A priority for FPMT Charitable Projects is to offer support to Tibetan settlements in various ways. Over 94,000 Tibetan refugees currently reside in India, where our support is focused. Dekyiling Tibetan Settlement is located near Dehru Dun, India. The Social Services Fund recently offered a grant to this settlement for funds needed to renovate their temple which is used for various Dharma activities, pujas, public teachings, initiations, and for welcoming high lamas and geshes. Their current temple would become too congested during gatherings and they lacked space for holy objects. Thanks to a kind and generous benefactor, US$35,105 was raised for this project.
According to Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Buddha explained in the Mindfulness Sutra the benefits of setting up rooms for monks, shelters, monasteries, and temples where there are holy objects of Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha– and holy objects of statues, stupas, and scriptures. This is called the abiding place. Abiding there is Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. So the abiding place is a great, great place to subdue the mind, collect extensive merit, and to achieve enlightenment.
Recently, the first foundation for the new temple was dug and laid, columns positioned and cast, brickwork and formation of window and door openings were completed. The metalwork support for the concrete roof is complete and they will soon be ready to pour the concrete. This will have to be left for twenty-one days to dry and then they can remove the supports and start the plastering inside and outside. Once that is dry, the painting can begin.
Please join us in rejoicing that the support offered will assist this settlement maintain a vibrant and active community Dharma program at their temple, and contribute to the preservation of Tibetan culture within the population in India.
All are welcome to support the Social Services Fund and help ensure we can continue to offer direct support to Tibetan settlements.
Earlier this year we shared the news that a magnificent new thirty-five foot stupa was sponsored and being built at Rabagayling Tibetan Settlement in Hunsur, India. We have been supporting an elderly home at this settlement caring for twenty residents since 2015.
We are so pleased to update you that tremendous progress on the stupa is being made. Mantras, relics, and holy images have been acquired to fill this beautiful stupa which will bless the entire settlement, anyone who visits the stupa, and all those who support it.
With holy objects such as statues, stupas and scriptures you do not have to have a mind unstained by anger, ignorance or attachment to create merit. For human beings or even animals, simply seeing the holy object becomes the cause to achieve inconceivable awakening and enlightenment by purifying so many defilements. The special advantage is that just by their existence these holy objects make it easy for us ordinary living beings to create merit. — Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Please join us in rejoicing that another holy object is being built in the world which will be such a source of purification and merit for so many and help fulfill Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s vast vision for the FPMT organization and world.
If you would like to contribute to the building of stupas around the world, you are welcome to offer any amount to the Stupa Fund and help ensure that holy object grants like this continue.
Earlier this year we shared news that we offered support to Taru Gayphel Tsogspa Animal Welfare Society, an animal sanctuary that is caring for fifty bulls, twenty cows, ten sheep, and five donkeys in Leh, Ladakh. In addition to a grant offered from the Animal Liberation Fund to help fund and expand their operation, Lama Zopa Rinpoche also advised and sponsored eight stupas, to be built on the land so that animals can circumambulate them to create merit, purify negativities, and plant positive seeds for the future. This is one unique way Rinpoche recommends to benefit animals, not only emphasizing the need for material care like shelter, medical care, and food which are so important for wellbeing in this life, but also the ultimate benefit to the animals in future lives, through taking them around holy objects, playing mantras, and so forth.
Please join us in rejoicing that these eight stupas are now completed and were recently inaugurated. Sangha from Ngari Institute, Taru villagers, and several esteemed guests joined for this joyous event as well. The beautiful stupas are placed easily for all the animals to circumambulate whenever possible.
About circumambulating stupas, Lama Zopa Rinpoche has said, “One receives skies of benefit, inconceivable merit. There is no deflation and inflation. It’s not like the value of gold or the dollar and so forth, which goes up and down; it’s not like the value of material things, which goes up and down. The resultant happiness is inconceivable due to the power of the object, of the Buddha, it’s always the same. Due to things being empty of existing from their own side, dependent arising, it’s always the same. The Buddha’s power never decreases, the Buddha’s compassion toward sentient beings never decreases, the Buddha’s qualities never decrease, they are always the same, having infinite qualities and never decreasing. Therefore, all these practices that we do—circumambulation, prostrations, offering—even to a statue or a painting of Buddha, the benefit is always infinite.
Taru Gayphel Tsogspa offered the following words of thanks, “We would like to heartfelt thanks His Eminence Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Ven. Roger Kunsang, and all the devotees and sponsors, without their support this would not be completed. May this merit cause all sentient beings to be free from suffering and complete enlightenment. Long live His Holiness the Dalai Lama and His Eminence Lama Zopa Rinpoche.”
