Thrangu Monastery (Canada)

Last updated
Thrangu Monastery
Affiliation Tibetan Buddhism
Sect Kagyu
Location Richmond, British Columbia, Canada
Canada British Columbia location map 2.svg
Gold temple icon.png
Shown within British Columbia
Geographic coordinates 49°09′N123°08′W / 49.150°N 123.133°W / 49.150; -123.133 Coordinates: 49°09′N123°08′W / 49.150°N 123.133°W / 49.150; -123.133

Thrangu Monastery, Canada's first traditional Tibetan Buddhist monastery, was officially opened in Richmond, British Columbia, on July 25, 2010 by the Very Venerable Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, the worldwide leader of Thrangu Monasteries. [1]

Richmond, British Columbia City in British Columbia, Canada

Richmond is a coastal city located in the Canadian province of British Columbia. It is a member municipality of Metro Vancouver and the location of the Vancouver International Airport. During the 2010 Winter Olympics, the Richmond Olympic Oval was a venue for the long track speed skating events.

Thrangu Rinpoche Buddhist Lama

Thrangu Rinpoche was born in 1933 in Kham, Tibet. He is deemed to be a prominent tulku in the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism, the ninth reincarnation in his particular line. His full name and title is the Very Venerable Ninth Khenchen Thrangu Tulku, Karma Lodrö Lungrik Maway Senge. "Khenchen" denotes great scholarly accomplishment, and the term "Rinpoche" is an honorific title commonly afforded to Tibetan lamas.

Thrangu Rinpoche is a prominent tulku (reincarnate lama) in the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism, the ninth reincarnation in his particular line. His full name and title is the Very Venerable Ninth Khenchen Thrangu Tulku, Karma Lodrö Lungrik Maway Senge. "Khenchen" denotes great scholarly accomplishment, and the term "Rinpoche" is an honorific title commonly afforded to Tibetan lamas.

A tulku is a reincarnate custodian of a specific lineage of teachings in Tibetan Buddhism who is given empowerments and trained from a young age by students of his or her predecessor.

Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism

The Kagyu, Kagyü, or Kagyud school, which translates to "Oral Lineage" or "Whispered Transmission" school, is one of the main schools of Himalayan or Tibetan Buddhism. The Kagyu lineages trace themselves back to the 11th century Indian Mahasiddhas Naropa, Maitripa and the yogini Niguma, via their student Marpa Lotsawa (1012–1097), who brought their teachings to Tibet. Marpa's student Milarepa was also an influential poet and teacher.

Tibetan Buddhism is the form of Buddhism practiced in Tibet where it is the dominant religion. It is also found in the regions surrounding the Himalayas, much of Chinese Central Asia, the Southern Siberian regions such as Tuva, as well as Mongolia.

Thrangu Rinpoche was born in Tibet in 1933 and went to India when he was 27. Since then, he has been in residence at the Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim, India. He oversees a number of Thrangu establishments in several parts of the world. The new Canadian monastery will be under the direction of the resident lama, Lama Pema Tsewang, who was born in 1972 in Tsum, Gorkha District, Nepal. In 2002, Thrangu Rinpoche appointed him to the very high position of a "Vajra Master"/ [2] [3]

Rumtek Monastery building in India

Rumtek Monastery, also called the Dharmachakra Centre, is a gompa located in the Indian state of Sikkim near the capital Gangtok. It is a focal point for the sectarian tensions within the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism that characterize the Karmapa controversy.

Sikkim State in northeastern India

Sikkim is a state in northeastern India. It borders Tibet in the north and northeast, Bhutan in the east, Nepal in the west, and West Bengal in the south. Sikkim is also located close to India's Siliguri Corridor near Bangladesh. Sikkim is the least populous and second smallest among the Indian states. A part of the Eastern Himalaya, Sikkim is notable for its biodiversity, including alpine and subtropical climates, as well as being a host to Kangchenjunga, the highest peak in India and third highest on Earth. Sikkim's capital and largest city is Gangtok. Almost 35% of the state is covered by the Khangchendzonga National Park.

Gorkha District District in Gandaki Pradesh, Nepal

Gorkha District, a part of Gandaki Pradesh, is one of the seventy-Seven districts of Nepal and connected historically with the creation of the modern Nepal and the name of the legendary Gurkha soldiers. The district, with Gorkha Municipality as its district headquarters, covers an area of 3,610 km² and has a population (2001) of 288,134. It is the location of the Manakamana Temple. Also, the temples of great sage Gorakh Nath and goddess Gorakh Kali temple is located in district, after which the district got its name. Four major rivers run within and along it - the Chepe, Daraudi, Marsyangdi, and Budhi Gandaki.

The Shrine Hall or (Lhakhang) of the monastery has 30-foot ceilings, contains Tibetan art and a four-metre (16 ft) tall gold-leaf-covered statue of Shakyamuni Buddha, "filled with precious offerings including scriptures, scrolls and sacred stones and pebbles from 108 countries, including China, Hong Kong, India, Tibet, Sri Lanka and Canada. The two side walls have 500 Medicine Buddha statues each and there are 200 Amitabha statues adjacent to the main entrance. Behind the Shakyamuni statue are the six ornaments, and the 12 mandalas are painted on the ceiling. The six pillars are decorated with traditional Tibetan designs with statues of Guru Rinpoche and Four-Arm Chenrezig on top. The shrine hall can comfortably accommodate up to 500 people." [4]

Mandala Spiritual and ritual symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism

A mandala is a spiritual and/or ritual geometric configuration of symbols or a map in the Indian religions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism or Japanese lifestyle of Shintoism representing deities, or in the case of Shintoism, paradises, kami or actual shrines. In modern, typically American use, "mandala" has become a generic term for any diagram, chart or geometric pattern that represents the cosmos metaphysically or symbolically; a time-microcosm of the universe, though it originally meant to represent wholeness and a model for the organizational structure of life itself—a cosmic diagram that shows us our relation to the infinite, the world that extends beyond and within our minds and bodies.

A spokesperson said: "The central Buddha is flanked by 35 smaller Buddhas of confession and 1,000 medicine Buddhas that offer protection from illness and danger. [5]

There are 8 retreat rooms at the monastery, where practitioners can engage in short and long term retreats, a library with texts in a number of languages, and a room for visiting teachers. [6]

The Canadian temple is a daughter establishment of the Tibetan mother temple, Thrangu Monastery near Jyekundo or Gyêgu town in the Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai (ancient Kham), China which was severely damaged on April 14, 2010 in the 2010 Yushu earthquake in which many monks and thousands of laypeople died. [7] [8] [9]


  1. "1,036 Buddhas oversee worship at new monastery in Richmond". Jes Abeita, Vancouver Sun July 26, 2010.
  2. [ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-07-27. Retrieved 2010-07-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) "Canada’s first traditional Tibetan Buddhist monastery opens." Andrea Woo, Vancouver Sun July 23, 2010.
  3. "Buddhists welcome new monastery. Resident monks, lamas to teach enlightenment." Sam Cooper, The Province. July 26, 2010.
  4. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-04-18. Retrieved 2010-07-25.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. "Magnitude 6.9 – SOUTHERN QINGHAI, CHINA 2010". USGS. April 14, 2010. Archived from the original on April 15, 2010. Retrieved April 14, 2010.
  6. "兰州军区和武警部队官兵投入青海玉树抗震救灾 14 April 2010". Retrieved 2010-04-15.

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