Category Archives: Tibetan Lamas

Lineage of Ancient Wisdom

HH 34th Menri Trizin Dawa Dargye Rinpoche and HE Menri Ponlop Yangton Thrinley Nyima Rinpoche during a ritual at Menri Monastery in Dolanji, Inida. Photo credit: Unknown.

Passing into Nirvana

The PongenThroneholder Tise Gyalwa Rinpoche in tukdam. Photo credit: Unknown

On the second day of the first lunar month, Western date February 6, 2019, the abbot of Pongen Yungdrung Dargye Ling Monastery in Kham, Tibet, Khyungkar Tisé Gyalwa Rinpoche entered into the state of tukdam. In general, tukdam refers to a state of meditative stability attained by meditation masters that continues after the external breath of their body has ceased but the internal breath, or winds, remain.  Therefore, the subtle channels through which these winds move remain stable. The area of the body containing the heart chakra remains warm to the touch.  The skin remains soft, and the face retains a glow of vitality. During this time, great care is taken to not disturb the body or interrupt the state of mediation.

Khyungkar Tise Gyalwa cremation day. Photo credit: Unknown

After an indeterminate number of days, the internal winds cease, the channels collapse, the physical body slumps, and the warmth dissipates from the heart center. At that time, chants related to the cleansing of the sacred body are recited while the physical remains are ritually bathed with water mixed with special herbs.  Sacred seed syllables are then written on the body and the body is wrapped in a pure white cloth.

Cremation stupa. Photo credit: Unknown.

On the 23rd day of the 1st lunar month, Western date February 27th, the physical remains of Tisé Gyalwa Rinpoche were ritually cremated during an elaborate fire ceremony. His skull and heart remained intact and have been kept as sacred relics.

Sacred relics of the Pongen Throneholder Khyungkar Tise Gyalwa Rinpoche. Photo credit: Unknown.

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Celebration of the Second Buddha: Nyamme Sherap Gyaltsen

The 5th day of the 1st month of the Tibetan lunar calendar is the celebration of the birth and cremation of Lama Nyammé Sherap Gyaltsen.  In 2019, this date in the Western calendar is February 9th. Within the Yungdrung Bön tradition, Lama Nyammé Sherap Gyaltsen is often referred to as the Second Buddha.  He was a reincarnation of Yikyi Khye’u Chung, one of Buddha Tönpa Shenrap Miwoche’s sons. Lama Nyammé Sherap Gyaltsen was responsible for uniting the three transmissions of sutra, tantra and dzogchen as well as founding one of the largest Yungdrung Bön monasteries in Tibet, Tashi Menri Ling.

Born in 1356 in the region of Gyalrong into the Dru lineage, as a child, he could recite mantra and read scripture without having studied.  At the age of ten, he decided to become a monk.  In 1387 at the age of 31, he entered the prestigious Yeru Wensaka monastery and eventually became its abbot.   During a journey to Eastern Tibet, Yeru Wensaka was destroyed by flooding and mudslides.  After returning, he searched the ruins of the monastery for artifacts.  He took these and established Tashi Menri Monastery further up the same valley.  It was now 1405 and he was 50 years old.

Lama Nyammé Sherap Gyaltsen was known throughout Tibet as a great scholar and prolific writer on the many varied subjects within the Bön scriptures.  He also exhibited many miracles and signs of his spiritual realization.  Twice, he flew up into the sky.  During one of these flights, he burned his hat with the rays of the sun.

Nyamme Sherap Gyaltsen handprint

Nyamme Sherap Gyaltsen’s hand print in stone

In 1415 at the age of 60, he passed away.  His body levitated high into the air, but due to the many heartfelt prayers of his disciples, the body came back down.   During the cremation, rainbows appeared and an eagle circled three times around the cremation area before disappearing into the West.

Today,  Bönpos will spend the day with their eyes looking skyward.  If you are lucky enough to be visited by a vulture on this day, it is said to be an auspicious sign of having received the blessings of the lama known as the Second Buddha, the Unequaled One, Nyammé Sherap Gyaltsen.

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Homage to the Lama

His Eminence Menri Ponlop Yangton Thrinley Nyima Rinpoche is welcomed back to Menri Monastery after traveling abroad. Photo credit: Unknown

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Blessings from the Master

HE Menri Ponlop Yangton Thrinley Nyima Rinpoche in Tibet. Photo credit: Unknown

Lama Think of Me!

