Sakya Heritage Society, Buddha Ashram, was founded by H.H. Dagchen Jigdal Sakya and H.E. Jamyang D. Sakya with the vision of preserving Tibetan Buddhism and Tibetan culture and the Sakya Lineage. Building a Sakya Monastery in India and practicing pure, authentic teachings in the same way that it has been done for generations is a goal very, very meaningful to His Holiness. Also close to His heart is preserving the Tibetan traditions and promoting the Ri-me tradition of non-sectarian teachings to be of benefit to all practitioners. Please read the “Dharma Lineage” section for some fascinating and inspiring accounts of the spiritual accomplishments of His Holiness and his precious lineage.
Those of us on the Board, as well as donors and supporters around the globe, are committed to seeing their vision to fruition. Two properties are currently owned in India for the purpose of making this vision come true – one in New Delhi and the other in Jaigon. The Sakya Heritage Society is the umbrella organization for these two sites in India. The Sakya Heritage Society is the non-profit organization based in the United States in Seattle, WA.
The main purpose for the property in Jaigon is to be the location for a Sakya Monastery and spiritual centre and a seat for the precious Sakya Lineage. The Sakya Education Centre in New Delhi is the current home for the monks while Jaigon is developed. When a centre and monastery is established, the pure, authentic Lineage and teachings can continue to be preserved for future generations. With a place for the authentic Dharma to be practiced as the ground, many other beneficial activities can fluourish. When we have a place for gathering together, practicing the authentic path with our authentic spiritual teachers, we can then begin to benefit so many others from a pure ground. We want the centre to help seat and preserve the Lineage and pure teachings, but also embrace Ri-me (non-sectarian) tradition. H.H. Sakya Rinpoche is now the oldest living lineage holder of the Ri-me tradition so the practice of Ri-me is also very close to Rinpoche’s heart. He envisions inviting many authentic teachers from all traditions, like H.H. the Dalai Lama, to come and teach. We also want to preserve the precious Tibetan culture and customs for the current and future generations as well as being of benefit for the local population who are so kind to us.
H.E. Avikrita Vajra Sakya, H.E. Abhaya Vajra Sakya, H.E. Asanga Vajra Sakya (The grandsons of H.H. Sakya Rinpoche) as well as Lama Kan Tsao have already studied at our fledgling site at the Sakya Education Centre. The focus is on preserving the authentic, traditional methods. The Monastery in Seattle, WA has been absolutely beneficial to Westerners, and necessarily has been adapted to the Western mind and needs, such as services on Sunday morning. So much benefit has occurred! But the vision is to re-establish the absolutely pure and authentic teachings and traditions of the Holy Sakya Lineage. It is to be modeled after the Sakya Monastery of Sutryana teachings in Tibet. We have qualified teachers and monks all under the spiritual guidance of His Holiness, striving to learn and practice pure teachings. The facilities are meager and in need of so much improvement but this does not detract from their dedication to study and practice. In order to better provide for them and create a conducive environment, we are working to improve conditions and expand. We know that this will lead to a continuum of authentic teachers, lamas, monks, nuns and lay practitioners who can in turn go back out into the world and teach and inspire with the pure Dharma.
We will be adding needed outreach to our neighbors in the area in the form of a school, a medical/dental facility and other services. The vision is to be of benefit at all levels from the most immediate needs of education and health to the most sublime help of all, the Holy Dharma.
To preserve the Tibetan Culture is close to our hearts, and to be of benefit for our senior Tibetans is another. We have lofty hopes of having a place where the Tibetan cultural traditions can be practiced and shared. With the idea of a Tibetan Senior Retirement Home, the memories and skills of the older population can be harvested, giving meaning and purpose to those who, although physically are in need of help due to age, have a unique treasury of memories, talents, skills and stories to share. The Tibetan Seniors will have purpose and the warmth of our appreciation, and the knowlege that their culture will preserved for generations to come.
We know that dedicated practitioners need a good environment for retreat and hope to begin offering an affordable, conducive environment for practice. Having qualified lamas and teachers available, as well as being on sacred, blessed land can be very helpful for lay practitioners.
Another needed service we hope to provide is guiding pilgrimages to Holy Sites. We feel that this is an important part of spiritual practice and can be so very inspiring. Many practitioners desire to do so but don’t know how to go about it, or wish to be guided by authentic spiritual practiitioners with connection to the Lineage. As need and desire dictate, we will strive to help out with this activitiy to the best of our ability – again – with the blessings and guidance of His Holiness Sakya Rinpoche and H.E. Dagmo Kusho.
We have a small centre near New Delhi, India where there are currently over fifty-five young monks residing there. H.E. Avikrita Vajra Sakya Rinpoche, H.E. Abhaya Vajra Sakya Rinpoche and Lama Kan Tsao have lived and studied there. The other monks are young Tibetan boys who come from families that want their sons to get a Buddhist education at the Sakya Centre under the guidance of His Holiness Dagchen Rinpoche. Most of these families are of limited means and cannot provide much support, however. We provide a home, clothing, food, an education, and pay for medical/dental care for the young monks as well as for the teachers who live at the Centre. This site has had many ongoing projects this past year and half. We have added considerable space and performed necessary maintenance, as we continue to receive new little monks. There is still so much to do, however.
We need help to finish the guest quarters, add a new kitchen and dining hall, and build an entirely new sewer system for the residence. In addition to the New Delhi property, we have purchased thirteen acres in Jaigon, near the Bhutan border. This land is to become the site of a new Spiritual Centre in the Sakya tradition, including a Sakya Monastery, a school for the local children, dormitories for the little monks, guest housing for retreats, and a medical/dental facility. Our architect is completing the plans for this massive project and we hope to begin building soon.
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