LAMA LA CHAK TSAL TOD
Dear Sangha, friends and relatives
Today Nov. 12th, again new moon I do have found some time to arrange the
collected informations of the past month in the promised newsletter. There
where a few errors in our last letter which we will correct here.
Lets start with our monks. They just had a kind of holyday (Oct.22nd -
Nov.7th) at their home in Sikkim and when they where brought back by their
parents a little friend called Namlae Sonam (apr.8) joint them. Already
before they called Ugen to inform or better to ask him whether he can come
or not and his reply was: for what? When Ugen told us that story he said he
feels quite sad not being able for so long time to find a proper teacher for
the boys. But however, when the boy reached our gompa and his father made a
formal request Ugen couldn't say no longer no and so now they are three
again, Kela, Coesang and Sonam.
At his last trip to Darjeeling Ugen visited a small Byangter Gompa to meet a
certain Lama Drub Gyan, whom Ugen wanted to request to stay at our Gompa and
teach the young boys. This Lama comes from Serta/Kham, which is about a two
days trip distance from Khordong. Unfortunately Lama Drub Gyan was not
present that day, but later he called Ugen and said he would like to visit
our Gompa about Nov.13th/14th. So lets see.
Concerning the work at the Choerten (Stupa) one can say it's progressing but
slow. Slow because the number of labours has been reduced by two thirds due
to a lack of money. Structurally it's almost complete. What has to be done
are the time-consuming and costly works like the plastering, the floor and
With the help of some 10 Lamas from Gangtok the Srog Shring was ritually
installed. Our Lamas from Tashiding have already filled the Bumpa and it
should be sealed within a few days. (We have spoken about terms like Srog
Shring and Bumpa in our last newsletter that you still can see at
www.khordong.de, under Monastery India, Newsletter Oct. 2004) The Bumpa is
filled with Tibetan Buddhist texts, Sung (Mantra rolls), statues and
Rinpoche's translations and publications. A Sangha member loaned to us the
money for these texts, by name Nyingma Kama (Kangyur and Tengyur), Nyingma
Gyud Bum and Rinchen Terdzod and it was promised to return it as soon as
possible (concerning this matter we'll attach a letter from Dylan Elser).
The statue of Rinpoche is also almost ready. It has to be only painted now.
Now the news concerning the "Big Event" in December, but before there are
two corrections of our last letter.
First, the Buddha relics do not consist of a tooth and some bone particles,
but "only" of a few pieces of bone. Perhaps it was the story of the old lady
and the dog's tooth, which made us belief and writing this in our last
The second correction is, not Ven. Choesang Rinpoche but the Prime Minister
of Sikkim will on behalf of all the Buddhists and faithful of this region
receive the Relics of Lord Buddha Shakiyamuni at the airport in Bagdogra.
Ven. Choesang Rinpoche will receive the relics later at gompaland on behalf
of our Gompa with the appropriate ritual ceremony.
In order to see once the event's place Ven. Choesang Rinpoche likes to visit
our Gompa on Nov.18th and 19th.
On Dec.20th Ven. Choesang Rinpoche is expected to arrive at gompaland
together with one ore two assistants.
On Dec.21st the Rabne, the consecration ceremony for the choerten, should as
previously planed start. But as the Lamas from Kyabje Dodrupchen Rinpoche's
Gompa in Gangtok are more learned and perhaps also more skilled than those
from Gonjang Gompa, 30 of them lead by Ven. Choesang Rinpoche will perform
the poojas and rituals for the Rabne. From Dec.25th-27th 50 Kagyud Lamas
lead by Ven. Pemba Tsering from Dali Gompa in Darjeeling will perform their
ceremonies and from 28th - 30th 30 Lamas from Tashiding, Zilnon and
Pemayangse will do the daily poojas.
There are till now no news about Tulku Tsering Nyima apart from his
conviction that he will reach the Gompa in time.
Concerning our (the western Sangha's) accommodation it's possible to build
about 20 to 25 bamboo huts behind the Gompa. Sorry, for security reasons
camping won't be possible this year, but if there is an interest a dormitory
hut could be constructed. In the mean time an online register form has been
installed at www.khordong.de (you will find it under events) and whoever
wishes to join us should kindly register himself there (if you wish to stay
in a dorm than register yourself with a tent). Please register yourself in
the same way even if you already have told us that or when you will come.
This would make our work much easier. Till now we know only of about 10
people, which are planning to come.