You can read more about our support offered to Taru Gayphel Tsogspa Animal Welfare Society.
In 2019 we shared Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s wish to offer 1,000 statues of Shakyamuni Buddha to His Holiness the Dalai Lama for his long life on behalf of the entire FPMT organization. The funds for this ambitious project were raised quickly and the statues were created, filled, painted, gold-gilded, all 2,000 eyes carefully opened, and then consecrated. This process took over a year with artists staying at Tushita Meditation Centre to complete. The statues were filled with the appropriate mantras and in January 2020 Rinpoche met with His Holiness in Bodhgaya and formally offered the 1,000 statues. His Holiness immediately started prayers and offered the consecration of all the statues.
Due to pandemic restrictions, there was some delay in getting the physical statues to His Holiness, so they were all carefully boxed and kept dry and safe at Tushita Meditation Centre. In late October 2021, the actual offering was finally arranged, and we are so delighted to report that now all 1,000 Buddhas have been offered.
We would like to offer a heartfelt appreciation and thanks to Kopan Monastery and Khachoe Ghakyil Ling Nunnery, especially to Gen Tenpa Choden for working so hard to actualize this amazing offering and also to the director of Tushita, Pema Wangmo, the monks and nuns of Kopan and Gyudmed monasteries, and the artists who worked extremely hard. We also gratefully acknowledge all the donors who made this incredible offering possible.
Please join us in rejoicing in the creation of 1,000 beautiful statues of Buddha for the long life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama on behalf of all within the FPMT organization.
To help ensure grants like this continue toward holy objects, all are welcome to offer a donation of any amount to the Holy Objects Fund.
Recently Lama Zopa Rinpoche sponsored a beautiful standing Ksitigarbha statue for a remote village in Nepal as protection from disaster and the elements, and for the benefit all of beings. Moved by Rinpoche’s generosity in sponsoring this magnificent holy object for the village, the villagers came together to build a beautiful temple in which to house the statue. The temple has prayer wheels around the outside for anyone to turn and special mandalas and protections on the inside and outside to bless people upon seeing. The statue was filled and blessed at Kopan Monastery before being sent to its final home in the new temple. Monks from Kopan traveled to the village to consecrate the statue and bless the temple.
The bodhisattva Ksitigarbha is relied on to avert danger and purifies obstacles. Lama Zopa Rinpoche has recommended Ksitigarbha mantras and practice to mitigate disasters of the elements such as earthquakes and tsunamis. You can listen to audio of Rinpoche reciting the long mantra of Ksitigarbha.
“Every single holy object is the basis for you to create all the merits that bring every success and pleasure that you experience now, as well causing your future liberation and enlightenment. Whether a person is Buddhist or not, just seeing a holy object allows them to create soooo much merit.” —Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Please enjoy this short video of the consecration:
In this short video you can see the vast and beautiful landscape of the site for the new statue:
Please join us in rejoicing in the creation of this incredible holy object in Nepal!
You can read more about other powerful holy objects that we have sponsored recently.
If you would like to contribute to the building of holy objects around the world, you are welcome to offer any amount to the Holy Objects Fund which contributes to the creation of stupas, prayer wheels, and statues.
We were very happy to share news of sponsorship for two ambulances in two different Tibetan settlements in India, through the Social Services Fund.
Rabgayling Tibetan Settlement in Hunsur, India is situated on 2,000 acres and was established in 1971 for the development of villages, hospitals, schools and monasteries. The population of this settlement is currently at 1,900. This settlement has an elderly home that serves twenty residents which we have been supporting since 2016. We were delighted to sponsor a new ambulance which will be used to transport those in need of care to Phende Hospital located on the settlement.
An ambulance was also sponsored for transportation to Tsojhe Khangsar Hospital for individuals from two Tibetan settlements in Bylakuppe, India, encompassing 20,000 people including monks and nuns residing in surrounding monasteries and nunneries. The ambulance was consecrated by some monks of Sera Je Monastery. We have been supporting an elderly home in one of these settlements, Lugsam Samduling, which serves nearly fifty elderly residents, since 2016.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche offered advice to have special stickers and mantras—such as Namgyalma Mantra and Lotus Pinnacle of Amoghapasha Mantra—put on the ambulances to bless all the people who use them and see them, thus making these vehicles not only the means for others to receive medical support they desperately need, but to create merit and make a Dharma connection every time they enter or see the ambulances.
Please join us in rejoicing in the utilization of these two ambulances within Tibetan settlements in India.
All are welcome to support the Social Services Fund and help ensure we can offer direct support to those in need.
