An enthronement in Tibetan culture is similar, in certain ways, to a coronation of a queen or king. In the Tibetan Buddhist context, however, an enthronement is a ceremony during which a great teacher formally accepts the mantle of spiritual leadership that comes with his or her position. Through the presentation of various offerings, disciples request the teacher to live long and teach the Dharma for the benefit of beings.

At this year’s Monlam, we will celebrate the enthronement of His Holiness the 42nd Kyabgon Gongma Trizin, Ratna Vajra Rinpoche, who is now the lineage holder of the Sakya tradition.

After taking his seat and the chanting of traditional prayers, extensive offerings will be made by various groups. These will include a grand mandala representing the entire universe; representations of the body, speech, and mind of the Buddha; and other traditional, symbolic offerings.

It will be a festive occasion!

Image – Himalayan Art Resources Inc. / Rubin Museum of Art

This is the ground anointed by scented water, bestrewn with flowers,
Adorned by Sumeru, the four continents, the sun and moon.
By the merit of this offering to the realm of the Buddhas,
May I place all beings in their pure lands.
~ Mandala Offering