During the Reign of Srong btsan po(629-650), he built the Red Hill Palace called Kukhar Phodrang of thirteen storeyed height mainly of mortar, stones and timber according to the scheme of the plan designed by Nepalese artists on behalf of Nepalese Princess Bhrikuti Devi. We are told that she built a nine storeyed palace Sog po mKhar for herself joined by a silver bridge for coming and going of Nepalese Princess form the king’s palace. But it was burnt down by an invading Chinese army during the reign of his successor Mangson Mangtsen. But fortunately, there are still two rooms inside the Potala Palace which dates back to early seventh century. Learned Tibetologist Mr. Stephen Batchelor says that it is impossible to tell how extensive this palace was and what it was like. At present Potala Palace occupies 130,000 sq. meters of area and measures 117.19 meter high. It has 999 rooms and halls filled with master piece of arts, sculptures and architectural designs influenced by Nepalese, Chinese and indigenous Tibetan character. This building wads named The Potala Palace after Mt. Potala in South India, the holy residence of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara.
Concerning the antiquity of the Potala Palace the learned Tibetan scholar Mr. Tiley Chodag says that the cave of the Religious king “Chogyal Drupug” is said to have been built to commemorate Srong bstan sgam po’s meditation on the Red Hill in his youth. Constructed in the seventh century, it is the most ancient part of the Potala. According to written records, when it was built 1300b years ago, Potala had 999 rooms, the addition of this cave shrine making the figure up to 1000. Formerly, Potala was built on a vast scale, but due to fire damage caused by lightning strikes and sudden attacks, the original construction was almost leveled to the ground leaving only the Chogyal Drupug Cave and the Phagpa Lhakhang. Looking around at the Chogyal Drupug’s shiny walls blackened by incense smoke, you can faintly see that all four walls have been dug out to form a cave. Under the gloomy electric light, the life like sculptures of Srong bstan sgam po, Bhrikuti Devi, Weng chen Kongjo, mGar Tongtsan and Thon mi Sambhota could be real. We have translated below some passages from Mani bKa “bum “folio 117a-118a) Punakha ed. which gives us some ideas about original Red Palace and its dimension.” (folio 117a) “Then the king used to sit always in front of his tutelary deity and remained inseparable from it. Lha gcig Khri-bstun thought thus:” The king is beyond (the world of human activity).
It is amazing to see the countenance of the king. He never goes out of the palace. (fol. 117b). What is the cause of this? I want to ask him. But he does not understand my Nepal language (to speak with him) and I, too do not understand his Tibetan language. Of course, he must be afraid of outside soldiers. As a solution to this matter I think I must find a means to please him. “So she prayed to Jewel Alms bowl and then all sorts of nectars of different colors sprang forth from it. She then gave these to all evil spirits an demons mixing with precious objects of enjoyments. Around the Red Hill palace she constructed a square size strong wall of 8km perimeter in extent. In the four corners of the area she put the foundation of the bricks having 34 volumes of bricks size. On that foundation she raised the brick walls of nine storied height. In each successive stories of the building two figures of tiger and lion were put inside. Again, in order that the city look beautiful various kinds of motifs and design encircled by pearls were decorated around Torana and the roof of the building. There were bells hanging from the roofs which produce gentle sounds like sil-sil. There were four gates consisting of Torana similar to the city of gandharvas with sweet fragrance.
So as to create fear to others she established 999 fortresses inside the boundary wall and in the center of the Red Hill she built a high central tower. At the top of each fortress a red flag was fastened to it. Just like Lankapur, the city of demons, only by seeing (it creates) fear to others. The strength of this fortress is such that even the four kings of the four directions attack it at the same time (fol. 118a) only five people can defend it. One man was stationed at the top of the king’s palace to watch (over the city) and four strong people guard it in each of the four gates and these five men can protect the city. In addition she also built another nine storied palace in the southern plane. These two royal palaces were linked by a silvery bridge which enables the king and Khri-bstun go from one place to another. In this way she built the great palace of Lhasa. If the foreign soldier happened to see it they will be frightened. If one hears it they will be envious. Outside the eastern gate of the palace o ditch was digged the length of which was 300 fathoms, 18 fathoms in the breadth and two fathoms in depth. At the bottom there were laid many bricks and slabs successively one above another. Finally, there were polished wood placed on the top of the surface. If one horse rune the sound produced echoed just like the sound of three horses. The manner how this palace was built in painted in the western wall of the Ra-sa ‘Phrul Nang Temple.’ Concerning the historicity of this legend we cannot find the sources beyond the date of composition of Mani bKa” bum. This version being the earliest we have included here. Similar accounts deriving from this sources can be found in rGyal rabs, The Chronicles of Fifth Dalai Lama and the rNam Thar.
