Nepal as puṇyabhūmi and every being  as a Buddha

-Dina Dechen, BA student from Kazakhstan 

This semester became very special for me because of its leitmotif of the Buddha Nature. We were getting the commentary on the Ratnagotravibhāga which teaches how all sentient beings possess the Buddha Nature. I was writing my individual project on the potential to awakening. And it was also discussed in the Yogācāra class. Professor John Petit’s lecture on the Buddha Nature became the culmination of all this endeavor. Besides all the philosophical discussions, reflection on this topic gives the warming feeling of connection to every sentient being.  

RYI gives the opportunity to dive into the study and experience from different dimensions. All the theoretical knowledge gained in our classes was blessed by Chokyi Nyima and Phakchok Rinpoches’ direct instructions at the Fall Seminar. The individual research and translation opportunities I received during this semester tested my ability to express what I have learnt.  

Another subject I was taking is the Anthropology of Nepalese religions where we called Nepal the sacred land of accumulating merit, puṇyabhūmi. This is the exact feeling I have every time I circumambulate stupas and walk the narrow streets of Patan not finding the end of temples.  When towards the end of semester I visited the exhibition the Deities of Nepal, all the above came together. Every deity reminded just our own  pure nature. And the mastery of Newari artisans is so touching because the finest stone and metal work uninterruptedly continues from the time Buddhism first came to Nepal.  

I would like to express my deep feeling of gratitude to Rinpoches, sangha, faculty and benefactors of RYI for such a precious opportunity to study and practice in monastic setting and Nepal mandala. Hope that all our lives are used in the most  

beneficial way and we never feel weariness or discouragement because of outer conditions.     

This is Phakchok Rinpoche’s advice on treating gossips. 

May we all be blessed to Manjushri’s wisdom! 

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