Prayers & Blessings From His Holiness Lungtok Tenpai Nyima http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/15640776" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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He was born in Tibet in 1929, in the village of
Kyongtsang, in the far eastern province of
Amdo near the Chinese border, and was given the
name Lama by the local priest.
His mother died when he was a child, and he was raised
by A-Nyen Machen, an elderly friend of his family.
When Lama was eight years old, his father Jalo Jongdong
took him to the nearby monastery of Phuntsog Dargye
Ling, where he learned to read, write, and chant and
where he began his lifelong study of the Bon religion.
Devoting himself to spiritual practice and scholarship,
he completed his Geshe degree in philosophy at 25
under the guidance of Lopon Tenzin Lodro Gyatso.
The following year he traveled south to the Bon
province of Gyalrong, where he printed copies of the
Bon Kanjur from traditional woodblocks. After gathering
a vast amount of material, and using mules to carry
more than 100 volumes of the sacred texts, he made an
arduous, six-month journey back to his monastery.
At 27, he set out on foot as a pilgrim, initially to China,
where he visited a number of holy sites, and then continued
on, by truck, to Lhasa. For the next several years
he studied in Tibet at the Bon monasteries of Menri,
Khana, and Yungdrung Ling, where he became known
as Sangye Tenzin Jongdong. He also lived for a time at
Drepung Monastery in Lhasa.
In 1959, he fled Lhasa for Nepal and met the Abbot of
Yungdrung Ling in the province of Dolpo, where the
renowned teacher was living in exile. It was also in
Dolpo, at Samling Monastery, that he first encountered
Tibetan scholar Professor David Snellgrove of the
University of London. In Dolpo, spurred by the urgent
need to preserve Bon religion and culture, Sangye
Tenzin collected many important Bon texts in both
printed and woodblock form, which he subsequently
took to India, once again using mules as the most available
and reliable means of transport.In 1961, together with Samten Karmay
and several other Bon monks, Sangye Tenzin made his way to New Delhi
There, with the encouragement and support of Tibetan
specialist E. Gene Smith (then the South Asian representative
of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.) he
continued his lifelong commitment to copy, print, and
preserve invaluable sacred Bon texts and literature.
In 1962, with a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation in
New York, Sangye Tenzin Jongdong, Samten Karmay,
and Tenzin Namdak taught Tibetan culture as assistants
to Professor Snellgrove at the School of Oriental and
African studies at the University of London where they
also studied Western history and culture.
While in England and during his travels in Europe,
Sangye Tenzin stayed at a number of Christian monasteries.
In 1964, he attended a private audience with
Pope Paul VI in Rome. Later that year, at the request of
His Holiness the Dalai Lama, he, along with other volunteer
teachers, opened a high school in Mussoorie in
northern India for Tibetan refugee boys who had completed
In the mid-1960s, a permanent camp for Tibetan
Bonpos was established at Dolanji, in India’s Himachal
Pradesh, on land chosen by Lopon Tenzin Namdak and
purchased by the Catholic Relief Services in New Delhi.
In 1966, at the invitation of Tibetan scholar Per Kvaerne,
Sangye Tenzin Jongdong was living in Norway and
teaching Tibetan history and religion at the University
of Oslo. It was then that he learned that he had been
selected to succeed the 32nd Abbot Menri as spiritual
leader of the Bon religion.
In 1969, after extensive preparatory initiations, he
assumed his duties as the 33rd Abbot of Menri and
accepted the responsibility of leading the effort to
reestablish at Dolanji the original Menri Monastery that
has been founded in 1405 in the Tibetan province of
Tsang and destroyed during Chinese Cultural
Revolution in the 1960s.
Since then, with insight, skill, and tireless commitment and
with the generous assistance of many friends and supporters,
H. H. Menri Trizin has focused his time and attention on
creating in Dolanji a vibrantly authentic Bon monastery
and a living center of Bon culture and tradition.
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Discussion of the fifth religious tradition of Tibet.
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