Making Offerings Shar Gaden Monastery Making Offerings Shar Gaden Monastery
Making offerings to the monastery and Sangha is well practised in all traditions of Buddhism. It is something that we should do either on... Making Offerings Shar Gaden Monastery

(Originally published on tsemrinpoche.com)

Around August 2013, the Board of Directors in Kechara presented me 800 White Tara statues to request for my long life. I was very touched by such a wonderful and sincere offering from my students, as I knew it must not be easy to arrange for 800 statues and on top of that, have it all painted by our own in-house artists! All statues were also made in-house within Kechara! So I accepted the offering and told Beng Kooi, one of my Changtsos… instead of keeping these statues in the ladrang or in Kechara Paradise, I would like to offer these statues to the monks in Shar Gaden Monastery as it would be more beneficial that way.

A few months back, Beng Kooi arranged for these statues to be safely shipped to India, and also arranged for 29 pilgrims to join the pilgrimage to Gaden Monastery so they may be part of the offering ceremony on my behalf. Beng Kooi is truly a wonderful and sincere person, she works so hard and expects nothing in return and very trustworthy with her work. I was wondering why Beng Kooi was rushing to offer the statues to the monastery early October 2014, and she told me it was because she wanted to make the offerings before my 49th Birthday which is my obstacle year… she hopes by making these offerings, it would clear some of the obstacles to my long life… I thought how thoughtful and auspicious.

So, in early October 2014, Beng Kooi and her team of 5 people, along with 29 pilgrims flew to India to make the statue offerings to the monks of Monastery. For many that went to India this time around, it was their first experience travelling to a monastic setting. I’m glad that they have the merits to make this pilgrimage as they met with many high lamas and many old, holy monks… holy because they held their vows perfectly for the past 60, 70 years or so. Our pilgrims did many other virtuous actions while they were in the monastery, such as making offerings and meeting with many high lamas, which I will blog about it another time. I have been making offerings and supporting this monastery for over 7 years now along with a few other monasteries and large lama ladrangs. Prior to Shar Gaden I have been supporting and donating to Gaden Monastery for nearly 27 years now. I know most of the senior monks as they are my friends as I’ve known them for over 27 years and you don’t just forget friends even if they number in the hundreds. Hundreds of them are my dharma brothers or monk brothers. I miss many of them very much. I attended many activities with them back in Gaden. We all were in Gaden today in our much younger days before I was sent to Malaysia. Many of the senior monks who are my friends sent warm greetings to me. I’ve had to make much and many donations over the past 7 years to Shar Gaden Monastery. For whatever thoughts may arise, they are monks and deserve to be supported.

Below is a short write up on the highlight of the pilgrimage, which is the offerings of the White Tara statues, robes, books, food, drinks and along with it, many wonderful and beautiful pictures of the pilgrims making offerings to the monks. Do take a look at the wonderful pictures and if you have never been to pilgrimages, or even if you have been for pilgrimages… rejoice and make a strong motivation that you too may have the merits to make pilgrimages in the near future.

Tsem Rinpoche


Making Offerings to Gaden Monastery

[Written by the blog team]

Making offerings to the monastery and Sangha is well practiced in all traditions of Buddhism as it is known to be a meritorious act. It is something that we should do either on a daily basis such as simple food offering to the Sangha, which is the common practice of Thai lay Theravada practitioners who offer danna (food) to the monks, or on a larger scale, to sponsor the construction of prayer halls, temple buildings, statues and robes to the monastery. Understanding this method of accumulating vast amounts of merits, the Board of Directors of Kechara would make major offerings to the monasteries, once in every few years; in dedication to the good health and long life of our Spiritual Director, His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche, and to offer support to the monks in the Monastery.

On 11th October 2014, a group of 35 pilgrims made a complete set of offerings to the Sangha members of Gaden Monastery during their 4 day pilgrimage to the Monastery. During the morning puja, which lasted from 6 am until 12 noon, the monks recited the Namgyal Tsechog Puja (Long Life Puja) in dedication to the long life and good health of His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche. A total of 800 sets of offerings were prepared for the 800 monks in the monastery. Each set of offering consisted of a photo of His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche, an 8″ White Tara statue with gold face painting, a dharma book, a set of robes, a red packet (a monetary gift) and also sewing fees for the monks to send their robes to the tailor. Additionally, the group also sponsored breakfast to the whole monastery that morning. We purchased the comics on line and had it shipped and offered. Luckily the comics were done in time as the organization in charge were friendly and helpful. The comics are a history of the holy protector that has been very well produced by another group online.

For many of the pilgrims, it was their first visit to a holy site like the Monastery. The journey was made  “extra special” because they could make such elaborate offerings to the monks, which is a rare and precious opportunity to amass vast amounts of merits. The act of giving also develops within us the virtue of generosity, which is the direct antidote to miserliness and counter to overcome attachments, which is a source of our suffering within samsara. We hope that through these virtuous activities, we create the cause for the works of the Monastery and their monks to prosper and for the great teachers to continue to turn the wheel of Dharma and benefit many. We also pray for His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche to have a long and stable life, and may all of Rinpoche’s Dharmic aspirations materialize.

