Saturday, January 07, 2006

The great siddha Shakya Shri's sons repair the Boudha Stupa

In the Early part of the 20th century the great siddha Shakya Shri sent his sons to restore the great stupa of Boudhanath. Here is a rare photo taken at the occasion. Another restoration, which took place half a century later, is captured on this page: http://blazing-splendor.blogspot.com/2005/11/tashi-who-becomes-shechen-rabjam.html

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Who was Shakya Shri?

michael said...

You certainly are amassing quite the collection of photos Erik. I believe you should put together an exhibition with accompanying catalogue, suitable for Buddhist's coffeetables the world over...

michael said...

Shakya Shri was a great lama of the Drukpa Kagyu school. He began as a cook at the monastery and eventually became highly renowned as a teacher and terton. He shows up several times in Blazing Splendor.

Erik Pema Kunsang said...

To quote Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche:

“Shakya Shri lived with about seven hundred disciples in Kyipuk,” Uncle Tersey told me. “His disciples had dug caves all around the two surrounding slopes, while others stayed in tiny tents made of either canvas or yak-felt. Shakya Shri himself lived on a meadow in the only house around, which was a simple structure of stamped mud with one large window.”
Even though so many disciples had gathered around him, Shakya Shri didn’t teach year round but only at particular times during summer and winter. These rare occasions were known as the summer teachings and the winter teachings.
Shakya Shri told some of his disciples, “You belong to the Mahamudra side of the valley,” while to others he said, “You belong to the Dzogchen side.” And so he divided them up in two groups and gave instructions in Mahamudra and Dzogchen in accordance with each follower’s individual disposition.
The rules were quite strict: stay put on your meditation seat. The meditators were allowed to walk about only at mealtimes. In the morning, a bell would sound, signaling that the practitioners could light their fires to heat water for tea. All seven hundred monks and nuns would come out of their tents and caves.
“If you were to look around the mountainside then, for a short while people would be milling about with smoke rising from the fire pits. Then the gong would sound again and the whole area became completely still and deserted, as everyone returned to their meditation. The total quiet would last until lunchtime, since no one was allowed to walk outside or cook until then. Around noon the bell would sound again for everyone to begin preparing their meals. At two in the afternoon, the bell rang, after which not a single soul was permitted outside. Again it would be utterly still.”
This was the amazing Dharma encampment Shakya Shri maintained.

Anonymous said...

Michael and Erik,
Thank you very much for your comments. btw - I think the idea about a coffeetable book is quite a good one.

sherabray said...

so is it any lineage of Shakya Shri now? who is his son?

Anonymous said...

Hello thank you very much for charing this story about Shakya Shri. I think we would all benefit if you could put a small (or big...) biography of this great teacher.

Erik Pema Kunsang said...

Elio, an Italian translator, has already prepared Katok Situ's biography of the great master. We are waiting to see this wonderful story in English!!!

sherabray said...

Shakya Shri was initially the cook at a Drukpa Kagy├╝d Gompa. He was known during that period of his life as a devout practitioner, but he was not particularly respected by the monks, who regarded his interest in practice with mild amusement. They were not aware that their cook was a truly great yogi, and so they would often make fun of him when he attended the teachings in his free time. On one occasion the Abbott of the gompa reprimanded the monks for the stupidity and ignorance of their remarks. He told them that there would come a time when they would look back on their behaviour with shame. He told them that when they realised who Shakya Shri was, that they would be grateful to have a drop of his urine to drink

michael said...

Yes Elio Guarisco has translated Shakya Shri's biography and it has been edited by Ani Pema and Catherina De Re. Unfortunately it has not been published yet however, though i for one certainly hope it sees the light of day soon.

Anonymous said...

Sherabray's depiction above of Shakya Shri kind of reminds me of the story of the 6th Patriarch in Zen who was a cook (if I remember correctly) and then became a patriarch of the lineage. Probably happens alot - you know those monks - they get so jealous of one anothers accomplishments.

Calm down everybody - just a playful little teasing here!

michael said...

Shakya Shri apparently has a grandson known as Ser Rinpoche who, i believe, lives in India.

ani yeshe said...

