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His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang Presides over the New Temple’s Auspicious Groundbreaking Ceremony

On November 7th, 2016, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang arrived in Miaoli, Taiwan to personally oversee the groundbreaking ceremony at the construction site of the new temple and to lead Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche in the Earth Mother Ritual and the Smoke Offering. The groundbreaking came to a perfectly auspicious completion.

His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche established the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center in Taipei in 1997. Over the past two decades he has been constantly on the move, propagating Buddhism to benefit sentient beings around the world in places such as Mainland China, Tibet, India, Nepal, Bhutan, France, the Netherlands, and New Zealand, as well as in the Japanese cities of Tokyo, Kyoto, and Ishinomaki. As a result, more than 1,500 people from home and abroad have taken refuge in him.

Out of compassion for the many sentient beings still trapped in the suffering sea of reincarnation, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche vowed to build a temple able to accommodate upwards of three thousand people. It will include a Dharma center, a monastics’ dormitory, a retreat center, and a stupa, all for the purpose of fulfilling his great aspiration to propagate the Dharma and benefit sentient beings. In January of 2016, while visiting the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center in Taipei, His Holiness publicly praised Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s great vow to build this temple, and joyfully bestowed assurance of the project’s complete success.

His Holiness had constantly been inquiring about the progress of the temple’s construction, and was overjoyed to learn of its confirmed location. He had stated that November 7th would be a good day for its groundbreaking ceremony, so Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche made arrangements for it to be held on that day.

On November 7th, 2016, escorted by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, His Holiness arrived at the planned construction site of the temple in Miaoli to preside over its groundbreaking ceremony and lead Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche in the Three-Part Torma Ritual, the Yidam Hevajra Earth Mother Ritual, the Earth Mother Groundbreaking Ritual, the Smoke Purification Offering, and the Food Offering for Devas, Nagas, and the Eight Groups of Beings. Participants in these grand, auspicious ceremonies included the Order’s Khenpo Namdol and Lama Samten, as well as ten ordained disciples from the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center.

At 8:30 in the morning, His Holiness and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche arrived at the temple’s planned construction site. After a short rest, His Holiness, accompanied by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche rode in a vehicle to inspect the temple grounds and surrounding terrain and asked pointed questions about the area.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche kept by His Holiness’s side, paying close attention to the elder guru’s footsteps. Whenever they came upon uneven ground, he was quick to offer support. In this manner Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was giving the best example of how to attend to one’s guru.

After inspecting the area, His Holiness chose a location in which to conduct the grand groundbreaking ceremony. He then led Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, Khenpo Namdol, and Lama Samten in a further confirmation of where to perform the ritual and place the Earth Mother.

At 10:30 in the morning, as His Holiness ascended the Dharma throne, birds gathered in the surrounding trees, chirping excitedly. His Holiness smiled and exclaimed, “So many birds!” Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche replied, “They’ve all come because they are very happy to hear you perform the Dharma.”

After performing the ritual for a while, His Holiness and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche descended the Dharma throne to take turns wielding the red-ribbon-tied hoes during the ceremony, and placing pieces of earth into a glass jar. His Holiness held up the jar of soil they’d dug up and examined it closely for a long time.

Next, His Holiness performed the Smoke Offering, during which white smoke continuously billowed skyward. Immediately afterward, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche performed three grand prostrations on the sand and dirt in front of His Holiness while imploring to offer the mandala, and thanked him for his auspicious Dharma performance.

Upon the perfect completion of the groundbreaking ceremony, His Holiness bestowed precious Dharma teachings:

“Today, we conducted the Earth Mother Ritual. The Earth Mother is also an earth deity. There is a turn for every season—spring, summer, autumn, and winter—facing eastward, westward, southward, and northward respectively; it takes 360 days for this cycle to repeat. Today is the last day of autumn, so we dug in accordance to the time of the year and the direction of the ground to avoid any future problems related to illness. We intended to build here, therefore we implored the earth deity for permission to develop this piece of land and then made offerings.”

His Holiness continued: “Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche cares deeply for the ordained disciples; in finding this peaceful location, he has prepared a wonderful place of cultivation.” Just then, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked the disciples, “Did you hear that?” The disciples immediately responded in unison with an expression of gratitude for His Holiness and H.E. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.

His Holiness said, “Earlier, we have also performed the Smoke Offering, the Food Offering for Devas, Nagas, and the Eight Groups of Beings, and so on to perfect completion. This location is very special in that it is a mountain valley without a lot of wind, but the breeze that does enter here, despite the surrounding trees, is very good, and blows continuously.”

Presently, the disciples made three reverent prostrations before His Holiness and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, thanking them for their infinitely benevolent blessings.

After the rituals came to a perfect completion, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche respectfully and sincerely asked His Holiness where exactly the stupa and temple should be built, as well as His Holiness’s private lounge. The whole time, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was the epitome of a respectful and grateful disciple toward his guru. At the conclusion of the ceremony, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche accompanied His Holiness down from the Dharma throne. In unison, the disciples thanked them and sent them respectfully on their way.

To construct from scratch a temple large enough to hold 3,000 people was an incredibly difficult project involving a plethora of challenges and requiring an enormous expenditure of energy, strength, and money. Drawing from his vast bodhicitta, and with utter selflessness, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was willing to take on this great responsibility, despite being nearly seventy years old. Moreover, with propagating the Dharma to benefit sentient beings as his only goal, His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was granted blessings and assurance from his Three-Grace Root Guru, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang. It stands to reason that, upon its completion, this temple will serve to benefit countless sentient beings, allowing them to obtain boundless merits and Dharma benefits.

Updated on December 2, 2016