His Eminence Menri Ponlop Yangton Trinley Nyima Rinpoche. Photo credit: Unknown

“EMAHO! 

With the devotion of my body, speech and mind, I pray to the essence of the three Enlightened Bodies, the kind root lama.

Please bestow upon me right now the realization of my own enlightened mind and the meaning of the view, realization and behavior.

May I recognize my natural mind, without modification and free of extremes.

May I recognize the brilliantly clear power of the wisdom of self-awareness.

May the many kinds of unceasing mental perceptions arise as self-appearances.

May I recognize my own enlightened mind, I pray.

Bless me that I may see my true face!

Bless me that self-awareness will arise for me!

Bless me to recognize my own true nature!

Bless me to see my own enlightened mind!

Lama, think of me!  Lama, think of me! Lama, think of me! 

Hold me, and all other sentient beings, in your compassion, I pray! 

Protect us with your compassion, I pray! 

Lead us with your compassion, I pray!

A Powa Prayer written by Lord Shardza Tashi Gyaltsen and included in his Kalong Gyatso, An Ocean of Instructions. Translation by Raven Cypress Wood ©2015 All Rights Reserved.

Grand Enthronement of His Holiness 34th Menri Trizen

HH 34th Menri Trizen Dawa Dargye Rinpoche with Dr. Lobsang Sangye. Photo credit: Unknown

The grand enthronement ceremony of His Holiness 34th Menri Trizen Dawa Dargye Rinpoche was attended by the president of the Central Tibetan Administration, Dr. Lobsang Sangay. During the event, Dr. Sangay gave a speech and also presented the 34th Menri Trizen Rinpoche with a mandala offering.

A Thousand Prostrations to our Spiritual Father!

His Holiness 34th golden throne holder of Tashi Menri Monastery, Dawa Dargye Rinpoche, leader of the Yungdrung Bon religious tradition. Photo credit: Unknown

On September 6th 2018 at Tashi Menri Monastery in Dolanji, India, Dawa Dargye Rinpoche will be formally enthroned as Holder of the Golden Throne, the 34th Menri Trizen, Spiritual Leader of the Yungdrung Bön religious tradition and its disciples.

“Amazing!

In a place where even the name of precious Bön could not be heard, teachings and realizations blossomed in the garden of lotuses of the spiritual leader, following the enlightened activities of the previously manifested Sun.

May these prayers go to the leader who is the manifestation of the perfect Moon.”

This prayer for HH 34th Menri Trizen was requested by HE Menri Ponlop Yangton Trinley Nyima Rinpoche and written by HE Yongdzin Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche March 25, 2018.

This translation of the first of two stanzas is offered by Gyalshen Institute.

A Rich Tradition: Barlé Gonpa

Murig Geshe Nyima Kunchap bestowing an empowerment of longevity at Barle Gompa 2018. Photo credit: Unknown.

A twenty minute walk from the village of Barlé in Dolpo, Nepal is the Barlé gonpa called Yungdrung Shuk Tsal Ling. The main part of the temple located next to the lama residence is said to be over 500 years old. The surrounding area is very green in Summer and the village residents rely heavily upon agriculture. Although the village is a mix of both Bön and Buddhist families, they visit each other’s temples and sacred sites.

Left: Barle Rinpoche Right: Barle Rinpoche with Geshe Kunchap Rinpoche

The Barlé gonpa was renovated by the father of Barlé Lama Tsukphü Gyaltsen, who assisted in the work. Although most of the Barlé lamas have been ngakpas, or householder lamas, Barlé Lama Tsukphü Gyaltsen did not want to follow this lifestyle and instead received monk’s vows at the age of eighteen. He traveled to Samling and stayed there for three years. He received teachings and initiations from Yongdzin Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche as well as from Sangye Tenzin Rinpoche. Eventually, he returned to the village of Barlé and immediately began to look for a proper place for secluded meditation.

The cave hermitage of Barle Rinpoche. Photo credit: Geshe Nyima Kunchap

A thirty minutes walk from the gonpa, up a steep cliff, he found the spot that he was looking for. The nearby rock formation naturally resembled a chorten and there was a stone painting of the enlightened Lord Tönpa Shenrap nearby. Here, he began to construct Drak Gön hermitage, literally “Stone Temple Hermitage.” The first part was completed in 1962. For thirty years, from 1970-2000, he remained in retreat at the hermitage. On the 27th lunar day of the 4th month in the Western year 2000, his outward breath stopped. His body remained in the five-fold meditation posture for three full days.

