Special Pilgrimage with Lama Jinpa Gyatso

བསམ་པ་བཟང་པོ་ས་དང་ལམ་ཡང་བཟང་།། བསམ་་པ་ངན་ན་ས་དང་ལམ་ཡང་ངན།།

“If the intentions are good, so will be the levels and paths. If the intentions are bad, so will be the levels and paths too.” — Jé Tsongkhapa

This past Saturday, May 4th, more than twenty students joined the TTP (Translator Training Program) on a pilgrimage to Patan, led by Lama Jinpa Gyatso. Lama Jinpa is one of the first generation of lamas at our monastery, a direct disciple of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche. He is a respected drup la who has completed the rigorous three-year retreat. Currently, Lama Jinpa heads one of our monasteries in Patan: Padmavarna Mahayan Bihar(Patan Gomba).

Meeting Lama Jinpa is like being bathed in warm sunshine. His genuine warmth radiates, and he led us around Patan with an infectious joy all day. Our pilgrimage started off at the Patan museum, originally a monastery transformed into a palace. The variety of Buddha statues on display were full of life. We looked at them as they look back into our eyes, touching our hearts. On the same ground stood the place where Marpa Lotsawa stayed during his visit to Nepal. There, he made his life-changing vow to become a Lotsawa. This was especially aspiring for the TTP students who aspire to walk the same path as illuminaries such as Marpa Lotsawa.

Next, we walked to the golden temple, its three stories symbolizing the three yanas of Buddhism. Vajrasattva at the top representing Vajrayana, Cakrasaṃvara Mahayana, and Shakyamuni Buddha the Hinayana path. In the prayer hall, Lama shared a heartwarming story about a young boy and a yellow mouse feeding the Buddha statue, believing it to be alive. The name “Golden (yellow) temple” was in fact named after the yellow mouse. Our hearts were filled with faith and trust in the boundless compassion and wisdom of the buddhas and bodhisattvas.

We then set forth on a full walking tour through Lalitpur’s narrow alleyways. Many of us received extra “blessings” by bumping our heads on the low doorways! Yet, these narrow passages often opened unexpectedly into spacious courtyards adorned with centuries-old architecture and statues. Lama Jinpa likened this experience to Vajrayana—quick, efficient paths leading to ultimate light.

At Lama Jinpa’s monastery, we enjoyed a delicious Nepali lunch, including jackfruit curry. Seated beneath the shade of a Jambu tree, we gathered around Lama Jinpa. He recounted inspiring stories of Marpa Lotsawa’s unwavering courage during times of hardships in Nepal. Here, Lama Jinpa emphasized the importance of good intentions and a kind heart as the foundation for happiness. TTP students, putting their training to test, took turns translating for him.

Refreshed, we boarded a bus for another temple renowned for holding a stone carved with Dakini script—A site revered by great figures such as Chatral Rinpoche. Terma treasures were also said to be hidden beneath the ground.

As dusk settled, with grateful hearts and tired feet, we thanked Lama Jinpa for his immense kindness. With hearts brimming with inspiration we returned home and dedicated the merit of the pilgrimage to limitless beings across space.

– Sabrina Yang , TTP Manager

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