And there is his remarkable grand daughter, Khandro Rinpoche, who very recently was teaching in Australia at the request/urging of Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche.

For more details about her, perhaps contact Byron Bay Buddhist Group via Dzongsar Khyentse's website www.siddharthasintent.org
They hosted her several times for teachings in Byron Bay as recently as the end of January. I know many senior students were very affected by this powerful young teacher. She has returned to India I believe where she is establishing a nunnery ?

What a dharma treasury this website is .. thank you so much !

michael said...

Interesting. i have not heard that Khandro Rinpoche was related to Shakya Shri nor does the biography on her website mention that relation. (http://www.vkr.org/biography.cfm her site also has her teaching schedule). She is recognised as the reincarnation of the Great Dakini of Tsurphu, whom Tulku Urgyen knew and spoke about in Blazing Splendor. Her father is the great Mindrolling Trichen Rinpoche. She is an amazing teacher, very clear and honest and sharp as a tack! She will be teaching at Gomde in Northern California this year, info about this seminar can be found here:
http://gomdeusa.org/program_detail.php?id=23

ani yeshe said...

I think there are two ( or three or four even) Khandro Rinpoches ..
the one I referred to is not the same as the daughter of Mindroling Rinpoche. I'll see what else I can find out, but most definitely the Khandro Rinpoche who was in Australia Nov, Dec and Jan is the grand daughter of Sakya Shri.

Cheryl said...

I am very happy to see an Australian ani post here. Here's why: on the very first day I was in Boudha in 1987, I was alone, and was walking around the stupa completely unsure of where to go, or how to connect with what I needed, etc. I saw a ani there also walking around the stupa and went up to her and asked her if she could help me. Turned out she was from Australia. We started to talk and she took me inside the stupa and up onto another level where you could walk around. She pointed out Choki Nyima's monastery and Khyenste Rinpoche's monastery and then she told me about going to the Bir Restaurant where I could have lunch. So we parted ways and I went to the Bir and that's where I met Isabelle (is this the same Isabelle who is Chokyi Nyima's doctor? A lovely lady from France -she told me after I had known her for awhile that she had wanted to stay in Nepal to go on retreat in a cave in the mountains and Chokyi Nyima told her she should go back to France and carry the cave in her heart - that seemed so beautiful to me that I decided I would do that too - carry the cave in my heart when I went home) Anyway, I never saw that Australian ani again and I don't think I ever knew her name - nor she mine - but I've always been grateful to her. If I hadn't met her I might not have met Isabelle. Isabelle that same day took me to a Tibetan home where I stayed for the first month I was in Boudha. I never did walk up on the stupa like I did that day with ani.

Anyway, sorry for rambling on like this. But just seeing the words...'ani' and 'Australia' together brought back these memories.

Thanks again.

Jampa Kalden said...

There is a photo of Togden Shakya Sri in the book "The Yogins of Ladakh". Also a picture of his (? great)grandson Ser Rinpoche as a young man. Ser Rinpoche is a great practitioner himself and has a gompa in Manali and supports a hundred or so retreatants in Ladakh.

Jane said...

I can shed some light on the great granddaughter of Sakya Sri, who has indeed been travelling the world more recently. She is known as Khandro-la. Her father was Apho Rinpoche and the family monastery (Drukpa Kargyud of course) is in Menali, India currently run by Sey Rinpoche, Khandro-la's brother.
Khandro-la was married to the 9th Shabdrung Rinpoche (exiled leader of Bhutan) whose main place is now in Kalimpong. He died a few years ago and Khandro-la is now travelling and teaching. It is from her marriage to Shabdrung Rinpoche that she gets her title of Khandro-la. She has a website , which I understand is now being updated with lots more information. Look at the current website ....address is khachodling.org
Khachodling is the name given by her master to her vision of her life's work and practice.
Khando-la will be spending most of this year in India doing retreat and also leading pilgrimages to sacred sites. She is well worth meeting.....a great practitioner. I recently met her in Australia, but she's lived, studied and travelled in the US and also been to Europe. Her english is excellent. Guess the best place to see more about her is khachodling.org
They also have an email address.
Jane

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for this information.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderfull photo. So clear, the construction of a buddhas mind, this floating armature where in the mind finds its home in that space.This reminds me of a rilke poem of which i can not remember verbatim though i wil lsay,it makes point of a seed or husk spanning the mis-apprehended distance lying both in and out of reality at once. I dont know if this is to abstract a comment to be discriptive. Though i feel theres a relevance. Well its a great photo regardless, I would like a print of this,i wonder wether there are any plans for printing these images mabey a high quality print run, along with the color photos from the book as well.