Recently erected chorten overlooking Barle village. Photo credit: Geshe Nyima Kunchap.

After the passing of Barlé Rinpoche, his nephew Lama Lhakpa assumed the duties of the main lama of Barlé. He was a householder and lived in the lama residence. He unexpectedly passed away in 2015 and his son took up the duties of being the village lama.

Murig Geshe Nyima Kunchap Rinpoche with the residents of Barle at the newly erected chorten. Photo credit: Unknown

Both a relative and student of Barlé Lama Tsukphü Gyaltsen Rinpoche, Murig Geshe Nyima Kunchap Rinpoche was born in the village of Barlé. At the age of eight, he began learning the Tibetan language and thangkha painting. At the age of fourteen, he learned to make torma and practiced the ngondro, or foundational practices. Strongly wanting to become a monk, he left the village of Barlé and made his way to India where he received renunciate vows from HH 33rd Menri Trizen Rinpoche and HE Yongdzin Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche. Completing his studies in the dialectic program, he received his doctorate of Geshe in 1994. Subsequently, he worked as the Bön department chairmen at the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies in Varanasi. He founded and acted as president of the Dolpo Bon Society and founded the Dolpo Bon School for girls and boys. Although he travels worldwide teaching and performing rituals of the Yungdrung Bön tradition, he regularly returns to the village of Barlé. Most recently, he personally sponsored the construction of a sacred chorten in the village. (See previous post: https://ravencypresswood.com/2018/07/21/a-chorten-for-barle-village/) In these ways, he continues to preserve and expand the rich Yungdrung Bön traditions of his lineage for the benefit of the Barlé residents, and beyond.

Geshe Kunchap Rinpoche leading the consecration ritual for the newly erected chorten in Barle village. Photo credit: Unknown

The tulku of Barlé Rinpoche was recognized at an early age in the village of Barlé. He naturally showed the signs of being familiar with the life of his previous incarnation, Barlé Lama Tsukphü Gyaltsen Rinpoche.

Barle Tulku, Tsewang Rigdzin Gyaltsen. Photo credit: Unknown

Although a difficult decision for his mother, she agreed to have him go to Menri Monastery in Dolanji, India in order to receive the proper training.Geshe Nyima Kunchap has taken personal responsibility to ensure his well being and education.

Geshe Nyima Kunchap Rinpoche and Tulku Tsewang Rigdzin Gyaltsen. Photo credit: Unknown.

 

Lunar Calendar: The Practice of Tséwang Rikdzin

Mural of Lama Tsewang Rikdzin from Yanggon Monastery in Dolpo, Nepal. Photo credit: Unknown.

According to the lunar calendar of the Yungdrung Bön, the 10th lunar day of each month is the day for the practice of the three sages: the great lama Drenpa Namkha and his two twin sons, Tséwang Rikdzin, and Pema Tongdrul.   For the Western month of June 2018, that date is June 23rd. This is the day set aside specifically to pay homage and make offerings to these lamas, as well as to recite the mantras associated with their respective practices.

“You are like the embrace of a thousand cloudless suns upon the very white, snow mountain, Mount Meru. A hundred praises to the deathless Tséwang Rikdzin, who overcomes the darkness of suffering of sentient beings during this degenerate time.”

From The Sword that Cuts the Noose of Death found within the Tséwang Jarima, The Teachings of Tséwang given at Jarima

Tibetan Translation by Raven Cypress Wood©2012

Author of Indestructible: The Longevity Practice of Lama Tséwang Rikdzin.  http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/SacredSky

For more information about Lama Tséwang Rikdzin, see previous post: https://ravencypresswood.com/2018/01/27/indestructible-the-longevity-practice-of-lama-tsewang-rikdzin/

 

 

 

Homage to the Saint, Shardza Tashi Gyaltsen Rinpoche

Shardza Tashi Gyaltsen Rinpoche. Private collection of Raven Cypress Wood

The 13th day of the 4th month on the lunar calendar is the anniversary of the parinirvana and rainbow body of the Yungdrung Bön scholar and meditation master, Shardza Tashi Gyaltsen Rinpoche. See previous post: https://ravencypresswood.com/2015/05/31/anniversary-of-shardza-tashi-gyaltsen-attaining-the-rainbow-body-2/

Shardza Soldep. Calligraphy: HE Menri Ponlop Trinley Nyima Rinpoche.