(An expertise: Life and contribution of Nepalese Princess Bhrikuti Devi from Tibetan sources)
The Conference was sponsored by Ven. Chan Master Sheng Yen, the founder director of Chung Hwa Institute of Buddhist Studies. Taipei. Prof. Lewis Lancaster, Prof. Kenneth India were the distinguished scholars among the present.
February 17, 1990
Renowed Buddhist Scholar Prof. Dr. Heinz Bechert of Gottingen University kindly delivered a lecture on “Factors on revival of Buddhism in Nepal” at the premise of Aksheshvara Mahavihara, Patan. This lecture was based on a paper, which was delivered by the author on a seminar sponsored by Nepal Research Center. Prof. Bechert pointed out some weakness in traditional Newar Buddhism. Prof. Bechert later pointed out some developments in Theravada Buddhism and an account of Buddhist Modernism technique of Mahasi Sayadaw, S. N. Goenka and others. He made a little touch on the impact of Tibetan Buddhism in Newar Buddhist Society.
February 26, 1990
Mr. Charles Novak, a graduate from Naropa Institute delivered an illustrative lecture on “History of Buddhism in South Asian Region”. The students of this Institute took his lecture with great interest. Mr. Novak has been staying in Patan since a couple of years ago and is a quite familiar figure in Kathmandu and Patan. He was also instrumental in training escorts during 15th World Fellowship of Buddhist Conference held in Kathmandu in November 1986.
March 8th 1990
Dr. Lobsantserene, the Secretary General of Asian Buddhist Conference for Peace (ABCP) visited our center and delivered a lecture on “Buddhism in Mongolia”. According to him Buddhism was introduced in Mongolia during the period of Chengis Khan by the learned Kun-ga’ Nying po, the hierarch of Sakyapa sect. Chengis Khan appointed him his spiritual guide and invited him to visit Mongolia i. e. Hor. The emperor received from him some images, scared volumes and chortens. Since then Mongol people began to develop faith on Trople gems. Later prince Godan, the grandson of Chengis khan invited illustrious Sakya Pandit with rich presents. Accompanied by his nephew Phagpa and Chhyagna he met the emperor who suffered from leprosy disease. He also divised a script for Mongolia. During the reign of the emperor Kublai Khan Karmapakshi, the second Karmapa visited Hor. Karmapakshi displayed many miracles and converted many to Buddhism. During the reign of Altan Khan the Third Dalai Lama Sonam Gyatsho visited Hor and established Gelugpa System in Mongolia and received the title “Ta-lai La-ma”. Many Buddhist scriptures including Kanjur and Tanjur were translated into Mongolia and tradition of studying five sciences was introduced and still continuing today. After his lecture, as a token of friendship we exchange our journal Buddhist Himalaya and Buddhists for Peace. During his visit to Kathmandu, he made sightseeing to holy places of Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur.
May 31, 1990
Dhammachari Bodhananda, a British native from, “Friends of Western Buddhist Order” gave a series of lectures with illustration on Tibetan Wheel of Life. The discourse program was held at the premise of Padmavarna Mahavihara i. e. Jyathabaha of Okubahal, Patan. The students of this Institute took great interest in his teaching. Rev. Bodhananda distributed photocopies of the pictures of Wheel of Life.
October 14, 1990
Dr. John K. Locke SJ delivered a lecture on “Unique features of Newar Buddhism” at the premise of Jyathabaha of Patan. The lecture of Dr. Locke aroused a great sensation among the students who raised many questions about the future of Newar Buddhism. During his lecture Dr. Locke strongly emphasized the need of preserving the heritage of Newar Buddhism. Dr. Locke is an American native who is doing research on Newar Buddhism since 1959. His major writings are “Buddhist Monasteries of Nepal” and “Karunamaya, a study on the cult of Avalokiteshvara in Nepal”. His articles have appeared on several Western Academic journals.
