Newsletter for Winter 2008 - 2009
Venerable Geshe Tsultim Gyeltsen has passed away
We have very sad news. Our great and dear teacher Ven. Geshe Gyeltsen passed from our world on Friday February 13th at around 12:20 p.m. Ven. Geshela died peacefully, surrounded by monks from Gaden Shartse Monastery and family members.
All prayers and necessary rituals were performed by the monks. His Holiness the Dalai Lama and other lamas called and spoke to Ven. Geshela earlier this week.
Please pray for Geshela's swift return to continue his teachings for the benefit of all sentient beings.
The Center has been open for visitors to come and remember Geshela during the 49 days since his passing and the Gaden Shartse monks made daily prayers and Tsog offerings.
Many generous donations were made to Thubten Dhargye Ling to sponsor rituals for Geshela at the monasteries in India, and appropriate rituals and ceremonies were carried out by the monastic communities in many monasteries in India. (See the Funeral Ceremony page)
Prayers for the swift return of Ven. Geshe Gyeltsen
Geshela's students are encouraged to make prayers for Geshela to return quickly in a new incarnation to begin again his Dharma activity here with us.
H.E. Kabje Lati Rinpoche composed a prayer for the swift return, incarnation, of Ven. Geshe Gyeltsen; and the translator, Lotsawa, Tenzin Dorjee, Phd. has kindly rendered it into English for us. It is available as a pdf file from which you can print it out. (Get Adobe Acrobat Reader)
In addition to reciting that prayer as much as you can the following are also recommended:
Shantideva's "Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life" - recitation.
(This book is available in several editions)
King of Prayers
Ven. Geshe Tsultim Gyeltsen completed his clear light meditation
President's Day, around 4:00pm Feb 16th, Geshela showed that he had finished meditation in clear light, and left the body. This happened while the monks and some students were doing a ritual. The monks attending Ven. Geshela's body noticed signs that Geshela had left the body, all the monks were called upstairs to do appropriate pujas beside his body, and soon afterwards a double rainbow filled the sky to the northeast of the center. Geshela had stayed in a state of clear light meditation for about 3 days 3 hours, his body remaining unchanged for that time.
One or more of Geshela's students who were not at the center at the time reported later that they had just happened to go outside coincidently when the rainbow appeared and were awed by it, and had the thought that it might have to do with Geshela. Several have noted the great unusualness of this rainbow, especially its size and vividness. We were told that people in town came out of buildings just to witness and comment on this beautiful sight. A large picture of the rainbow even made it into the California section of the Los Angeles Times Newspaper.
The following pujas/prayer sessions were held at Thubten Dhargye Ling during the 49-day period after Ven. Geshe Tsultim Gyeltsen's passing.
Thursday, Feb. 26 - 2:00Pm Medicine Buddha 7:30PM Tsok Offering
Thursday, Mar. 5 - 2:00PM Solitary Jigje Self-initiation (Open to those who've completed retreat only) 7:30PM Tsok
Thursday Mar. 12 - 2:00PM Vajrayogini Self-Initiation (Open to those who've completed retreat only) 7:30PM Tsok
Thursday March 19 - 2:00PM Medicine Buddha 7:30PM Tsok
Thursday, Mar 26 - 2:00PM Solitary Jigje Self Initiation (Open to those who've completed retreat only) 7:30PM Tsok
Thursday April 2 - 2:00PM Vajrayogini Self-Initiation (Open to those who've completed retreat only)(49th day) 7:30PM Tsok
Remember the Teacher's Kindness
From Lama TsongKhapa's Lam Rim Chen Mo:
Develop the following ideas with respect to your teachers. I have wandered for a long time through cyclic existence, and they search for me; I have been asleep, having been obscured by delusion for a long time, and they wake me; they pull me out of the depths of the ocean of existence; I have entered a bad path, and they reveal the good path to me; they release me from being bound in the prison of existence; I have been worn out by illnes for a long time, and they are my doctors; they are the rain clouds that put out my blazing fire of attachment and the like. (Ten Teaching Sutra)
Rely on the teacher by way of respect, material things, service, and practice. (Maitreya)
Practicing according to the guru's words: this means to practice without contradicting what the guru instructs you to do. This is most important. For, as the Garland of Birth Stories says: The worship that you should do in return for my help is to practice in accordance with my instructions.
From the Ganden Lhagyema prayer:
May the vajra body created from the purity of clear light
free of the rising and setting of cyclic existence
but visible to the ordinary viewer only in its unsubtle physical form,
stay on, unchanging, without waning, until samsara ends
A Quote from the 7th Dalai Lama
Life is impermanent, like the setting sun,
Wealth is like dew on the morning grass,
Praise is like wind in a mountain pass,
A youthful body is an autumn flower.
Help me to understand the shortcomings
Of constantly turning on the wheel of becoming
And to fix the depths of my mindstream
On the path leading to ultimate knowledge.