“Fearlessly opening the door to a hundred treasuries of the heart of the Buddha’s stainless teachings,

Having the superior capacity of Mawé Senge,

Supreme guide to the self-radiant, self-arising, primordially pure awareness,

To Manga Werzhi* I pray.”

~Homage written in honor of Shardza Rinpoche, and often placed at the conclusion of the commonly used chöd practice written by him entitled, “Giving the Body, the Full Laughter of the Khandro.”

*Zhang Zhung name for Shardza Tashi Gyaltsen Rinpoche.

Tibetan translation: Raven Cypress Wood

 

Homage to the Spiritual Father!

HE Menri Ponlop Rinpoche offers the mandala to HH 34th Menri Trizin during his enthronement ceremony at Menri Monastery in Dolanji, India. Photo credit: Unknown

Homage to the Greatly Kind Lama!

His Holiness 34th Menri Trizin Rinpoche.

The Three Jewels are the infallible, constant place of refuge.

The Mother and Son are the single refuge from the prevalence of the five degenerations*.

Sidpé Gyalmo is the supreme mother, protector of the teachings.

Greatly kind Lama, embodiment of all of the Victorious Ones, think of me!

I pray single-pointedly that my wish for all obstacles to be removed will be perfectly accomplished!

~Composed by the 20th century saint and Yungdrung Bön lama, Shardza Tashi Gyaltsen Rinpoche

Translation from the Tibetan by Raven Cypress Wood ©2016

* The Five Degenerations: 1) Degeneration of time due to strife, 2) Degeneration of the life-span, 3) Degeneration of the body, mind and speech of sentient beings, 4) Degeneration of the afflictive emotions due to the five poisons, and 5) Degeneration of the view due to erroneous views and misconceptions.

Offering Devotion and Receiving Blessings

His Eminence Yangton Menri Lopon Rinpoche presents the butter lamp offering.

On November 4, 2017, on the 15th day of the 9th Tibetan month, Tashi Menri Monastery in Dolanji, India held memorial events to mark the 49th day after the passing into liberation of the 33rd Menri Trizin Lungtok Tenpé Nyima Rinpoche. By invitation of His Eminence Menri Lopon Trinley Nyima Rinpoche, the tulkus, professors, geshes, and monks assembled in the temple. There, before the precious cremation bones, ash and relics of the 33rd Menri Trizin Rinpoche, with a feeling of intense longing, they prostrated and recited the Prayer to the Victor Bön, His Holiness Lungtok Tenpé Nyima Rinpoche.

L-Holy cremation ash C-Holy ringsel R-Holy cremation bone

Following that, the Praise of the Twelve Deeds of Shenrap Miwo Künlé Nampar Gyalwa was recited. Having formally presented the precious cremation bones, ash and relics to His Eminence Menri Lopon Rinpoche, he gifted each member of the monastic community with the actual accomplishment of the support for blessings, a majestic and empowered cremation bone.

Nuns of Menri perform the Tsewang Bo Yulma Tsok.

In the afternoon, the Menri community of nuns gathered and performed the Feast Offering of the Tséwang Bö Yulma. During this time, other monastic colleges within Menri Monastery performed various practices and rituals as well. Later, everyone gathered outside in the courtyard and again recited the Praise of the Twelve Deeds and the Prayer to His Holiness Lungtok Tenpé Nyima Rinpoche.

L-Cremation tsa tsa containing holy cremation bone. R-Public receiving a tsa tsa.

From then until midnight, both the monastic community and the public offered butter lamps, prostrations, and circumambulated the lama residence where the 33rd Menri Trizin had lived. At midnight, the public were invited to come before HE Menri Lopon Rinpoche and to receive a holy tsa tsa containing a majestic cremation bone inside. All of these holy relics, which are imbued with extraordinary power, are objects of support for the faithful to receive unlimited blessings and to develop profound devotion.

The Yungdrung Bon community chanting in the courtyard.

Once everyone had received a holy tsa tsa, they gathered outside where HE Menri Lopon Rinpoche led the presentation of the five offerings, the recitation of Offerings to the Lama, and the Prayer to His Holiness Lungtok Tenpé Nyima Rinpoche.

