Masters Program: Thanksgiving Puja at the end of Madhyamaka subject

On Tuesday, December 4, on end of Madhyamaka subject occasion, the Masters Program students offered a “Thanksgiving Puja” to Venerable Geshe Jampa Gelek, the teacher of the Program.

With Lama Chopa and the Tsog offering, the students wanted to express their gratitude to Geshela for the precious and exceptional explanation of the “Supplement to the Middle Way”.
The Puja was also a Long life Puja for Geshela.

Some students wrote a letter or some phrases to both the Teacher and the staff, thanking them for the received teachings and all the support during the study program. Reading these lines brought up a feeling of connectedness and moments of intense emotions. That’s why we decided to share them with you.

We would also like to remind you that the new subject starting on 29 January 2019, is a rare opportunity to receive in-depth teachings on Dharmakirti’s Commentary on Valid Cognition and on Vashubandu’s Treasury of Manifest Knowledge.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama has in fact been emphasizing the great importance of studying valid cognition because it is a subject that helps us to have a greater understanding not only of Buddhist subjects, but also of other fields.

Images of the Puja are available here:

Tashi Delek Geshe Jampa Gelek,

You came all the way from Tibet, leaving behind the swans (gooses) that are lead by the king of the swans that you could see in your village. You went to Sera Je in India and after so many years of study and hardship came to ILTK, being such a wonderful example, teaching the Dharma with all you heart, giving so much that sometimes I sit in class without being able to comprehend the kindness that we receive, day after day after day, tirelessly. And now you yourself are the king of swans showing us the way.

It is inconceivable how fortunate we are.
With so much kindness Buddha Shakyamuni taught the Dharma and with so much kindness it has survived until now thanks to the continuous effort and practice of great masters like Chandrakirti, Lama Tsongkhapa, the 17 Nalanda Masters, Jetsunpa, Jamyang Shayba, GyalsabJe and Khedrup Tendawa who had been through so much hardship just to make sure that the Dharma survives in a pure way, reminding us to find out the meaning instead of mere words, just to benefit beings!
You are exactly in the same way so kind by preserving the Dharma by teaching it to us deluded being.

We would be nothing in this age if the Dharma wouldn’t have come out of Tibet and due to the kindness of His Holiness the Dalai Lama we are able to have more and more access to the Dharma who is emphasizing continuously the importance of study and analysis as well as the importance of putting the Dharma into practice. Without Lama Yeshe and precious Lama Zopa Rinpoche, who are devoting their entire existence into serving us deluded beings we wouldn’t have the opportunity to be here receiving these teachings. Without Geshe Jampa Ghiatso this program wouldn’t exist,
Without each and every being here, no one left out, in this Institute we wouldn’t be able to sit here now all together.

Starting from the beginning, Corona Family who offered this place, all the beings who build this house, all the animals who had to suffer for that, all the students of the first Masters program of which many are now teaching and have become the causes for us students to be here now, without all the staff at that time as well as all the stuff today, from the director Filippo, the SPC Elisa, the education office, the whole dedactica, Jeremy, Beatrice, our mother Tsultrim (la mama), the Segrettaria. Our tutors, Sze Gee, Christian, Gabriele. Rita, without you so courageously putting to much effort to transmit the teachings, to help us, as well as Roberto and Tiziana without whom we also wouldn’t have access to the teachings.
Aldo and Ngawang and all the people working in the kitchen. You can not teach dharma to people when they are hungry, right?
All the people who clean day by day, the gardeners, Norbert who takes care that everything works, the Audio team and Antonella, all the people who paint, all the cats and animals that provide beings mental support and all the people who come here no matter if for one day, three months or giving their entire lives to this institute. Without each and everyone, without the kindness of each and everyone, we couldn’t be here together trying to make our live meaningful.
Due to the kindness, due to all this incredible inconceivable kindness we find ourselves here in a condition that for me personally is just too overwhelming to be able to comprehend how much kindness is involved. Therefore everyone who has not been mentioned please feel touched and from the depth of the heart – thank you!

And then you beloved Geshe Gelek la, just due to your kindness of teaching us the Dharma, all the wishes of all of them, Buddha Shakyamuni, all the great Masters of the Past, the 17 Nalanda Masters, Lama Yeshe, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Geshe Jampa Ghiatso, and all your own personal teachers such as Choden Rinpoche and so forth, as well as all those who are involved in providing us the opportunity to learn from you, all their wishes are fulfilled and you are fulfilling our hopes, helping us by being yourself the king of the swans, showing us the way!

With endless kindness you patiently listen to our questions and doubts and you offer everything in your response. Even though there are times where we feel lost, when doubt arises, or waves of confusion, then by just looking at your encouraging smile and eyes it fills up the heart with joy!
Full of misconceptions are we turning up and down like a bucket in a well, full of wrong views we are engaging in actions that are harmful, but due to your kindness you give us tools to finally start cutting through the rope that ties us to our own misery.

