Date: 4/1/2015 4:55:58 PM
Subject: [CASonline] The blessed tree of Lama Tsongkhapa
Dearest Dharma Friends !
Looking back till now:
( 2012 to 2014 )
- welfare-mission trip to Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Laos, Vietnam ( thousands and thousands and thousands of basic medication items, medicine, books and all )
- more than one ton of fishes, cockles, mussels and mother sentient beings in danger liberated and saved from cruel deaths and blessed with holy pills
- more than 80 kg of rice, chocolates, mushrooms to austistic orphanage in Malacca
- programmes have been successfully organised at our Malacca centre with Most Ven Samten Rinpoche, Most Ven Drikung Ontrul Rinpoche, Sera Je Khen Rinpoche, Upasaka and veteran Dharma teacher Mr Shen Shian
- continued support of retreat of devoted practitioner in Spain
- annual offerings to more than 100 monks in Sera Je and Drepung Loseling under Sera Je Khen Rinpoche and Gen Wangchen la
- continuing broadcasts of Dharma videos and radio via www.casotac.com - the Dalai Lama / the late Serkong Tsenshab
- our sponsorship of some of the best IT systems for the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives in Dharamsala: the main archival organisation chronicling the Tibetans and the Dalai Lama in-exile since 1960s
- we have gotten into Instagram and Twitter
- the important Protector Temple at Tso Pema has been successfully constructed and our Teacher, Most Ven Drikung Ontrul Rinpoche has hosted the Dalai Lama and the Drikung Kyabgon at their consecration of the temple
- publication and near-blanket coverage distribution of our first Dharma pamphlet at one of Malacca's main residential area at Malim Jaya
- our financial support of programmes and rentals of good, functioning Dharma centre/s in Singapore and Malaysia
- some of our friends having completed or repeated ngondro / completed - academically only I think - study of Madhyamaka and other teachings by the Dalai Lama, Gen Wangchen / completed 100,000 of main mantras of their respective yidams for the benefit of all beings !
- our education center ( Camden Education Center - www.camden.edu.sg ) into its 8th year with our students topping respective subject/s in their schools ( Raffles Institution / River Valley High / Fairfield Methodist / Bishan Park Sec amongst others ), many of whom graduating into NUS and NTU or National Service ( for the boys )
[ quite many others we couldn't remember even after struggling for half an hour or more ]
These will not have been possible without your support all these years for our work. So, rejoice and keep the dedications and support coming !
This our maiden issue of CASonline for 2015, whilst we have quite shifted to Facebook ( CASOTAC ), Twitter and Instagram - look for CASOTAC.
Don't forget to see the above.
Some beings @ Phuntsok Choling ( CAS )
The Dalai Lama being greeted by the current 102nd Ganden Tripa, the Sharpa and Jangtse Chojes - successors of our Root Teacher, the 100th Ganden Trisur - the highest hierarchs of the Gelugpa lineage, last month, at Ganden Jangtse Monastery, India.
One of our teachers, the Loseling Khensur Rinpoche, Gen Lobsang Gyamtso, with HE Ling Rinpoche and the Ganden Tripa, hosting the Dalai Lama at Drepung Loseling Monastery.
The constructed great hall of Drepung Loseling Monastery with 25,000 monks - teaching by the Dalai Lama, followed by a Palden Lhamo initiation.
