Celebrating H. H.’s 60th Birthday, 2006
In August, 2006, over 500 disciples, led by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, came to celebrate His Holiness’s birthday and the third anniversary of the Songtsen Library in Dehra Dun, India. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche himself brought up the idea of having a celebration for H.H.’s 60th birthday during the Hevajra empowerment puja in November, 2005. Rinpoche suggested bringing 500 of his own disciples to the occasion and H.H. delightedly approved, regarding it as a family gathering. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche then provided the necessary financial support and made preparations for the grand event.
On August 1st, nearly two thousand people, including the disciples from the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center and other centers, and the honorable Indian and Tibetan government officials. All gathered together to celebrate this remarkable day. Mr. Sudarshan Agarwal, the governor of Uttaranchal, attended the celebration himself. His Holiness Dalai Lama also sent a congratulation letter. Various programs were presented, by the disciples from the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center and other centers, filling the venue with joy and thankfulness.
The most special moment came when His Holiness Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang bestowed a uniquely customized “Gampopa ceremonial hat” and a rare Five-Dhyani-Buddha conch upon Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.
During the Long Life Praying Puja held on that morning, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche put on the Gampopa ceremonial hat and offered mandala to His Holiness. His Holiness bid Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche in person to found three golden emblems, a sacred vase and two auspicious clouds, and set them on the ceremonial hat.
The children’s innocent performance drew laughters and applause from H.H., the rinpoches and the others.
Eight young disciples of the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center offered the eight auspicious symbols to His Holiness while singing a Tibetan song for the offering.
His Holiness gave individual blessings as well as presents to the disciples brought by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.
Little kids and their mothers in traditional costumes of various countries wished His Holiness a happy birthday. The program had a symbolic meaning of bringing the flags of Drikung Kagyu to every corner of the world -- an oath Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had taken before His Holiness.
Under the fartherly protection of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, 500 disciples arrived in India in groups. All of them met in New Dehli on July 30 and left for Dehra Dun the next day. On the evening of July 30, all of the disciples had a precious opportunity to have dinner with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, and they were immensely grateful for it.
The afternoon programs started with the lively performance of 6 drums.
Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche put on the Gampopa ceremonial hat and offered mandala to His Holiness.
His Holiness conferred upon Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche a “Gampopa ceremonial hat,” symbolizing that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was now qualified to propagate all the teachings of the Kagyu sects.
“The Eight Fairy Maiden Dance” was inspired by the graceful poses of the flying fairies in the Dunhuang frescoes. Thousands of guests held their breath during this elegant performance.
“The Fan Dance” was inspired by the harvest dance of the Han people, emitting a sense of tenderness and delight.
His Holiness entering the venue, accompanied by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.
After the performances, His Holiness personally hosted a tug of war contest. Three teams, the men, the women and the children, of the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center and their counterparts from the Drikung Kagyu Institute were pitted against each other. The purpose of the contest was to promote positive interactions and a sense of harmony among the lay people from Taiwan and the monks and nuns in India.
The lovely kids exerting their strength in the tug-of-war contest.
Believers of Drikung Kagyu from Ladahk, North India, paid respects to His Holiness in their best costumes and presented traditional music and dances.
A spectacular lion dance is presented with outstanding acting.
Eight girls offering presents to His Holiness.
H.H. Chetseng giving Rinpoche a khata.
Children in costumes from the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center caught the eyes of many prior to their performance. The governor of Uttaranchal, Mr. Sudarshan Agarwal, specifically asked to take pictures with the children.
The children presenting “The Peach Dance” to wish His Holiness a long life.
The celebration of the 3rd anniversary of the Songtsen Library took place at the international conference hall in the morning. Tibetan youths welcomed His Holiness and all the honorable guests with an auspicious dance, for the start of the traditional Tibetan ceremony.
Updated on July 24, 2008