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The following article is from the Summer, 1998 issue of the Snow Lion Newsletter and is for historical reference only. You can see this in context of the original newsletter here.

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His Holiness the Dalai Lama performing the opening ceremonies for the Shechen Institute, Bodhgaya, India

Bodhgayathe diamond throne of Indiais the center of the Buddhist world. There, under the Bodhi Tree, the renunciate Prince Siddhartha became the Buddha Shakyamuni. It is said that a thousand Buddhas have attained and a thousand more will attain enlightenment in the future in Bodhgaya. It is a pilgrimage place for people from all over the world, and many Buddhist countries have temples there. Among these are monasteries representing three of the four principal schools of Tibetan Buddhism.

The late Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche had expressed the wish to construct a monastery for the Nyingma School in Bodhgaya so that its rich tradition would also be present. This year, the project was accomplished under the direction of Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche and with the participation of generous donors and dedicated volunteers. On January 23, 1998, Trulshik Rinpoche with Yangsi Rinpoche (the five year old reincarnation of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche) in attendance, performed a day long consecration for the new temple. A few days later, the official opening ceremony was performed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

The Monastery complex is located a few minutes' walk from the great stupa. Set off from the road, the beauty and harmony of the buildings create a feeling of a peaceful island. The main temple building is made of red stone. The design and shape of the golden roofs are based on the Potala in Lhasa. Inside the Temple on a stone stage carved by local Indian artisans are three large statues made by Bhutanese artists. The main figure is Lord Buddha and on either side are statues of Guru Padmasambhava and Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. During the next few years, frescoes depicting the life of the Buddha will be painted by Konchok Lhadrepa and the Tsering Art School students.

Another building houses residence quarters for about 30 monks and a reading room library well stocked with books in Western languages. Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche says of the library, Many people come to Bodhgaya on pilgrimage. Yet not much information is available there for the study of Buddhism. So, we would like our library to be a place where people can come to read and study. Several publishers including Shambhala, Snow Lion and Padma Publishing have donated books on Buddhism, philosophy and history. Any donations of books are always appreciated.

A third building is the Shechen Institutethe International Center for Nyingma Buddhist Studieswhich was founded by Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche and inaugurated by Her Majesty the Queen Mother of Bhutan. The Institute has nineteen comfortable double rooms and a large dining hall. Every year, Shechen Institute will offer a ten day, in-depth study program of Buddhist philosophy and practice for students from all over the world.

The first International Seminar is scheduled for November 20-30,1998, and the teachings will be given by Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche and other senior disciples of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. They will be translated into English^French and Chinese. The daily program includes teaching on Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche's commentary on the text Heart Treasure of the Enlightened Ones, as well as a Madhyamika course, meditation instruction, and guided pilgrimages. The price is $25 a day including food and lodging. This is a wonderful opportunity to study and practice in Bodhgaya in a quiet, monastic setting. The Institute quarters are also available for group rentals throughout the year.

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Bodhgaya is located in Bihar, one of the poorest regions of India. Shechen Institute is planning to provide a clinic on wheels dedicated to bringing free and professional medical assistance to the people of the neighboring villages.

Bodhgaya is located in Bihar, one of the poorest regions of India. Shechen Institute is planning to provide a clinic on wheels dedicated to bringing free and professional medical assistance to the people of the neighboring villages.

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The main temple of Shechen Institute in Bodhgaya, India.

For further information about the winter seminars or renting the Institute for group teachings, email shechen@sprynet.com or write to Shechen Monastery, attention: Pema, P.O.Box 136, Katmandu, Nepal. ä_æ

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