Receiving Blessings on the 49th Day

Placard handed out at Menri Monastery on the occasion of HH 33rd Menri Trizen’s cremation. Photo credit: Raven Cypress Wood

November 4th, 2017, the full moon day of the 9th Tibetan month, will mark the 49th day since the passing into liberation of His Holiness 33rd Menri Trizen Lungtok Tenpa’i Nyima Rinpoche. Although His Holiness has liberated and therefore has no need for traveling through the experience of the six realms of cyclic existence in the bardo, these 49 days are marked as an auspicious time to make offerings and perform virtue in order to generate powerful benefit for both ourselves and others. For ordinary beings who have died, we make offerings and perform ritual in order to support them. In this case, we make offerings and perform ritual to generate merit which we dedicate for the benefit of all suffering beings. This is also a powerful time to connect with the presence of His Holiness, receive his blessings, renew commitments made to him, and to remember the teachings and guidance that he offered.

At Menri Monastery in Dolanji, India the prayer Offerings for the Lama has been recited regularly since the passing of His Holiness 33rd Menri Trizen Rinpoche. This prayer will be one of the prayers offered on the 49th day. It is also appropriate to offer butter lamps or candles, perform the prayer specific for His Holiness, perform guru yoga emphasizing the presence of His Holiness, or abide in the natural state of the mind.

Butter lamp offerings at Menri Monastery. Photo credit: Menri Monastery

Offerings for the Lama

 EMAHO!

Within a completely pure and unchanging manifested realm,

is the spiritual master, the essence of the Enlightened Ones of the three times.

In order for the migrating beings of the six realms to cross the ocean of cyclic existence,

please remain seated upon the jeweled throne, on faultless cushions of a radiant lotus, sun and moon

within an unsurpassed palace of the immeasurable three places.

AH OM HUNG CHI PAR RAYNA TA TSEN RA YO DZA

 

Prostrations

EMAHO!

To the lama who is the embodiment of all of the Victors and spiritual masters,

who acts principally through the accomplishment of Bön for sentient beings who are as limitless as the sky,

I offer prostrations with my body,

prostrating with my arms, legs and head!

I prostrate with my speech,

chanting with a joyous and inspired melody!

I prostrate with my mind,

prostrating with single-pointed motivation and devotion!

May the negative actions and defilements of my three doors become purified!

AH OM HUNG CHI PAR RAYNA KO PUNG AKSHO TRI TSE GU DÜN HRUN

 

Admission of Wrongdoing and Purification

Before a supreme object of refuge, in the presence of my principal lama,

from the beginning until today,

I admit my actions of wrongdoing and non-virtue.

I admit corrupting the three vows and defiling the promises that I’ve made.

I admit my pretension even though not understanding the nature of mind.

Please bestow complete purification and the supreme attainment!

AH OM HUNG CHI PAR RAYNA KO PUNG AKSHO TRI TSE U DUK SHA YA NI SOHA

 

Mandala

EMAHO!

To the great, unmatched lama possessing characteristics,

I present unequaled external, internal, and secret offerings.

Externally, I offer the environment and the beings within it.

Furthermore, I offer my own body and its vitality as an ornament.

I present these offerings with non-attachment.

Internally, I offer the arising of my mental and physical aggregates.

I offer my accumulated realization that whatever arises as a subject and object is illusory.

Furthermore, I present these offerings within the vast space of self-liberation.

Secretly, I offer the natural radiance of my unborn mind,

which is unceasing, and understands whatever arises as enlightened manifestation and wisdom.

Furthermore, I present these offerings within a completely vast and all-pervasive space.

AH OM HUNG CHI PAR RAYNA ZUR NAM DÉ SHO HA RA TIM TIM YÉ SOHA

 

The Five Offerings

EMAHO!

Free from extremes and unchanging is the container of my mind.

Free from elaborations, I establish the wick of great self-liberation.

I fill the lamp of authentic, completely pervasive great bliss.

To the One who has characteristics, I present this butter lamp to look upon with the eye.

This unmoving and naturally clear incense burner

is filled with the non-grasping, radiantly clear light of pure incense.

The fresh and continuous smoke permeates everywhere.

I present this incense to the Protector of beings.

This unfabricated and self-clear water offering bowl

is filled with unobstructed, playfully self-arising offering water.