- Tagged: elderly homes, lugsam samduling settlement, rabgayling tibetan settlement, social services fund
The Puja Fund was established in 1995 as an expansive way for the organization to clear obstacles and generate the merit needed to be of most benefit in the world.
Incredible Opportunity This Lhabab Duchen
On the auspicious day of Lhabab Duchen (October 27), when the merit is magnified one hundred million times, the Puja Fund will be making and extensive monetary offering to 10,000 ordained sangha in India and Nepal. The sangha will be engaged in the recitations of the Prajnaparamita, Golden Light, Arya Sanghata, Vajra Cutter, and Amitayus Long Life sutras and will dedicate the merit of reciting these incredible sutras to all beings and in particular for the FPMT family, for all of the Dharma activities to succeed, and for all the kind donors of the Puja Fund.
In addition there will be robes offered to the Shakyamuni Buddha statue in the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya, and saffron and umbrellas offered to the Boudhanath and Swayambunath stupas. These offerings happen monthly throughout the year and always on merit-multiplying days.
If you would like to join in this vast offering, please offer any amount to the
An Increase of Offerings Due to Pandemic Difficulties
Current pandemic regulations prohibiting large gatherings have impacted monks and nuns in monasteries and nunneries all over India and Nepal who rely on support from offering the service of pujas and other prayers for individuals who request this from around the world. Due to this, Lama Zopa Rinpoche has increased the offerings we make to each sangha member eight-fold this year. We are honored to directly support sangha in this way. With this increase the amount being offered this Lhabab Duchen is US$40,000.
The Buddha described the vast benefits that arise from making offerings to ordained sangha, the Sangha Jewel, who are living in pure morality. Lama Zopa Rinpoche has explained that the sangha are the “real heroes” among us because they are working to defeat the delusions and thus living the best lives as human beings. Also, offering to those who are disciples of the same guru, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, becomes offering to the most powerful object of devotion, one’s own guru.
Making Merit Wisely
Lama Zopa Rinpoche has encouraged students to create merit wisely in order to generate the greatest success and fulfill our wishes. The upcoming Buddha multiplying day offers us one of those wise opportunities because merit is multiplied by 100 million times. And if one generates a bodhichitta motivation—the thought to achieve enlightenment for all sentient beings—while making an offering, this becomes the cause to achieve enlightenment for all sentient beings and is the most powerful way to purify all the defilements you have accumulated since beginningless rebirths. This is very smart business and the best way to create the most extensive merit for yourself and others.
If you would like to make an offering to the Puja Fund for this purpose, please remember on the actual day (October 27) to rejoice in the offering you have made, to rejoice in the activities of the sangha who are engaged in the recitations, and to dedicate all the merit generated.
Recently His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Central Tibetan Relief Committee, the Department of the Home, arranged special support in the form of direct cash assistance as a relief measure to alleviate the financial burden of vulnerable Tibetans affected by the pandemic. The aim of this offering was to prevent Tibetan households and destitute people in India, Nepal, and Bhutan from falling into poverty due to their inability to earn income during the pandemic.
When Lama Zopa Rinpoche heard of these efforts he immediately wanted to offer support to this initiative with a grant in the amount of US$50,000.
Due to this grant, a total of thirty-eight settlements in India, Nepal, and Bhutan were helped: 196 vulnerable households were given Rs. 10,000 and 340 destitute elders were given Rs. 5,000.
Rinpoche also recently offered a US$20,000 grant to Kopan Helping Hands for their work distributing food to 400 families affected by the pandemic who have lost their livelihoods and also for working with trusted local contacts to identify elderly people living by themselves and families without any means of support in the Upper Solu Khumbu area of Nepal. Food will likely be distributed to them through the local shops.
The financial impact of the pandemic has been especially devastating for the poorest households in Tibetan settlements. According to a rapid survey conducted in June, 2,774 households across India, Nepal, and Bhutan are now struggling to afford basic necessities and are at risk of falling into a cycle of poverty from which they cannot soon reemerge.
Thanks to so many generous donors we are able to offer grants like this that have direct impact on the lives of those who truly need support and kindness.
All are welcome to be part of the aid we are able to provide through our Social Services Fund by donating any amount or rejoicing in work we do.
Please learn more about the Social Services Fund and all of the ways we offer support toward those in need.
Lama Tsongkhapa (1357-1419) was a Tibetan Buddhist master whose studies and meditations in all the major schools of Tibetan Buddhism resulted in the founding of the Gelugpa lineage. The Lama Tsongkhapa Teachers Fund was established by FPMT in 1997 at the request of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The purpose of the fund is to invest in the preservation of the Gelugpa School of Tibetan Buddhism by supporting the teachers of tomorrow. Preserving the Mahayana tradition is the primary objective of the entire FPMT organization and the Lama Tsongkhapa Teachers Fund is one substantial way to help continue this work.
