RSS Feed (xml)

January 12, 2008

December 2007 trip to Nepal

I arrived in Kathmandu on 20th November 2007. The first thing I did was to pay respect to Tenzin Phuntsok Rinpoche and Khenrinpoche. We spent approximately one hour to talk about life in LDC Malaysia and other Kopan matters. After that Ven Rubina called up to say that we needed to start work immediately on the biography of Geshe Lama Konchog. This biography will be published by Wisdom Publication and I am now waiting for the final edited version by Ven Rubina. It could take six months to a year or more depending on her time and I also need to provide some materials, one of which is the collection of Geshe Lama Konchog’s advises written by him when he was in the cave. These materials need to be gathered from Tsum and I will only have the opportunity to get them few months later as Tsum is now totally covered with snow. They need to be translated into English by me and I also need to compile these amazing 400 over initiation implement drawings by Geshe Lama Konchog available for the book. Ven Rubina was still very keen to get more stories from some of the senior students who are still in life long retreat. Time is needed to get all these things done and I am very sure it will be a very interesting and remarkable book which talks about incredible stories in this 21st century where somebody is able to live a life like Geshe Lama Konchog. When I look back on the script, it is really amazing, very touching, very inspiring and very down to earth and it shows us the exact life of a Kadampa master.

Ven Rubina kindly provided time from her busy schedule to work on this biography and even though it was a very tiring task, we worked from morning to night for three consecutive days. Then some of my friends from Singapore arrived and I took three days off to bring them around for pilgrimage and then continued with work right up to Dec 6. On that day, I sent Ven Rubina off in the morning and receive the LDC group in the afternoon. It felt so refreshing to see all the LDC friends because the time I spent with Ven Rubina was very rush but due to our efficiency, we managed to come up to the final stage. I must say we both did an excellent job. From the bottom of my heart, I felt thankful towards Ven Rubina for all her effort, time, courage and many other things she have help out. In fact I should say the work of this biography is one of my main completed tasks upon return to Nepal and it’s now had been fulfilled.

The pilgrimage with LDC group consisted of approximately 15 members and students plus some from Indonesia and Thailand. Most of them are new to dharma but they have been very cooperative, very understanding, full of tolerance and very enthusiastic in visiting holy places and doing practices to their best ability. In fact we are able to cover very important holy places like one place called “Sango” which is one of Vajrayogini’s holy place, cave of 80 Mahasiddha and the cave of Milerapa. Each individual had inspiring experiences and some of these holy places were missed out by the previous group. So I must say this group is very lucky to be able to make it but they had to make the effort to climb stairs. On the first day after they checked into the Hyatt Kathmandu Hotel, they managed to view the wishfullfilling great Boudhanah Stupa to make their wish. I was telling them the story that the first time they set their eyes at the Boudhanah Stupa, whatever wish they make will 100 percent be fulfilled and there were many evidence that this had happened. That made them excited and I am sure they made great wishes which will be fulfilled. Boudhanah Stupa is definitely one of the greatest places to visit when you come to Nepal. So don’t ever miss it! The other holy places are like Swoyambhunath Stupa which is self-emanated and this Stupa was also blessed by all the 4 Buddhas who descended near the mountain called “Langtalungten”. We also went to visit the Buddha Kashapa Relic Stupa and Nagajuna’s relic stupa and the entrance to the naga land where Nagajuna went to get the sutra into this world. Other sites are Manjushri’s throne, Vajrayogini’s holy place where the 2 “Phamdingpa” brothers who achieved Vajrayogini’s enlightenment and lineage of Vajrayogini’s practice. Until today the original statue which manifested in the actual form of Vajrayogini used by these 2 great practitioners are still around. We were also fortunate enough to pay respect to the very important Guru Padmasambava’s holy place, the self arising Tara and other holy sites in Kopan and Kathmandu valley.

Everyone felt very happy and fortunate to spend time with Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche and received his precious teachings, initiations and blessings together with the little holy child Tenzin Phuntsok Rinpoche as well as with Khenrinpoche who gave them a personal guided tour around Kopan Monastery. They also received blessings from Khenrinpoche and had the opportunity to have a meal together with him.

LDC group did offer extensive pujas, sanghas offerings and donations to the monastery and these offering were also participated by others from Malaysia. They also offered hundreds of light in holy places and everyone was so touched that everywhere we went, whatever virtue or prayers done was dedicated to the dharma brothers and sisters in LDC, CGC (Penang), RJL (Triang) and Kasih Hospice. These touching moments brought tears to some of them. It only shows the care and love among them.

Of course everyone is overwhelmed with shopping. That is not surprising. I think everything seems nice, cheap, wonderful and necessary to have, especially the good quality tangkas, statues, prayer wheels and many other things. I can see that their ten days trip wasn’t enough and there were many other holy places to visit. So everyone pray and hope to go back again and again in this life time.

My trip to Kathmandu this time was again a very meaningful and happy trip. I had the opportunity to meet other friends from other parts of the world who attended the November Kopan course. They are from Singapore, Hong Kong but mostly from America, Europe and Australia. There were over 60 of them including the LDC group. It was also very nice of Angie and Cecilia from LDC who attended the whole November course and this is very inspiring and rejoicing. The hardship they had to go through to adapt with the weather, people, culture and course schedule was amazing but they expressed much joy and I can see it written all over their glowing face. Of course I am sure they were happy to see me too as I am part of them from Malaysia. I was very glad to see them healthy, happy and learning. I very much wanted to spend time with them but due to my endless packed schedule, I was not able to do so.

In the end I didn’t even spend time with Phuntsok Rinpoche, Khenrinpoche or even my family members but I am still very happy because this trip had been very beneficial with a good purpose.