His Holiness visited Dechen Chokhorling Mahavira (DCM) from 21-25 October, 2007. DCM, approximately 200 kms away from Gyuto, is situated on a hilltop in Bhuntar, District Kullu Himachal Pradesh. DCM is a Drukpa Kagyu lineage Monastery. The head of the DCM is His Eminence Choegon Rinpoche. Rinpoche invited His Holiness to consecrate the main shrine hall and its core Buddha statue.
Short Biography: The ninth and present emanation of Choegon Rinpoche (Jigmey Choekyi Senge) was recognized at the age of three by His Holiness the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa. The Karmapa presented His Eminence Khamtrul Rinpoche with three letters detailing the precise location of Choegon’s whereabouts, the house of his birth, his family and the year. Rinpoche was enthroned at the age of 6 in Khampagar Monastery. Khamtrul Rinpoche transmitted the complete teachings of Drukpa Kagyu tradition to him in Bhutan. Rinpoche also received many teachings from Kyabje Dilgo Khentse Rinpoche, H.E Trulshig Adiu Rinpoche, H.H Je Khenpo and H.E Tulku Ogyen Rinpoche. Rinpoche completed many practices in retreat including Vajrakilaya, Green Tara, Buddha Amitayus, Vajrapani and Padmasambhava and received the Khenpo degree at the age of 28.
Rinpoche supports and funds many community projects, and currently is working on a project of building a new monastery at Kullu, while also renovating many old temples throughout the western Himalayan regions.
21st October, 2007: On the arrival at the DCM, His Holiness was received and escorted by Khamtrul Rinpoche, Choegon Rinpoche, Dorzong Rinpoche, Drugu Choegyal Rinpoche, Somang Tulku, the Bhuntar Tibetan Welfare Officer and Principal of Sambhota School with all the Serbang. The nearby Sambhota Tibetan school assembly presented “Tashi Shoepa” (the auspicious welcoming dance). Following the arrival of His Holiness in the main shrine hall Mandala offerings and tea were offered with sweet rice.
22nd October: His Holiness performed the prayer of “Gyal wa ja tson yang sab konchok chidue” and led the consecration of the main shrine hall’s core Buddha statue, Khamtrul Rinpoche, Choegon Rinpoche, Drozong Rinpoche, Drgu Choegyal Rinpoche and Somang Tulku were also present at the puja. The puja continued for whole day.
23rd October: In the morning, His Holiness visited the Shambala Art School, which is nearby DCM. His Holiness observed the Tibetan Thangka paintings and consecrated the school. Afterwards, His Holiness, along with Khamtrul Rinpoche, Choegon Rinpoche, Dorzong Rinpoche and Drugu Choegyal Rinpoche, enjoyed tea outside at the lawn. In the afternoon, His Holiness gave the initiation of Buddha Avalokteshvara, and also gave talk about the meaning of the “Om Mani Padme Hung” and its importance, advising the audience that in his view, being a better human is the true import of the Buddha’s dharma.
This initiation and puja was translated into Hindi as almost ten thousand persons from near and around this Himalayan region gathered for this initiation. After finishing the initiation, His Holiness gave blessings to each person individually. People in this region keep their faith in the dharma strong, and everybody shared the bliss of the guru’s empowering blessing.
24th October: The Sambhota and Manali Tibetan Day School presented a cultural show in the courtyard of DCM. His Holiness expressed appreciation to the school for their enduring effort to preserve and keep alive the Tibetan culture, the future seeds of Tibet, within the heart. Later in the afternoon, His Holiness returned to Gyuto Tantric University. – Tashi Paljor