Many ask us about the butterlamp retreat fee this year. After our vague
calculations considering the donations for the lamps which we already got
and which are promised to us, and on the condition of about 20 participants
the retreat will cost about 15.000 Rupees = ca.270 Euro. It will become
cheaper the more people join us and of course the more donations we collect
ahead, but the Gompa has also a few running expanses after the retreat.
Anyway the exact fee we only can tell you by the time we know definitive how
many people we will be and how many donations we have got for that purpose.
From our own experience we think we should refrain from employing a
babysitter, because what the ordinary Indian thinks is ok doesn't mean we'll
see it the same way. In case there is a need we should in steed organise our
Now what about the library? Also here the main part of the craftwork is done
and the progress is extremely slow. One reason, beside the anyhow slow way
of our Indian labours is that we are actually alone with to many things to
organise at the same time. For example we would be really glad about help
with the cataloguing, means tipping. For some time Maxim was of great help
for us but he had to return to Belgium more then a week ago. So whoever has
time, skills and patience is always more than welcome.
The painters paint the shelves and window frames and have to polish the
chairs. We where able to put a back made of thermacol and plywood into the
old shelve in order to protect it against the humidity from the wall behind.
With the left money we like to install a glass door at the top floor in
order to prevent the water after a strong stormy rainfall flowing down the
stairs under which the old shelf had been made. And last but not least we
found silicon on the market in Silliguri with which we could make the
windows waterproof, because they too are licking during some strong stormy
rainfalls. But though we do have enough money for that, we don't have the
time to do it neither do we have time to explain it proper to our Indian
labours. So again if there is somebody with skills...
Good, now here comes the financial matter of what ever is going on here.
Still the only possibilities for the Gompa to receive donations is sending
it through a traveller or transferring the money to Anne's bank account. But
remember to give us a message in time in order to prevent later confusion!
Bank code: 10050000
Account number: 4164012779
(IBAN: DE58 1005 0000 4164 0127 79 BIC: BE LA DE BE xxx)
During the past month since our last letter we have received:
930 Euro = ca. 51.150 Rupees for the butterlamp retreat,
950 Euro = ca. 52.250 Rupees for the Choerten,
600 Euro = ca. 33.000 Rupees for the exhibition of the Buddha relics and
200 Euro = ca. 11.000 Rupees for the library.
Beside this there have come 4.548,83 Euro = ca. 250.000 Rupees of former or
old donations for the Choerten, which roughly secure it's completion.
But sorry still it's not enough.
For the Choerten about 100.000 Rupees (ca. 1.800 Euro) is needed and when it
is completed the engineer who gets 3% of the total costs and who has
received till now only 20.000 Rupees has to be paid and don't forget our
friend who advanced the money for the texts inside the Choerten!
For the butterlamps 1.000 Euro are promised and so we need for the lamps oil
and the bamboo huts about 175.000 Rupees (ca.3.181 Euro) or if you calculate
without huts 100.000 Rupees (ca 1.800 Euro).
Concerning the Buddha relics exposition we really can't say how much it will
be, because there is no limit. Ugen is struggling hard for every rupee from
private or public supports, which is hard for his health and takes it out
from undermine. He complains about his organizing partners that they do not
show much enthusiasm to get hold on donations and so we can surly say that
what ever help he receives from our western Sangha will give him some
relieve at least mentally.
And there are two more things we would like to mention here. One thing is
the floor in the first floor of the Gompa in which we will hold our pooja's
this year, which was never been made and which could be finished within two,
three weeks if we would get the money (90.000 Rupees = ca.1.650 Euro) for
it. And the next is that we could almost immediately get electricity if we
could effort to buy a transformer, which costs about 120.000 Rupees
(ca.2.180 Euro). Otherwise we can of course wait till the promises of that
local authorities become real, like we did it the past eight years.
Ok dear friends, we know its again a lot of money we talking about, but one
thing we have to say of course: we that means also Ugen and Sashi are
already extremely grateful for the lots of help we received from you all
till now. Without that we would perhaps have been stuck since long!
And now at the end again our appeal to the Sangha:
Dear Sangha friends, please come and show your interest through presence!
Every head, every hand and every rupee is needed, for real! There is truly a
lot of work and only very little enjoyment or rest apart from a to much
expensive beer together in the evening.
In case you do have any questions, ideas or inspirations you can always
contact us at
anne_wanitschek (ad) hotmail.com or Ugen at
uclama (ad) rediffmail.com or
Tel. 0091 353 2581 358
0091 98320 49416
And inspired by our friend Dylan Elser we too would like to finish our
letter with a quotation. From the Bodhicaryavatara: