One of the crucial ingredients to keeping the lineage of Lama Tsongkhapa intact and complete for the benefit of generations to come is the presence of pure lineage Lamas who are highly attained, sincere and stalwart in their practice of the Buddhadharma.
Venerable Achok Rinpoche is one such Lama who continues to turn the wheel of Dharma as taught by the lineage masters such as H.H. Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche, H.H. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, H.H. Kyabje Ling Rinpoche and many others.
The images below capture Venerable Achok Rinpoche giving teachings and the oral transmission of Lama Tsongkhapa’s practice at Serpom Monastery in conjunction with the holy celebrations of Saga Dawa in 2014. Saga Dawa, also known as Wesak, is an important celebration of the birth, death and Enlightenment of Lord Buddha that is held throughout the 4th month of the Tibetan lunar calendar.
As Saga Dawa has such an auspicious significance, it is no surprise that any meritorious acts performed during this period are said to double the amount of merit they generate. At the peak of this period of celebration which occurs during the night of the full moon, merits are said to increase by 100,000 times. Hence, to bless, protect and benefit practitioners worldwide, Dharma masters like Venerable Achok Rinpoche will conduct the greatest of virtuous deeds, turning the Wheel of Dharma, at this time.
Teaching the Buddhadharma is considered to be the greatest act as it is the jewel of Dharma that enables sentient beings to remain connected to the great mind and abilities of the Buddhas. It also allows people the chance to support the Sangha community who uphold the teachings. Other meritorious acts that one can engage in during Saga Dawa include pilgrimages to sacred places, making offerings, circumambulating and prostrating around Buddhist monuments, or engaging in retreat.
Venerable Achok Rinpoche was born in Eastern India in 1976 and recognised as the 4th reincarnation of the lineage master from Lithang, Tibet. In his early years, Rinpoche focused on the memorisation of basic ritual texts. Only from the age of 11 did Rinpoche begin his formal education in philosophical studies including Madhyamika, Abhidharma, Paramana and Vinaya according to the Gelugpa lineage. Kyabje Yongyal Rinpoche, another great master of our time is the personal spiritual guide to Achok Rinpoche.
Showing strong imprints from previous lives, Achok Rinpoche obtained a Geshe Lharampa degree with the highest honours from the Gelugpa Cultural Society in 1998, making him the youngest monk with such an achievement outside Tibet. Currently, Achok Rinpoche resides in the USA and gives regular teachings at the Gadenpa Buddhist Center in New York.
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