Buddha Shakyamuni once prophesied in the Nirvana Sutra that “Eight years after my parinirvana, my manifestation will be born in a lotus. Due to this manifestation’s deep connections with all sentient beings in the Dharma-ending age, countless beings will benefit from his immense Dharma promulgating activities.” The Buddha’s manifestation is Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava), the founder of the Tibetan Buddhism, particularly the Vajrayana Vehicle. In the eighth century, the King Trisong Detseng invited Guru Rinpoche to Tibet to promulgate Buddha’s teachings. Buddhism and Dharma had been well developed and flourishing in Tibet ever since, and become the sheer guidance of Tibetan people’s mundane and spiritual life.
For thousands of years, Buddha’s teachings helped countless beings attain the ultimate peace and happiness. The importance of the Sangha in preserving and promulgating Buddha’s teachings cannot be overemphasized. A Buddhist monastery that enshrines the Three Symbols – Buddha's image, Dharma, and Sangha – is the place where Dharma is preserved and promulgated. Therefore, in the holy land where Guru Rinpoche accomplished Vajrakilaya, H.E. Yeshe Sangpo Rinpoche established the Samye Memorial Buddhist Monastery, a representative monastery for preserving the lineage of H.H. Dudjom Ripoche’s New Treasures. The Monastery, designed to easily accommodate one thousand nuns for their learning and practicing Dharma, is the first nunnery in the Dudjom lineage and bears the significance of preserving and promulgating the teachings from the lineage.
The design of the Monastery mimics the mandala of the Trikaya (Buddhas of the Three Bodies) and that of the Five Tathagatas. Viewing from the exterior, this four-story Monastery actually reaches nine stories in height, with the main temple in the first floor extending up to three-story high and the second floor and above reaching two-story high. Magnificent in external appearance, all the Buddha statues, thrones, mandalas, murals, and wall paintings inside the monastery were meticulously constructed in accordance with the Buddhist doctrines. A brief introduction of the statues and ornaments in each floor is described as follows.
On the first floor, the main hall enshrines the main statue of Guru Rinpoche. On top of the statue of Guru Rinpoche deifies Buddha Avalokitesvara. Statues of Guru Rinpoche’s consorts — Dakini Mandarawa and Dakini Yeshe Tsogyal – are situated next to the main statue of Guru Rinpoche. The main statue of Guru Rinpoche is also surrounded by the statues of the Eight Vidyadharas.
The right hand side of Guru Rinpoche’s main statue deifies the statue of Khenpo Bodhisattva, with Vajrapani Bodhisattva on the top. The left hand side of the Guru Rinpoche statue enshrines the statue of King Trisong Detseng, with Manjushri Bodhisattva on the top. Surrounding these two statues of Khenpo Bodhisattva and King Trisong Detseng are statues of the Eight Manifestations of Guru Rinpoche, Longchenpa and his disciples, and the two great treasure revealers – H.H. the First and the Second Dudjom Rinpoche.
The rightmost side of the main statue of Guru Rinpoche enshrines the statue of Vajrakilaya, with Samantabhadra and his Dakini on the top. The leftmost side of the main statue of Guru Rinpoche deifies the statue of Dakini Yeshe Tsogyal in Khandro Thukthig, with the Dakini of Samantabhadra on the top. The statue of Dakini Yeshe Tsogyal in Khandro Thukthig is surrounded by the statues of Vajravarahi, Dakini Kurukulle, Dakini Simhamukha, and Vajravarahi Krodhi Kali.
In front of the main statue of Guru Rinpoche, one thousand statues of Guru Rinpoche are enshrined on both sides. The main hall on the first floor also presents the wall paintings of the Dudjom Incarnation Line, Guru Tsokye Thukthig in the Dudjom Tersar, and the thankas of Khandro Thukthik.
The ceiling of the main hall is decorated with twenty-seven delicate and colorful paintings of the Kama and Terma mandalas.
The second floor enshrines the mandalas of the Drubpa Kagyed, Lama Gongdus, Dorje Phurpa, the statues of the Buddhas of Three Times (The past, the present, and the future) surrounded by the Seven Buddhas and the Sixteen Arahats. The second floor also deifies the Mandala of one hundred peaceful and wrathful deities.
