The 9th Grand Rigter Spring Dharma Activity which has been in full swing at Dzongsar Khyentse Chokyi Lodro Institute, under the organization of The Sakya Monlam Foundation, since it’s beginning on 31st March 2019, coinciding with the birth anniversary of Sakya Pendita that falls on 26th of Tibetan’s first month, has ended well today on 14th April 2019.
There has been a practice of having the Dharma gathering within every Dharma lineage of Tibet, by having explanation, debate and composition, based on the Philosophy of Valid Cognition due to the very fact that logic has become like an eye to see all the scriptures. In the same way, the Sakya Dharma lineage too had this practice within the great seats of the Sakya in Tibet before, as the Summer, Winter and Spring Dharma Activity. Later, under the guidance of both His Holiness Sakya Trichen and Trizin Rinpoche, the different Sakya institutes and colleges altogether observed the Rigter Winter Dharma Activity for around five times.
After the founding of The Sakya Monlam Foundation in 2014, it was firmly included in its plan to organize the Rigter Spring Dharma Activity. It was in 2015 that the Khenpos from different Sakya Institutes altogether, in the presence of His Holiness Sakya Trizin Gongma Rinpoche, conducted the conference twice and finalized all the paperwork for the Rigter Spring Dharma Activity. From 2016 onwards, The Grand Rigter Spring Dharma Activity of Sakya is being conducted unbiasedly at Sakya Institutes under the organization of The Sakya Monlam Foundation. Up to now, it was conducted at Dzongsar Khyentse Chokyi Lodro Institute in 2016, at Magoen Institute in 2017, at Sakya Collage in 2018 and this year at Dzongsar Khyentse Chokyi Lodro Institute in 2019.
Before, albeit it used to be conducted in winter time, and thus it was called ‘Winter Dharma Activity,’ later when The Sakya Monlam Foundation commenced to organize it, it is being conducted in Spring time and thus it came to be known as ‘Spring Dharma Activity’.
The various Sakya institutes have participated in this year’s Grand Rigter Spring Dharma Activity. They are Sakya College, Dzongsar Institute, Magoen Institute, Sakya Institute of Vajrayana, Gongkar Dharma Center, Pematsal Learning Center, Rimbik Learning Center, Spiti Awam Shedrup Choekhorling and Diru Monastery. In keeping with the bygone way of practice during Rigter Spring Dharma Activity, the general logic text and the Rigter text written by the great Sakya Pendita which rightly or unmistakably explains the view of the Seven Treatises on Valid Cognition incorporating that of Sutra, were studied by having explanation, debate and composition. The principal of Dzongsar Khyentse Chokyi Lodro Institute, Khenpo Samdup, taught the text every morning. After the class there were self-study and discourse within, debate in the afternoon and the grand formal debate at night. On the 7th day of the Rigter Spring Dharma Activity, the discourse within different institutes was conducted, and on the last two days, i.e., on 13th and 14th of April 2019, the nonsectarian discourse among the scholars was conducted. On the morning of 13th April, His Eminence Dungsey Avikrita Vajra Rinpoche and His Eminence Dungsey Abhaya Vajra Rinpoche graced the beginning of the discourse with their presence as the head of the event. The two Dungsey Rinpoches lighted the butter lamps in the gathering of Lowo Zhabdrung Rinpoche, Khenchen Jamyang Losel, Khenchen Lungrig Singye along with Khenpos, Lopens, Trulkus, the invited scholars from the different Dharma lineages, monks from various places participating in the Rigter Spring Dharma Activity and the whole gathering of Dzongsar Institute. Then the junior secretary of the Monlam Lopen Jampal Ghawa, after delivering the welcome speech, briefed about the sequence of events and gave the introduction of the invited guest scholars.
The subject of the nonsectarian scholars’ discourse conducted this year was Prajnaparamita, out of the Five Great Root Texts of Philosophy. The discourse was conducted for two days with the scholars reading their various compositions written based on Maitreya’s treatise ‘Abhisamayalamkara’ or ‘ The Ornament of Clear Realization’ followed by the ample of question answering. The total of nine Khenpos and Geshes from Ngajur Nyingma, Sakya, Gelug and Bon tradition were present among the invited scholars during this time’s nonsectarian scholars’ discourse, except the invited scholar from Kagyu being unable to attend owing to illness.
After the completion of the discourse on the second day, the book entitled ‘bod kyi brda sprod smra b’i rgyan’ that contains the composition of grammar compilation written by the graduate of Dzongsar Institute, Ngawang Tashi (Dhenme Lhada), was launched by offering each book to two Dungsey Rinpoches, Khenpos and Geshes participating in the discourse. The principal of Dzongsar Institute, Khenpo Samdup, gave a concise summary of the discourse, and then all the participants of the nonsectarian scholars’ discourse and the discourse within monks were awarded the certificate of merit by His Eminence Dungsey Avikrita Vajra Rinpoche. The junior member of the Monlam, Khenpo Jamyang Khyentse, gave the account of expenditure of the nonsectarian scholars’ discourse and that of the Rigter Spring Dharma Activity as a whole, and then wrapped up with vote of thanks. Finally, The 9th Grand Rigter Spring Dharma Activity came to the end with all having an evocative photos in front of the main temple ‘Kalsang Chokyi Jungney’ of Dzongsar Institute.
Some other photos related the 9th Grand Rigter Spring Dharma Activity
Daily afternoon debate and the grand formal debate at night
The discourse within different institutes
The nonsectarian discourse among the scholars
All the participants of the nonsectarian scholars’ discourse and the discourse within monks were awarded the certificate of merit by His Eminence Dungsey Avikrita Vajra Rinpoche
By Chokyi Lodro Editorial Section (DKCLI)