His Holiness Visits Russia and Mongolia

IMG 9717His Holiness and entourages arrived the Moscow airport on August 18, His Holiness was received with warm welcome by the Drikung Sangha and escorted to the Drikung Kagyu center, where H.H. and all had tea and sweet rice organised by the sangha and sponsors. His Holiness shared that it is his second time to visit to Moscow. Then, he told the public about his activities for culture and environmental projects. After the speech, a lunch was served and everyone went for rest.

On August 19th, right after the breakfast His Holiness went for a sightseeing tour in Moscow. He visited the biggest Orthodox church in Moscow – the church of Christ the Saviour, which was recently reconstructed. It is now richly decorated with paintings and golden ornaments, and thereafter he visited the Roerich Museum.

The Roerichs were a Russian family who visited to India –Tibetan region in the beginning of the 20th century and contributed to promote Tibetan culture to the rest of the world. At the museum, the Deputy Director of the museum along with the specialists showed His Holiness around and provided information and stories about artifacts that the museum collected. His Holiness was very interested in the paintings of Roerich on their adventure to the Asia-Tibetan region. The staffs of the museum were very interested to know the story of the dZi stone presented to the Roerich family by Tibetans during their trip to Tibet.

IMG 6374 His Holiness explained the meaning of the symbols on the stone and spoke about its great value. His Holiness complimented on the museum’s effort in preserving old and precious Buddhist statues.  His Holiness highly appreciated the Roerich movement that unites efforts of all nations to preserve cultural diversity and peace in the whole world. In addition, His Holiness visited a stupa in the Roerich museum, which was donated by a Nepalese monastery. As the day was hot and stuffy, the whole group went back to the Drikung Kagyu center after the museum. In the evening His Holiness proceeded to Moscow Writers’ House, where the teachings on Bodhisattva vows was organised. Dharma friends and followers greeted His Holiness outside and inside the hall with khatas. About 300 disciples were presented during the teaching. The Moscow Drikung Kagyu center offered mandala to His Holiness for coming and blessing with the teachings. After the mandala offering, His Holiness started teaching on Bodhisattva Vows, and verybody was fully engaged. After the teaching, His Holiness and Lamas returned for rest.

Next day H.H. continued the teachings and explained the next 2 steps – Cultivating the four immesurables and actually receiving the vows. Disciples were very happy to repeat payers and vows after His Holiness. At the end of the ceremony, everyone joined hands and formed a big circle to receive the Bodhisattva vows. The day lunch was served at Drikung Kagyu center in Moscow. H.H. started next teaching session at 4 pm, and granted an absolute Bodhichitta vows and gave explanations based on works of Lord Jigten Sumgon. His Holiness’s teaching was met with great enthusiasm. Many people stood up and gave His Holiness generous applause in appreciation.

IMG 4783fbThe next day His Holiness bestowed the transmission of the Great Drikung Phowa and  in the second session blessed the Amitabh empowerment. In the evening His Holiness rested and spent a good time with the Moscow Sangha having question and answers, engaging in discussions and sharing his experiences.

On August 22, His Holiness visited Saint Petersburg and was received by members of the Sangha their. He then checked into a the hotel room that was generously offered by a Vietnamese sponsor. On the way to the hotel, His Holiness visited the central historic part of Saint Petersburg as well as monuments and palaces along the bank of river Neva, and took a boat trip on the river accompanied by the Sangha.

Next day H.H. spent whole day on visiting the Library of Rare Manuscripts of the Russian Academy of Science. At the Library His Holiness met the famous Russian buddhologist A. Terentyev who prepared old manuscripts for His Holiness to read. In the evening, a dinner was provided by a sponsor.IMG 4972

On August 24, H.H. visited the famous Russian museum / Art gallery Winter Palace. His Holiness enjoyed wonderful art collections of the Museum. He paid a special attention to the Tibetan section, appreciating collections of rare artifacts of Buddhist art. After lunch he headed back to Moscow and then to the city of Irkutsk. On the flight to Irkutsk, His Holiness was joined by members of Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Latvia, and Ukraine sanghas who went to participate in consecration of the Peace Stupa on Lake Baikal.

