtsema. It wasn’t an initiation but if we did the any of these mantras, the blessings of the lineage would be there when we recite these mantras. After a break for Rinpoche, a long queue of people who came from afar was formed for those who sought blessings from Rinpoche. Thus the night of auspiciousness ended with great blessings to last the year through!