Therefore again and again in my mind the question arises: How can I be able to repay just at least a fraction of your kindness? It seems as if there is nothing that I can do accept for applying the profundity and vastness that you share with us!

Whenever I feel lost I look at you who are such a wonderful example and more clarity arises, you who devote your time and effort fully to improve our spiritual paths, you who makes sure that we are not following deluded paths and all this even though you probably would also love to be in Tibet in deep long meditation. But how kindly you chose to stay here with us, to guide us, to help us finding out our own potential. We are so fortunate to have you here, to inspire us to live up to that potential.
You have lead us throughout the teachings of the 10 bodhisattva mind generations. Have taught us day by day how to use both wings of compassion and wisdom, in order to fly to the highest goal. You have given us the tools to thoroughly search for ourselves in order to find out that nothing is there to be found.
And yet in every moment in your presence we conventionally find out more and more the meaning of our existence.
Please stay with us for as long as it takes to fulfill that purpose: until every single sentient being has benefited from it, even though samsara is endless, for them to achieve their highest potential.

I pray for you to keep guiding us both with your wisdom and your compassion, I pray for you to live long and healthy, I pray for all of us to create the causes to continuously follow the dharma, to be a constant support for each other and pray for all your wishes to be fulfilled.

I wish that I would be able to make strong promises and prayers but the only honest promise that I can make is that I will never give up, and this is the only poor thing that I can offer compared to what you offer in every moment.
In the same way that I will never give up, likewise I request from you full- heartedly to please never give up on anyone of us!
With this vegetable mind I make prayers that even though now I can not be of much use, that I will continue to water and nourish again and again this field of mind that is out of order and never give up, so that eventually it will grow into a garden full of flowers and fruits from the many disintegrating seeds that you have planted, so that it will be of tremendous use and benefit for others, just as you are of tremendous benefit for all!

Thank you so much Geshe Gelek la. We love you so much! Please continue to help me and all those who need your help. Thank you so much!

Dear Geshe Gelek la
In one of the teachings [during the 3rd semester], you said that people are a bit like mangoes. In other words, you said that it is hard to determine whether a practitioner is good or bad just as it hard to determine whether a mango is ripe or not.
Sometimes it looks ripe, but it’s not sweet
Sometimes it looks green, but it’s sweet
Sometimes it looks green, and it’s not ripe
Sometimes it looks ripe, and it is sweet
In my mind, you are an illustration of the 4th – externally, you look ripe and subdued, but more importantly – internally -when one comes to taste your profound teachings – it is of one taste – sweet like mango.

In the last root verse of the Supplement to the Middle Way, Chandrakirti uses an analogy where he likens his mind to the dark blue sky, but the merit from composing the text to pure white light of the shining stars. Similarly, though I am still searching for the object of negation – your teachings and guidance are like the light of sun in the dark cave of my mind.

At the summary of the 3rd Volume of the Lam Rim Chenmmo, Tsongkhapa says, “you have reached a critical point when, while meditating on the lower level, you increasingly wish to attain the higher levels, and when studying the higher levels, your wish to practice the lower level becomes stronger and stronger…” – I think that it is rare to find a teacher like you who skillful lead us to exactly this point; as we finished the text of the highest view of the Prasangika Madhyamika – we were so full of enthusiasm to study in great details the Presentation of Tenets by Jetsunpa.
I wondered for a long time, if it would be wise to leave Dharamshala, a place where I was surrounded by Rinpoche and endless Geshes – the residence of HH the Dalai Lama, to come to Europe and study Tibetan Buddhism in Italy. This past 2 years with you, eliminated that doubt. Thank you 100 million times.

Dearerst Geshela

We are not one, but we are not separate from you
We depend on you until enlightenment
Please be our guide until we become like you

The dharma will not last long in this world,
and you are needed more than ever
So please stay, live long, teach, with your endless patience and compassion until we generate the complete path in the mind

If there is even one sentient being who has the karma to meet the dharma but not the conditions, please bless us to help them so that they can receive teachings from you.
Don’t leave until each sentient being has attained enlightenment

May we meet you in all lifetimes, may we serve the three jewels and  all sentient beings in all our lifetimes
From now until enlightenment please bless us to become like you.

You have shared with us the words of Chandrakirti, Nagarjuna and Lama Tsong Khapa. and even if we did not understand now, your words will bring their result in our mind.

In dependence on you how can we fail to make progress in the path?
But without you how can we hope to make progress in the path?

The foundation of all good qualities is the kind and precious guru
So please live long, teach in this and all our future lives, and may we become unobscured so that we can shine the light of Lama Tsong Khapa’s teachings in this world.

Song for Geshe Gelek for the Thanksgiving Puja
From Germàn Rodriges, MP Online Student

The lyrics:

He brings the light to us

His hands, so special,
they take care of the words properly.
His voice, so clear,
like an ocean full of  wisdom

That sound, beautiful and true,
it’ s still flying,
around the worlds,
for all sentient beings,
he brings the light to us

He brings the light to us
he brings the light
he brings the light to us
he brings the light to us x2