Irkutsk is a city in Central Siberia near Lake Baikal. It is a beautiful old Russian city with great Siberian nature, dense forests and pure waters.  After the long flight and a very brief rest, His Holiness had a meeting with the Mayor of the city of Irkutsk. On the way to this meeting, he visited the Museum of the City. There he got acquainted to the traditional Siberian life style and wood carving decorations of traditional wood houses. His Holiness was warmly greeted by the City Mayor. His Holiness was interested  in environmental issues, organic farming as well as religious harmony in the region, where many major religions co-exitst. In the evening, His Holiness had Asian food for dinner. Everyone was exhausted but remained in a good mood. The whole party went to rest with such a good mood.

IMG 8112On Aug 26, at 9am the whole party – His Holiness, Lamas and about 30 guests started the trip from Irkutsk to Lake Baikal where the Peace Stupa is situated. On the way His Holiness visited the sacred spot Ezhens  that local Buryat people use for worshiping local gods. There His Holiness made offerings and prayers.

His Holines visited the Ust-Ordynsk datsan. It is a Buddhist temple called Geden Thubten Darjeeling. There he was greeted by a local Lama who speaks Tibetan as well as other monks. When the H.H. reached the place, where people can dedicate and worship the Lord of Lake Baikal – Oikhoni Ezhen Khan-Khotobaabai, His Holiness made Serkyem offering and prayers.

The total trip on cars took about 5 hours. Then we boarded a boat, which served as a hotel during our trip on the lake. His Holiness was received by Lama Tsering who prepared for visit of His Holiness. The Peace Stupa locates on the highest point of one of the islands on Lake Baikal. After lunch His Holiness went up to the top of the island rock and performed Protectors puja together with Lamas.  After the puja they had dinner and rested on the boat.FullSizeRender-7

On Aug 27, it was the first day of the Stupa consecration. It was a beautiful day in Baikal. It was sunny. No cloud can be spotted in the sky.  The cool breeze balanced the heat of the Sun. The Stupa locates in the center of island Ogoi. His Holiness noted that the biggest island Olkhon is a male and Ogoi is a female and now we are in the heart of the female, naturally endowed with wisdom and special energies. The Stupa is situated high on top of the hill. So everytime His Holiness had to walk up the hill and then go down. Many guests gathered for this event. There were also local people from near by islands, some Buryat people, and tourists. All were  interested in this event. His Holiness performed Guru Yoga, purification of obstacles, Naga puja, smoke offering, and Achi puja. After lunch, the celebration continued with a concert prepared by local people. His Holiness listened to the Buryat songs sung by local people with special interest. The concert was a real success. All guests sang along and were in a festive mood. At the end of the program, special medals and thanks were offered by His Holiness to those who participated in the construction of the Peace Stupa in Baikal. People shared the experience, problems and victories that they faced during the construction. They wished that the Stupa brings prosperity and peace to the whole region as well as benefit to all sentient beings all over the world. The organizers highly praised His Holiness and his activities and warmly thanked him for coming to this sacred place for consecrating the Peace Stupa. In the evening, His Holiness made a boat trip to another shore of the lake. There was a strong wind and the travellers enjoyed splashes riding a boat.

IMG 9505On the second day of celebration at the Stupa continued with offerings to local gods, spirits, Guru Yoga, Achi Puja. Then His Holiness granted the Great Drikung Phowa. As usual, many people local and tourists gathered for this event. After Phowa His Holiness bestowed the empowerment of White Tara. Then the organizers offered His Holiness mandala and invited him to come to the Lake Baikal in the near future. They were followed by the long line of people receiving blessings from His Holiness. Baikal is the deepest lake on Earth. It is 1642 meters deep. Its length is 636 kms and width 79.5 kms. The waters of Baikalare so clean  that you can see the bottom of the lake that is 40 meters deep. The lake is also the oldest in the world. The normal life span of lakes is 10 –15 000 years, but the Lake Baikal is 25 – 30 thousand years old. His Holiness blessed the waters of Lake Baikal, and all living organism in the Lake received blessings. All people living on the shores of river Angara bearing Baikal waters, will enjoy peace and prosperity thanks to special beneficial rituals and blessings of His Holiness.

