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His Holiness blesses new Sakya monastery in Kaza

July 10, 2009

by Wasfia Nazreen
Phayul - July 09, 2009

Spiti Valley, July 9, 2009 - His Holiness the Dalai Lama today blessed the
Spiti valley of Himachal Pradesh, reputed for being the Deva-Bhumi or the
land of Gods, earlier this morning. The Tibetan leader who turned 74 on
Monday inaugurated the new Sakya Tenggyu monastery where he was offered
Mandal Tensum and Long life prayers (Tenshug). Also present on the occasion
were Honorable Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal
and Local MLA Dr. Ramlal Markanda. Local residents of Spiti valley
entertained the guests with performance of cultural dances.

H.E. Khangsar Shabdrung Rinpoche, in his opening speech said: "I take great
honor to pay my solemn reverence to the holy lotus feet of the spiritual
guidance of fellow sentient beings; the light of the world; the ocean of
wisdom; Messiah of the people who are denied of their fundamental rights;
Kalayanmitra of fortunate ones who is seeking the path of ultimate
happiness; Buddha of present era; Noble laureate; His Holiness, the Dalai
Lama, Tenzin Gyatso."

His Holiness performs the blessing ceremony at the monastery's entrance,
photo: Wasfia Nazreen, July 9, 2009H.E. Khangsar Shabdrung Rinpoche also
expressed his gratitude to His Holiness for his blessings and teachings. He
said it was near impossible for the monks to live at Tenggyu monastery at
Gomic during winter and that Ngor Khangsar Khenchen Ngawang Khyentse Thupten
Nyingpo, who had come from Tibet in 1960s had kindly built a new monastery
at Kaza at the special request of the local community. Even though His
Holiness had visited the region several times Tenggyu Sakya monastery had
not been able to welcome His Holiness until now due to the lack of
facilities and infrastructural needs.

His Holiness will deliver religious teaching tomorrow, followed by the
Avalokiteshwara initiation (chenresig wangchen) on July 11th and 12th at the
Karzey (Kaza) Tenggyu Monastery.

Brief History of Tenggyud Sakya Monastery:
According to H.E. Khangsar Rinpoche, there exist various viewpoints to
narrate the history of Tenggyud Monastery such as accounts passed through
generation-to-generation and authentic accounts found in histories. It is
written in the biography of the great translator, Lochen Rinchen Sangpo
(958-1055) that he built over one hundred and eight temples and monasteries
in dedication to his mother. History and time testify that Tenggyud Sakya
Monastery is also one among them. One can also infer from the fact that
during the excavation work at the remains of the former Gomic monastery,
some old artifacts and fragments of statues of four Buddhist Guardian
Deities were found and they are identical to the statues of Tabo Monastery,
which is believed to have been founded by Lochen Rinchen Sangpo.

A further reason is given by the words of the great master Choepal Sangpo
(14th and 15th Century). While he traveled to Spiti, he said that there
exists Sakya monastery at the present site of Nonga (Rongtong) and, other in
a Zong (fort) at the vicinity of Gomic. Later on, he combined both the
monasteries into one and designated a name for it as "Tenggyud Lhundrup
Chokhor Ling". This great master Choepal Sangpo was direct disciple of
Bodong Choklay Namgyal (1376-1451) and Vajradhara Ngorchen Kunga Sangpo
(1382-1456). Ngorchen Kunga Sangpo traveled three times in to far western
Tibet (Tod Ngari) where he bestowed during his second visit, the empowerment
and instruction of Kalachakra and Vajra-Panjara tantra. Among the disciples
who received those teachings also was Khenpo Rinchen Sonam from Spiti. As
illustrated by these histories, it is evident that the Tenggyud monastery of
Spiti has a history of at least 800 years.

The newly built monastery which was inaugurated by His Holiness, stands on
the spot where the old monastery known as Tenggyud Lhundrup Choekhor Ling
monastery remained for the past 35 years which is directly connected to the
old Tenggyud monastery.
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