Every year this fund offers a grant for for daily food and travel expenses of the annual Gelug Exam. This year 1157 monks from eight monasteries are participating. The geshes and monks taking these exams are some of the top scholars coming from the main monasteries and will become future teachers, benefiting so many. This year, due to pandemic restrictions, the monks from Sera and Tashi Lhunpo monasteries participated at Sera Monastery in Bylakuppe, and the monasteries from the settlement in Mundgod participated at their respective monasteries. The cost of supporting the exams in 2021 was US$7,200.
Also a grant for US$4,945 was offered to Sera Je Monastery for 260 monks who passed an annual Special Memorization Exam. Each of these monks received a new set of robes and a cash offering for memorizing as follows:
- 78 monks memorized Commentary of Clear Meaning
- 113 monks memorized Explanation of the Provisional and True Meaning
- 50 monks memorized Bodhisattvacaryavatara (Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life)
- 13 monks memorized the first chapter of General Meaning of Paramita
- 2 monks memorized General Meaning (of the) Middle Way
- 1 monks memorized Six Logical Scriptures of the Madyamika
- 2 monk memorized Five Treatises of Maitreya
- 1 monk memorized the Root Text of Pramanavartika
Investing in Teachers
A monthly offering from this fund is to provide stipends for 139 of the main teachers of the Lama Tsongkhapa tradition, including current and past abbots. This small offering of money supports these teachers’ basic needs and allows them to focus more of their time on transmitting Dharma to their students at the monasteries and strengthening their own practices. In 2021, US$11,900 was offered for this.
On advice from His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the Geluk International Foundation established a program for thirty geshe lharampas from six major monasteries and five geshemas from various nunneries to specialize in one of the five major texts. A yearly grant was previously offered from another organization within the US to help pay for these individuals to complete this extensive study for ten years. The Lama Tsongkhapa Teachers Fund agreed to take over this fund to distribute a yearly grant of US$87,500 until their studies are complete.
Investing in Buddhist Communities
The Nepal Buddhist Gelug Association was established ten years ago by the monasteries and nunneries of Nepal to preserve and develop the Tibetan Buddhist tradition in general, and the Lama Tsongkhapa lineage in particular, by elevating the standard of Buddhist studies within the monastic institutions of Nepal and the local communities. Recently a grant for US$150,000 was offered so that the following objectives could be accomplished:
- Continuation of the annual Jang Guncho Winter Debate Session
- Continuation of the Great Gelug Annual Examinations
- Conducting programs to educate local people in the Himalayan regions of Nepal on Buddhism
- Building a library to boost Buddhist education
- Supporting the construction of stupas and prayer wheels in remote villages
- Organizing offerings during the Gaden Ngacho Chenmo celebration of Tsongkhapa’s life and seminars on the Prajnaparamita Sutra
- Organizing workshops and projects to encourage dialogue between Buddhism and science
An Unbroken Lineage
Please join us in rejoicing in the recent grants offered to these various activities, which help sustain Lama Tsongkhapa’s unbroken lineage in the Gelug monastic institutions, and thus, around the world as these scholars become teachers and spread the precious teachings.
“Taking responsibility for supporting these practitioners is extremely worthwhile because they are preserving and spreading the entire teaching of the Buddha.” – Lama Zopa Rinpoche
- Tagged: lama tsongkhapa teachers fund
The FPMT Social Services Fund offers grants to beneficial projects primarily in India, Nepal, and Mongolia, which are aimed at serving children, the elderly, the sick, and very poor. We offer grants for schools, hospices, health clinics, soup kitchens, and elderly homes. In addition, due to shutdowns in 2021, we also offered food and monetary assistance to thousands of families in need.
We would like to invite you to rejoice in some of the grants recently offered specifically toward medical care, living expenses, and food to those in India, Nepal and Mongolia.
Patient Care Trust, India
Patient Care Trust (PCT) is an NGO operating in India, with a large proportion of its field work being conducted in Northern India. The NGO facilitates access to quality healthcare and also organizes free medical camps with partner hospitals. The mission of this project is to provide timely access to affordable quality healthcare for the socially marginalized Tibetan Refugees.
