Speeches at KIBS Opening
Opening Speech by Shangpa Rinpoche
His Holiness Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche, His Eminence Kyabje Trulshig Rinpoche, most respected Rinpoches and Venerables, His Excellency Mr. Deep Kumar Upadyay, the Minister for Culture, tourism and civil aviation of the government of Nepal, honorable guest, ladies and gentlemen, a warm welcome and my most sincere thanks to you for taking the time to grace the inauguration ceremony of the Kagyu Institute of Buddhist Studies.
As a young monk studying the Buddha Dharma, I was privileged to be guided by many spiritual Masters. Their lessons on wisdom and compassion planted in me a deep-seated desire to act for the benefit of other sentient beings. I realized that the knowledge and practice of such teachings were the perfect antidote to Samsara and the path to enlightenment. It was then that I decided that, one day, I would build an institute of learning to impart Lord Buddha's profound teachings to anyone wishing to learn it.
I am overjoyed that this idea has become a reality.
By locating the Institute in Nepal , the country of Buddha's birth, I am confident that all aspirations for its success will be fulfilled. Over many many years, countless lineage masters and accomplished practitioners have meditated, prayed, blessed and attained enlightenment in this nation. Religious practices are a part of daily life here and the spiritual tradition is rich and developed.
It is my sincere wish that the Institute will play an important role in guiding many to freedom from suffering and, ultimately, the bliss of enlightenment.
The completion of the Institute would not have been possible without the commitment and dedication of many people. I am truly fortunate that, from the beginning stages to the final outcome, I received unfailing support from everyone around me. Their time and effort, and assistance both in terms of technical expertise and financial donations have been vital and invaluable.
I would like to thank all my disciples, from both Nepal and other parts of the world for their continuing efforts and contributions. Special thanks to Mr. Swarup Kony who volunteered his technical skill and assistance and who is responsible for the beautiful architectural design of the Institute and also for the project in Lumbini; Mr. Umesh Chitrakar who designed and landscaped the beautiful garden and helped in media relations; Mr. Rajesh Chitrakar, the sculptor who crafted the outstanding sculptural works for the Institute, and Mr. Hira Kaji the contractor who transformed drawings on a paper into a functional building; and Mr Tsring Rhidar Sherpa, who is responsible for the media promotions in many projects that I have undertaken.
Last but not least, my thanks to Lama Khenrap, my assistant not merely in this project but in all of the projects that I have developed, and his assistant, Karma Lama. They have been instrumental in overseeing this entire project with great care, devotion, dedication, and perseverance.
Once again, my sincerest thanks to all of you who have come here to celebrate the inauguration of the Kagyu Institute of Buddhist Studies. You have all contributed to making this occasion a very memorable one. May you all be blessed on your path.
Ven. Shangpa Rinpoche.
Dinner Speech by Shangpa Rinpoche
His Holiness Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche,
His Excellency Mr. Deep Kumar Upadyay,
On behalf of the Kagyu Institute for Buddhist Studies, I would like to welcome the honourable His Holiness Shamar Rinpoche, Venerables and His excellency Ministers of Nepal, ladies and gentlemen.
Tonight's gathering is to celebrate a most joyful moment, for me personally, as well as for all my teachers and supporters. The completion of the Kagyu Institute is a very significant milestone because the Institute is the first of its kind in the whole of Nepal.
I am very happy indeed that I have been able to establish the Institute, here in Nepal . A very important and spiritually developed nation, it is richly blessed as the birthplace of Lord Buddha and thousands of past and future Buddhas. Because of this affinity with the Dharma, the country is not affected by external forces, and the ancient traditions of religious practice form an integral part of daily life. Holy monuments and shrines are located everywhere, in cities, villages and the countryside. These are not just treated as archeological sites, but as places of respectful worship. This history of devotional practice has created an environment conducive to the learning and cultivation of Buddha's teachings. The beautiful scenery, the colourful religious festivals and the inherently loving and caring nature of the Nepalis, full of warmth and hospitality, also add to the unique experience of learning the Dharma in this country. By locating the Institute here, I am confident that visitors and students will benefit from all the surroundings of this auspicious and special and environment. Ultimately, all these factors will contribute to the studying and propagation of the Buddha Dharma to develop peace and harmony for mankind, which is so needed in the world today.
