His Holiness the Dalai Lama Consecrates Tharpa Choeling Monastery in Kalimpong
DHARAMSHALA: His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Sunday inaugurated and consecrated the newly refurbished Gaden Tharpa Choeling Monastery in India's northeastern state of West Bengal, which he said is one of the oldest Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in India.
His Holiness said he was very happy to visit the monastery, adding that Kalimpong has had a long relationship with Tibet.
His Holiness paid his first visit to Gaden Tharpa Choeling Monastery in 1956 when he was returning to Tibet after attending the 2500th Buddha Jayanti celebration in India. The second visit was made in 1981 during which he gave a series of religious teachings.
Novice monks await His Holiness the Dalai Lama at Gaden Tharpa Choeling Monastery
“Since then, I could not able to visit here as the Lamas and monks were engaged in Shugden propitiation,” he said.
“I also propitiated Shugden in the fifties, and after careful research and study realised that Shugden is an evil spirit. I then renounced its propitiation, and informed in detail to Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and received his complete support,” he said.
“I have now come here at invitation of this monastery as it has shunned Shugden propitiation,” he said.
Earlier in the morning, His Holiness was accorded ceremonial welcome on arrival at Kalimpong from New Delhi. Hundreds of Tibetans - representing the traditional provinces of Tibet, Tibetan Youth Congress and Tibetan Women's Association, monasteries and schools - carrying ceremonial scarves and incense sticks lined on both sides of the road to welcome His Holiness. Local Tamangs, Sherpas and Nepalese joined the welcome reception.
On his arrival at Tharpa Choeling monastery, His Holiness was received by the monastery's spiritual head Geshe Dromo Rinpoche as chorus of traditional trumpets reverberated and scent of incense wafted the air.
His Holiness presides over the inauguration of Gaden Tharpa Choeling Monastery
Geshe Dromo Rinpoche presented Mendrel Tensum (auspicious offerings) to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The secretary of the monastery, Mr Phurbu, delivered the welcome speech and presented a report of the monastery.
Gaden Tharpa Choeling Monastery was established in 1922 by the first Dromo Geshe Rinpoche. The present Dromo Geshe Rinpoche is the third reincarnation. Presently there are about 50 monks at the monastery.
Kalimpong used to be one the major trade centres for Tibetan woollen products and Indian goods when Tibet was an independent country.
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