Anonymous said...

I'm a Rilke fan and am looking for the poem although have not found it as yet. I'll keep you posted.

Anonymous said...

I know its in his book of new poems which is available in a trade paperback. its nice to have somone chiming the bell on Rilke, i sense something saint like , for his tenderness coupled with his sweeping wisdoms. Rilke's book Letters To a Young Poet i suggest be read with a lot of snow on the ground, whith little else to do.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...book of new poems? I don't know what this means as, of course, Rilke, is no longer alive. There is alot of insight in Rilke although it takes a bit of persistence to get through the Western civilization cultural references......I have no idea what any of this has to do with Shakya Shri....perhaps better to stay on topic??? Nonetheless, I will try to get a look at The "Letters To A Young Poet" Wisdom comes from many places in many forms.

Anonymous said...

by New poems i had meant to reference a particular collection of Rilkes entitiled New Poems, featuring his most recent all be it dated work. Yes Shakya Shri, to be honest i was rather taken with the picture, as such the history was lost on me. though i am intrested, and will look into it.

ani yeshe said...

The new April Gentle Voice has an interview with Khandro ... http://www.siddharthasintent.org/gentle/GVindex.htm

Please enjoy this magical dakini !

Anonymous said...

hallo test

Anonymous said...

I think there is a misunderstanding ...
great saint yogin Shakya Shri lineage and family relation goes into the family of Apho Rinpoche who are in Manali and family of the Ripa Ladrang. Somewhere you have stated about great master Sey Rinpoche who's the son of Apho Rinpoche, that's right, he is one of those generations in Shakya Shri's lineage. So somehow someone got misunderstood that Khandro Rinpoche, who's daughter of great Minlen Rinpoche is related to Shakya Shri. It is obvious that she didn't stated about him anything in her website as she s not being related.
The biography of Shakya Shri can be found in other pages. Apho Rinpoche's family is filled with great sons who are reincarnated as Tulkus and despite that, famous of their wondrous power. Also the family of Ripa ladrang is keeping the lineage of Shakya Shri. Shakya Shri had 2 daughters, where one of them didn't marry. The one got married had again children where one of them was a highly accomplished yogini named Sangyum Palden Tsomo, who married Jigme Tsewang Chokdup, the 5th Ripa lineage holder in the beginning of the 19th century. Their union brought a powerful spiritual potency to the Ripa tradition, and further established its commitment to encouraging high spiritual attainments among the non-monastic community. This led the birth of their children,: Sons: His Eminence Namkha Trimed Rabjam Rinpoche, His Eminence Anzing Rinpoche, Tulku Samten, Tulku Karma Shedup and 2 daughters: Ashey Tsering Paldoen and Ashey Sonam Dekey. They're are the grand-grandsons and daughters of Shakya Shri aswell the family members, Apho Rinpoche, his children, Sey Rinpoche, Khandro Thinley-la, Dungsey Jigme who are all very spiritually involved in the dharma.
I hope this could help you to know a bit more about the great saint Drubwang Shakya Shri.

Paldon

Erik Pema Kunsang said...

Dear Paldon La,

Thank you very much for the valuable input. If you want to you can post photos of these people -- or you send them to me and I will post them here.

Warm wishes, Erik (rangjung@gmail.com)

Anonymous said...

Dear Erik Pema Kunsang la,
I will look for some photos and if i'll find will send you..

Tashi Delek and best wishes
Paldon

Majestic Nepal said...

Hi Namaste! And Tashi Dalek,
As i was searching for Stupa photos i came across your blog. I liked the picture very unique and attractive for its time. I am here to ask whether its ok to upload the above picture in my facebook account.
thank you,
Sincerely
Chandan Shrestha (chan)
Kathmandu Nepal

Erik Pema Kunsang said...

To Chandan: Yes.