600th-year Monlam Chenmo, Toronto chapter, was concluded today- 17, March, 2019. It was concluded with Maitreya Statue, offered by a Tibetan lady to TCCC, which took one complete circumambulation of the TCCC building as is the tradition.
Highlight of the ceremony was that 6(five female and one male) Tibetan University students took part in auspicious debate. These students learned the debate at Gajang Gonpa, Toronto. Geshe Lharampa Ngagi Wangchuk answered their debate.
For photo and video, click here.
What does KhaChe (ཁ་ཆེ) mean?
Most of the Tibetan Buddhist scriptures were composed in an ancient city called KhaChe (ཁ་ཆེ) which is present day, Kashmir. The word KhaChe (ཁ་ཆེ) stands for Khawa Chenpo which is translated as Huge Snow. It has nothing to do with Muslim. Khache as a religious connotation for Muslim was a misnomer. Once, Kashmir and Nepal were land of Buddhist.
What is ADARSHA?
1. ADARSHA is an app that lets you read and conduct searches of ancient documents in a digital format. There are three main categories of texts: (a) Kangyur (the words of the Buddha translated into Tibetan) ; (b) Tengyur (commentaries by Indian scholars translated into Tibetan) ; and (c) Tibetan Buddhist scriptures.
2. The software features a fast search engine and simple user interface that meets the needs and habits of the common user in searching and reading material. Searches can be made in Unicode Tibetan or Wylie, and there are summaries of the scriptures for the convenience of the academic community.
3. His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, named the software ADARSHA (Sanskrit), which means “clear mirror,” with the hope that users will be able to clearly see their own minds reflected in the scriptures as if they were looking at a clear reflection in a mirror.
click below for more information
Vinaya Pitaka (Bhiksu Vows) and how it is taken
Buddhist ordination or becoming a Bhiksu has THREE steps or rituals. First is to shave head, replace mundane cloth and name with Bhiksu robe and Bhiksu name(Novice -རབ་ཏུ་བྱུང་བ). He must be 7 years or older. Second, a Bhiksu must take Pratita Moksa(དགེ་ཚུལ་གྱི་སྡོམ་པ) vows(36). Third, he must take the complete vows(253) of Bhiksu.
First ritual (novice vow རབ་ཏུ་བྱུང་བ) has 3 vows which are shaved head, Bhiksu robe and Bhiksu name, which is conducted by any Bhiksu with 253 vows(དགེ་སློང) who is a Bhiksu for the past 10 years. Such ritual is performed for any number of novices. There is no limit.
Second ritual (དགེ་ཚུལ་གྱི་སྡོམ་པ) has 36 vows which is conducted by any Bhiksu with 253 vows (དགེ་སློང) who is a Bhiksu for the past 10 years. Such ritual is performed for any number of novices. There is no limit.
Third ritual (PratiMoksa vows དགེ་སློང) has 253 vows which is conducted by any Bhiksu with 253 vows(དགེ་སློང) who is a Bhiksu for the past 10 years. Such ritual is limited to only THREE in a group. If there are four novices, for example, it is three in one group and single in the next group. Four and more in a group make them Sangha which is higher in hierarchy of Biksu hence not allowed unless situation is deemed dire.
These rituals require a reading from specific passage that must be read “from heart” to the novices. It cannot be read from a screen or a book, according to Vinaya Sutra.
In the case of second ritual (དགེ་སློང- 36 vows) if novice fails to understand the meaning of the passage, vow is not qualified one; he must generate a genuine renunciation of worldly affaires (ངེས་འབྱུང་གི་བསམ་པ). Historical instances were cited where Ananda’s two cousins had to take this vow twice; another historical Bhiksu who had to take this vow twice was Chakawa. Thus, if one feels that the genuine renunciation was not upto the mark when vow was taken, he or she is allowed to take the 253 vows again due to those historical cases.
Note: Although Karmapa took the first and the second ritual of Bhiksu, simultaneously, from HH the Dalai Lama, yet the specific passage was read by the Gyaltsap Rinpoche who was with him at the time and according to Vinaya Gyaltsap Rinpoche becomes his Lopon not HH the Dalai Lama. Karmapa expressed this simple fact and his desire to receive the second -36 vows- from HH the Dalai lama.
When one is beings bestowed with these higher vows(36 and 253 vows), it should bring tears of joy. If not, you are allowed to take it again. Sometimes, it is not the vows themselves but from whom it is taken that can bring tears of joy.
In case of female novice, a female Bhiksu can perform above rituals but procedure are the same. If due to situation, Bhiksuni with 10 years and 253 vows is not available, male Bhiksu with above qualifications can perform the ritual for a female novice according to Sutra; many Tibetan Bhiksu are unaware of this special clause- please read Vinaya Sutra more.
click below for Video and few photos of 600th-Year Monlam chenmo at TCCC on 15, March, 2019
600th-year Monlam chenmo
Click here for Ex-CTA Tenshug Program: 2019 July 6
BodhGaya, Main Vihara; Picture Courtesy: Geshe Nechung Dorjee, 2018, Dec.
click here for more photos by Karma