His Holiness Kyabgon Gongma Trizen Rinpoche, the 41st Sakya Trizin, arrived in Kathmandu on Saturday evening to an enthusiastic and heartfelt welcome, from the crowds gathered to welcome him at Kathmandu's Tribhuvan International Airport to his official reception at the International Buddhist Academy in the Buddhist enclave of Boudha, under the protective gaze of the Boudhanath Stupa.
The International Buddhist Academy (IBA) was founded in 2001 by Khenchen Appey Rinpoche (1926-2010) as an educational institute created to uphold and disseminate the Buddhadharma and the teachings of the Sakyapa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. His Holiness the 41st Sakya Trizin is the spiritual head of the institute.
Crowds of well-wishers lined the road leading to the IBA hoping to catch a glimpse of His Holiness, while guests and dignitaries gathered at the academy forecourt, waiting late into the evening for His Holiness' arrival .
His Holiness the 41st Sakya Trizin is expected to spend a month in Nepal, where he will grant a series of initiations, refuge ceremonies and consecration rituals at numerous monasteries and Buddhist institutes.
“Since His Holiness' previous visit, we have experienced the 2015 earthquakes and the COVID-19 pandemic,” said a Nepali participant, speaking anonymously. “The last time he was here, he was in the Buddha's birthplace, Lumbini, where he gave the great instructions on the new Sakya lineage system. For Nepal, we had the great merit of seeing many great Tibetan teachers here. Nowadays there are very few teachers of the stature of the 41st Sakya Trizin, and for him to come to Nepal and be here for almost a month to empower his age so much is one thing very special which shows to the people of Nepal. still have great merit.
“Some of my friends and family will be receiving empowerments for the first time: they have never received a Buddhist empowerment before, and now they are officially becoming Buddhists. It is so beautiful for them to receive this from His Holiness.
His Holiness the 41st Sakya Trizin is one of the most senior lamas in Tibetan Buddhism today, considered by many Tibetan Buddhists to be second only to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama in terms of the world's most eminent living masters.
Born in Tibet in 1945, His Holiness became the holder of the Sakya throne at the age of seven, after being recognized by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. As the 41st Sakya Trizin, supreme head of the Khon Sakya lineage, founded at Sakya Monastery in Tibet in 1073, he was the longest-reigning Sakya Trizin, holding the position for over 50 years until 2017. Holiness is widely considered to be an emanation of Manjushri, a Yidam and bodhisattva of wisdom.
As a highly respected spiritual leader, His Holiness the 41st Sakya Trizin founded several major centers of Buddhist learning and monastic practice in India and Nepal, where the scholarship, practices and traditions of the Sakya school of Buddhism Tibetan people are kept in exile.
A reformed system of succession of throne holders for the lineage was implemented during the 23rd Grand Sakya Monlam prayer festival on December 11, 2014. Under the revised system, proposed by the 41st Sakya Trizin, members of the lineages Dolma Phodrang and Phuntsok Phodrang will serve. as Sakya Trizin for a term of three years, based on their seniority and qualifications, and with the possibility that an office holder may hold office more than once during his or her lifetime.
Ratna Vajra Rinpoche was enthroned as the 42nd Sakya Trizin on March 9, 2017, the first Sakya Trizin to be enthroned under the new system.* The current throne holder is the 43rd Sakya Trizin Gyana Vajra Rinpoche.
Whatever path you follow – the Mahayana path, and especially the Vajrayana path, which includes visualizations, recitations and foundational practices – all practices are of course very, very important. But the most important practice of all is the cultivation of compassion. Without compassion, whatever you do will not be the direct cause of enlightenment. For a practice to be a direct cause of enlightenment, you must have a mind of enlightenment. And to have a proper mind of enlightenment, you need compassion. Without compassion, you cannot have the other qualities. — His Holiness the 41st Sakya Trizin
* Enthronement of the 42nd Sakya Trizin, His Holiness Ratna Vajra Rinpoche (BDG)