Including various ornaments of non-attachment such as nectar and medicine,

I present this offering water for the enjoyment of the Dimension of great kindness.

The primordial Buddha of the conch shell of the mind

is filled with manifested experience and realization like the utpal flower.

Radiating the wonderful light of spontaneously benefitting others,

I present this flower of enlightened activity to the Heart of great kindness.

AH OM HUNG NÉ TING SHIM PÖ DANG RA BONG NGÉ NÉ RA ZUR NAM DÉ SHO HA RA TIM TIM SOHA

 

Praise of the Enlightened State

EMAHO!

At the crown of my head, the changeless palace of great bliss,

abides the state of Künzang, completely equipoised and free from extremes.

I pray to the dimension of the Bön lamas,

please hold the migrating beings of the six realms in your compassion and loosen the mind-stream!

At the neck, the space of the palace of Ogmin,

are the peaceful and wrathful deities who have the major and minor characteristics.

I pray to the dimension of lamas of the Dzok ku,

please hold the migrating beings of the six realms in your compassion and loosen the mind-stream!

At the center of the heart

is the realm of the manifested subduer of migrating beings,

the One who teaches whatever is needed and performs a variety of enlightened activity.

I pray to the dimension of manifested Lamas,

please hold the migrating beings of the six realms in your compassion and loosen the mind-stream!

To the collective of all the victorious Lamas who have the endowments of leisure and fortune,

who teach the entire collection of scripture with completely pure speech,

who have the extensive wisdom of knowledge and kindness, and a mind free from elaboration,

who protect migrating beings like their own children with the exalted qualities that arise,

and who have spontaneous enlightened activity as limitless as the sky,

I pray to these unrivalled Lamas,

please hold the migrating beings of the six realms in your compassion and loosen the mind-stream!

I pray to Those who are unrivaled and who have perfected the Three Bodies,

please hold the migrating beings of the six realms in your compassion and loosen the mind-stream!

I pray to Those whose speech is an ornament of the world,

please hold the migrating beings of the six realms in your compassion and loosen the mind-stream!

I pray to Those who blaze like the incomparable udum flower,

please hold the migrating beings of the six realms in your compassion and loosen the mind-stream!

I pray to Those who are free of defilements and have the two kinds of knowledge,

please hold the migrating beings of the six realms in your compassion and loosen the mind-stream!

 

Receiving the Accomplishments

You, my Lama, who has brought cyclic existence and nirvana under your power,

I, and your other followers, pray

please bestow benefits that are as limitless as the sky to migrating beings!

Please grant our wishes to be continuously without separation from your presence!

Continuously hold us with your unequalled compassion!

 

Aspiration Prayer

Until I obtain complete enlightenment,

not born into a negative place,

may I obtain a body of renunciation with the advantages of the leisures and fortunes.

Having practiced the three trainings and loosened the mind stream, and having traveled the paths and the grounds,

from the state of complete Buddhahood,

may I accomplish benefit that is equal to the vastness of the sky!

Translated from the Tibetan by Raven Cypress Wood on the occasion of the passing of His Holiness 33rd Menri Trizen Lungtok Tenpa’i Nyima Rinpoche

Raven Cypress Wood ©2017 All Rights Reserved. No other distribution or publication allowed.

 

The Wise and the Young

HE Menri Lopon Rinpoche talks with young students at Menri Monastery in Dolanji, India.

Fire Offering for the Holy Physical Remains of a Realized Being

Some of the many Fire Offering Ritual items to be burned with the holy remains. Photo credit: Menri Monastery

During the early morning hours of October 2, 2017, the holy physical remains of His Holiness 33rd Menri Trizen Lungtok Tenpé Nyima Rinpoche will be cremated during an elaborate fire offering ritual at Menri Monastery in Dolanji, India. For the past five days, concluding at 3:30 a.m. prior to the beginning of the actual cremation ceremony, the monks have been performing the Kün Rik Le Zhi Gyü Nga, The Full Cycle of the Four Activities and the Five Tantras with cycles for each of the four kinds of enlightened activity which are classified as peaceful, expansive, powerful and wrathful.

