Khyentse Foundation and Siddhartha’s Intent, Buddhist organizations founded by the renowned Bhutanese lama, filmmaker, and author Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche, marked the 200th birth anniversary of the renowned 19th century Tibetan Buddhist master and terton Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo (1820–92) with a global live-streamed teaching and recitation on the bodhisattva Manjushri by Rinpoche on 25 July, and the publication of a newly translated e-book, The Life of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo by Jamgon Kongtrul.
Khyenste Foundation reported that close to 3,000 people tuned in from all over the world “including a local audience of goats and donkeys!” to receive the teaching and participate in the recitation of the Manjushri-Nama-Samgiti (Chanting the Names of Manjushri). The event, which lasted more than two hours, was relayed via Zoom and live-streamed on YouTube, with translations into Chinese and Portuguese.
Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche offered a profound and wide-ranging teaching on the significance and import of the meditational deity Manjushri, the embodiment of all wisdom and an expression of non-dual reality:
“For many students who study the Buddhadharma—especially complicated subjects such as Prajnaparamita, or Madhyamaka, or Pramana (Buddhist logic)—Manjushri is one of the favorite deities to whom they pray for wisdom,” Rinpoche explained in his introduction. “He’s one of the most important guardian deities of the great Indian universities such as Nalanda, while in Tibet there are just so many teachings that are related to Manjushri.”
“If you want to know Manjushri, the only way you can understand and see and touch and smell . . . the only way you can do it is by understanding dependent arising,” Rinpoche observed. “Only when you know that nothing exists independently; that everything is a dependent arising; therefore everything is apparent and at the same time non-existent. So only with this will you understand Manjushri.”
As the teaching was organized with respect to ongoing social-distancing restritions, Rinpoche concluded with a tongue-in-cheek exhortation for students to maintain safe personal hygiene practices during the COVID-19 pandemic, and urging those who feel reluctant to wear masks to reconsider their position for the benefit of all.
As part of observances for the aurpicois occasion, The Life of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo authored by the Tibetan scholar and teacher Jamgon Kongtrul (1813–99), and newly translated into English by Tibet researcher and historian Matthew Akester, has been made available by Khyenste Foundation as a free download in PDF and EPUB formats.
Born in the traditional Tibetan region of Kham in 1820, Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, believed to be an emanation of the bodhisattva Manjushri, was one of the most revered Buddhist masters of the 19th century and, along with Jamgon Kongtrul, was a cofounder of the non-sectarian Rimé movement, which sought to recognize and appreciate the differences and strengths of the various traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. The movement’s efforts to gather and reproduce rare Tibetan Buddhist texts was also a significant factor in the preservation of Tibetan Buddhism amid Communist suppression.
“For those of us who have had a little glimpse of emptiness, compassion, and the wisdom of the Buddha, it is inspiring to learn what the great masters of the past have done and how they spent their time and energy. And among these masters, Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo shines like the Morning Star,” Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche states in his foreword to The Life of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo. “And who better to record the life of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo than one who was both the great master’s disciple and also his guru—a truly remarkable relationship that already tells us something special.”
Founded in 1986, Siddhartha’s Intent is an international collective of Buddhist groups supporting Rinpoche’s Buddhadharma activities by organizing teachings and retreats, distributing and archiving recorded teachings, transcribing, editing, and translating manuscripts and practice texts, with a global community committed to continual study and practice. Khyentse Foundation was established by Rinpoche in 2001 with the aim of promoting the Buddha’s teaching and supporting all traditions of Buddhist study and practice. The foundation’s activities include major text preservation and translation projects, support for monastic colleges in Asia, a worldwide scholarship and awards program, the development of Buddhist studies at major universities, training and development for Buddhist teachers, and developing new modes of Dharma-inspired education for children.
“We are also excited to announce that Khyentse Foundation is launching Khyentse Vision Project, a new project to translate the collected works of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo from Tibetan into English,” Khyentse Foundation said in a statement received by Buddhistdoor Global. “The project aims to collect and translate the entire works of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo from Tibetan into English, as a cohesive series, to be published on a single online platform.”
Born in Bhutan and now based in Himachal Pradesh, India, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche gives teachings all over the world. He is the son of Thinley Norbu Rinpoche and was a close student of the Nyingma master Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche (1910–91). He is recognized as the third incarnation of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, founder of the Khyentse lineage, and the immediate incarnation of Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö (1893–1959). In addition to the Khyentse Foundation and Siddhartha’s Intent, his projects include 84000, a non-profit global initiative to translate the words of the Buddha and make them available to all; Lotus Outreach, which directs a wide range of projects to help refugees; and more recently The Lhomon Society, which promotes sustainable development in Bhutan through education.
The Kumarajiva Project
84000: Translating the Words of the Buddha
Lotus Outreach International
The Lhomon Society
The Activities of Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche