The Dalai Lama has donated a huge collection of sacred texts to Bloomington’s Tibetan Buddhist Cultural Center. Watch as WTIU’s Emily Loftis visits the center to talk with Arjia Rinpoche about the gift.
That’s Arjia Rinpoche, a monk at the center in Bloomington, singing from the Pechas—a section of Tibetan scripture that dates back over 25-hundred years. The Dalai Lama has donated reprints of around 100 volumes of Buddhist Scripture and 250 volumes of commentary by Indian masters to the local center.
Rinpoche says this is a great honor. “Him donating those auspicious, very important volumes, from his own collection to our monastery – it’s very rare,” he said. “So we consider it very blessed and very auspicious and very honored also.”
Rinpoche says the texts are an essential part of the temple’s fulfillment and help meet the three elements of the Buddhist faith. “One is the statues,” he says. “The other one is the books, texts and scriptures. Then there is the Chortan, the monument, like in Sanskrit, we call it Stupa. Those three represent Buddhist body, speech and mind.”
Rinpoche says the Dalai Lama has indicated future plans for making The Tibetan Buddhist Cultural Center an institution of Buddhist education. The
center’s extensive collection is only rivaled in the US by one in Berkley that was begun in the 1960’s.
The texts are reprints of originals in Tibet and are printed with hand-carved wooden blocks.
Rinpoche says the texts will be accessible to the public once a library system has been set up. He also noted that the Dalai Lama is likely to visit Bloomington again in May 2010.