∞ Blessed by Khensur Rinpoche ∞
∞ THE TARA MASK STORY ∞
The Tara Masks are an exclusive offering and part of the SRS Karma Collection—silk masks benefit projects we love. There are just 10 masks in this special release, all created in collaboration with the Venerable Khensur Rinpoche, a retired Buddhist abbot, to benefit his monastery, Tashi Lhunpo, in South India. Each mask is blessed by Rinpoche as a gesture of his appreciation when you make a gift of $200 or more to the monastery's US based foundation, the Pandhen Lama / Tashi Lhunpo Project.
Click on the gallery photos below to learn the story behind the "Tara of the Autumn Moon" mask that Rinpoche created with us for the benefit of living beings and to help the monastery.
Make your tax-deductible donation to help Tashi Lhunpo Monastery rebuild itself in exile and claim your Tara of the Autumn Moon silk mask now:
∞ ABOUT THE MONASTERY ∞
The Tashi Lhunpo Monastery is seat to the Panchen Lama, the second most important spiritual leader of Tibet. In 1447 the Monastery was founded by His Holiness the First Dalai Lama, Gyalwa Gendun Drup, in Shigatse, Tibet's second largest city. It is one of the four great monasteries of Central Tibet and was supervised and looked after by the Dalai Lamas and Panchen Lamas. It has the glory of producing thousands of renowned scholars in the field of Mahayana Buddhist Philosophy as per ancient Indian Buddhist Universities such as Nalanda and Vikramalashila.During the lifetime of the 4th Panchen Lama, Lobsang Choekyi Gyaltsen, there were more than 3,000 monks in the Monastery and by 1959 there were 5,000, with another 2,000 monks affiliated to the Monastery living outside Tibet. The Communist Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1959 and the Cultural Revolution from 1966-80 both wreaked destruction on Tibet's monastic institutions, which lost many precious scriptures, statues and images. Many monks were killed or imprisoned and only 250 were able to follow the Dalai Lama into exile.
In 1972, under the patronage of His Holiness of the 14th Dalai Lama, Tashi Lhunpo Monastery was re-established in the Southern Indian state of Karnataka. The Monastery has monks coming from Tibet and the Himalayan regions of Spithi, Khunu, Ladakh and Arunachal. Occupying a central position in the Tibetan settlement of Bylakuppe, there are close to 400 monks including many Tulkus (reincarnate lamas) studying and performing various religious practices.
Many monks escaped Tibet because of difficulties (imprisonment or death) they face trying to practice Buddhism inside Tibet. The influx of new refugees is putting a strain on the re-established monasteries-in-exile, many of which are poor and having difficulties supporting the existing monks-in-exile. Tashi Lhunpo Monastery is one of the poorest of the re-established monasteries. Under the tenure of Khensur Rinpoche, the monastery made noteworthy improvements, such as the addition of a freestanding library and main temple hall.