I have recently returned from Zangdokpalri, which is no longer a dream but a dream come true. PLease see the photo galleries for latest images, read the report below, and visit us on Facebook for more!
On a remote hill in eastern India, a group of the finest artists from Bhutan, Nepal and India gathered around Kunzang Dechen Lingpa Rinpoche for the past eight years, helping him build the Zangdokpalri Temple. The temple was named after the changeless visionary abode of Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche) who helped establish Buddhism in Tibet in the 8th century. According to ancient Buddhist tradition, Guru Rinpoche promised that he would reappear in the form of tertons (revealers of dharma treasure) to revitalize Buddhism for the benefit of all beings. Kunzang Dechen Lingpa Rinpoche was considered such a terton. After several years in solitary retreat, Kunzang Dechen Lingpa Rinpoche received instructions in a dream from Guru Rinpoche to construct a temple, along with a majestic vision of the structure's location and design. Some years later, Rinpoche recognized this site on a hilltop in Arunachal Pradesh - a poor and remote yet spectacularly beautiful area in the Himalayan mountain range.
Rinpoche acquired the land with his own very limited resources. From 2001- 2009, Rinpoche, his son and spiritual heir Dungse Rigdzin Dorje, and a number of monks and nuns annually toured the United States,teaching and performing healing Cho ceremonies for over 5,000 Americans. Since then, a monastic community of over 170 monks and 150 nuns has come together under Rinpoche's guidance. It was Rinpoche's wish that this community become an oasis of Buddhist scholarship, sacred art, meditation and service.
In March 2006, after giving his son and close students instructions for the completion of sacred artworks and instructions for preserving his physical body as well as predicting the particulars regarding his own rebirth, Rinpoche passed away amidst miraculous signs such as rainbows, earthquakes and lightening.
AGAINST ALL ODDS, THE
It was through your generous support and the arduous efforts of Kunzang Dechen Lingpa's (“KDL”) students who had vowed to join with him in his vision and bring it to completion. These local boys and girls, now full-grown adults, without any formal western education have created an architectural and artistic wonder. For instance a reincarnate lama explained to me on the day I was leaving that the Chief Engineer, Tsewang Dondup, the fellow who was the overriding supervisor to the construction site had no formal education. He had been Dungse Rinpoche's cook as an early teenager and KDL Rinpoche noted his expertise in carving carrots and potatoes into architectural forms and decided than that he would become the construction super of the temple project.
THE TEMPLE IS CONSECRATED IN DECEMBER 2009
During the entire month of December, an elaborate array of rituals, dances and meditations (drupchen) was performed to consecrate the sacred structure, culminating on New Year's Eve, December 31st, with the Aspirational Prayer Ceremony.
During the December ceremonies, Kyapje Terton Kunzang Dechen Lingpa's kudung (precious body) was brought from the Tashi Choling Nunnery in the flatlands of Assam up to the mountains of Arunachal Pradesh to finally rest at the Zangdokpalri Temple, high atop the hill that had appeared to Rinpoche in his dream. Over the following two days, thousands of monks and lay Buddhists lined the road as the sacred parade transported the precious cairn that was to be installed at the temple. Prayers flags sponsored by friends in the West and the local community provided an escort of wind-borne prayers.
Though ebullience was the overriding sentiment for the Zangdokpalri community during the month of ceremonies, on the final day there were tears too. The head construction-concrete worker and his assistant both of whom had been on the job over 6 years poured forth their memories of the many many obstacles and hardships the project had faced again and again. After such bonding they were now going separate ways one returning to their native Solu Kumbu in the
and the other staying on near Zangdokpalri to oversee the construction of another satellite temple for a local village.
Those of you who have made donations to this Temple project and who have helped to support the monks and nuns over the years, including some who stepped forward with larger donations so KDL could receive the advanced medical treatments to stay alive that much longer, should know that you are links in a chain along with the monks and nuns who enabled this wonder to come to realization.
Please visit us on Facebook and go to the photo galleries in this website to view extensive photos of the new building and the recent consecration ceremonies and celebrations. Thank you and may auspiciousness prevail!
Moke Mokotoff (Jamyang Dorje) ~ President of Zandokpalri Foundation