On August 29th 2016, His Holiness has spent time with the Shamans in Buryatia. They formed a partnership to promote world peace and environment preservation. His Holiness got acquainted with the settlement on the island Olkhon – Khuzhir. It is a small village with wooden houses situated on the shore of the island. During lunch time, His Holiness and his entourage visited a local shaman and his family, who warmly welcomed the head of a lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. He expressed warm welcome on behalf of the Chief Buryat shaman and delivered the invitation for His Holiness to visit the Chief Buryat shaman in the City of Ulan Ude, the capital of Buryatia. His Holiness was greeted with white food according to the Buryat tradition. Then member of the family offered songs and dances to His Holiness. The shaman spoke of the tradition of an annual event for shamans from the whole world to get together on island Olkhon and make prayers for peace and environment preservation. The lunch followed by a short rest, then a generous dinner and a meeting with the disciples who followed His Holiness to island Olkhon. His Holiness answered questions and gave blessings.IMG 9230

On 30th, early morning the whole group departed by cars for the City of Irkutsk. There, they got on a train and headed to the capital of Buryatia, the City of Ulan Ude. Next day at 11 am His Holiness and his entourage started their trip from Ulan Ude to Egituisky datsan. The weather was sunny and the temperature was about 24 degrees. The road to Datsan locates on a typical Buryat steppe. It was notable that the whole steppe along the road was covered with flowers – golden, violet and white – this is quite unusual, since these flowers normally bloom only in spring. The fields were filled with sweet fragrance as if the nature greeted His Holiness and layed a colorful carpet to welcome his arrival. On the way His Holiness visited Atcagatsky datsan Gandan Dorjeling – where His Holiness was warmly welcomed by local people and monks. His Holiness gave brief teachings and got acquainted with the history of the Datsan. Unexpectedly among other old photographs His Holiness saw a photograph of his grandfather. Then followed a traditional lunch in a nice place in Buryat style, which was similar to Tibetan traditions. The group was served with soup, white food as well as local booza – dumplings resembling Tibetan momos. His Holiness and monks all enjoyed delicious food and thanked hosts and made lots of photorgaphs. After 2 hours of driving in the Buryat steppe, His Holiness arrived at Egitujskij Datsan where the famous Sandal wood Buddha locates at. It is considered that the Sandal wood Buddha statue was created during the life of Buddha and when Buddha Shakyamuni descended from the Heaven of 33 gods, the Statue made 6 steps toward Buddha and Buddha accepted it as a true image of himself. In the beginning of the 20 century, the Statue was acquired by Egitujskij datsan and brought to Buryatia from China. Since then it was kept in Buryatia, Russia. There His Holiness was warmly greeted by the datsan monks and keepers of the place, then after a long and difficult trip His Holiness took rest.

mongolia1On September 1st,  His Holiness started teachings on Buddhism including Three Yanas, Four Noble Truths and the importance of practicing Dharma in every day life. In the temple the disciples of His Holiness, lamas from the datsan, and local people. Many Buryat women wore in colourful national dresses are all presented. Everyone enjoyed His Holiness’ teaching. Then local people requested for Drikung Phowa Chenmo and Long Life empowerment. In order to Meet this request, His Holiness agreed to change the schedule to give empowerment and transmission of Phowa. Many senior people received Phowa instructions for the first time.mongolia4

On the last day His Holiness gave an oral transmission on the Lotus Sutra. Many local people, lamas and lamas from Mongolia also came for teachings. They noted that it is very auspicious to hear the words of Lotus Sutra from His Holiness, since that builds connection for the future lives and lays foundation for further study of Lotus Sutra. Then they said good-bye to local hosts and started heading back to the City of Ulan Ude. While on the way back His Holiness also visited the Interregional center of Shamans “Khan – Tengeri”, where he was warmly greeted by the Supreme shaman of Buryatia Tsyrendorzhiev Bair Zhambalovich. He highly appreciated the activities of His Holiness and noted common historical connection between Buryat – Mongol and Tibetan people. The two leaders have signed an Agreement on cooperation in matters of promotion of peace and inter-confessional dialogue, as well as preservation of culture. His Holiness gave blessings to the shamans for the meeting and accepted invitation to join an annual gathering of shamans from all over the world on the Island of Olkhon for prayer, peace and prosperity.Mongolia2

The Birth of Buddha
Buddha's Renunciation
In Search of Truth
Turning the Wheel of Dharma
Buddha's Parinirvana
Buddha's Teachings

The Four Noble Truth
Dharma Practice

What is the Mind?
Loving Kindness and Compassion

What is Vajrayana?
Why Practice Vajrayana?
Authentic Vajrayana
Levels of Vajrayana
Attachment and Vajrayana
What to Meditate On
Sitting in Meditation
Preparing for Meditation
The Meditation Session
A Meditation Schedule

The Kagyu Lineage
Meaning of Hung Symbol
Meaning of Drikung
Life Story of Achi
The Three Protectors