The statue of Avalokitesvara with a thousand hands and eyes, along with the Eight Bodhisattvas, Vairochana and his dakini, Vajrasattva and his dakini, the Twenty-one Taras, the Three Longevity Buddhas, and the wall paintings of the Dudjom Tersar lineage, are enshrined on the third floor.
The four edges in the exterior deifies the mandalas and statues of the Akshobhya and his dakini, Ratna-sambhava and his dakini, Amitabha and his dakini, and Amogha-siddhi and his dakini.
The Samye Memorial Buddhist Monastery has earned the widespread fame of the Glorious Copper-Colored Mountain (the pure land of Guru Rinpoche).
Even before the completion of the Monastery, numerous nuns were drawn by H.E. Yeshe Sangpo Rinpoche’s reputation and excellence in rigorous Sangha education and beseeched to follow him. Numerous pilgrims travelled a long distance to the Monastery. All these facts reflect Rinpoche’s insurmountable glows of virtues that shine all sentient beings.
With H.E. Yeshe Sangpo Rinpoche and H.E. Khandro Pema Chodron’s great effort in overseeing every detail, the Monastery was successfully established, with the consecration ceremony held on the auspicious day of November 23, 2009. The founder of the Monastery, the venerable H.E. Yeshe Sangpo Rinpoche, earnestly and respectfully invited H.H. Dungse Thingley Norbu Rinpoche, the holder of “Dudjom New Treasure,” to co-preside in this ceremony. Over ten thousand attendees participated in the ceremony, including many masters, Lamas, Sangha, yogis, and laymen. The success and magnificence of the ceremony echoed the glorious moments when Guru Padmasambhava consecrated the Samye Monastery in the eighth century. The consecration ceremony of the Samye Memorial Buddhist Monastery thus ended with such unprecedented magnificence and success.
It was the venerable H.E. Yeshe Sangpo Rinpoche and H.E. Khendro Pema Chodron who made such pure, perfect, and grand wishes to establish the Monastery. In particular, they engaged themselves in every detail of the construction, from the site-searching, the design of the Monastery, fundraising, the selection of construction materials and workers, to the oversight of several years of construction work. The result was what H.H. Dungse Thingley Norbu Rinpoche praised as the topnotch Monastery.
After the consecration ceremony, H.H. Dungse Thingley Norbu Rinpoche continued to stay in the Monastery for three months and gave countless teachings on the “Dudjom New Treasure,” oral transmissions, and empowerments to faithful disciples from all over the world (including Taiwan, the U.S., Canada, Europe, Malaysia, Singapore, Russia, India, Bhutan, and Tibet). This unparalleled and unprecedented opportunity to receive H.H. Thingley Norbu Rinpoche’s teachings was made possible by H.E. Yeshe Sangpo Rinpoche and H.E. Khandro Pema Chodron’s endless compassions and loving kindness to all sentient beings.
H.H. Dungse Thingley Norbu Rinpoche once prophesied that the merits of the Samye Memorial Buddhist Monastery are equivalent to those of the Glorious Copper-Colored Mountain (the pure land of Guru Rinpoche) and of the Samye Monastery, the first Tibetan Buddhism Monastery built by Guru Rinpoche. The Samye Memorial Monastery is thus the mandala of Zambala, the naturally formed mani-treasure, and the auspicious site helping all sentient beings accumulate merits and wisdom.
OriginationIn the holy land where Guru Rinpoche accomplished Vajrakilaya, H.E. Yeshe Sangpo Rinpoche established the Samye Memorial Buddhist Monastery, a representative monastery for preserving the lineage of H.H. Dudjom Ripoche’s New Treasures
Grand Opening CeremonyThe founder of the Monastery, the venerable H.E. Yeshe Sangpo Rinpoche, earnestly and respectfully invited H.H. Dungse Thingley Norbu Rinpoche, the holder of “Dudjom New Treasure,” to co-preside in this ceremony
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