DHARAMSHALA: His Holiness the Dalai Lama yesterday inaugurated the newly constructed Ngagyur Zabsang Choekorling monastery at the Tibetan settlement in Chauntra in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. Addressing the gathering at the ceremony, His Holiness the Dalai Lama said that the new monastery should serve as an advanced center of learning Tibetan Buddhism, particularly under the Nyidrak lineage of Dzogchen teachings in Tibetan Buddhism. He also said that the successful completion of the monastic structure is just one minor fulfillment of the goal. “The real goal is the in-depth study of the Tibetan Buddhist texts and spread the teachings of the Buddha, he said, adding, “just reciting mantras and building large monasteries is not enough.” He also advised the Tibetan people and the monks to take pride in their Buddhist identity and make more effort in studying both science and Buddhist philosophy. He thanked the sponsors for their generous donations towards building the new prayer hall. Thanking the local Indian people for their continued support towards the Tibetan people, he said without their support the monastery as well as the Tibetan settlement couldn’t exist. Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay, who was present on the occasion, also addressed the ceremony. He said that the existence of rich traditions of Tibetan Buddhism in Tibet is the result of remarkable efforts made by Tibetan Buddhist masters and scholars, who have traveled to India to study Buddhism in the past. Tibetan Buddhism now is widely practiced and is one of the most respected religions in the world, Sikyong said, adding, it is mainly due to the efforts of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and other Tibetan Lamas who continue to serve people through the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism. Sikyong also talked about the importance of education and the steps taken by the 14th Kashag to improve the standard of Tibetan education. “During the special conference of 2008, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has spoken about the lack of focus on improving the education standard since coming into exile. Therefore, the 14th Kashag has prioritised education as one of its most important policies and it has produced some positive results as well,” he said. “Education is the only way through which Tibetans in exile could fulfill the aspirations of our brethren inside Tibet,” he said. Speaking about the Middle Way Approach of the Central Tibetan Administration, Sikyong said it is the only realistic solution to resolve the Tibetan issue through a non-violent and mutually beneficial way. “The Middle Way Approach was formulated through a democratic process by soliciting the views of the Tibetan people and approval of the Tibetan parliament,” Sikyong said. “US President Barack Obama has expressed his wholehearted support to the Middle Way Approach to resolve the Tibet issue when he met His Holiness the Dalai Lama recently,” he added. Mr Penpa Tsering, the Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, was also present on the occasion. In his address, he said: “It is really important that Tulkus and Rinpoche’s need to learn in depth the Tibetan Buddhist philosophies so that they can serve the Tibetan community as well as all sentient beings.” After lunch, His Holiness paid a visit to Dzongshar Shedra and Drikung Kyagyu Bhumang Jampaling Monastery to conduct consecration rituals. Mr Ngawang Phelgyal Gyechen, the Chief Justice Commissioner of the Tibetan Supreme Justice Commission, Deputy Speaker Khenpo Sonam Tenphel, members of Parliament, Nyidrak Rinpoche, Shatrul Rinpoche and other dignitaries were also present at the function.
Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay speaking at the inauguration of Zabsang Choekorling monastery in Chauntra. DIIR Photo/Tenzin Phende