The blessed tree
Thirty-seven years ago, two daring Lazarist Missionaries who were attached to the Roman Catholic Mission establishment at Pekin, undertook the desperate feat of penetrating as far as Lhasa, to preach Christianity among the benighted Buddhists. Their names were Huc and Gabet; the narrative of their journeys shows them to have been courageous and enthusiastic to a fault. This most interesting volume of travel appeared at Paris more than thirty years ago, and has since been translated twice into English and, we believe, other languages as well. As to its general merits we are not now concerned, but will confine ourselves to that portion—Vol. II, p. 84, of the American edition of 1852—where the author, Mr. Huc, describes the wonderful “Tree of Ten Thousand Images,” which they saw at the Lamasery, or Monastery, of Kumbum, or Kounboum, as they spell it. Mr. Huc tells us that the Tibetan legend affirms that when the mother of Tsong-Kha-pa, the renowned Buddhist reformer, devoted him to the religious life, and, according to custom, she “cut off his hair and threw it away, a tree sprang up from it, which bore on every one of its leaves a Tibetan character.” In Hazlitt’s translation (London, 1852) is a more literal (though, still, not exact) rendering of the original, and from it—PP. 324-6—we quote the following interesting particulars:
. . . . There were upon each of the leaves well-formed Thibetian characters, all of a green colour, some darker, some lighter than the leaf itself. Our first impression was a suspicion of fraud on the part of the Lamas; but, after a minute examination of every detail, we could not discover the least deception. The characters all appeared to us portions of the leaf itself, equally with its veins and nerves; the position was not the same in all; in one leaf they would be at the top of the leaf; in another, in the middle; in a third, at the base, or at the side; the younger leaves represented the characters only in a partial state of formation. The bark of the tree and its branches, which resemble that of the plane tree, are also covered with these characters. When you remove a piece of bark, the young bark under it exhibits the indistinct outlines of characters in a germinating state, and what is very singular, these new characters are not infrequently different from those which they replace . . . . The Tree of the Ten Thousand Images seemed to us of great age. Its trunk, which three men could scarcely embrace with outstretched arms, is not more than eight feet high; the branches, instead of shooting up, spread out in the shape of a plume of feathers and are extremely bushy; few of them are dead. The leaves are always green, and the wood, which is of a reddish tint, has an exquisite odour, something like that of cinnamon. The Lamas informed us that in summer, towards the eighth moon, the tree produces large red flowers of an extremely beautiful character. . . .
The Abbé Huc himself puts the evidence with much more ardour. “These letters,” he says, “are of their kind, of such a perfection that the type-foundries of Didot contain nothing to excel them.” Let the reader mark this, as we shall have occasion to recur to it. And he saw on—or rather in—the leaves, not merely letters but “religious sentences,” self-printed by nature in the chlorophyll, starchy cells, and woody fibre! Leaves, twigs, branches, trunk—all bore the wonderful writings on their surfaces, outer and inner, layer upon layer, and no two superposed characters identical. “For do not fancy that these superposed layers repeat the same printing. No, quite the contrary; for each lamina you lift presents to view its distinct type. How, then, can you suspect jugglery? I have done my best in that direction to discover the slightest trace of human trick, and my baffled mind could not retain the slightest suspicion.” Who says this? A devoted Christian missionary, who went to Tibet expressly to prove Buddhism false and his own creed true, and who would have eagerly seized upon the smallest bit of evidence that he could have paraded before the natives in support of his case. He saw and describes other wonders in Tibet—which are carefully suppressed in the American edition, but which by some of his rabidly orthodox critics are ascribed to the devil.
The great monastery of Kumbum
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Money and food
Accomodation - S$30/- per person per day.
Food - delicious vegetarian, halal, multi-cultural and otherwise fodder are more than abundantly available, all within walking distance of the centre.
Laundry and pharmacy services are all within walking range of the centre.
How to get there
Malacca is 2 and a half hrs' drive from Singapore. Exit Ayer Keroh from North-south Highway.
It is about 3 and a half hours by coach from Golden Mile Complex, Singapore ( in smooth traffic condition ) to Melaka Sentral, the main bus interchange in Malacca. The connecting drive to the centre from Melaka Sentral by cab takes 15 min.
Coach is about S$30/- per person per trip and cab is about S$15/- per trip.
Venue at Malacca
Phuntsok Cho Ling Buddhist Centre (CAS)
11-A, Jalan MP 16,
Taman Merdeka Permai,
Batu Berendam, 75350
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