Attached below are some pictures from the offering ceremony.

Items offered to the monks in the monastery:

No.   Item Cost
1. White Tara Statue RM 1,400,000
2. Comic Book RM 22,800
3. Kuyong (monetary gift) RM 2,400
4. Robes RM 230,400
5. Breakfast RM 560
6. Photo of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche RM 1,200
Total cost RM 1,657,360

(USD 462,850)  

The pilgrims entered the monastery's gompa respectfully at 6 am before puja.

The pilgrims entered the monastery’s gompa respectfully at 6 am before puja.

 

Sponsoring Breakfast for all 800 monks in the monastery

The monks on duty served breakfast to the rest of the monks in the prayer hall. The ambiance was festive.

The monks on duty served breakfast to the rest of the monks in the prayer hall. The ambiance was festive.

Tibetan bread served with butter: a simple but healthy breakfast for the monks.

Tibetan bread served with butter: a simple but healthy breakfast for the monks.

Serving Tibetan Tea: enjoying this traditional recipe of tea preparation is an acquired taste. However, it is wonderful to witness the Tibetan culture is still vibrant within the monastic community here.

Serving Tibetan Tea: enjoying this traditional recipe of tea preparation is an acquired taste. However, it is wonderful to witness the Tibetan culture is still vibrant within the monastic community here.


The monastery's Gekula (disciplinarian) announced the sponsor and dedication for the day.

The monastery’s Gekula (disciplinarian) announced the sponsor and dedication for the day.

 

Offering 800 White Tara Statues

800 White Tara statues offered to the monks in the monastery. Offering statues is an extremely meritorious deed, especially when the receiver are pure and holy monks. With every day the receiver make their prayers, the giver gains much merits as their generosity gave someone else the ability to practice the Dharma.

800 White Tara statues offered to the monks in the monastery. Offering statues is an extremely meritorious deed, especially when the receiver are pure and holy monks. With every day the receiver make their prayers, the giver gains much merits as their generosity gave someone else the ability to practice the Dharma.

Unpacking the statues before the pilgrims offered them to the monks.

Unpacking the statues before the pilgrims offered them to the monks.

 

Offering 800 sets of Monk Robes

800 sets of complete monk robes were stacked up outside of the Gompa, waiting to be distributed.

800 sets of complete monk robes were stacked up outside of the Gompa, waiting to be distributed.

The sponsorship of the robes include sewing fees as well as the robes material.

The sponsorship of the robes include sewing fees as well as the robes material.

Monk robes for the younger children.

Monk robes for the younger children.

 

Offering 800 Books to the Monks

800 comics were offered to each of the monks in the monastery. We had to contact another organization for these and they were very friendly and helpful. I wanted to thank them for getting these comics ready in time for the offerings.

800 comics were offered to each of the monks in the monastery. We had to contact another organization for these and they were very friendly and helpful. I wanted to thank them for getting these comics ready in time for the offerings.

The monks were looking forward to the protector comics: taking a sneak peak!

The monks were looking forward to the protector comics: taking a sneak peak!

 

Making Offerings in the Gompa

Offering of body, speech and mind prepared by the monastery for the sponsors to present to the High Lamas

Offering of body, speech and mind prepared by the monastery for the sponsors to present to the High Lamas

Datuk May Phng, whom is also President of Kechara represented H.E. Tsem Rinpoche in making the offerings.

Datuk May Phng, whom is also President of Kechara represented H.E. Tsem Rinpoche in making the offerings.

Datuk May made offering of body, speech and mind to Kyabje Trijang Chocktrul Rinpoche's throne in the Gompa on behalf of Tsem Rinpoche.

Datuk May made offering of body, speech and mind to Kyabje Trijang Chocktrul Rinpoche’s throne in the Gompa on behalf of Tsem Rinpoche.

Vinnie Tan representing Hatten Group, making offerings to Kyabje Trijang Chocktrul Rinpoche's throne.

Vinnie Tan representing Hatten Group, making offerings to Kyabje Trijang Chocktrul Rinpoche’s throne.

Datuk May making offerings of body, speech and mind to Khensur Rinpoche (the erudite Abbot emeritus).

Datuk May making offerings of body, speech and mind to Khensur Rinpoche (the erudite Abbot emeritus).

Datuk May making offerings of body, speech and mind to His Eminence Domo Geshe Rinpoche.

Datuk May making offerings of body, speech and mind to His Eminence Domo Geshe Rinpoche.

The pilgrims making offerings to the monks.

The pilgrims making offerings to the monks.

Pictures of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche was also offered to the monks.

Pictures of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche was also offered to the monks.

