Category Archives: Tibetan Lamas

4th Anniversary of the Parinirvana of H.H. the 33rd Menri Trizin Rinpoché

Menri Monastery shrine dedicated to H.H. 33rd Menri Trizin Rinpoché. Photo credit: Khenpo Nyima Künchap Rinpoché.

On the 24th day of the 7th lunar month in the Western year 2017, His Holiness the 33rd Menri Trizin Lungtok Tenpé Nyima Rinpoché displayed his realization by passing into nirvana from his physical body. In 2021 this date coincides with August 31st. On this day, Yungdrung Bön religious centers worldwide will recognize this auspicious day with special prayers and rituals.

Golden statue of HH 33rd Menri Trizin Rinpoché in his home village.

Supplication Prayer to H.H. the 33rd Menri Trizin Rinpoché

“The omniscient wisdom of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas of the ten directions is condensed into a single essence in you, Highest One.

You carry out the enlightened activities of spreading the vast and profound teachings of Tönpa Shenrap.

To you, Lungtok Tenpé Nyima, I supplicate and pray.”

“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!”

— From Offerings for the Lama

All translations and content by Raven Cypress Wood ©All Rights Reserved. No content, in part or in whole, is allowed to be used without direct permission from the author.

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Anniversary of the Birth of His Holiness the 33rd Menri Trizin Lungtok Tenpé Nyima Rinpoché

Close-up of traditional scroll painting depicting His Holiness the 33rd Menri Trizin Lungtok Tenpé Nyima Rinpoché

His Holiness the 33rd Menri Trizin Lungtok Tenpé Nyima Rinpoché was born in Tibet on the 15th day of the 5th lunar month in the Western year 1929 in the village of Kyongtsang in the far eastern province of Amdo. In 2021, this date corresponds with June 24th on the Western calendar.

When he was eight years old, his father took him to the nearby monastery of Phuntsok Dargyé Ling where he learned to read, write and chant. At the age of fourteen, he received instructions on the preliminary practices of dzogchen and completed the nine-hundred thousand accumulations three times. In 1945 at the age of seventeen, he received novice monk vows from Kyangtsang Lama Sherap Tenpé and was given the name Sherap Namdak. He completed his Geshé Degree at the age of twenty-five under the guidance of Lopön Tenzin Lodro Gyatso Rinpoché. The following year, he traveled South to the Bön province of Gyalrong, where he printed copies of the Bön Kanjur from traditional woodblocks. After gathering a vast amount of material and using mules to carry more than 100 volumes of the sacred texts, he made an arduous six-month journey back to his monastery. In 1956 at the age of twenty-eight, he traveled to the famous Yungdrung Ling Monastery and received monk vows from the Pönlop and was given the name Sangyé Tenzin. In 1960 at the age of thirty-two, as he passed through Mustang and Dolpo on his way to India, he borrowed many rare texts in order to reprint them in India and ensure their preservation.

In 1968, many esteemed Yungdrung Bön lamas gathered together in order to coordinate the process of selecting a successor of the late 32nd Menri Trizin. After several days of extensive prayers and rituals, Sangyé Tenzin’s name emerged as the one to hold the lineage of Nyammé Sherap Gyaltsen. In 1969 at the age of forty, after extensive preparatory initiations, he assumed his duties as the 33rd Abbot of Menri Monastery and began leading the effort to re-establish Menri Monastery in Dolanji, India.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is hh33-with-statue-1.jpg
His Holiness the 33rd Menri Trizin Rinpoche. Photo credit: Unknown

In 1970, he began construction of the main temple of Pal Shenten Menri Ling in Dolanji and lead efforts to restore Menri Monastery in Tibet. In 1972, he opened a dispensary at Pal Shenten Menri Ling that distributed medicine freely to the monks, the Tibetan settlers in the nearby village, as well as to the local Indians. In 1975, he began a school for the Bönpo children, and in 1978 he founded the dialectic school to continue the tradition of in-depth education of the traditional and philosophical sciences that results in the esteemed degree of geshe.

