The Benefits of Veneration at Rumtek Monastery

Namo Mahagurave (Homage to the great guru)

The land of Sikkim, at the border of India and Tibet, was consecrated as a hidden sanctuary for the Buddha's teachings during the present epoch by the second Buddha, the great master Padmasambhava, who blessed it with the vajra wisdom of his body, speech, and mind. Through the infallible power of his aspiration and through our great effort, the monastery Shaydrup Kunkhyap Otong Khyilway Tsuklakhang (the Temple of Pervasive Teaching and Practice Blazing with a Thousand Lights), has been established for the preservation of the precious doctrine of the Buddha, which is the source of all benefit and happiness in existence and tranquility, and for the sake of all beings in the world.

Before the building's foundation was begun, I performed the customary removal of impediments and, using a sand mandala, the ritual of Chakrasamvara, blessing the location so that it is his wisdom mandala. In that and similar ways, the site has been consecrated many times.

In the midst of this unsurpassable place of enlightened activity are representations of the Buddha according to the traditions of sutra and tantra as well as many other images which bring liberation through contact. Because of the presence of these in the monastery and because of the infallible results of actions, veneration of the monastery through circumambulation and prostration will accumulate a tremendous amount of merit and dispel obscurations. This will dispel sickness and other problems, and increase longevity, prosperity, and meditative realization. These acts of virtue will plant the seeds of liberation and close the door to unfortunate rebirth. In the future, one will be reborn in the retinue of the sixth Buddha, Senge, and enjoying the ambrosia of his teachings attain a state beyond reversal. As the Buddha's statements are infallible, one need have no doubt of this.

The 16th Karmapa applied gold paint to the Buddha's face, now in an outdoor shrine next to KSNI

It has been taught that virtuous actions are especially powerful on the eighth, tenth, fifteenth, twenty-fifth, and thirtieth days of the lunar month; and during the month of miracles (the month in which the Buddha displayed miracles); the month Saga (in which the Buddha was born, awakened, and passed away); the fourth day of the sixth month (the occasion of the Buddha's first teaching); and the twenty-second day of the ninth month (the occasion of the Buddha's descent from the realm of the gods).

Therefore, in order to make the best use of their freedom and resources, if at those times lay people engage in faithful prostration, offering, and circumambulation at the monastery; meditators practice generation and completion there; and monastics residing there diligently meditate and study, there is no doubt that the results of these virtuous actions will be as stated above. That is my earnest aspiration, which is witnessed by the omniscient wisdom of all buddhas and bodhisattvas.


This was written by Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, the Sixteenth Gyalwang Karmapa, in the Fire Horse Year (1966). It was translated by Lama Yeshe Gyamtso in 1999.

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