In 2013, a new and beautiful five-foot-tall Dorje Shugden statue was commissioned for a temple in Liaoning, China. This statue was installed as the main icon in the Protector chapel of Rui Ying Si, a monastery located in the Mongolian Autonomous Region of China.
Rui Ying Si Monastery was established in 1669 during the Qing dynasty period and reached its zenith of beauty and elegance during the 44th year of Emperor Kangxi’s reign. The monastery was also named Gaden Dargyerub Ling in Tibetan and the first high Lama from the monastery was bestowed the title “Jegün gajar un monggol no ebugen Borqan” or “Old Buddha in Eastern Mongolia, of the Great Qing Dynasty” by the Emperor himself.
The Emperor Kangxi is said to have been very happy to hear of the various activities of the monastery that spread the Dharma. Therefore, he awarded an imperial plaque to Rui Ying Si with a verse of praise that spanned the four languages of Manchurian, Mongolian, Tibetan and Chinese carved on it.
During its earlier days, Gaden Dargyerub Ling had 3,600 resident monks. Aside from the large main prayer hall, the monastery had four other large prayer halls, five college buildings dedicated to monastic education, a Dukkar chapel, a chapel to the Protector Tara, a relic chapel and various other chapels. These chapels were built strategically within the confines of the monastery. The buildings were all constructed in accordance with traditional rules laid down by the Buddha and advocated by the incomparable Lama Tsongkhapa as well.
The monastery today has 800 dormitories for resident monks along with 3,000 rooms meant for visiting lay and ordained practitioners. It is a stronghold of the Gelug Buddhist tradition in the area and it preserves the lineage of traditional rituals such as the ‘cham’ dance. It is also a traditional place for the local Mongolian community to get together for their annual festivals. Furthermore, this historical monastery is a tourist attraction as the Chinese government classifies it as a class 2A tourist-protected site.
Besides being an institution of learning and practice and a tourist destination, the monastery also has an extensive collection of precious Buddhist treasures and artwork that includes an inventory of 10,000 stone-carved Buddha statues.
Unfortunately, the Cultural Revolution resulted in the looting of the monastery and the destruction of many priceless Buddhist artefacts. Fortunately, some treasures were hidden and have since been returned to the monastery. These form the main collection within the monastery today along with the recent addition of the new Dorje Shugden statue.
According to recent records, there are 160 resident monks in the monastery. These holders of Lama Tsongkhapa’s lineage are also preserving the sacred tradition of propitiating Dorje Shugden. It is obvious that this Dharma Protector’s practice is very much alive and prevalent within the lay and monastic community here and the monks maintain their practice in a humble and quiet way according to the teachings of Lama Tsongkhapa.
Today, conservation work on the old and dilapidated monastery buildings is in full swing, with the help of funding from the Central government alongside local Mongolian sponsorship. The monastery has regained much of its former splendour and stands as a renewed historical monument that serves the Sangha and the Buddhist community.
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