Cremation chorten for HH 33rd Menri Trizen Rinpoche at Menri Monastery. Photo credit: Lee Hartline

In preparation for the cremation, a special cremation chorten has been constructed near the gompa and the butter lamp house. This cremation chorten (Sanskrit: stupa), built under the guidance of Khedup Gyatso who is a treasure of knowledge in the Yungdrung Bön community and a relative of His Holiness 33rd Menri Trizen Rinpoche, will be where the holy remains will be taken for cremation. This chorten has been constructed exactly to the dimensions of the sand mandalas of the Kün Rik cycle that will be burned with the holy remains. After the cremation ash has been collected, this chorten will be torn down.

Extensive offerings for the fire offering ritual for HH 33 Menri Trizen Rinpoche. Photo credit: Menri Monastery

The Kü Dung, or holy physical remains, will take up to three hours to burn. After that, it will take an additional day to offer and burn the vast array of offerings that are housed inside the gompa at Menri Monastery. Everything is made clean through prayer, and cleansing with pure water and incense. Among the many offerings are prayers of aspiration that have been written in pure gold and silver and placed upon tall wooden boards that will be read aloud and then offered to the sacred fire. This vast array of offerings are not given as a support for His Holiness 33rd Menri Trizen Rinpoche.  Rather, his sacred activity of having attained realization is taken as an auspicious opportunity to generate great benefit for all sentient beings.

Prayers of aspiration written in precious gold and silver.

During the time of the Fire Offering Ritual, lay people continuously circumambulate the sacred site. It will take many days for the cremation ashes to cool. At that time, the monks will collect the sacred ash and also look for kü dung ringsel. These kü dung ringsel, or relics of the holy physical remains, can appear in the cremation ash of realized beings and take many forms including the appearance of sacred images on small bone fragments or small, pearl-like spheres. The cremation ash will be made into tsa tsa and placed within a special memorial chorten dedicated to His Holiness 33rd Menri Trizen Rinpoche.

Some of the many offerings for the Fire Offering Ritual dedicated to His Holiness 33rd Menri Trizen Rinpoche. Photo credit: Menri Monastery

Offerings For the Lama

Ku dung khang, or house of the holy physical remains, for HH 33rd Menri Trizen Rinpoche

 

“EMAHO!

To the lama who is the embodiment of all of the Victors and spiritual masters,

who acts principally through the accomplishment of Bön for sentient beings who are as limitless as the sky,

I offer prostrations with my body,

prostrating with my arms, legs and head!

I prostrate with my speech,

chanting with a joyous and inspired melody!

I prostrate with my mind,

prostrating with single-pointed motivation and devotion!

May the negative actions and defilements of my three doors become purified!

AH OM HUNG CHI PAR RAYNA KO PUNG AKSHO TRI TSE GU DÜN HRUN

 

EMAHO!

To the great lama who has no equal and possesses characteristics,

I present unmatched external, internal, and secret offerings.

Externally, I offer the environment and the beings within it.

Furthermore, I offer my own body and its vitality as an ornament.

I present these offerings with non-attachment.

Internally, I offer the arising of my mental and physical aggregates.

I offer my accumulated realization of whatever arises as subject and object as illusory.

Furthermore, I present these offerings within the vast space of self-liberation.

Secretly, I offer the natural radiance of my unborn mind, which is

unceasing and understands whatever arises as enlightened manifestation and wisdom.

Furthermore, I present these offerings within a completely vast and all-pervasive space.

AH OM HUNG CHI PAR RAYNA ZUR NAM DÉ SHO HA RA TIM TIM YÉ SOHA

 

EMAHO!

At the crown of my head, the change-less palace of great bliss,

abides the state of Künzang, completely equipoised and free from extremes.

I pray to the dimension of the Bön lamas,

hold the migrating beings of the six realms in your compassion and loosen the mind-stream!

At the neck, the space of the palace of Ogmin,

are the peaceful and wrathful deities who have the major and minor characteristics.

I pray to the dimension of lamas of the Dzog ku,

hold the migrating beings of the six realms in your compassion and loosen the mind-stream!

At the center of the heart is the realm of the manifested subduer of migrating beings,

the One who teaches whatever is needed and who performs a variety of enlightened activity.

I pray to the dimension of manifested lamas,

hold the migrating beings of the six realms in your compassion and loosen the mind-stream!

To the gathered Victors of the dimension of leisure and fortune

who teach the entire collection of scripture with completely pure speech,

who have the extensive wisdom of knowledge and kindness, and a mind free from elaboration,

who protect migrating beings like their very own children with the exalted qualities that arise,

To Those who have spontaneous, enlightened activity as limitless as the sky,

I pray to the unequaled lamas,

hold the migrating beings of the six realms in your compassion and loosen the mind-stream!

