On this auspicious day, January 07, 2008, Drepung Loseling Monastery formally went on line in a most pleasing and gracious manner. The official website, www.loselingmonastery.org, was launched by none other than His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. This auspicious occasion is yet another remarkable milestone in the glorious history of Drepung Loseling Monastery. Years of hard work and determination finally drew close to the grand finale—the inauguration of the New Temple by His Holiness the 14th Dali Lama. Indeed, graced by His Holiness the 14th Dali Lama, H.H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, and many other Eminent Spiritual and Political Dignitaries from all spheres and around the globe, the event served multiple global causes and provided genuine benefit to the Tibetan cause.
Our Honorable Dignitary Guest List was of a very high caliber including the following who attended:
1. His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
2. His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
3. His Holiness Dr. Veerendra Hegde, great spiritual leader
4. His Eminence T.G. Rinpoche, MLA and spiritual leader of Arunachal Pradesh
5. His Excellency Shri Dorjee Khandu, Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh
6. Shri Kiren Riiju, Honourable Member of Parliament
7. Venerable Lama Chosphel Zotpa, member of National Commission for Minorities
8. Shri Tshering Samphel, member of National Commission for SC/ST
9. Shri R.V. Deshpande, former minister of Karnataka State
10. Shri Dharampal Negi, Additional Director General of Police, Karnataka State
11. Shri Naresh Glow, MLA Arunachal Pradesh
12. Shri Tsering Dhargyal, IASChief Secretary to Government of Andaman and Nicobar Island
13. Shri Yeshi Tsering, IAS Secretary to Government of Meghalaya
14. Tsechokling Rinpoche, Secretary to Government of Sikkim
15. Shri District Commissioner, District of Karwar
16. Shri Superintendent of Police, District of Karwar
17. Shri Chief Executive Officer, Zilla Panchayat of Karwar and many other Indian Dignitaries.
Our Tibetan Guest Dignitaries include
1 Mr Ngawang Phelgye, Justice Commissioner CTA
2 Mr Karma Choephel, Chairman of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile
3 Fifteen members of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile
4 Venerable Professor Samdhong Rinpoche Chairman Kashag, Tibetan Cabinet
5 Venerable Tsering Phuntsok, Minister for Religios Affairs, CTA
6 Mr Gyari Rinpoche, His Holiness’s Special Envoy to U.S.A.
And many other high level Tibetan Dignataries.
Many other Distinquished Guests, who were unable to grace the occasion, sent their gracious messages for which we remain eternally grateful. These included
1. Her Excellency Shrimati Pratiba Patil, the President of India
2. The Honorable Vice President of India
3. Her Excellency Shrimati Sonia Gandhi, Honnourable Congress President
4 His Excellency Rameshwar Thakur, Honourable Governor of Karnataka State
5 His Excellency SC Jamir, Honourable Governor of Goa
6 His Excellency Mukut Muthi, Honourable Lt. Governor of Pondichery
7 Her Excellency Shrimati Sheila Dikshit, Honourable Chief Minister of Delhi
8 Shri Subhod Kant Sahai, Minister of State for Food Processing Industries
And many other prominent spiritual and political figures
The formal Inauguration Ceremony was set in motion by a welcoming speech by Venerable Geshe Damdul Namgyal, followed by the unveiling of the New Temple photograph and the lighting of the All Illuminating Lamp by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. Then, our Venerable Abbot, Geshe Lobsang Gyatso, welcomed all the esteemed guests of the event, particularly His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and other Dignitaries who graced this auspicious occasion. He recounted the background, genesis and successful completion of the New Temple and on behalf of the whole Drepung Loseling Monastery, extended his hearty gratitude to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and all the other kind supporters who made this Grand Temple a reality and to those who also provide perennial support to Loseling Monastery in all other vital areas.
Shri R.V. Deshpande, former Minister of Karnataka state, in his address, highlighted the positive aspects of Tibetans as being sincere, peaceful and hard working and pledged continued assistance to the Tibetan cause and for the welfare of Tibetans in Karnataka State in particular. With profound respect he acknowledged the rarity of the meeting of the two great Eminent Souls in His Holiness the Dalai Lama and H.H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Shri R.V. Deshpande also requested His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama to visit Mundgod as frequently as possible. He hopes to turn Mundgod into a genuine World Tourist Center through the assistance of the Indian Central Government. He considers this holy structure, Loseling Monastery’s New Temple, a masterpiece and the serene environment around it quite soothing.