Datuk May offering a White Tara statue to Kyabje Trijang Chocktrul Rinpoche's throne.

Datuk May offering a White Tara statue to Kyabje Trijang Chocktrul Rinpoche’s throne.

Datuk May making offerings to the 101st Gaden Tripa's Throne (now being retired is known as H.H. Gaden Trisur Rinpoche's) in Shar Gaden. His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche was the supreme head of all Gelugpa school of Buddhism until he retired. He is a highly respected scholar, master and teacher.

Datuk May making offerings to the 101st Gaden Tripa’s Throne (now being retired is known as H.H. Gaden Trisur Rinpoche’s) in Shar Gaden. His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche was the supreme head of all Gelugpa school of Buddhism until he retired. He is a highly respected scholar, master and teacher.

Mr. KH Ng, whom is also Kechara's Vice President offered a White Tara statue to Khensur Rinpoche on behalf of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche.

Mr. KH Ng, whom is also Kechara’s Vice President offered a White Tara statue to Khensur Rinpoche on behalf of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche.

His Eminence Domo Geshe Rinpoche placed His White Tara statue and a picture of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche neatly on his ritual table. This incarnation was found by the current Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and the oracle. Both Trijang Rinpoche and the oracle of the protector separately announced this to be the undisputed incarnation. The previous Domo Geshe was very close to the previous Trijang Rinpoche. He requested Trijang Rinpoche to find his incarnation before passing.

His Eminence Domo Geshe Rinpoche placed His White Tara statue and a picture of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche neatly on his ritual table. This incarnation was found by the current Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and the oracle. Both Trijang Rinpoche and the oracle of the protector separately announced this to be the undisputed incarnation. The previous Domo Geshe was very close to the previous Trijang Rinpoche. He requested Trijang Rinpoche to find his incarnation before passing.

Vinnie Tan offered a set of monk robes to Kyabje Trijang Chocktrul Rinpoche's throne.

Vinnie Tan offered a set of monk robes to Kyabje Trijang Chocktrul Rinpoche’s throne.

Monks are the embodiment of renunciation. When we offer robes to the Sangha, it is symbolic that may we too achieve renunciation from the cyclic rebirth of samsara.

Monks are the embodiment of renunciation. When we offer robes to the Sangha, it is symbolic that may we too achieve renunciation from the cyclic rebirth of samsara.

Pilgrims received an appreciation gift and khata offering from the disciplinarian and administrators of the monastery.

Pilgrims received an appreciation gift and khata offering from the disciplinarian and administrators of the monastery.

Many of these monks are materially poor, but spiritually rich. They own simple personal altars, sometimes only with pictures of Buddhas. We are glad that we have this opportunity to offer them a beautiful White Tara statue, as the image of the Buddha is the map to Enlightenment.

Many of these monks are materially poor, but spiritually rich. They own simple personal altars, sometimes only with pictures of Buddhas. We are glad that we have this opportunity to offer them a beautiful White Tara statue, as the image of the Buddha is the map to Enlightenment.

The younger monks also received a complete set of offerings.

The younger monks also received a complete set of offerings.

This young monk, smiling brightly after receiving the offerings from the pilgrims. May these young monks succeed in their studies and graduate as learned Geshes to continue to turn the wheel of Dharma.

This young monk, smiling brightly after receiving the offerings from the pilgrims. May these young monks succeed in their studies and graduate as learned Geshes to continue to turn the wheel of Dharma.

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  • Fong

    Posted on August 20, 2016 #1 Author

    Thank for sharing these wonderful pictures of the pilgrimage for the offerings. It must have been a very auspicious and joyous occasion fort the pilgrims.

    To be able to participate in the offering and learning first hand what it means to make such a large offerings to a monastery. Surely, this lesson of love and commitment on the part of Beng Kooi for going the distance for this occasion, is not lost on the pilgrims. The generosity of Rinpoche is encompassed in this offerings; from the food to the robes and statue of White Tara.

    May Rinpoche have stable health and long life. May Rinpoche’s wishes manifest smoothly and swiftly.

    Reply

  • Sofi

    Posted on August 26, 2016 #2 Author

    Thank you to the BOD, Beng Kooi and team to prepare and make the offerings of the 800 White Tara statues for the long life of our Guru, H.E. the 25th Tsem Tulku Rinpoche. Rinpoche again shows us his generousity by example with the offerings of the statues and other important items to the monks of Shar Gaden Monastery, India. I rejoice for the 29 pilgrims to have the merits to take part in this auspicious and important event that helps clear the obstacles to our precious Guru’s life. I am grateful that we all blessed with our Guru here with us and may we continue to generate the merits to have him with us for a very very long time and to continue turning the Wheel of Dharma to bless the many that will be coming. Om Benza Wiki Bitana Soha, may the enlightened Protector Dorje Shugden guide and assists us in our practise of transforming our minds as the precious gift to our Guru.

    Reply