Odiyana Temple, Ati Jangchub Choeling
A good number of the people in this region are Buddhists or traditionally Buddhists. The indigenous and very friendly Adi people in the area follow their religion Donyi-polo but also highly admire Buddhist culture and practice. Many of the people living here are also Sherpa and Tamang Buddhists from Nepal and Buddhist migrants from Myanmar. Many Tibetan people who are mainly from Pemakod, now live here as well. Moreover, this area is a junction that can be easily reached by people living in far away towns and cities in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
Ati Jangchub Choeling Temple will be the first and only temple in this region. Therefore, once it is completed, the temple will be a great center for the local community to come and engage in Buddhist practice on a daily basis and for visitors from far away to visit for special events.
Events at the temple will include monthly Guru Rinpoche Day, Dakini Day, Eighth Medicine Buddha Day, and Full Moon Day practices. Four times a year the four Buddhist festivals will be celebrated, and Dharma talks will be given for the general public. NyungNe, the weeklong fasting retreat with vows, will be observed annually, and from time to time, the temple will host visiting high Lamas who will give teachings and empowerments.
Festivals and gatherings based on the seasons and indigenous traditions are an important aspect of Assamese and Arunachali people’s lives and culture, Odiyana Temple will serve as a sacred place where the whole community can assemble, meet and celebrate.
Additionally, children and school staff can meet in the temple at the start and end of each school day. There, they have an opportunity to calm and focus their minds, set a compassionate motivation for engaging in the day’s work, and dedicate their collective efforts in learning and teaching for the benefit of all. Special school events, such as parent nights, presentations and performances, can also be held there.
Traditionally Buddhist people request Lamas to come to their homes to perform specific ceremonies for benefiting both the living and the dead. The Lamas at the temple will conveniently fulfill these needs and wishes, providing spiritual support for the surrounding community.
Tulku Orgyen Rinpoche envisions that this temple will be a great center where people can learn and engage in Buddha Dharma teachings on wisdom and compassion for the betterment of their own lives and for a more peaceful society at large. In addition, Tulku Rinpoche considers the creation of a temple that provides far-reaching Dharma activities, where there are none, as a great service for Buddha Dharma and sentient beings.
Ever since the land was offered to Tulku Rinpoche, the Lamas from Deden Tashi Choeling Temple have been working on many minor structures and preparing to build the main temple, Ati Jangchub Choeling. This will continue for the next couple of months. Once the preparatory works are completed, the actual construction of the temple will begin.
The Ati Jangchub Choeling Temple, a small but well-facilitated temple, was built towards the end of last February 2022 by the retreatants from Deden Tashi Choeling Temple, Pemakod.
Ever since its completion, bimonthly Tsok practices and all other Dharma practices have been held here. This smaller temple will continue to function until the larger temple we have envisioned, with a greater capacity for participants, is completed.
Tulku Orgyen’s father, Lama Rigdzin Phuntsok, who is well respected in the region, now spends most of his time on the land. Therefore, visitors from near and far continue to visit to pay their respects and to offer support for the further development of our efforts.
People participate the monthly practices special days.
Tulku Orgyen shared, “I am happy to see all of the Dharma events that are happening in a place where there were no Dharma activities at all. I feel that, in our own capacity, we are making a contribution to society and humanity at large. At the same time, I look forward to the day when all of our visions for the land fully manifest and greatly benefit many beings with their various needs.”