The Tara Temple Project at Rinchen Choling

The Sakya Nunnery in Dehradun, India

 

 

Historical Background : The Khon Family, Sakya Lineage and Tara Temple

 

The Khon family from which the Sakya Lineage has descended is known by three special names. First, the “Celestial Race” since the family is said to have descended from the Gods of the Clear Realm Light who entered the human realm. Second, the “Family of Conquerors” through subjugating the “rakshas” (or harmful spirits). And third, the Sakyapa Lineage” since they established the Sakya Order. At the original Sakya Monastery in Tibet, the palace of the present Sakya Trizin’s lineage was built next to the Turquoise Tara Shrine. This is why the Khon family is also known as the Tara Palace (or “Drolma Podrang”) lineage. Therefore building a Tara Temple (or Shrine) at the Sakya Nunnery in India would be very fitting indeed.

 

 

Formation and Current Status of the Sakya Nunnery in Dehra Dun, India

 

In 1993, the first small group of nuns from Tibet arrived in the refugee settlement at Dehradun. The numbers grew quickly with a steady stream of new arrivals. The need for a permanent nunnery at the Tibet Refugee settlement at Dehradun was both critical and paramount. His Holiness Sakya Trizin responded to the crucial situation with the establishment of the Sakya Nunnery in 1998, and gave it the name “Rinchen Choling”. “Rinchen Choling” is the only Sakya Nunnery outside Tibet, and accommodates 165 nuns ranging in age from 9 to 40. It also houses an additional staff of 15 (both teaching and non-teaching).

 

Most of the nuns have escaped from Tibet, travelling by foot through perilous conditions, having left behind families and friends. It is impossible for them to return, or even to visit Tibet. Others have come from Nepal, Bhutan and the neighbouring Himalayan regions. Yet to all, the Sakya Nunnery is home, providing a welcoming and nurturing environment to live; as well as food, clothing and shelter to study and practise Buddha’s teachings. In addition, there are five teachers who provide them instruction in Buddhist scriptures, Tibetan, Hindi, English and Mathematics.

 

In their daily life, the nuns perform rituals and prayers with the motivation to help all sentient beings. Special pujas may be requested by individuals, for example to assist in particular circumstances, as to alleviate personal difficulties, or to dispel obstacles. The nuns in residence have continued their practices, uninterruptedly, regardless of circumstances.

 

Presently the Sakya Nunnery is functioning without a proper temple and shrine hall. Space allocated for a dining hall is temporarily being used as a shrine room. The nuns eat outside on the grounds, which can be quite cold in winter and hot in summer. There is a great need for a dedicated space to be used exclusively for prayers and practices.

 

The proposed Tara Temple would be the first temple for a Sakya Nunnery outside Tibet. It is envisioned to have three floors to provide ample space for the growing size of the nunnery. It will fill the dire need for additional classrooms, and more appropriate accommodation for the teaching staff. This will enable more nuns to be accepted from the ever-increasing waiting list.

 

If you would like more information about the nunnery, please see:

 

http://www.oocities.org/sg/sakyani_nuns/index.html

 

 

The present estimated building cost for the Tara Temple is U$200,000.00. In order to raise this sum, several co-ordinators has been appointed in various countries worldwide, in an attempt to raise the necessary capital sum within three years. By visiting the aforementioned website, one can learn more about the project.

 

The raising of the necessary funds is based on the model of the 37 Heap Mandala Offering of the Universe, which embodies 37 symbolic objects. Each “Object of the Mandala” merits a corresponding donation. These can be sponsored individually or   shared by a small group of friends. For example, to raise the amount for the Wish Fulfilling Tree (a sum of US$ 3,500.00 in total) that item’s sponsorship would be broken down as follows over the three-year period: first year US$2,000.00, second year US$ 1,000.00 and third year US$500. 00. The ratio is about 60%: 30%: 10% of the donation.

 

The construction of the temple can only start when a minimum of 40% of the cost is available. This is why the sponsorship of is higher in the first year and descends in the second and third years. Since the cost of construction material is increasing so rapidly in India, more funding is needed at the onset for the actual building to begin.

 

When Tara Temple is completed, it is intended that a large statue of Tara will be installed, surrounded by 1000 ceramic Tiles, each bearing the image of Tara (His Holiness has agreed to this).  Each Tara Tile can also be sponsored. The cost for a single Tara Tile is US$ 100.  Sponsorship of the main Tara Image and shrine is US$20,000.00. 

 

All sponsors will be included in the prayers and dedications made by the nuns at Rinchen Choling.  

 

 

We dedicate all our efforts to the Long Life and Good Health of

 His Holiness Sakya Trizin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 List of the Symbolic Mandala Offering

For the Fundraising of Tara Temple (Sakya Nunnery)

 

 

Mandala Offering

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1st yr

2nd yr

3rd yr

 

Sponsors

 %

U$

 offering U$

 offering U$

 offering U$

1

Mount Sumeru

15

30 000

16000

11000

3000

2

Sun

7,5

15 000

8000

5500

1500

3

Moon

7,5

15 000

8000

5500

1500

4

East Continent

3,75

7500

4500

2000

1000

5

South Continent

3,75

7500

4500

2000

1000

6

West Continent

3,75

7500

4500

2000

1000

7

North Continent

3,75

7500

4500

2000

1000

8

1st island Deha

2,5

5000

3000

1500

500

9

2nd island Vedeha

2,5

5000

3000

1500

500

10

3rd island Camara

2,5

5000

3000

1500

500

11

4th island Apara-Camara

2,5

5000

3000

1500

500

12

5th island Shatha

2,5

5000

3000

1500

500

13

6th island Uttara-Mantrina

2,5

5000

3000

1500

500

14

7th island Kurava

2,5

5000

3000

1500

500

15

8th island Kaurava

2,5

5000

3000

1500

500

16

Treasure Mountains

1,75

3500

2000

1000

500

17

Wish-fulfilling Trees

1,75

3500

2000

1000

500

18

Wish-fulfilling Cows

1,75

3500

2000

1000

500

19

Unploughed Harvests

1,75

3500

2000

1000

500

20

Precious Wheels

1,5

3000

1600

900

500

21

Precious Jewels

1,5

3000

1600

900

500

22

Precious Queens

1,5

3000

1600

900

500

23

Precious Ministers

1,5

3000

1600

900

500

24

Precious Elephants

1,5

3000

1600

900

500

25

Precious Excellent Horses

1,5

3000

1600

900

500

26

Precious Generals

1,5

3000

1600

900

500

27

Vases of great Treasure

1,5

3000

1600

900

500

28

Goddesses of Beauty

1,05

2100

1300

500

300

29

Goddesses of Garlands

1,05

2100

1300

500

300

30

Goddesses of Song

1,05

2100

1300

500

300

31

Goddesses of Dance

1,05

2100

1300

500

300

32

Goddesses of Incense

1,05

2100

1300

500

300

33

Goddesses of Flowers

1,05

2100

1300

500

300

34

Goddesses of Lamps

1,05

2100

1300

500

300

35

Goddesses of Perfume

1,05

2100

1300

500

300

36

Precious Umbrellas

1

2000

1200

500

300

37

Banners of Victory

1

2000

1200

500

300

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

94,4%

188800

107600

58200

23000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note : Items in orange have been sponsored 

 

 

57,0%

29,8%

12,2%

 

For more information please contact :

Gabriela Reichert, Co-ordinator for Europe

Tel 0033 (0)6 09 77 29 85

Email : Gabriela.r@wanadoo.fr