After many years of indescribable and tireless efforts on behalf of the Yungdrung Bön tradition as well as the worldwide Bön community and all sentient beings, he displayed the truth of impermanence and passed into nirvana on the 27th day of the 7th lunar month in the Western year 2017. The auspicious occasion of the celebration of his birth is an opportunity to generate great merit through spiritual practice and virtuous activities of body, speech and mind.

“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, paying homage 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”

— From Offerings for the Lama

All translations by Raven Cypress Wood ©All Rights Reserved. No content, in part or in whole, is allowed to be used without direct permission from the author.

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Greatly Kind Lama, Think of Me!

His Eminence Menri Pönlop Yangtön Thrinley Nyima Rinpoche during the Tibetan New Year celebrations. Photo credit: Unknown

“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

* 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.

Tibetan translations by Raven Cypress Wood

Raven Cypress Wood ©All Rights Reserved. No content, in part or in whole, is allowed to be used without direct permission from the author.

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665th Birth Celebration of the Second Buddha: H.H. the 1st Menri Trizin Nyammé Sherap Gyaltsen Rinpoché

Shrine display at Menri Monastery honoring HH 1st Menri Trizin Rinpoche. Photo credit: Unknown

The 5th day of the 1st month of the Tibetan lunar calendar is the birth celebration of His Holiness the 1st Menri Trizin Nyammé Sherap Gyaltsen Rinpoché also known as the second buddha. In 2021, this date coincides with  February 16th on the Western calendar and is the 665th year. H.H. Nyammé Sherap Gyaltsen Rinpoché was a reincarnation of Yikyi Khye’u Chung, one of Buddha Tönpa Shenrap Miwoche’s sons. He was responsible for uniting the three transmission lineages 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.

H.H. Nyammé Sherap Gyaltsen Rinpoché 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, H.H. Nyammé Sherap Gyaltsen Rinpoché.

Tibetan translations by Raven Cypress Wood

Raven Cypress Wood ©All Rights Reserved. No content, in part or in whole, is allowed to be used without direct permission from the author.

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Aspiration Prayer for the Continuation of the Yungdrung Bön Teachings: Publicly Offered Translation

Lighting a candle offering at Menri Monastery. Photo credit: Unknown

The practice of making aspirational prayers is one of the ten perfections. The Tibetan word for this is mönlam, wylie: smon lam. This is a compound of the two words “mön” meaning aspiration or wish, and “lam” meaning path. The mönlam is a kind of spiritual mission statement that invokes the truth of the words of the buddhas and the truth of the ultimate nature of reality. These aspirations can spontaneously manifest as we purify our obscurations and develop our wisdom and positive qualities.

The Aspiration Prayer for the Continuation of the Teachings, also known as the Tengyé Mönlam, is a well-known and commonly practiced aspiration prayer within the Yungdrung Bön religious tradition. It is especially sung at the conclusion of special events and gatherings at Tashi Menri Monastery in India, the mother monastery of the Yungdrung Bön community.

“May the lotus feet of the incomparable lamas who hold, sustain and increase the tradition remain steadfast!

May the completely upright community flourish, and may great, resounding acclaim for them fill the land!

Depending upon these aspirations and although having eliminated all illness, hunger and violence for all migrating beings who are as vast as the sky,

and a hundred thousand auspicious suns of benefit and happiness having arisen,

ultimately may everyone have the auspiciousness of attaining complete buddhahood!”

— Extract from Aspiration Prayer for the Continuation of the Teachings

The English language translation of the prayer can be downloaded from this page: https://ravencypresswood.com/publications/

To hear this prayer sung by His Eminence Menri Pönlop Yangtön Thrinley Nyima Rinpoché, click on the link below. He begins the prayer at approximately 13:10.

https://cybersangha.net/prayer-for-pandemic/

All translations and content by Raven Cypress Wood ©All Rights Reserved. No content, in part or in whole, is allowed to be used without direct permission from the author.

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