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Saturday, June 05, 2010

Studying Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö : i

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 Tashiding Monastery: A sacred Guru Rimpoche blessed –II
Studying Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö :  i
 Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö in Gangtok (approx. 1959)

As we enter Tashiding, different thoughts were visiting me. I was talking to myself and was wondering about the early scenario that might have occurred out there. After the newly constructed road ended all of a sudden, we had few minute’s walk when we reached at the gate of the monastery. The old monastery was the first that we came across and with few steps ahead the giant looking Tashiding monastery was standing in front of us. I can assure you that it I was really having a peace in mind the moment I was at the monastery premises. I looked at those old relics inside the monastery but was not allowed to click, nevertheless I inquired about the chorten of the learned Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö but nothing pleasing to me happened.

I was told by Volker Dencks who first introduced me about Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö’s visit to Sikkim. Dencks wanted informations about him who passed away at Sikkim in 1959. He was looking for information of Jamyang Khyentse’s last years in Sikkim since very little is known to western world about it. I had never before heard about the person and to my little understanding through exchange of mails Dencks was informing me about the great Tibetan teacher. He said Jamyang Khyentse was supposed to be an incarnation of Lhatsun Namkha Jikme and destined to open the secret hidden land - Demojong- at Tashi Ding. He said that finally he was unable to do so because the road that was built to China (Dencks believes this is the Nathula Pass) impaired the access. These words I repeated more than once and I believe I have heard about the similar stories of some hidden secret land elsewhere too but I was bit confused about Tashiding and Nathula connections, these places are in different distances…one is in eastern side and the other in western side!
I have read in one of the websites about the story of a rock at Tashiding that was supposed to be the door to that mysterious eternal land. The website writes “The white rock of Tashiding’s name is rough rocks face not twenty paces from where Garpa (the person behind all those labourious stone carving around Tashiding Monastery) has spent the last half century carving stones. In it one can make out the faint outline of a doorway. It is said this is a doorway to the kingdom of Shambhala, and at least one monk is known to have passed through that door in a trance and to have returned clutching the flowering branches of a plant that is reputed to grow in that hidden kingdom and nowhere else. The story goes that he then went to the river to wash himself. He put the branches down. The river rose and swept them away.”
Nothing more is known about the lama but such stories does make a presence of the mysterical land the people called Shambhala. As far as to my little knowledge, I had read somewhere that it was in late 50s few lamas did tried to search for that hidden secret land of Shambhala in Yoksom but they died on the very spot. It is said that the hidden door of the Shangrila shall only open if three lamas from three directions meet. That was the last time someone did tried to open the hidden door of that spiritual heaven. To the people of Sikkim, I feel these informations are less told or heard.
Volker Dencks runs a blog on Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö that gives some information about the person. The blogger writes “Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö was of the greatest importance for the spread of the Tibetan Buddhist teachings over the Western hemisphere. At that time in Tibet there was no other master that received the respect from followers of all traditions. Since he himself, following in the footsteps of his predecessor Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, had gathered, studied, practiced and taught all the different lineages of Tibetan Buddhism everyone claimed him as a great teacher of their very own tradition.”
Wikipedia adds “Behind the temple is a stupa cluster. It was in Tashiding that the cremation of Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö was performed and that a stupa was built by his own disciples, including Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, to house his relics. It was later gold-leafed by Orgyen Tobgyal Rinpoche in the 1990s.”
(PIC: Remembering The Masters/Wikipedia)
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When i started my blog on Sikkim way back in 2007, i had it clear on my mind that this blog shall help people look out for knowledge on Sikkim. I always wanted a knowledge house about Sikkim, its past, present and future. I do not know over the years how much did i succeed but my determination to let other understand my Sikkim is always giving me a push. with regards Shital Pradhan (himalayanreview@gmail.com)

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