Here Mr. Shakya is going to prepare his thesis paper on the basis of Tibetan translation of Mani bKa ‘bum, rGyal rabs gSal ba’ i Me-long and the rNam thar, During his study period he visited Jokhang, Potala, Ramoche, Samye. Yumbulakhang Khra ‘brug temples at Lhokha region and three great gelugpa monasteries of Lhasa. During his visit to Bhutan he also visited Byampa’ i Lhakhang of Bumthang and sKyer- chu Lhakhang of Paro, credited to Princess Bhrikuti Devi built in Seventh century.
Title of the Manuscripts:
1. Kun bzan lama’ i bzha lungs of dPal trul Rin po che
2. Dag po thar rgyan of Gampopa
3. A Tibetan commentary on Cakrasambaramula Tantra
4. DBu-ma thug chen
5. A commentary on Maitreya’s ornaments of Clear realization vol. I & II
6. Tshad ma Rig pa
7. Spyod ‘jug’ grel ba of Ngul chu Thog-me
8. BZang spyod smon lam ‘grel ba of Ye-shes sDe.
9. Pha-rol-tu phyin pa 1980
English and Hindi (Section)
1. Hundred thousand song of Milarepa Vol. I & II
2. Refuge part I & II
3. Madhyamika dialect & philosophy of Nagarjuna Institute
5. Ten Suttas from Digha Nikaya
6. Advice from Buddha Shakyamuni concerning monk’s discipline
7. Discipline of Novice monk by Acarya Nagarjuna Institute
8. Abhidhammathsangahopart I & II (Hidi)
9. Milinda Prasna (Hindi)
10. The doctrine of the Ultimate good
11. Biography of 84 Maha siddhas (Hindi)
In the ‘O’ Level and ‘B’ Level courses the students study the following subjects:
O Level Courses:
1. History of Buddhism in India
2. History of Buddhism in Tibet
3. Jewel Ornament of Liberation
B Level Courses:
1. Sikshasamuccaya Karika of Santi Deva
2. Candragomin’s Twenty verses on Bodhisattva vows
3. History of Buddhism in Nepal
4. History of Buddhism in China & Japan.
Dr. Krapivina Paisa, a Tibetologist from Leningrad University visited our center along with her college Prof. Dr. Natalia Bolshokhoyebha, from Buryat Institute of Social Science, Ulan-Ude, USSR. She gave a lecture on the History of Sakyapa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism in the premise of Institute’s city office in Chakupat, Lalitpur. She spoke about many contributions done by Nepalese Buddhist Masters such as Phamthinpa and their influences on Sakyapa lineage. At present she is working on the Sakya bKa’ ‘bum and its translation.
May 1st, 1990
Ven. Amchok Rinpoche, a well known Tibetan Buddhist scholar monk from Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, Dharmashala kindly gave a discourse on “Generating Refuge and Developing Bodhicitta” in the premise of Shanti Niketan, Kamaladi. About 100 peoples attended the discourse program and admired Rinpoche’s teachings for hid lucid, clear and comparative approach.
July 28, 1991
Mr. Shreedhar Rana, a celebrated Nepalese Buddhist teacher and practitioner kindly gave a series of lecture to the students of this Institute on the following subjects:
1. Parting from Four Attachments (delivered on July 28, 1991)
2. History of Four Tibetan Buddhist Tradition (Delivered on August 4, 1991)
3. A brief survey of Buddhist Practices of Tibet (August 18, 1991)
4. Four Special Preliminaries of Tantric Buddhism (Delivered on September 28, 1991)
The Venerable Geshe Lobsang Jampa 56, former spiritual Advisor of the Nagarjuna Institute passed away due to stomach Cancer, at Boston U. S. A. He was ordained at 10 and studied for 13 years in Ganden Monastery before fleeing to India. He studied for six years at Buxor in North India, and in 1967 he entered Sarnath University in Varanasi, where for nine more years he continued his studies in Buddhist philosophy, Sanskrit and Hindi. He received the Geshe degree with highest Lharampa honors. After a long meditation retreat, he moved to Nepal at Maitreya Vihara and taught the Dharma to Newars. The following is the list of teachings taught according to the request of various Buddhist groups of Patan.
a) A brief survey of Abhisamayalankara
b) Three Principal Aspects of the Path
c) Bodhipath Pradeep
d) Jorcho Practice
e) Seven Instruction on Cause and effect
f) Thought Transmission on Eight Stanzas
g) Ratnavali of Nagarjuna Institute
h) Parting from four Attachments
Ven. Geshe felt strongly the need for the study of commentarial literature of Buddhism among Nepalese Students. He was very compassionate to Nepalese Students always emphasizing the need for practicing dharma. Once he remarked.