A Final Viewing of Ven. Geshe Tsultim Gyeltsen's Holy Body
There was a public service and viewing of Ven. Geshe Tsultim Gyeltsen's holy body at a mortuary near the center. The Gaden Shartse Monks chanted appropriate rituals as they had been for many days and many of Ven. Geshela's students and friends came to walk past his body and pay their respects and devotion. His holy body was transported to Gaden Monastery in India where extensive rituals were held and a traditional cremation was conducted.
Extensive Prayer Rituals for Ven. Geshe Gyeltsen by the Gaden Shartse Monks
Ven. Lati Rinpoche directed that there be extensive ritual ceremonies done by the Gaden Shartse Monks at Thubten Dhargye Ling to remove obstacles related to Geshe Gyeltsen's illness.
Students were invited to come to the center to join the monks in prayer services that were held most days.
Geshe Jampa Norbu, a member of the Gaden Shartse Tour, was a guest teacher for some Sunday morning classes.
Prayer Schedule at Thubten Dhargye Ling of the Gaden Shartse Monks: Special Prayers for Geshe Gyeltsen
Upon direction and divination from Ven. Lati Rinpoche
The Gaden Shartse Monks did the following prayers and pujas for Ven. Geshe Tsultim Gyeltsen during his illness. These rituals were being performed at the monasteries in India at the same time.
White Umbrella Sutra – 1000 times (completed)
Heart Sutra rituals – 9 times
General Dharmapala prayers - short prayers every day, and one day long prayers
Palden Lhamo (Kalidevi)
Medicine Buddha – 100 times, and every day recitation of mantras, Ritual to be done
Green Tara Puja – 100 times (Cittamani and Tara mantra recitations okay for students to do)
Namgyal Tsecho (Amitayus Ritual for Long Life)
Prayer of Good Deeds by the Bodhisattva Arya Samantabhadra
Long Life Prayer for Ven. Geshe Gyeltsen - everyday
24-hour Mahayana Precepts Offered
Theckchen Sojong, or 24-hour Mahayana Precepts, will be observed on Sunday March 22 at 6am before Sunday teachings. This gives us a good solid morning dedicated to practice and meditation. Sunday morning at sunrise, participants will take the Thekchen Sojong, or 24-hour Mahayana Precepts, and spend about 3 hours in morning meditation before Sunday classes. There will be regular breaks. A vegetarian meal is taken before noon; Sunday class will break early for those observing the vows. The vows are released at sunrise on the following Monday.
Ven. Geshe Gyeltsen considers this a beneficial and powerful practice in which we can accumulate tremendous merit. Whether we take on the vows individually, at home, or collectively, Geshela explained that the undertaking of lay Mahayana vows in our current degenerate era is roughly equivalent to pledging monastic vows during the historical time of Buddha Shakyamuni.
There are eight precepts. Participants are not to kill, steal, lie, eat more than one meal, take intoxicants, commit sexual activity, sit or sleep on high beds/thrones, wear jewelry/make-up and sing/dance.
Friday Night Meditation
Ven. Ani Thartso will be leading meditation sessions on Friday evenings at 7:30pm.
On Weds. Feb. 25 (Tibetan Year: 2136) Join us for Tibetan New Year (Losar) celebration with morning breakfast and prayers at 7:00AM at the center. Check calander to confirm.
We will contine to offer Monday night Cheresig Meditation at 7:30PM on the FIRST and THIRD Monday of each month. On the SECOND and FOURTH Mondays, starting Feb. 23rd at 7:30Pm, Ven. Tenzin Kacho will facilitate a Book Discussion Series, starting with: Ven. Geshe Gyeltsen's "Foundation of all Good Qualities." The book is available in our bookstore.
Ganden Shartse Monk Tour
The Ganden Shartse Monks who have been touring America, are now staying at Thubten Dhargye Ling. They did extensive Long Life pujas for Ven. Geshe Gyeltsen during his illness, and are now attending to the many traditional rituals necessary to take care of Geshela at his passing.
The monk tour website is here.
Long Life Mantras for HH the Dalai Lama
The following Mantras have been requested for His Holiness the Dalai Lama's Long Life by the Department of religion and culture by the Tibetan Government in Exile.
Please recite as many as you can each day.
Name Mantra for His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
OM AH GURU VAJRADHARA VAGINDRA SUMATI SHASANA DHARA SAMUDRA SHRI BHADRA SARVA SIDDHI HUM HUM
Guru Rinpoche Mantra
OM AH VAJRA GURU PADMA SIDDHI HUM
Heart Sutra Mantra
TAY-YA-THA GA-TE GA-TE PA-RA GA-TE PA-RA SAM GA-TE BODHI SOHA
TDL Google Group
Some communication related to the center is available at our GOOGLE GROUP
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