Ordination: His Holiness the Je Khenpo over the last 10 days gave nyendzog ordination to more than 500 monks from Ladakh, Sikkim, Darjeeling, Himachal Pradesh in India and the central monastic body.

The ordination of nyendzog, which is an advanced vow in the Hinayana tradition of Buddhism, is recognition of a full-fledged monk.

With this ordination, a monk has to observe 253 precepts, which are basically a set of Buddhist rules that one has to follow in life said the Zhung Dratshang’s Letshog Lopen Sangay Dorji.

“The benefit of receiving nyendzog is to attain the god realm or Buddhahood,” said Lopen Sangay Dorji.

This kind of ordination is given to a monk who has observed certain vows for over a period of time and has been qualified to receive the advance vows.

In Hinayana Buddhism, which is a teaching based on self or individual liberation, nyendzog is the ultimate goal. Thus, it is indispensable to have observed a set of 10 precepts that is called gaytsul (inferior precepts) before receiving the nyendzog ordination.

Of three vows in Buddhism, Pratimoksha or self-liberation belongs to the Vinaya category of Buddha’s teachings. The other two vows are the Bodhisattva and Vajrayana vows both of which are practices on the path to liberation in one single life.

Every year, hundreds of monks of Drukpa Kagyu tradition outside Bhutan come to receive nyendzog from HH the Je Khenpo. Lopen Sangay Dorji said that as HH the Je Khenpo holds an unbroken chain of Vinaya vows in the Drukpa Kagyu lineage, the monks from other countries seek to receive the vows from HH the Je khenpo.

In Buddhism, a continuous flow of teachings from one master to disciple is essential for attainment of enlightenment in a short period of time. That’s why, the dharma practitioners always look for a master who holds the pure and unbroken chain of teachings and lineage.

Chanzo (head lama), Ngawang Othsal of the Hemis monastery in Ladakh, India said that the reason for coming here to receive nyendzog from HH the Je khenpo is because he holds the vows that have been passed down from Kunkhyen Pema Karpo. Kunkhyen Pema Karpo was the fourth reincarnation of Drogon Tsangpa Gyare, the founder of the Drukpa Kagyu school in Tibet.

Twenty six monks from Hemis monastery received nyendzog along with 36 monks from the Druk Thupten Sangag Choling monastery in Darjeeling.  The rest were from Dzigar Choktrul Dratsang, Sikkim and Himachal Pradesh.

Druk Thupten Sangag Choling monastery’s lopen Sangay said it is essential to receive vows passed down by Kunkhyen Pema Karpo. “Our monks are happy as they got what they wanted.”

With the vows, the monks also received three different types of robes and a Buddha’s begging bowl, which are symbols of fully ordained monks.

The monks also received gaytsul vows from the Zhung Dratsang’s Dorji Lopen Kuenly for 10 days. Both the ceremonies ended yesterday.

Tenzin Namgyel