Tibetans refugees in India are disproportionately exposed to risk due to lack of access to quality healthcare. Because of a variety of factors, many of them have a choice between costly but timely access to healthcare in private institutions, or affordable but untimely access through Indian public hospitals. As such, Tibetan refugees either give up on healthcare access, or contract high levels of debt. Most Tibetan refugees reside in rural areas of India, where local facilities are understaffed and under equipped. Additionally, reputed public government hospitals in urban areas such as Delhi have a waiting list of five to six months, but lower average costs. A number of Tibetan refugees are monks or nuns receiving very little or very low income and many have no income at all, especially the newly exiled from Tibet, who sometimes cannot speak English or Hindi. Due to these factors, the Tibetan refugees in India suffer from direct and disproportionate access to quality healthcare, particularly in the case of emergency treatment.
Since 2012 over 4,500 vulnerable patients have been assisted by this project. In 2021 the Social Services Fund was happy to support the important work of Patient Care Trust by covering the operational budget for an entire year with a grant of US$27,954.
Shakyamuni Buddha Clinic, India
Shakyamuni Buddha Health Clinic, a social service project of Root Institute, Bodhgaya, began in 1991 as a home for the destitute and has evolved into a diverse community health program encompassing a wide range of medical and rehabilitative services and health promotion activities.
The clinic continued to do important work in the community in 2020, some highlights are:
- The purchasing of a new Mobile Clinic vehicle that will serve hundreds of families in remote villages every week for those who cannot come to Root Institute. Through this, doctors, health educators, and physiotherapists brought much needed care to many poor families.
- The Adolescent Girls Health Training classes continued. The mission of this program is to create awareness regarding the dangers of child marriages and domestic violence, and the value of education, health, and hygiene for women for the overall wellbeing of the family.
- The teachers and students of Maitreya School, also a project of Root Institute, participated in a workshop on menstrual health and hygiene organized by Sakya Hospital. The students then continued to share this learning with students of other schools.
The clinic was required to shut it’s doors in March 2020 due to the lockdown declared by the government of India. The doctors however, continued to help patients in their personal capacities. They also distributed medicine and helped the community in whatever way they could. In February 2021, the clinic reopened with all required protocols.
The annual cost of operations for the clinic is US$30,292 and in 2021 we were very happy, through the Social Services Fund, to offer US$14,700 toward these operating expenses.
The Social Services Fund has been providing annual grants to the incredible work of Shakyamuni Buddha Clinic since 2012 and in total has offered over US$172,000.
Lamp of the Path, Mongolia
Lamp of the Path NGO (LOP), part of Ganden Do Ngag Shedrup Ling, has offered social services to some of the poor and homeless living in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia for the past eighteen years. The soup kitchen, which is its main program, offers food to those in need and free medical support is offered through a health clinic. LOP also helps bring awareness to the epidemic of alcoholism in Mongolia and offers tuberculosis checkups for the disadvantaged in the area.
A grant for US$35,281 was offered to this beneficial project toward the 2021 operating budget.
The Social Services Fund has been providing annual grants to the incredible work of LOP since 2012 and in total has offered over US$318,000.
Please watch this moving video featuring the lives of three individuals who have been positively impacted by the services offered by Lamp of the Path.
MAITRI Charitable Trust, Bodhgaya
MAITRI is engaged in the eradication of leprosy, the control of TB, medical assistance and care for expecting mothers and new born babies, life-saving assistance to malnourished small children, education of children and adults in rural areas, rehabilitation of disabled people, the provision of opportunities to women and other underprivileged people, promotion of a holistic development in villages, rescuing and care of animals, and awareness campaigns for all of these programs.
In 2021 during the lockdowns, MAITRI’s work continued, as they had inpatients in the hospital and animals in the shelter, the staff came to work regularly. They were provided with face masks and Vitamins C and D to boost their immune system and the staff were grateful to have a regular job and regular income. Registered patients of the TB and mother and child care programs defied the lockdown restrictions and came to the gates for their monthly rations which MAITRI duly provided.
During the year the programs continued with new patients being registered and others being released from treatment. In particular, MAITRI helped to hospitalize two leprosy patients and with MAITRI’s special treatment their condition has been greatly improving. The work of the animal care program continued with the rescuing of animals in distress and injured, including a monkey.
A grant for US$68,600 was offered to this beneficial project in 2021 toward the operating budget.
The Social Services Fund has been providing annual grants to the incredible work of MAITRI since 2012 and in total has offered over US$606,000.
Helping Nepali and Tibetan Refugees Affected by the Pandemic
Kopan Helping Hands has been distributing food to families affected by the pandemic and who have lost their livelihood due to the lockdowns and restrictions. Kopan is working with the local government to identify families most in need and distribute food to as many as 400 families. In addition, Kopan is working with trusted local contacts to identify elderly people living by themselves and families without any means of support in the Upper Solu Khumbu area of Nepal. Food will likely be distributed to them through the local shops. Lama Zopa Rinpoche recently spoke to the senior Kopan monks about how important it is for monks and nuns to engage in social activities that directly relieve the suffering of sentient beings. However, in addition to the immediate benefit, Rinpoche emphasized that by seeing monks and nuns do activities for their benefit, people will develop faith in them and this will plant the seed of liberation in their minds and cause them in future lives to meet the Dharma and the Sangha.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche offered a grant of US$20,000 to Kopan Helping Hands toward these food distribution efforts.
