By: Mar Nee
DorjeShugden.com rejoices to see these photos of the consecration of Amarbayasgalant Monastery by H.H. Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche in 2011 – yet another definite sign of His Holiness beginning to turn the wheel of Dharma from a young age in this current incarnation.
Amarbayasgalant Monastery, also known as the Monastery of Tranquil Felicity, was one of the largest Buddhist centers in Mongolia and especially known for upholding the practice of Dorje Shugden strongly for many years. It is especially significant that Trijang Rinpoche came here to show his support for such a renowned Dorje Shugden institution in Mongolia, one of the world’s strongest and most renowned Buddhist nations.
In Mongolian, amar means “happiness, peacefulness” and bayasgalant means “joy, pleasure, happiness”. The monastery is located near the Selenge River in the Iven Valley, in northern Mongolia. Amarbayasgalant Monastery was refurbished by the great Mongolian Lama, H.E. Guru Deva Rinpoche, who began work on it in 1992 and restored it to its present glory.
Guru Deva Rinpoche is an incarnation of the great sage Bundasheri Tulku Guru Deva Rinpoche, an emanation of one of the 84 Siddhas. He studied at Drepung Gomang Monastic University and had as his Gurus the incomparable Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche, Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang, Kyabje Yongzin Ling Rinpoche and Kyabje Gonsar Rinpoche.
He was a very strong supporter of H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama and his two tutors, H.H. Trijang Dorjechang and H.H. Ling Rinpoche. Guru Deva Rinpoche was also one of the main sponsors who re-established the three great monasteries of Ganden, Sera and Drepung, as well as other monasteries and temples in India. Yet, when the ban on Dorje Shugden arose, Guru Deva Rinpoche was forced to leave India. This pressure came about in 1986, Guru Deva Rinpoche’s printing press published a letter questioning the Dalai Lama’s actions regarding the Dorje Shugden ban.
Guru Deva Rinpoche received such strong opposition from the Tibetan exiled community that he eventually returned to Mongolia where he lived until he passed into clear light in 2009 at 103 years of age. There is much to rejoice in now, as we witness the young incarnation of H.H. Trijang Rinpoche visiting the monastery, which his student from his previous life so lovingly restored.
Dorje Shugden in Mongolia
Amarbayasgalant Monastery has had a strong link with Dorje Shugden since the 19th century. The fourth Jetsun Dampa (1775-1813), who was said to be the first Mongolian lama to have written texts propitiating Dorje Shugden, visited Amarbayasgalant and his remains have been kept there since his passing. Jetsun Dampas, also known as Bogd Gegens, are the spiritual heads of the Gelug lineage in Mongolia.
At Amarbayasgalant Monastery, there is also a specially designated Dorje Shugden temple featuring a thangka of Dorje Shugden. According to the caretaker of the temple, devotees of Dorje Shugden from many foreign countries have come here in recent years to do meditation retreats. It is heartening to know that the legacy of this great monastery continues to this day and is being preserved well into the future.
H.H. Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche’s consecration of Amarbayasgalant Monastery heralds a new era of growth of Dorje Shugden’s practice in Mongolia and the region. There was also recent news of Trijang Rinpoche conferring a Dorje Shugden initiation in Mongolia, paving the way for a new generation of Mongolian practitioners to uphold the practice.
May Amarbayasgalant Monastery continue to bring Dharma to millions throughout Mongolia and enjoy unending success in their many works and practices.