Friday, April 03, 2009

Tarthang Rinpoche's Statement

The numbers are staggering.

From 1989 to 2008, Tarthang Rinpoche has freely distributed over 2.5 million dharma books, 123,000 prayer wheels, and 4.3 million sacred art prints at the annual World Peace ceremony in Bodh Gaya. At this year's ceremony, he gave away 131,132 sacred texts, 10,000 prayer wheels, 8,000 bells and dorjes, 8,000 prayer flags, and 3 million sacred art prints.

For several decades, Tarthang Rinpoche has worked to gather, protect, and reprint the teachings that represent Tibet’s intellectual and spiritual heritage. He now writes about the importance of distributing these works to the Tibetan community in Asia:

“It is time to place the results of our work into the hands of practitioners who see it as their duty to study, practice, and embody this lineage of light that generations of masters have entrusted to our care. These sacred texts are all-important in our education, but if Tibetan practitioners do not absorb their meanings and express them in their actions, we as a people will have nothing of importance to pass on to the rest of the world.

“Lineages of great masters have embodied this knowledge, priceless beyond compare, but decades of adversity in Tibet have taken their toll, and very few qualified masters remain. Like birds taking wing, remnants of the last generation trained traditionally by the disciples of the great leaders of the 19th century, have mostly flown away. Now we must look to the next generation and the next, the teachers and abbots now in their 40s and 50s, the young men and women in their 20s and 30s. Upon them depend the future transmission and preservation of the Tibetan tradition.

“And so we work every day with these lineage holders in our hearts, praying that they will absorb the wisdom and compassion that fills the pages of the books that we offer. Their distribution helps assure that the map to the path of enlightenment will survive long on this planet, not only enshrined on a library shelf, but also in the heart of a trained practitioner who has the materials needed for a thorough education. Only in this way can we repay the great masters who have risked their lives to obtain and transmit this body of knowledge; only in this way can we fulfill our obligation to convey these teachings of peace, compassion, and wisdom, so that people everywhere can take good care of themselves.”

I urge you, in the strongest possible terms, to take Tarthang Rinpoche's words to the center of your heart. His activity is inconceivable, and you have the opportunity to become a part of this mandala. Quickly, before it passes away, I beseech you to avail yourself of this opportunity to become involved in the greatest single project in the history of Tibetan Buddhism: help Tarthang Rinpoche prepare for Bodh Gaya in 2010.

It begins with a click.

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1 reader comments:

Unknown said...

As amazing as Tarthang Rinpoche's building and publishing accomplishments are, what do you think would have happened if Guru Rinpoche had built Samye Ling and then banned everyone but those who had helped build it from entering? Or if he had used Tibetan labor and donations to publish and freely distribute Sanskrit texts to Indians, yet only allowed Tibetans to purchase very exoteric books in Tibetan, printed wonderful reproductions of tantric deities to be given away freely to Indians, yet only allowed Tibetans to purchase (!) pictures of peaceful Buddhas and Bodhisattvas? What if he had treated Tibetans as if they were only good for their labor and donations, and Indians as if they were the only race capable of truly practicing and transmitting the Dharma?