Kyabje Tenga Rinpoche’s auspicious 80th birthday celebration was organised by the newly-established Benchen centre in Singapore - Benchen Karma Choeling. As the centre premises is rather small, arrangement was made to hold the event at the nearby Tai Peh Buddhist Temple. The management of the temple kindly let out their premises for this two-day event, beginning 15th October 2011.
Kyabje Tenga Rinpoche was to confer the Milarepa empowerment and the lineage transmission and blessings that afternoon. HE Drubwang Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche was unexpectedly in Singapore, so Kyabje Tenga Rinpoche requested him to bestow the blessing empowerment.
HE Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche kindly accepted Rinpoche’s request even though he was scheduled to leave for New Zealand to embark on his New Zealand Dharma tour the very next day.
Before the commencement of the empowerment, Kyabje Tenga Rinpoche said that we were very fortunate to receive the very blessed lineage transmission from HE Drubwang Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche, who is one of the lineage holders of the Karma Kagyu Golden Rosary.
The 1st Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche, Drubchen Tashi Paljor was one of the main disciples of the 7th Karmapa, Chodrak Gyatso, and from HH Karmapa, the 1st Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche received all the Karma Kagyu lineage transmissions. Subsequently, Drubchen Tashi Paljor passed back all the Karma Kagyu lineage transmissions to the 8th Karmapa. Henceforth, Drubchen Tashi Paljor became the root guru of the 8th Karmapa, Mikyo Dorje. Since then, the Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoches have been acknowledged as one of the main Karma Kagyu lineage holders. It was an extremely blessed occasion for all the participants who received the precious blessings from HE Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche together with Kyabje Tenga Rinpoche, Sangter Tulku Rinpoche and many of our Benchen Lamas.
At the end of the empowerment, HE Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche said that it was very important for Kyabje Tenga Rinpoche to live long. HE Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche also wished Kyabje Tenga Rinpoche a long life and requested him to continue turning the Wheel of Dharma for a long, long time. HE Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche asked all the participants to make similar aspirations.
Some time after the ceremony, both Kyabje Rinpoches returned to the centre.
At 11 am the next day, the celebration continued with the chanting of the short lineage supplication to the Kagyu lineage gurus. Kyabje Tenga Rinpoche gave instructions on the practice of the Guru Yoga of the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, HH Urgyen Trinley Dorje. Rinpoche stressed that the source of happiness of the ordinary and extraordinary is due to the blessings of the Root Guru. Therefore, engaging in the Guru Yoga practice of the 17th Karmapa is of great importance.
A good number of devotees also took refuge on this auspicious day.
The committee members of the centre as well as representatives of a few other Buddhist centres made long-life Mandala offerings to Rinpoche at the end of the ceremony. Everyone was feted to a lavish buffet lunch and they were at the same time entertained by a few groups of people who presented some songs. A good time was had by all and at the end of the party, after the cake cutting ceremony, everybody wished Kyabje Tenga Rinpoche a happy birthday and a long life.
Rinpoche wished everyone Tashi Deleg before he left for the centre.
© Benchen Monastery Journal, Photos by Sherab Wangchuk