Nalanda monastery organise puja sessions for self-immolated monk

The Buddhist Channel, Nov 22, 2012

Toulouse, France -- Nalanda Monastery, based in Lavaur, France will be organising puja ceremonies in memory of the late Ven Tonden, who died last week in an act of self-immolation.

Apart from the monastery in Europe, Lama Zopa Rinpoche has requested concurrent prayers from devotees elsewhere to partake in the pujas. These include Sera Jey monastery to do prayers, where about 20,500 monks have done a puja for a good rebirth for Tönden.

The following is the official statement issued by Nalanda Monastery.

Goodbye to Ven Tönden

For those who are interested in the details of the services regarding pujas, and cremation ritual of Tönden-la (David Allen), here are some details:

  • Until January 3 daily 19h00: Medicine Buddha Puja at Nalanda Monastery
  • Wednesday November 21: 11h30 Lama Chöpa (Guru Puja) at Nalanda monastery
  • 6h00 Cremation ceremony: CREMATORIUM D'ALBI, Complexe Funéraire du Caussels, 12, route de Millau, 81000 ALBI, Tél. :

In Spring 2013 Nalanda Monastery and Tönden's family will organize another meeting to memorialize Tönden for those family members, friends and Nalanda monks/ nuns/ students who were not able to be with us on such short notice.

Support from all over the world

Here at Nalanda we feel supported by our Holy teachers like Lama Zopa Rinpoche. He made a significant money offering to His Holiness the Dalai Lama (as pujas dedicated to someone need a financial base, even if it would be small) and asked Him to do prayers.

Also Rinpoche requested Sera Jey monastery to do prayers, so about 20,500 monks have done a puja for a good rebirth for Tönden as well. Many other big lamas and Geshes within the FPMT and outside the FPMT have done pujas. Nalanda Monastery has also done various pujas and will continue to do daily the Medicine Buddha Puja.

We received from many FPMT centres a kind email, saying that they would do mantras and dedications towards a good future for Tönden. Outside the FPMT also monasteries like Thosamling, Lerab Ling and a nearby Christian monastery En Calcat are also participating in prayers and practices dedicated to the well being of Tönden.

We have received an overwhelming number of emails (so far about 250) of support, from people saying that they were doing prayers.  Many people have brought flower and food offerings to the Monastery in memory of Tönden and in support of Nalanda. Many people have shared fond memories of Tonden and often commented on how kind and gentle he was.

It is moments like these, the passing from one life into another, that help to remind us that life is bigger than we remember, that life is precious, and yet death is an inevitable and necessary step into the next stage of our development.  For those whose aim is the Bodhisattva's path we can safely assume it will take us a few lifetimes.  Losing the ones we love can help serve to give us courage to embark on this path. May your memories of Tönden (David Allen) inspire you to do your very best in this life and in the next.

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