Every result is the consequence of a great deal of thought and effort. Everything materializes because of cause and effect. Similarly, this project was completed only after the birth of an idea, lengthy planning and then, finally, total and complete dedication, commitment and work from all involved.
The concept for the Institute was born when I was a young monk, just starting to learn a little Dharma from my teachers. Under my spiritual Masters, I began to feel that the greatest way I could benefit others was not by relieving their immediate hunger or thirst by giving them food or drink but, much more importantly, by helping them to relieve their daily problems and frustrations in Samsara through an understanding of the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. The Buddha's teachings are the only solution to every ailment we experience. Understanding and practicing these teachings will enable us to find the root of our defilements and help us to overcome each and every cause of suffering. Being aware of this, and realizing how critical it was for every human being to know the Buddha's teachings, and wanting to take responsible action for this, I vowed that one day I would develop an Institute for the propagation of the Buddha Dharma. In that way, the seed was planted, through self-motivation, and then, through the law of cause and effect, we now witness the fruition of that idea.
I would not say, however, that I was born with any special spiritual attributes. But, from the time of my youth, up till today, I have been extremely fortunate and blessed to be guided by both His Holinesses the 16th and 17th Gyalwa Karmapas and His Holiness Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche. Under their guidance and care I have developed some qualities of spirituality. Their tutelage and wisdom have directed me on the path of profound spiritual development, and their unwavering support has been a source of immense encouragement. Their dedication and commitment to the Dharma continue to inspire me and invigorate me to accomplish much more to relieve the suffering of all sentient beings. Whatever success you see today is a direct result of all their blessings and support for me, without which I would not have had the strength and fortitude to initiate and develop the Institute.
It is my sincere wish that the Kagyud Institute benefit all who wish to be free from suffering, and all who seek the path of enlightenment. I spent a lot of time thinking about how to establish an institute of a good standard; one with a comprehensive curriculum that would enable development of perfect understanding of the Buddha Dharma. I decided that it was important to be mindful of the needs of each student and cater to different levels and standards of study. So, there will something for everyone at the Institute; short, medium and longer term courses covering basic to advanced teachings. I am grateful that very knowledgeable teachers such as Khenpo Ramesh and Khenpo Tsultrim have agreed to teach at the Institute. They are learned in both academic and practical aspects of the Buddha Dharma and will, undoubtedly, be a great asset to the Institute.
I am, indeed, very fortunate that from the moment I decided to undertake this project, everything fell into place naturally. Everyone around me was full of support and always ready to contribute in whatever way possible. In fact, it is due to all their commitment and dedication that each of my projects has been completed smoothly and without any hindrance whatsoever. It is difficult at this point to name everyone who has been so wonderful and kind to me as the list is very long. However, I know very well who you are and from my heart I always make good wishes to you and I regard you all as the source of the energy which initiates all my positive thoughts and action. Thank you so much for your continuing support.
I would also like to thank my disciples from Singapore who came to Kirtipur, without my asking, to set up the management of an institute of high standard and who have volunteered to assist me in the continuing management of the Institute. Thanks are also due to the many other professionals from Singapore who came here and offered me important technical assistance on this project.
Finally, I want to express my heartfelt thanks to all of you. Whether you live here or have come from overseas, your presence is very much appreciated. We are all here together to celebrate the inauguration ceremony of the Kagyu Institute of Buddhist Studies and, therefore, we all join in the noble motive of spreading the Lord Buddha's teaching to every corner of the world. May the Buddha Dharma flourish and benefit all who hear it.