The Central Tibetan Relief Committee (CTA) arranged support in the form of direct cash assistance as an emergency relief measure, to alleviate the financial burden of the most vulnerable households. Cash assistance will help these homes meet basic nutrition and financial security needs over the next several months, and prevent them from falling into deep poverty due to their inability to earn income during the pandemic.
The financial impact of the pandemic has been especially devastating for the poorest households in Tibetan settlements. According to a rapid survey conducted in June, 2,774 households across India, Nepal, and Bhutan are now struggling to afford basic necessities, and are at risk of falling into a cycle of poverty from which they cannot soon reemerge. The CTA offered a one-time payment of 10,000 Indian rupees for each household (1,000 rupees per month for ten months).
Emergency cash relief is expected to help enable them to maintain financial stability in the short term, and increase their ability to regain or advance toward self-reliance when economic activity normalizes.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche offered a grant of US$50,000 toward this beneficial initiative of the CTA.
Tsum Community Center, Nepal
This year the Social Services Fund was happy to support the construction of a new community center in Kathmandu to support those from the Tsum region. This new community center is being built in the area of Swayambhunath and the community center will serve as a place for people to gather and offer prayers, particularly at the time of death, by offering a space for the final rituals before cremation. The other objective of this center is to teach the younger generation in the area about the cultural traditions of Buddhism as they are not taught this in their schools.
In 2021 US$ 40,996 was offered toward the building expenses of this community center.
Please join us in rejoicing in some of the ways that FPMT is offering direct support for those most in need in India, Nepal, and Mongolia by providing grants for medical and heath care, food, and living expenses. In 2021 we have offered US$257,531 so far this year. Thank you to the many who make these grants possible and continue to support the Social Services Fund.
All are welcome to support the Social Services Fund and help ensure we can continue to offer support toward the health of those in need.
- Tagged: kopan helping hands, lamp of the path, patient care trust, shakyamuni buddha health care center, tsum
Recently we shared a video from Lama Zopa Rinpoche explaining some of the profound benefits of writing out the Prajnaparamita Sutra, and some of the history of Rinpoche’s ongoing project to write out this sutra in pure gold which Rinpoche and others have been undertaking for sixteen years including Ven. Tsering, Jane Seidlitz, and recently a monk from Kopan Monastery and a nun from Khachoe Ghakyil Ling Nunnery have joined these meritorious efforts.
We are pleased to share PART TWO of Rinpoche’s teachings on the benefits of Prajnaparamita and invite you to rejoice, again, that after a ten year break due to a stroke, Rinpoche is now writing out this sutra in pure gold again.
By hearing this sutra, writing it down, reading it aloud, or memorizing it, you create more merit than is fathomable. Rinpoche explains that by doing so, from life to life you crush the oceans of samsaric suffering, you crush the delusions. That is how profound this sutra is, it enables you to reach enlightenment.
The Prajnaparamita Project is an FPMT Charitable Project which covers the cost of gold, paper, and calligraphy pens for the ongoing writing out of this most precious and beneficial sutra by Rinpoche and others.
When discussing his Vast Visions for the FPMT organization, Lama Zopa Rinpoche said, “My wish is for FPMT to build many holy objects everywhere, as many as possible. Making it so easy for sentient beings to purify their heavy negative karma and create extensive merit, which also makes it so easy to achieve the realizations of the path to achieve liberation and enlightenment.” In his March 10 thought transformation teaching, Rinpoche explained that, “Every single holy object is the basis for you to create all the merits that bring every success and pleasure that you experience now, as well causing your future liberation and enlightenment. Whether a person is Buddhist or not, just seeing a holy object allows them to create soooo much merit.”
Further, as Buddhism continues to spread around the world, clear and accurate translations of Buddhist texts, prayers, and teachings—which are also holy objects—are crucial; and distribution of these texts is essential so that interested students can retain access to authentic teachings.
Please find details on how a number of the FPMT Charitable Projects recently supported the creation of holy objects, such as stupas, prayer wheels, and statues; arranged monthly offerings to precious holy objects; and offered grants for the translation, printing, and circulation of Dharma texts.
