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Celebration of Odiyana’s New Project in Ruskin, Pasighat, Arunachal Pradesh, India

On February 16, 2022, a ceremony and celebration for Odiyana’s new project in Ruskin, Pasighat was held. The morning of the celebration began with a traditional ground breaking ceremony to propitiate the local land spirits and ask their permission for our projects to take place on the land. This ceremony is also for removing any obstacles and invoking the blessings of higher beings for a successful project ahead. 

Tulku Rinpoche visited the project site and met with local people on Feb 20, 2022

Following the morning’s ceremony, we held a large celebratory gathering which was attended by both locals and out of town visitors. In attendance were Adis, Assamese, Sherpas, Tamangs, Gurungs and Tibetans. It is significant to note that almost all of the former and current officials and public leaders of the area came to participate in the day’s events.

The program for the general public began in the afternoon at 2:00pm. A vegetarian lunch was offered to all participants. 

Tashi Dhondrup, the head of the Buddhist society in town, began the program by welcoming everyone to the event. Then Lhazey, a local school teacher, introduced the agenda for the day. Next, a traditional mask dance for blessing the land, called Sadur, was performed by Lopon Rabjee Wangchuk, a member of the Odiyana Charitable Society in India. 

The Odiyana Project site: there will be a clinic, community hall/temple, and a school

After this, I gave a long talk introducing Odiyana’s new projects: the Odiyana School for children and orphans, the Odiyana Clinic which will provide basic medical treatment for sick and elderly people, and the Odiyana Assembly Hall, a gathering center for spiritual healing and occasional festivals held for all ages of people both near and far. I invited everyone to participate and to help us in whatever capacity they can.

Later that day and on the days that followed, many regular people, officials, and public leaders came to tell me that they were extremely happy to learn about the upcoming projects. They all acknowledged that these timely activities will bring much needed benefit to the local community and beyond. 

More importantly, everyone shared that they are willing to help in whatever way they can, with whatever we may need for the project to flourish. This was very inspiring. Later I also learned that this event was the first time that all of the local tribal members and people of different political affiliations had gathered together in one place. 

So, after I finished introducing Odiyana’s new ventures, the program continued with a short speech from Venerable Khenpo Tsering Dorjee, who expressed his joy and support for the upcoming projects. He shared that they would bring great benefit on many levels for society as a whole.

After that, the local community of Assamese, Adis, and Tibetans performed their traditional and tribal songs and dances I offered gifts to all of the performers at the end of their performances

Finally, to complete the official program for the day, we handed out gifts of blessed food, drinks, and other sacred substances to every participant. All were very happy to receive these as they left 

Most people stayed after for dinner and conversation. After dinner they made several big bonfires and performed all kinds of impromptu folk songs and dances, with much joy and enthusiasm, until quite late into the night.

After the celebration, some of the lamas from my retreat land in Pemakod, who had come to perform the ritual ceremony, stayed longer in Ruksin to build a temporary assembly hall for gathering, as the actual hall may take some time to complete. They constructed this temporary hall in just five days, and we are already having small gatherings there from time to time. 

This ceremony and celebration marked an incredibly auspicious start to the new projects on the land. I am so very much inspired to witness the excitement and joy that people have expressed about our projects. Now everyone is eagerly awaiting the project to move forward, and our dream, to benefit many, to soon be realized.

The Odiyana Project site: The project started at the end of 2021, and the clinic and community hall will be completed at the beginning of 2023