The Saraswati Charitable Trust was set up in the year 2003 as a Public Trust under the inspiration of His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje. The registered office of the Trust is in Jangpura B, New Delhi, with a Branch Office in Gangtok, Sikkim to care for any ongoing projects in the State. The Saraswati Charitable Trust was established to support educational, research and religious institutions, along with many other subsidiary aims and objectives. His Holiness the Karmapa is the Chairman of the Trust.
The first Project to be undertaken by the Saraswati Trust is the establishment of a Buddhist Retreat and Meditation Centre at Martam, East Sikkim. The consecration of the site was completed on 18th of April, 2006 after an elaborate three day cermony of pujas and prayers led by His Eminence Goshir Gyaltsab Rinpoche, Venerable Drupon Dechen Rinpoche , and the monks of Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre and Ralong Palchen Choeling Monastery. Construction work has now commences in earnest. The retreat Centre upon its completion will serve to provide a secluded learning centre for all serious religious practitioners.
On 16th April a group of monks led by His Eminence Goshir Gyaltsab Rinpoche perform the “Sang and Bumi Puja” to consecrate the main area for the new retreat center in Martam, located about six kilometers from Rumtek. Ven Drupon Dechen Rinpoche also participated in the ceremonies. Mr. Karma Tobden (former Indian Ambassador to Mongolia) was the special guest for the occasion.
His Eminence and former Ambassador Tobden prepare to bury the Ter Bumpa at the ceremony on April 16 in Martam, Sikkim
According to the “bumi sadana” ritual, first the image of the “Sa-dak Toche”was drawn on the earth at the location of the main temple to be built. This was followed by a ceremony of digging holes in the earth for the burial of the “Ter-Bum” (Vase) under the ground. After the chanting of the aspiration prayers, His Eminence Gyaltsap Rinpoche dug the first hole. He was followed by Mr. Karma Tobden and an eight year old girl, who, per the traditional rules, was invited to dig the earth as an auspicious sign.
After digging the hole, the Ter-Bum was buried under the earth by His Eminence and Mr. Karma Tobden together.
The following day, 17th April, Vajra Yogini’s “Bumi puja” was performed and a sand mandala was created by the monks. The sand mandala was also placed inside the hole dug in the main site of the temple. The following day, 18th April, the daylong “Vajra Yogini” puja was performed by His Eminence, the lamas and monks. At the end of the day the tandala was covered. HE and Drupon Dechen Rinpoche blessed the mandala as it was covered forever.
“Tsok” offering was done at the end of the puja and Deputy General Karma Chungyalpa made an offering to HE and the monks thanking them for their work.
Click here for pictures of the consecration ceremony for the Buddhist Retreat and Meditation Centre at Martam (the same photos are contained in the slideshow, but on the following pages are available in a different format)