About the benefits of building stupas, Lama Zopa Rinpoche has said, “We can build stupas to inspire people without even teaching Dharma. However many hundreds and billions of years the holy object lasts, it continues to liberate many sentient beings every day, freeing them from the lower realms, causing them to actualize the path, liberating them from samsara and bringing them to enlightenment. After we die, even if we are in another universe, in the hell realms or a pure land, wherever we are, the stupa that we built or helped to build, is continually benefiting sentient beings. It is incredible how we can continually benefit sentient beings by building a stupa.”
Mahabodhi Stupa at Land of Medicine Buddha, CA, US
On the advice of Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Land of Medicine Buddha has been building a 39-foot-tall Mahabodhi Stupa in California for the past seven years. This stupa will be the main attraction of the 100,000 Stupa Project in a beautiful garden featuring an area to meditate, thousands of memorial stupas, places to perform prostrations, and areas with spots for reflection and contemplation. While observing proper protocol for themselves and others during the pandemic, work continued at the Stupa Project in 2020 and is ongoing.
Highlights from the ongoing work include: Artist Gelek Sherpa continued to create and apply decorative panels to the main stupa and is now working on the fifth of the seven levels of the stupa and creating silicone molds, casting cement, and doing finishing artist work; last year the first twenty Kadamapa stupas were placed on the inner mandala wall. In the coming month these stupas will be painted and filled. More than twenty new stupas have been sponsored this year! In 2021, US$25,000 was offered for the stupa and an amazing US$212,053 in total has been offered from the Stupa Fund. You can learn more about this stupa and support it directly.
The Thame region of Nepal was seriously damaged during the 2015 earthquake. Almost all the homes in the area were damaged and also a large very precious stupa was destroyed. The monks from Thame Monastery requested Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s help to rebuild the stupa, as it was the biggest holy object in the region. Lama Zopa Rinpoche was very happy to do this and through the Stupa Fund covered the entire cost of the building of the stupa as well as a large prayer wheel inside and prayer wheels around the stupas. The new stupa stands nearly 46 feet tall with a base measuring 54 feet across, took two years to complete, and is larger than the one which previously stood. This impressive stupa features a large prayer wheel inside making it possible for pilgrims and locals to enter the stupa and spin it to create so much merit, even when the area is covered by snow.
The stupa was to be officially consecrated in June 2021, but unfortunately Lama Zopa Rinpoche was not able to travel there due to the pandemic and restrictions. A smaller consecration occurred, as all the materials had already been prepared, and at the same time Rinpoche offered the puja and prayers and consecrated the stupa from afar at Kopan Monastery.
About prayer wheels, Lama Zopa Rinpoche has explained, “Prayer wheels are my hobby, there are so many benefits from building prayer wheels. It blesses all the insects on the ground and in the area, this is besides all the people who turn it. It is such a great blessing for the area! It is a quick way to liberate sentient beings from the lower realms, which is where they have been for numberless times, and enlighten them.” Reciting OM MANI PADME HUM as much as possible while turning the prayer wheel is a quick way of enlightening one’s self and others. Just by turning one time provides the benefit of having done many years of retreat, in a few seconds. It is unbelievable purification and one can collect skies of merit. Why? Because, as Rinpoche has explained, you receive the blessings from the heart of Chenrezig, the buddha of compassion. This is a quick way of developing compassion for sentient beings and in this way you can help others develop enlightenment more quickly.
Prayer Wheel Sponsored in Taplejung, Nepal
A new 9-ft high, 6-ft wide prayer wheel is being built in Taplejung, Nepal, for the benefit of all in the area which includes a school for children which the Social Services Fund has recently started supporting, as well as an elderly home for those in advanced age in the community. In 2021, US$30,100 was offered through the Prayer Wheel Fund for the building of the prayer wheel, prayer wheel house, and mantras needed for this project.
Ongoing Offerings to Precious Statues and Stupas
From the Sutra of the Mudra of Developing the Power of Devotion:
The minute you see a holy object you create infinite merit,
So no question, if you actually make prostrations,
Offerings and so forth, you create far greater merit.
Every full moon and on each of the Buddha multiplying days, on behalf of all FPMT, the Puja Fund sponsors the repainting of the Boudhanath and Swayambunath stupas, as well as the best quality cloth to the umbrellas at the pinnacles. Gold and robes are offered to the Jowo Buddha statue in Tibet and robes are offered to the Buddha statue in the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya. Rinpoche has advised that these important offerings happen for as long as FPMT exists, to generate merit for all those working within the organization and to help ensure the success of all the beneficial activities within FPMT.
