What can we expect in Kangding？——Introduction to Larung Gar Five Sciences Buddhist Academy
The curriculum at Larung Gar Five Sciences Buddhist Academy includes three parts: Sutrayana, Secret Mantrayana, and common culture. The main courses in Sutrayana involve five major categories of treatise: Vinaya, Hetuvidya, Abhidharmakosa-Sastra, Madhyamika and Prajnaparamita. Secret Mantrayana consists of esoteric shastra, various preliminaries, generation phase, completion phase, the Great Perfection, and pith instruction. Common culture pertains to the science of language, the science of medicine, Tibetan language, etc.
In 1999, the Larung Gar Five Sciences Buddhist Academy was identified by the New York Times as one of the largest and most influential centers for study of Tibetan Buddhism in the world. In more than 30 years, the institute has produced hundreds of eminent Buddhist scholars and practitioners who in turn have founded numerous Dharma centers around the world. By teaching the sacred Dharma, revitalizing the traditional Tibetan culture, and improving ethnic unity, they have made dramatic contributions in propagating the Buddha Dharma.
At present, there are over ten thousand resident monastics of both Tibetan and Han origin at the institute. In addition, tens of thousands of members around the globe are engaged in Dharma study via online courses taught by the institute’s senior Khenpo, Sodargye Rinpoche.
As early as two hundred years ago, a great siddha, the First Dodrupchen Rinpoche, wrote in his Future Prophecy, “At Danjian Ala Mutian Larung Valley, Guru Rinpoche will appear as the one named Jigme, who is surrounded by the four groups of Bodhisattva disciples. His teachings of sutra and tantra will shine like an illuminating sun; his activity of benefiting beings will be able to hold up the heavens and support the earth; he will attract sentient beings in ten directions and lead them onto the path of liberation; anyone making connections with him will be reborn to the Buddha Amitabha’s Pureland.”
The prophecy is interpreted to mean that the Larung Valley, protected by the Goddess of Mutian and surrounded by the sacred Danjian Mountain and Ala Mountain, is a blessed site. Here Guru Rinpoche will appear as His Holiness Jigme Phuntsok Rinpoche who will take four groups of disciples: monks, nuns, laymen, and laywomen. He will spread the Buddha Dharma throughout the world, and fortunate beings connected with him will for certain take rebirth in the Pureland of Bliss.
This prophecy identified the name of His Holiness Jigme Phuntsok Rinpoche, his disciples, the location of the Institute, and his achievements in benefiting sentient beings. More importantly, whoever makes a connection with him will find rebirth in Buddha Amitabha’s Pureland of Bliss. His great activities are being carried out and expanding just as predicted, reaching the inner hearts of many people around the world. Let us pray that the sutra and tantra, coming down from His Holiness, will prosper throughout the world and continue to benefit countless sentient beings!