By Jason Sanche
Being here [at Dzongsar Institute in Chauntra, India] at the Dam Ngak Dzo transmission is something like being a fly on the wall in ancient India when Nagarjuna was abbot of Nalanda, or in ancient Greece when Socrates taught in the agora, imparting ages of oral tradition to his students. Now Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche is orally transmitting the Dam Ngak Dzo, or Treasury of Pith Instructions, a comprehensive collection of Buddhist practice compiled and structured by Jamgön Kongtrül Lodrö Thayé (1813-1899). Receiving the transmissions are more than 30 tulkus and rinpoches, including Khyentse Yangsi, Dungse Abi Kirti, Dudjom Yangsi, and Thartse Khen Rinpoche; more than two thousand monks, nuns, and Tibetan laypeople; and several hundred lay students from all corners of the world.
I am struck by the atmosphere of nonsectarianism and the sense of historical importance evident at this gathering. Printed Tibetan texts are readily available for wide distribution several times a day, and thanks to the foresight and support of Khyentse Foundation, the teachings are made understandable to international students through simultaneous translation into English and Chinese, and are reviewed during breaks by Lama Sonam Phuntsok.
As Yuan Yuan of Beijing remarked about the Chinese translation, “The review sessions with Lama Sonam are very helpful, and Jimmy Ma’s translation is very good, very clear. We really appreciate it.”
Douglas Mills commented on the English translation effort, “All of us western students at the Dam Ngak Dzo, we should all be making offerings of gold bullion at the translators’ lotus feet because they are doing such an incredible job translating off the cuff directly what Rinpoche is saying, and making it possible for us to comprehend his teachings.”
In addition, the transmissions are made audible thanks to another KF- sponsored initiative – a custom sound system recently engineered and installed by Tyler, an audio engineer and student of Rinpoche. As Douglas says, “The Shedra building at Chauntra is a sound engineer’s worst nightmare. But Tyler has made the sound system work sublimely. Therefore we should all be prostrating at Tyler’s feet because he has made it possible to hear Rinpoche’s sublime teachings on the Dam Ngak Dzo very clearly.”
Through the skilful blend of traditional methods and contemporary culture and technology, Khyentse Foundation is helping to inspire the next generation of Buddhist teachers and students with the courageous spirit of inclusivity, excellence, and broad mindedness. I am once again impressed by the progressiveness and generosity of everyone involved in facilitating this historical event, who are ushering in and preparing the ground for the dharma to flourish worldwide in all its vastness and profundity.
[intlink id=”6417″ type=”post”]View more photos from the Dam Ngak Dzo transmission[/intlink]