“Just seeing a portrait or statue of Buddha purifies our mind and plants the seed of enlightenment. Whether we are believers or non-believers, we get that benefit, to be free from oceans of samsaric suffering. We have never been free from suffering, since beginningless rebirths up until now, so it gives us that incredibly precious opportunity.” — Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Padmasmabhava Statue at Nalanda Monastery, France
Following the advice of Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Nalanda Monastery is building a 1.82 meter (almost 6 feet) statue of Padmasambhava. The statue will be very visible to everyone who visits Nalanda and will be placed above the lake. The Padmasambhava Project for Peace was so happy to offer US$5,000 toward the statue. The total project cost €45,000 and this includes making the statue, gilding it with 24-carat gold, shipping it from Nepal to France, and filling it with mantras and life tree, and building the platform and roof. You can learn more about this statue and donate directly.
108 Aspects of Chenrezig at Kopan Monastery, Nepal
Lama Zopa Rinpoche offered over US$65,340 toward the creation of 108 aspects of Chenrezig, these statues will be three dimensional tiles that are on the walls of the newly built Chenrezig gompa at Kopan Monastery.
Padmasambhava Statue in Maratika, Nepal
A 45-foot tall Padmasambhava statue with a 15-foot tall throne is planned to be built in Maratika, the holy place where Padmasambhava achieved immortality through his practice of Amitayus. This incredible statue will have a gold face, hands, and body. The aspect of this statue is the first manifestation of the Twelve Manifestations of Padmasambhava, Gyalwey Dungdzin (Padma Gyalpo), and is Guru Rinpoche’s magnetizing form. Recently Lama Zopa Rinpoche and Rangjung Neljorma Khadro Namsel Drönme (Khadro-la) offered pujas and consecrated the land where the future statue will be built. The construction will take approximately five years.
Sponsorship of Bengali Translation of Nalanda and the Seventeen Pandits
Through the Education and Preservation Fund we were delighted to sponsor the translation of Nalanda and the Seventeen Pandits from Tibetan to Bengali. The seventeen pandits of Nalanda refers to a grouping of seventeen of the most important and influential Mahayana Buddhist masters from India’s past. Translations like this are instrumental in reviving Mahayana Buddhism in Bengali from where great Buddhist masters like Santaraksita, Atisha, and Santideva were born.
Printing Rare and Precious Heruka Body Mandala Commentary in Tibetan
After many years in process, the two volume commentary on Heruka Body Mandala by His Holiness Trijang Rinpoche has been completed by Geshe Rinchen with a team of Lamas of Sera Mey Monastery! Lama Zopa Rinpoche sponsored the printing of 2,000 copies for free distribution to 20 different monastery libraries in India, which cost over US$20,000. The translation of this commentary was worked on for many, many years and is a tremendous accomplishment.
Writing of the Prajnaparamita
Ven. Tsering has been continually writing out the Prajnaparamita Sutra in gold ink on rainbow paper for more than sixteen years and is working on volume six of twelve. Recently we shared the news that after a ten year pause, Lama Zopa Rinpoche is again writing the 8,000 verse Prajnaparamita Sutra. Two other students in the US and Nepal are also working on writing different volumes of this precious sutra and a monk at Kopan Monastery is also beginning to write it out. Rinpoche has explained that by writing even one word of Prajnaparamita, the teachings on emptiness, you create far greater merit than making skies of offerings to numberless buddhas for many eons. The Prajnaparamita Project offers US$25,000 a year which includes all the costs related such as gold and paper. Recently, Rinpoche shared on video some of the history of this project, the benefits of writing out this most precious sutra, extensive commentary on the incredible benefits of the sutra, the process for doing so, the quality needed in the writing and supplies, and other details related to the process.
Lama Tsongkhapa taught that the best way to collect merit is through rejoicing. Lama Zopa Rinpoche has explained that every time you rejoice in an offering, the construction of a holy object, and in the effort of all those who are working to actualize beneficial activities, the merit doubles. When you rejoice the second time, the merit is multiplied by four. The third time, it is multiplied by eight. It simply makes good sense to incorporate rejoicing into one’s daily practice!
All of these offerings toward the creation and preservation of holy objects as well as the translation and distribution of precious Buddhist texts are made possible by the kindness of so many people who offer support to the Holy Objects Fund, as well as to those who work on building, taking care, and making offerings to the holy objects; translating texts; and through offering service in so many ways to these most powerful and beneficial projects.
All of these offerings are made on behalf of all the FPMT centers, projects, services; and all students, benefactors, and anyone offering service to the FPMT organization.
If you would like to contribute to the building of holy objects around the world, you are welcome to offer any amount to the Holy Objects Fund which contributes to the creation of stupas, prayer wheels, and statues.
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Try to eliminate the negative attitudes, which bring suffering, and increase the positive attitudes, which bring happiness.