His Holiness the Dalai Lama Bestows Ordination Vows

March 15th 2010

Dharamsala, India, March 15th 2010 - Today, His Holiness the Dalai  Lama gave a group of monks full ordination according to the  Mulasarvastivada Vinaya tradition that was established in Tibet by  the Indian Abbot Shantarakshita in the eighth century CE at the  behest of the Tibetan Emperor Trisong Deutsan.

During the last 51 years of exile in Over the last 51 years that he has lived in exile in India His  Holiness has ordained more than 7,795 Bhikshus, including the 32 who  were ordained today. Vinaya, the Buddhist code of monastic  discipline, is observed in both the Foundational Vehicle (Hinayana)  and the Great Vehicle (Mahayana) traditions and is the foundation of  the Buddhist practices of concentration and wisdom. Therefore, those  who have received Bhikshu ordination rejoice at the opportunity they  have to lay this foundation within themselves personally, in addition  to the service they render the Dharma by becoming fully ordained.

Prior to the ordination His Holiness and the senior Bhikshus who  assisted him performed the ceremony of confession and restoration,  confessing and purifying any infractions of their own vows in  preparation for granting the ordination to others.

At the beginning of the ordination ceremony, His Holiness advised the  prospective Bhikshus to offer flowers to the Teacher Buddha and the  senior Bhikshu Sangha participating in the ordination to celebrate  the occasion, which they all did. Likewise, the would-be Bhikshus  followed His Holiness's instructions to prostrate to the Buddha, the  founder of the Buddhist tradition, to His Holiness as the Abbot of  the ordination and to the ten other Senior Bhikshus present at the  ordination, who  included Venerable Jhado Rinpoche, former Abbot of  Namgyal Monastery, and Venerable Tromthok Rinpocher, the present  Abbot of Namgyal Monastery, who acted as the Activity Master and  Master of the Secret respectively.

His Holiness also blessed the two yellow robes, lower robes and mats  for the monks. They were instructed not to separate themselves from  these robes during the night. They were advised that should they be  parted from these robes etc for that period of time, they should have  them blessed again by a qualified Bhikshu.

During the actual ordination groups of three monks are ordained  together while the rest of the monks close their ears. This follows  the established tradition.

The monks were served lunch at the ordination place, which was their  last meal of the day. Monks and nuns take a vow to avoid eating after lunch.

The Abbot of the ordination instructed the Bhikshus to keep their  vows purely without allowing infractions to occur. The necessary  advice concerning how to keep their vows was given.

On this particular occasion, His Holiness invited a Sri Lankan  Bhikshu Ven. B. Dhammaratana Maha Thero to witness the ordination of  monks as Bhikshus in the Mulasarvastivadin tradition.


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