On 13th January 2014, His Holiness Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche with His Eminence Gyabra Tritsab Rinpoche and twelve Drikung KagyuTulkus, the oldest being 42 years of age and the youngest being twelve, arrived at Sravasti the day before.
They were accompanied by a couple of foreign guests. They came for a ceremony to get the permission of the Goddess of the Land to build a Stupa and guest houses for different schools of Buddhism. Non-Buddhists will also be welcome.
The day began with a visit to the Jetvana Park, where the Shechen Monastery staff and monks assisted the Drikung group for reciting of the twelve stages of Shakyamuni Buddha’s life and making offerings to the Buddha. Offerings of money and Indian sweets were made to the many Indian Theraveda monks and Mahayana monks praying at the site. Pilgrims from many parts of the world were visiting and praying at this holy place too. Thereafter, the group made a round of the Bodhi tree and the surrounding ruins of the Jetvana Vihara.
At 2.30 PM the group met again on the proposed Sravasti Drikung Kagyu Project site. Measurements were taken on the area where the Goddess of the Earth was situated and after making offerings to obtain permission, the ground was broken.
His Holiness thanked the local people who had come to attend this event. He also told them that Sravasti was chosen because it is a very important site for Buddhists, as Buddha spent 25 years during his summer retreats here. This region has been rather neglected and he feels that with such projects there will be more development to this region. He has a vision to make this site a place for world peace and harmony open to all Buddhists or non Buddhist from all over the world. Kusho (monk) Kunchok Gyaltsen from Phiang, Ladakh was officially appointed the Project Manager.
Amongst the guests was the original owner of the land as well as several other villagers. A young girl and her companion played the drum and accordion and offered Buddhist chants and music to the gathering. An elderly villager also sang praises to Buddha and their songs were very much appreciated. Tea and snacks were offered and the auspicious event came to an end with much happiness and joy.