Venerable Professor Samdhong Rinpoche, Chairman of the Tibetan Cabinet in Exile and an Alumnus of Loseling Monastery, in his address, thanked all those responsible for the successful completion of the New Temple on behalf of the Cabinet and himself. So impressed by the New Temple, he wondered if it would surely be deemed the work of a miracle by our successors a century or so forward. Rinpoche also stressed the need to compliment the Temple with more concerted efforts in realizing the purpose for which it was built, and to enhance the smooth running of the noble spiritual curriculum of the monastery.
His Excellency Dorjee Khandu, Honorable Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, in his address, expressed his gratitude to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama for being a Champion of Peace, not only for the Tibetans, but for the whole world and in particular for the people of Arunachal Pradesh. The vibrant Buddhist culture prevalent in Arunachal Pradesh owes all to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. H.E. Dorjee Khandu, stepping further in his support to the many Tibetans living in Arunachal Pradesh, pronounced many upcoming plans meant for them. He also apprised His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of the many projects completed and extended a humble invitation to His Holiness to visit Arunachal Pradesh often.
His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, despite having a very hectic schedule (an important appointment at Hydrabad in the evening) made a point to jointly grace the Great Occasion with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. H.H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, in his insightful address, referred to the Buddha Nature of Buddhism and the Shiva Nature of Hinduism, and interestingly, elaborated on how wisdom and compassion work in a wonderful way when complimented by each other. He aptly described a man of wisdom as a child in an adult body. He termed Corruption, Communism and Communalism (3Cs) as the greatest vices of the present day world. He also added that one who is anti-all is in the end anti-himself. He also explicitly expressed his profound respect for His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and stated that he is totally against violence, and that only mutual understanding helps in the long run. He also believes that wisdom and compassion have no border and that ‘wisdom’ is the most feared weapon because it has strength and power. He referred to the monasteries as a breeding ground for ‘Soldiers of Spirituality’, benefiting the entire surrounding population by setting an exemplary life full of long term happiness through genuine spiritual practices and social welfare activities.
In between talks, we had the great privilege of having His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama release the Souvenir Booklet to those attending the ceremony and launch Loseling Monastery’s official website, www.loselingmonastery.org. In fact, an official website was necessitated by an ever increasing number of well-wishers and associates of Loseling Monastery, yearning to know about the Monastery’s past and present. So, this website acts as a catalyst in enhancing our increasing connection and understanding of each other. As a token of gratitude, Loseling Monastery also humbly presented Souvenirs to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and other Eminent Dignitary Guests for their kind support in making this event a Major success.
As always, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, in his profound insightful address, referred to Drepung Loseling Monastery as a great seat of Advanced Buddhist Studies boasting a glorious history of several hundred years and producing a great many prominent outstanding Scholar-Saints. He graciously complimented the successful completion of the New Temple and reminded the public of the serious congestion problem which compelled Loseling Monastery to strive for a more spacious hall, where all the monks could sit together, and he thanked all those who had made this possible. Having said so, he clearly stressed the importance of genuine efforts for the study and practice of Dharma for which it is meant.
H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama expressed his deep appreciation to H.H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar for being not just a spiritual Guru sitting on a throne but indulging greatly in practical social welfare services to the needy common mass. He also paid his warm regards to H.E. Dorjee Khandu, for attending the event from far Arunachal Pradesh and he recollected the sad memory of stepping into India in 1959 through Tawang Region located in H.E. Dorjee Khandu’s home state. Referring to Shri R.V. Deshpande and all those associated with the Tibetans here, he extended his gratitude for the support and hope for the continuation of the same.
As a grand climax to this momentous occasion, H.E. T.G. Rinpoche, on behalf of the entire Drepung Loseling Monastery, extended his warm gratitude to all those benefactors responsible for the Monastery’s taste of such a grand Momentous Occasion, especially to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama for all his great unparalleled support and guidance.
After the Great Conclusion of the formal Inauguration Ceremony, the Drepung Loseling Monastery offered a grand Luncheon to all of the participants of the event, estimated at 20,000 guests, coming from some twenty seven countries including Mainland China, Taiwan, Malayasia, the USA, Italy and many other European countries. From South Africa to Chile all seven continents were well represented. Due to the sheer number of the participants, the luncheons were served at many spacious venues.
Drepung Loseling Monastery has been deeply honored to have received the Blessings and Teachings of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and to celebrate this Grand Occasion of the Inauguration Ceremony of the Drepung Loseling New Temple. We express our deep gratitude to all our well-wishing supporters from around the world for being the backbone of this successful and joyful occasion and to all those joining Drepung Loseling Monastery in celebrating this great occasion.