On 13th July, 4 bundles of tin roofing were delivered to the Yempi Mahavihar temple in Patan, Kathmandu.
Yempi Mahavihar, built 2200 years ago by Khatkuti Aju, is a very important and sacred Buddhist site. In recent years, the site was identified by HH Chatral Rinpoche who confirmed that this is the real historical site of Yempi Mahavihar (others have claimed another site to be Yempi Mahavihar).
This site is mentioned clearly in the biographies of Guru Rinpoche as one of his three main seats, the other two seats being Uddiyana and Samye. As Guru Rinpoche’s main residence and headquarters here in Nepal, it is extremely significant for Buddhists. The mahasiddha (accomplished yogi) Hungkara also stayed here. Unfortunately, the original temple no longer remains, but a new temple was built on the site many years ago. This temple supports all Buddhist traditions: the Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana. It is supported by the local community and attended regularly by 350 people.
Lama Jinpa Gyatso a monk at Ka-nying Shedrub Ling monastery led the relief from CGLF. He tells us the story of how Guru Rinpoche came to Kathmandu:
“Guru Rinpoche first came to this place because there was a Nepali king, and when his daughter was born, she looked terrifying and awful, so the king abandoned her in a charnel ground. Monkeys in Swayambhu offered her apples and other fruits and she grew up and became very beautiful. Then Guru Rinpoche came from India to Asura Cave here in Nepal. His arrival was like the sun dawning in the night, illuminating everything. The girl came to see him and through his blessings all her illnesses were healed and she became endowed with the enlightened marks and signs, like a goddess. The king then returned for his daughter, but Guru Rinpoche said, “You have no right to her since you abandoned her as a baby. You can only regain your right to her if you confess and apologize.” So the king apologized. He then asked Guru Rinpoche, “Who are you? You are extraordinary and have such strong blessings.” Guru Rinpoche replied, “My name is Guru Rinpoche. I am the second buddha” and so on. The king then offered his daughter, the Nepalese princess Shakya Devi, to Guru Rinpoche and requested him to stay here in this place.
Thus this is the first place where Guru Rinpoche lived in Nepal. Before that, he had been staying in the charnel grounds. So this temple is the first temple where Guru Rinpoche lived. As soon as Guru Rinpoche settled here, the eighty-four mahasiddhas from India arrived as well and they brought with them a wealth of tantras, tantric scriptures. It is said there were many treasures and treasure teachings in this place. Likewise, it is said that if you make prayers here at this place to never be reborn in hell your prayers will be accomplished, and all obstacles will be dispelled. Everything you pray for in this place will be fulfilled. It is also said that the eighty-four mahasiddhas reached enlightenment here. So it is a very blessed place”.
It is such an honour and a privilege to be able to assist in the preservation of such an important spititual site, a crucial part of Nepals’ precious heritage.