For many years, it has been His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche’s dream to have a large Vajrayogini in his home. As statues that Kechara has been able to produce have steadily been growing in size, Rinpoche’s dream drew ever closer until finally, it came true.
After months of production, Rinpoche’s 8-foot Queen of the Dakinis arrived in his home on 19 May 2011, where Rinpoche welcomed her with a khata and offerings of flowers, red sindhura powder, incense, milk, yoghurt, lights and herbs.
An exact replica of the one in the Kechara House gompa, for the next three days, the residence was abuzz with members of Kechara Discovery, Kechara Saraswati Arts and Tsem Ladrang waxing, painted, sewing and beading to ensure that the Lady in Red looked her finest.
Before they began, Rinpoche advised the team to visualise themselves as dakas and dakinis serving Vajrayogini. The statue after all, is a representation of no ordinary being – Vajrayogini is no David created by Michelangelo, or some long-forgotten general astride on his bucking war horse. Vajrayogini’s practice is the highest of tantras; Vajrayogini is the one who will end your suffering the quickest in this degenerate age.
More than that, the statue would later become a ‘house’ for the actual Vajrayogini herself, when Rinpoche performed the enthronement ceremony, to invite her to reside in the statue. Thus to view her as the holiest of holies, and to serve her as such would create immeasurable waves of merit to bless those washing and beautifying her.
So the team began, first washing her body before inserting many holy items into Vajrayogini. What had to be rolled was rolled, and what had to be packed was packed until the following list of items emerged:
- Rolled mantras, placed in different areas of the statue according to authentic scriptural sources
- Vajrayogini latsok text
- All types of chakras
- Jewellery from Datin Ng Wee Chin, Dato’ Ruby Khong and Datuk May Phng’s families, amongst others
- Photos of people and animals, both living and deceased
- Ruchok (hair and nails) of people and animals, both living and deceased
- 100 thumbdrives containing the Lam rim text
- Four hard drives of His Holiness Zong Rinpoche’s mantra
- Four hard drives of Vajrayogini’s mantra
- Wealth vases
- Four hard drives of Vajrayogini’s image
- One thumbdrive and one hard copy of His Holiness Trijang Rinpoche’s text
- Earth from the Kechara World Peace Centre (KWPC) land
- Earth from the Menara Kechara land
- Relics of His Eminence Kyabje Lati Rinpoche
- Hair from Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen
- Hair from His Eminence Kensur Jampa Yeshe
- Mala bead from His Eminence Kensur Jampa Yeshe
- Mala bead from Gen Nyima
- Protector rice and protector string
- Mani pills
- Pearls and jewels
- Potpourri for fragrance
- Camphor to prevent insect infestation
- Vajrayogini pendants from each department
Items were chosen because they were prescribed by the scriptures for their sacredness, or for the owners to always be blessed by Vajrayogini. In the case of the hair and nails, these were collected from Kechara members and their loved ones, whether animal or human, for a Vajrayogini ruchok. As Rinpoche explained, “Ruchok is a highly meritorious ceremony to bless the mindstream of the being, whether alive or deceased.
“For those who are alive, the ruchok confers blessings for them to live long, purify karma, be protected, and be blessed for peace, understand the Dharma better and engage in practice to get results. To be on the path of Dharma and to eventually obtain Vajrayogini’s sacred practice. This helps to make a powerful connection to Vajrayogini.
“For those deceased, the items after ruchok inserted into Vajrayogini purifies their karma to take a good rebirth in a Dharma environment in the future so they can practice and advance.”
After the ceremony, the hair and nails were inserted into the statue, to sit alongside holy items such as the relics of His Eminence Kyabje Lati Rinpoche and hair from Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen, who was Rinpoche’s Guru in Los Angeles.
Until Tsem Ladrang moves to KWPC, this Vajrayogini will remain in Rinpoche’s residence, an 8-foot source of blessings and merits. May all who lay their eyes on her, create the causes to one day receive her practice and ascend to her paradise.