“The ordinary people are concentrating their efforts just for this life which is one percent of all our lives. Dharma practice is for future lives, which are 99%. So those with sense consider this fact”
Ven. Geshe was the first spiritual Maater to introduce the technique of generating Bodhicitta through instructions on Cause and effects and other Lojong teaching- After all he was the embodiment of Bodhicitta itself. On behalf of Nepalese students, we aspire speedy rebirth of this Venerable master for the benefit of Nepalese of this people as well as sentient beings in general.
Rangjung Yeshe Institute conducted its 11th Seminar on “Key Points of Dharma” at the Ka-Nying Sedrup Ling Monastery in Bodhnath from 10-24th October, 1991. During the two weeks of teaching by Ven. Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche and his father Ven. Urgyen Tulku Rinpoche a varied group of up to 200 of many nationalities including Nepalese, Thai, American, European and Chinese attended. The program ended with the transmission of Nine Vehicle and Pointing out Instruction on the nature of Mind by Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche held at the premises of Nagi Gompa.
October 26, 1991
Ven. Urgyen Tulku Rinpoche bestowed an Abhiseka ceremony of Dorje Drolog, one of the eight manifestations of Guru Padmasambhava to a group of Nepalese devotees under the special request of Mr. Shreedhar Rana.
October 29, 1991
Ven. Dhragom Rinpoche from Drepung Monastery, India under the invitation of Ven. Sumati Sangha, one of the directors of this Institute graciously bestowed the initiations of Dorje Zigje (Meghasambhara) Cakra Sambhara and Vajrayogini belonging to Anuttara Yoga Tantras in the premises of Maitreya Vihara, Swayambhu. About 500 monks mostly Gelugpas participated at the ceremony. The program was continued for 3 weeks. During the period Rinpoche explained in detail the view, meditation, action and result of all these initiations. Mr. Lopsang Nyima, one of the patrons of this Institute was one of the sponsor of the ceremony.
October 29, 1991
Ven. Chogay Tri chen Rinpoche, one of the celebrated Sakyapa master kindly bestowed a series of rare initiations to eminent monks and Masters such as Ven. Chhechu Kusyo Rinpoche, Ven. Thupten Zopa Rinpoche and others. This ceremony was continued for two months at the premise of Bodhnath Stupa.
November 14, 1991
Pandit Ashakaji Vajracharya 83, a celebrated Buddhist writer of Newar Budhdism initiated 12 monthly Uposatha Ceremony of Avalokiteshvara. About 700 Nepalese Buddhists attended the Uposatha Ceremony at the confluence of rivers near Gokarna, Kathmandu. It was sponsored by the young Buddhists of Nakabahil, Patan.
Ven. Umehara, a newly ordained Japanese disciple of Ven. Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche established a Peace Pagoda Stupa at a cost of half a million rupees under the supervision of Mr. Krishna Man Manandhar (now a monk) at Ranipouwa, Nuwakot district of Nepal.
1 Mr. Lopzang Nyima, Jawalakhel Handicrafts Centers, Lalitpur, Nepal
2 Mr. Sanu Ratna Sthapit, Jyatha, Kathmandu
3 Mr. Bhakti Das Shrestha, Lazimpat, Kathmandu
1 Ven. Tomotake Takeishi, Japan
1 Mme. Mary Rogers, Canada
2 Mr. Narada Adhikari, Dagapela, Bhutan
3 Mr. Arun Saraf, Hotel Yak & Yeti, Kathmandu
4 Mr. Ratna Man Shakya, Pulchowk
5 Mr. Nem Ratna Shakya, Khachen, Lalitpur
6 Mr. Dharma Bahadur Shakya, Pim Bahal, Lalitpur
1 Mr. Hitomi Komokai, Japan
2 Mr. Koretoshi Komukai, Japan
3 Mr. Karna Shakya Hotel Ambassador, Kathmandu
4 Mr. Manik Ratna Kansakar, Kathmandu
1 Everest Arts: Mr. Bodhi Bajra Bajracharya, Nag Bahal, Lalitpur
2 Mar. Tirth Man Shakya, Pulchowk