COMMUNIQUÉ

                                                                                   A publication of Khyentse Foundation   October 2009

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Part XI in a series of tributes to the patron kings of Buddhism, such as King Ashoka of India, King Trisong Deutsen of Tibet, and many others whose contributions to the survival and spread of Buddha's teachings cannot be overemphasized. It is in their footsteps that Khyentse Foundation aspires to follow. Also, links to devotional songs that can be downloaded for free from the Siddhartha's Intent website and an article from Buddhadharma magazine on the translation conference.



NEWS FROM SIDDHARTHA'S INTENT

 


 

 

Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche has suggested that students listen to several Sanskrit devotional songs so that they can be sung at teachings. These songs were recorded on two separate albums, commissioned by Rinpoche and available for purchase on the Deer Park web site.


"The collection of these chants creates  an atmosphere of devotion - timeless,  limitless - that can elevate the spirit if not liberate through hearing. After so many recordings of mantras in foreign languages like Tibetan and Chinese at, last we hear them in their mother tongue. Even the pronunciation of the word Buddha is transformed into something so beautiful. Perhaps this is how we should all chant."


The four songs that Rinpoche recommended for teachings are:


  • From the album Dharma Nada, as sung by Vidya Rao - "Homage to the Tataghatas"
  • From the album Dhih, as sung by Raji Ramanan - "Triratnvandana" (In Praise of the Three Jewels);  "Parinamana: Bodhicharyavatara" (Dedication Verses from the Way of the Bodhisattva); and "Saranagamana" (Taking Refuge)


In Praise of the Three Jewels is available free online on the Deer Park web site.

 

 

Other SI News:

Two New Dharma Gars

Following the success of the first European Dharma Gar, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche will guide the first North American Dharma Gar, or Dharma camp, starting on Losar, February 14, 2010. This 3-year-retreat practice program is designed for practitioners who want to commit themselves to dharma practice and still have a work, family, and social life.

He will also guide a second Dharma Gar, starting in 2010, near Berlin.

Read about the Dharma Gars on the 
Siddhartha’s Intent website.




GREAT QUOTES

 

"Jigme Lingpa has advised us that as practitioners, we need two things. One is humility and the other is confidence. When you lose your inspiration, when you think that you are lazy and you don’t have devotion, then you should think, 'The fact that I think like this is good, it means that I am considering this as a problem.' That realization is some kind of renunciation, or at least food for renunciation. And thinking like that, having that kind of attitude, is confidence. And then again sometimes we should think, 'What I am practicing is not enough.' Not only sometimes, actually, most of the time we should think that what we are doing is not enough, we have to do more. The purification that we are engaging in, the accumulation of merit that we are doing, is not enough. Never enough. That is the practice of humility. So this, too, is really important."


—Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche on Practice


"His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche spoke of the gratitude Tibetans should feel to great dharma patrons like King Trisong Deutsen. He would say, 'even if we Tibetans covered the entire world with solid gold and offered it to the king, it wouldn’t be enough to repay even a fraction of his great kindness.' And he wasn’t referring to his social and political projects. The king’s highest priority was translating Buddhadharma into Tibetan. This required great finance, but it was not the only price the Tibetans paid. Hundreds of devotees and students who attempted the journey to India to gather teachings died of terrible situations like the heat and strange masala food they encountered on Indian plains. Yet in spite of the tremendous human sacrifice and unimaginable cost borne by the king, this single undertaking may be the one truly phenomenal Tibetan accomplishment."

 

—Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, Keynote Address at the Translating the Words of the Buddha Conference

 

 

 

REPORT ON TRANSLATING THE WORDS OF THE BUDDHA

  

A report on the conference from Buddhadharma  magazine


In March of 2009, more than 50 leading Tibetan-English translators and Buddhist scholars, along with 7 incarnate lamas, met at Deer Park Institute in Bir, India, to discuss the aspirations and practicalities of translating the words of the Buddha and to set goals for the next  5, 25, and 100 years.  Download the PDF and read Peter Aronson’s first-person account of the conference, which was published in the Fall 2009 issue of Buddhadharma magazine.


AND THEN...

 



Coming in the next issue:

Report from the September Board Meeting

Khyentse Foundation is an all-volunteer organization with representatives in 13 countries around the world, some of whom work full time on a volunteer basis for the Foundation. It’s rare for the executive committee and the board of directors to gather in person, but when they do, there’s usually much progress and lots to report. The next Communiqué will have important updates about the Foundation's work.

 




Khyentse Foundation is now on Facebook. 

We will be posting volunteer opportunities, news, and other updates. Join us!


 


 


Thank You for Reading

Patron Series: King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck of Bhutan 

Part XI in a series of tributes to the

patron kings of Buddhism

 

 

“It’s amazing that there is still a Buddhist kingdom on this planet.”

—Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the eighth century, Guru Rinpoche brought Buddhism to Bhutan and meditated in retreat there  on his way to and from Tibet. To this day, the country remains a place where the Vajrayana is held precious above all else. There is a special quality there that can be found nowhere else on earth. Alhough Bhutan is a tiny country surrounded by giants, it has remained sovereign. Rinpoche credits the fact that Bhutan has not been “swallowed up" by its neighbors—India and Chinato Jigme Dorji Wangchuck,also known as the Third Druk Gyalpo (Dragon King), the third king of Bhutan.


Born in 1928, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck succeeded his father and grandfather as the third king of Bhutan. Under his leadership, this Himalayan Buddhist kingdom emerged from an isolated feudal state to become a country that values its modern infrastructure while preserving  its environmental and cultural heritage.


Bhutan is a small country of only about 850 square miles with a population of about 700,000 in 2008. It is situated between India to the south and Tibet to the north. In 1952, when Jigme Dorji Wangchuck was enthroned, Tibet was in political turmoil. The Druk Gyalpo understood that the independence of his beloved country, rich in Buddhist culture but still isolated and feudal, was fragile. Then only 24 years old and in poor health (he’d had his first heart attack at age 20), Jigme Dorji Wangchuck began his life’s work of securing Bhutan’s independence and preserving its culture.


The king was apparently tireless. Rinpoche knew the king's chamberlain, who told him that the king never slept. At 22, he was the first of his family to travel to the United Kingdom, where he lived with George Sherriff, a botanist at the British Museum. He spoke English and Hindi as well as his native Dzongkha, and he was well-versed in international politics and economics. He had served as his father’s attendant, and so learned how to treat statesmen and how to accept the same treatment with grace.


The visionary king understood that many reforms were necessary to make the country stronger and less vulnerable. Believing that much-needed modernization could not occur in isolation and without the cooperation of all the country’s people, one of his first tasks after being enthroned was to establish a National Assembly, the Tshogdu. Composed of 10 government representatives, 10 monastic representatives, and 110 representatives of the people, the Tshogdu gave the population a voice, involving them in decision making and inspiring them to be politically conscious and active.


In 1958, Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, along with Indira Ghandi, visited Bhutan. Jigme Dorji was inspired to create a 5-year plan, which he launched in 1961. That plan effectively brought the country into the twentieth century in a thoughtful and well-ordered way. His Bhutanese Department of Forestry was an important first step in protecting and conserving the country’s rich forests and other natural resources. He also abolished slavery and capital punishment and built a national museum, a national library, national archives, and a national stadium and created institutes of dance, painting, music, and sculpture.       


Because he could imagine a future in which Bhutan’s ages-old Buddhist culture was eroded by outside influences, the Druk Gyalpo commissioned a huge statue of the Buddha in Thimpu Dzong to face the parliament building. He commissioned the manufacture of 10,000 gilded bronze images of the Buddha, and oversaw the publication of astounding editions of the 108-volume Kanjur and the 225-volume Tenjur, hand-tooled by monks in gold and lapis calligraphy.


“He did everything he could do,” Rinpoche says. “He achieved so much. The survival of the Drukpa Kagyu and Nyingma tradition in Bhutan is due to him. Bhutan may be the only country that has yogis and practitioners who chant mantra on the payroll, and this was very much because of him.”


To ensure Bhutan’s independence, the Druk Gyalpo knew that his country must be recognized by the United Nations. As part of that organization, Bhutan would be recognized by the global community and could receive financial support for its growing infrastructure and social programs. With the help of the Indian government, Bhutan became a member of the United Nations in 1970.


Jigme Dorji Wangchuck died 2 years later, at the age of 44. He was succeeded by his son, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, who furthered his father’s work by establishing elections in 2008. Bhutan is therefore the youngest democracy in the world—and is still successful at preserving its ancient culture and Buddhist heritage.

 

Paro Taksang. PHOTO BY DZONGSAR KHYENTSE RINPOCHE

 


 

 

HOW YOU CAN HELP


Coins in a pond, Kinkakuji Temple, Kyoto


The generous donors and matching sponsors who participate in our monthly donors matching funds program keep Khyentse Foundation on track with projected program commitments—scholarships, supporting the monasteries, special grants, and much more. One friend, who lives on a modest stipend at a retreat center and joined the matching funds program with a $10 monthly contribution, says, "It's just so easy. It becomes like any other monthly expense, but it's one I can feel really good about." One family pooled their resources to make a joint contribution of $300 per month. "As a group, we were able to increase our contribution to something that felt substantial."


The most effective way to support Khyentse Foundation is to join the matching funds program. Every dollar you donate will be matched by a group of committed donors. Donate Online

 

 

 

 


 

 

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KHYENTSE FOUNDATION


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THE COMMUNIQUÉ is a publication of Khyentse Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded by
Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche in 2001 to establish a system of patronage that supports institutions and
individuals engaged in the study and practice of the Buddha’s vision of wisdom and compassion.