I pray to those who are unrivaled and who have perfected the Three Bodies,

hold the migrating beings of the six realms in your compassion and loosen the mind-stream!

I pray to Those whose speech is an ornament of the world,

hold the migrating beings of the six realms in your compassion and loosen the mind-stream!

 

I pray to Those who are free of defilements and have the two kinds of knowledge,

hold the migrating beings of the six realms in your compassion and loosen the mind-stream!

 

You, my lama, who has brought cyclic existence and nirvana under your power,

I, and your other followers, pray,

please bestow benefits that are as limitless as the sky to migrating beings !

Please grant our wishes to be continuously without separation from your presence!

Continuously hold us with your unequalled compassion, we pray!

 

Until I obtain complete enlightenment,

not born into a negative place,

may I obtain a body of renunciation with the advantages of the leisures and fortunes.

Having practiced the three trainings and loosened the mind stream, and having traveled the paths and the grounds,

and from the state of complete Buddhahood,

may I accomplish benefit that is equal to the vastness of the sky!”

~Excerpt from prayers offered at Menri Monastery during the time after the passing of His Holiness 33rd Menri Trizen Lungtok Tenpé Nyima Rinpoche

Translated by Raven Cypress Wood ©2017 All Rights Reserved

Prayers for the Master

Monks offering prayers and butter lamps after the passing of His Holiness 33rd Menri Trizen Rinpoche September 2017. Photo credit: Unknown

When the Lama Passes Beyond: A Brief Explanation

On September 14th, 2017, the spiritual leader of all Yungdrung Bön and head of Tashi Menri Monastery in Dolanji, India, His Holiness 33rd Menri Trizen Lungtok Tenpé Nyima Rinpoche entered into a state of tukdam at his lama residence at Menri Monastery. In general, tukdam refers to a state of meditative stability attained by meditation masters that continues after the external breath of their body has ceased but the internal breath, or winds, remain.  Therefore, the subtle channels through which these winds move remain stable. The area of the body containing the heart chakra remains warm to the touch.  The skin remains soft, and the face retains a glow of vitality.  Often, the master is sitting in meditation posture, but can also be in the yogic posture of the “sleeping lion” lying upon the right side of the body, knees together and slightly bent with the right hand under the head and the left arm resting upon the body.  During this time, great care is taken to not disturb the body or interrupt the state of mediation.   Great blessings can be received by connecting with the master during this important time.

After an indeterminate number of days, the internal winds cease, the channels collapse, the physical body slumps, and the warmth dissipates from the heart center. For His Holiness 33rd Menri Trizen Lungtok Tenpé Nyima Rinpoche, he ended his state of tukdam after five days on September 18th, 2017. At that time, chants related to the cleansing of the sacred body are recited while the physical remains are ritually bathed with water mixed with special herbs.  Sacred seed syllables are then written on the body and the body is wrapped in a pure white cloth. Disciples who connect with the lama during this time either by being near the sacred remains or at a distance, can receive great blessings.

Tsok offerings after the passing of His Holiness 33rd Menri Trizen Rinpoche. Photo credit: Unknown.

Because the master has attained a state of enlightened realization, the prayers and rituals that are offered during this time are different than that for an ordinary being.  Rather than offering prayers to support their experience of death, disciples focus upon practices to honor the teachings of the master.  These prayers and practices include performing acts of virtue to benefit all beings, reciting aspirational prayers such as the Tséwang Monlam found at this link https://ravencypresswood.com/2017/09/14/tsewangs-precious-mala-of-meaningful-aspiration-prayers/, and practicing guru yoga in a pure and fervent way.  Additionally, the monastic community offers many tsok, or sacred feast offerings. At the time of cremation, an elaborate fire ritual called Kün Rik is performed during which a wide variety of offerings are presented to the entire cycle of deities.

An example of Kun Rik offerings from 2014. Photo credit: Geshe Nyima Kunchap Rinpoche

Although the master has attained the ultimate state of realization and therefore does not experience the 49 days of transiting the bardo, the 49 day period is still observed as a time to continue with prayers, spiritual practice, renewal of vows, and acts of virtue in order to honor the teachings and spiritual guidance of the master.

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