|Cremation of Tenga Rinpoche|
I heard for the first time about Kyabje Tenga Rinpoche a few weeks ago when I met Yogi Choekyi Wangpo, a friendly Buddhist Lama that was visiting Boudhanath for a few days. He told me about his master Tenga Rinpoche who had recently attained the parinirvana state (when a realized being finally leaves his physical body and attains final nirvana or liberation) on the 30 of March 2012.
Following the advise of Yogi Wangpo I decided to visit Benchen monastery just to be in the presence of this great Buddhist lama, although he was no longer in his physical form. It is considered by buddhist practicioners a very auspicious event to be in the presence of a master like Tenga Rinpoche shortly after he has attained parinirvana.
His body stayed in a sitting meditative posture for about three days. Later on the monks from the monastery placed his body on top of an altar within a special wooden box inside on of the main gompas at Benchen monastery and for about two months people have paid their respect by visiting the monastery and joining the guru pujas and praying for the quick rebirth of this great master.
Another very auspicious event was the cremation of the Kudung, the precious body of Tenga Rinpoche. I read about the cremation date when I was writing my previous blog post The final nirvana of a Buddhist monk: Kyabje Tenga Rinpoche. The cremation was planed for the 23 of May, about two weeks later. I immediately decided that this was an event that I had to assist to no matter what so I invited my friend Amrita to join me for this experience. Actually we almost had to cancel our plans since for about a week there had been daily strikes in Nepal affecting the public transportation. Luckily the 23 of May the strike was over and public transport was available again.
Yogi Wangpo had come to Nepal specially to pay homage to his guru. He joined the prayers at Benchen monastery and he had planned to be present during the cremation. The initial date for the cremation was the 18 of May but due to astrological circumstances the date was changed to the 23. Unfortunately Yogi Wangpo had already bought his tickets and he was unable to join the cremation.
The circumambulation of the Swayambhunath Stupa with Tenga Rinpoche's Kudung
The ceremony was suppose to start at 7am with a cora or circumambulation (walking clockwise around a stupa, a buddhist temple) of the Swayambhunath stupa. After a 30 minutes taxi drive from Boudhanath we arrived at Swayambhunath exactly at 7 in the morning. We hurried to the top of the hill were the beautiful stupa is located but we didn't see anybody there. "Maybe we are too early" I said, but then Amrita suggested that probably they wouldn't come up all the way to the stupa and walk around the base of the hill instead. So we try to search for Benchen monastery from the top of the hill and we soon spoted all the monks walking in a street in a huge procession carrying Tenga Rinpoche's Kudung with them. Locals and foreigners where waiting ahead on the street to join the circumambulation.
We descended the hill as quick as we could to join the circumambulation. I wanted to be at the front, next to Tenga Rinpoche's Kudung but we were just a few seconds too late and ended probably two hundred meters behind. Not bad at all. I was surprised to see so many people joining the procession. There were hundreds or probably thousands of people. It made me think about how important and significant Tenga Rinpoche must has been for the people in Swayambhunath and worldwide since there were many westerners as well.
The Cremation of Kyabje Tenga Rinpoche at Benchen monastery
|Benchen monastery main gate|
The monks had already placed Tenga Rinpoche's Kudung inside a stupa in the middle of the courtyard of the monastery. They had recently build that stupa specially for this occasion. It was not there the first time that we visited the monastery just a couple of weeks ago.
|Cremation stupa arrangement|
Once the fire was started the Buddhist monks continued to put different offerings into the fire like herbs and fruits. At the same time, inside the main Gompa (temple) hundreds of Buddhist monks were reciting some prayers, probably asking for the quick rebirth of Kyabje Tenga Rinpoche.
|Offerings for the cremation||Offerings for the cremation|
|adding the offerings to the stupa||Tenga Rinpoche Cremation Stupa|
You can find more pictures in my instacanvas gallery: instacanv.as/path2yoga
Video of the cremation of Tenga Rinpoche's Kudung
This is a short video of the circumambulation around the Swayambhunath Stupa, the cremation of Tenga Rinpoche's kudung at Benchen monastery and the Buddhist monks chanting some prayers inside the main Gompa
|The cremation of Tenga Rinpoche Video|
Similar Blog Posts
- The final nirvana of a Buddhist monk: Kyabje Tenga Rinpoche
- Buddhist Monks Chanting in Monastery Near Big Stupa in Boudhanath, Nepal
- The cremation of Kyabje Tenga Rinpoche (official Benchen website)
I was very impressed by the whole event. So many people came to Swayambhunath and Benchen monastery from different places around Nepal and abroad to participate in the cremation of Tenga Rinpoche. I know very little about this Buddhist guru, but this experience helps me realize that he was a very special being and a highly respected lama within the Buddhist community in Nepal and around the world. I was very lucky to be in the right place at the right time.