On 29th June 2006, an important conference on Geden Phacho Bhucho at the Norbulingka Institute in Dharamsala, India was successfully concluded. Forty-two lamas from the Gelug lineage attended the meeting along with approximately 50 observers. At the opening ceremony, H.H. Gaden Tripa lit a butter lamp in before an image of Buddha Shakyamuni and offered khatak (traditional white scarf) with powerful prayers. The photo gallery (UPDATE) gives a sense of the inspiring atmosphere.
The conference was divided into four sessions: two in the morning and two in the afternoon. Lelung Rinpoche began the first morning session with a description of the aims of the project. After Lelung Rinpoche's introduction, H.E. Shrtse Choejee, Jangtse Choejee, and H.H. Gaden Tripa gave lectures. This was followed by the reading of a message from H.H. Dalai Lama. A tea break and group photos followed their session.
Lelung Rinpoche would like to extend his thanks for the valuable participation and support of those involved in planning and executing the conference:
- Beri Jigmey Wanggyal, MP for Gelug
- Dorjee Gonpo Gyuto, India
- Tsering (Lelung Literature Preservation Centre)
- Thubten Dorjee (Lelung Literature Preservation Centre)
- Dondup (Lelung Literature Preservation Centre)
- Geshe Lobsang Tenzin, USA
- Dolma Tolotsang. Canada
- Jane Moore, UK
- Maureen Elliott, UK
- Angela Lewis, UK
- Kathryn Pon, USA
- Jo Self , UK
- Thubten Chopel family, Masory
- Cliff Brown, UK
- Clive Arrowsmith, UK
The Tibetan Minister of Religion and Culture, Mr. Lobsang Nyima began the second session. The Prime Minister of Tibetan Government in Exile (Kalon Tripa), Professor Samdhong Rinpoche, was the next speaker. Attending the event in his individual capacity, the Kalon Tripa warned that if the chain of oral transmission—that can be traced back to the Buddha—is fractured, it could lead to the eventual extinction of Buddhism. He lauded the pioneering initiatives of Lelung Rinpoche, "in whom His Holiness [the Dalai Lama] has placed high hopes." He also said that his administration would continue to provide moral support—the easiest of all supports, he added in jest.
The session continued with short speeches by H.E. Ling Rinpoche and director of the Norbulingka Institute, Ex-Kalon Tripa Mr. Kalsang Yeshe. Group discussions concluded the morning session. The third and fourth sessions, which thoroughly covered all issues related to the project, took place after a one-hour lunch break.
Lelung Rinpoche wrapped up the successful conference by thanking the participants and offering them gifts and traditional white scarves. In the interest of transparency, a full report of the expenditures for the conference is available for inspection.