The Library

Did you ever play Cluedo? Forty years ago it was one of my favourite board games; I always wanted to be Miss Scarlet, which may well have been an early symptom of some of my more disturbing character flaws. But I’ve often wondered if the English-speaking media’s obsession with murder-mysteries has its roots in the marathon rainy Sunday afternoon Cluedo sessions so many English people of my generation enjoyed as children.

That is a bit of a strange way to start a post that includes a photo of Khyentse Rinpoche giving an empowerment to various monks in the Library using traditional ritual implements. Or is it? Perhaps that sentence will give you a hint as to why the board game sprang to mind. Of course, any Germans reading will be mystified…

I love the library. It also has a Tibetan name, but I can’t remember Tibetan. Ever. So I still call it the library. It’s cosy and does indeed house several glass-fronted bookcases full of books, which is comforting. I have yet to be there and feel overcrowded, although it’s often quite full, especially if a huge tsok is offered, but never life-threateningly teeming with beings.

The stupa to the right of the extremely red photo above is Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö’s. At the time this photo was taken in 2007, it had just arrived in Bir from Gangtok. According to Sogyal Rinpoche, it was offered to the Khyentse Labrang by the Lakar family (Sogyal Rinpoche’s family). Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche says, in his biography of Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö, that building this stupa, and another smaller one, was Khandro Tsering Chödron’s idea.  Other people have their own version of its origins… but it then spent fifty years in the Tsuk Lha Kang in Gangtok, which is where I first saw it in the room Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö lived in during the last years of his life.

The pictures below were taken on a different occasion, but again I can’t remember the name of the tsok that was offered. I do remember that the Khenpo from Dzongsar Monastery was visiting with Dr Lodrö Phuntsok, who Rinpoche says has done so much to help rebuild Dzongsar and propogate the teachings and traditions of the Khyentse lineage. I’ll write a separate post about him one day. Or at least, I’ll post a couple of photos… when I’m feeling less lazy.

The final photo is of the candlelit library. Every so often Rinpoche gets out a particularly holy image of Guru Rinpoche, and when that happens, by way of celebration, the monks light tea lights all over the Labrang.

2 thoughts on “The Library

  1. Janine, there actually was/is a German version of Cluedo that I played with my parents as a child – and I totally share your obsession with the game! Miss Scarlet was “Fraeulein Ming” which happened to be my favorite character as well, and: “In the library…” is most certainly one of the most suspense-soaked sentence beginnings I’ve ever come across in my life…

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