First audience at Tsem Ladrang Kathmandu

9 May 2009 - 2:36am Comments Off

We recently held our very first audience at Tsem Ladrang Kathmandu. A few select guests were invited, consisting mainly of friends both old and new who have been helping us throughout the past few months. Raj Kumar was invited, of course, along with thangka artist Ale Lama, Susan Shakya of Kathmandu Guest House, Suresh of Third Eye, Elizabeth of Pilgrims Book House and many others.

The highlight of the evening was a Dharma talk by H.E. Tsem Rinpoche, about the significance of offering butterlamps and an introduction to Vajrayogini. The evening culminated with the offering of 1,100 butterlamps to Vajrayogini in the newly constructed butterlamp house. That evening marked the start of a 100,000 butterlamp retreat that Rinpoche will be doing over the next few months.

Read the attached article below written by Associate Liaison Jamie Khoo.

Lighting the way to wisdom

Tsem Ladrang Kathmandu’s first audience and the start of a butterlamp retreat

The lighting of 1100 butterlamps and the first Dharma teaching at Tsem Ladrang, Kathmandu brought an auspicious start to the opening of the ladrang.

H.E. Tsem Rinpoche very kindly gave a short Dharma teaching to us and some of our Nepalese friends before we all proceeded to do a short puja and head over to the newly built butterlamp house to light candles.

This first day of offering is part of a 100,000 butterlamp offering retreat that Rinpoche will be doing, dedicated to the success of all Kechara departments and activities in Nepal and Malaysia, and the growth of Dharma everywhere.

The recent expansion of activities and work here in Kathmandu signals our next step forward in bringing Lama Tsongkhapa’s teachings to the world. As one of the holiest countries in the world – known for its spiritual sites and generations of practitioners – Nepal is a key place for us to be, to promote Rinpoche and his precious teachings.

Rinpoche is establishing Kechara and our activities with a two-fold mission: firstly, to reach out to Buddhists all over the world and secondly, to “bring back” spiritual practice to the modern people of Nepal. This first audience at Tsem Ladrang introduced our tradition and teachings about Lama Tsongkhapa and holy Vajrayogini to a few of our good friends here in Nepal who have been instrumental in helping our work here.

The butterlamp puja

This is the first time H.E. Tsem Rinpoche is engaging in a 100,000 butterlamp retreat. As a way to kickstart our activity here in Kathmandu, Rinpoche shared the first day of offering with the Kechara team here, a few guests from home, and friends from Kathmandu.

A special butterlamp house was built towards the back of the ladrang to house over 1100 butterlamps. Light offerings will be made daily for this retreat to maintain the continuity. The retreat will take approximately six months. A Vajrayogini statue is also housed within, so these offerings are made directly to her.

It is Rinpoche’s wish that everyone can engage in this practice, especially to make vast offerings to the Three Jewels. Rinpoche explained that butterlamp offerings are key in helping us to lift the darkness of ignorance and gain wisdom. By making the offerings, we collect merit and create the karmic causes for us to receive and understand the teachings, to lead ourselves and others to happiness. It is also one of the preliminary practices, which help us to create vast amount of merits in preparation for higher practices.

Making any kind of offering with a superior motivation to the Three Jewels also helps us to develop a more generous mind and counter stinginess. This is not just about money, but about developing a mind that is more able and willing to continuously be of benefit to others.

As the offerings are made to Vajrayogini, who Rinpoche explains is the most efficacious and beneficial Buddha for our time, we directly create the causes to receive her practice and gain her exalted enlightened state in the future.

Be a part of this puja, wherever you are

You can be a part of this very sacred retreat also. Though you can’t physically be at the ladrang to light the daily offerings, sponsoring the offerings is considered the same. The effort you put into working hard, to earn the money that you contribute towards these offerings, is equivalent to doing the physical work of setting up and making the offerings.

As this retreat is dedicated towards the growth of Dharma in Nepal and everywhere in the world, your contribution goes directly towards creating the causes for this to manifest and to be of tremendous benefit to others.

Tsem Ladrang would like to invite everyone to contribute to this retreat, or to do your own retreat, for your spiritual practice or in dedication of loved ones.

You can sponsor a day, week or month of the retreat, or a certain number of butterlamps, and dedicate your contribution towards your Dharma work and practice, for family, projects, businesses, or to commemorate special occasions. You could even engage in a full 100,000 butterlamp offering retreat, as part of your preliminary practices.

For more information about contributing towards this retreat, or how to do your own retreat, please contact Ladrang Liaison Beng Kooi on


Teachings on butterlamp offerings and the lighting of 1100 butterlamps!


Video of Rinpoche talking about Nepal

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