A Guided Tour of the holy objects at Kopan monastery
Take a leisurely walk around the monastery compound, and you will not only have an incredible view of the Kathmandu valley, you will also see several stupas, statues, prayer wheels and other holy objects, all embedded into a landscape of gardens and ponds.
- Coming from the main gate, walk up the steps where on your right you see the Tara Shrine - this is the first statue that was offered to Kopan Monastery when it was established. Right next to it is the debate house with many beautiful statues of the eight Nalanda masters, as well as 21 emanations of Tara.
Going into the main temple, in the entrance area are paintings of the four Dharma kings of Tibet, considered the protectors of Tibet. A large painting of the Wheel of Life is on your left.
As you walk into the main temple look at the 20-foot statue of the founder of the Gelug tradition, Lama Tsong Khapa. On either side of him are the statues of his two main disciples. To the far left is Lama Atisha, who brought Buddhism to Tibet. On the right side altar is the relic stupa of our founder, Lama Thubten Yeshe. The center piece of the left side altar is Shakyamuni Buddha, with Maitreya Buddha (the future Buddha) on his left and Manjushri (Buddha of Wisdom) on his right. Look at the thangkas of the eight Indian masters who established the Buddhist philosophical system on the walls.
Coming out of the main temple, walk down the steps again and turn right onto the lower road to the Tantric College, where some sixty monks are being trained in Buddhist rituals and mandalas. Three times a year the tantric monks make sand mandalas in this gompa.
- The relic shrine of our great teacher Geshe Lama Konchok is located on the top floor of the tantric college.
Outside the Tantric College walk around the eight stupas of Enlightenment, representing the eight great deeds of Shakyamuni Buddha.
Walking up the steps and turn left into a narrow lance and you will see the Chenrezig gompa - here our regular courses for visitors are held. Feel free to go in for a visit or a minute of reflection (only if there are no courses being held).
- On the uppermost floor of the Chenrezig gompa is the relic shrine of Khensur Lama Lhundrup, our previous abbot.
- Walk up the steps to the upper road,and you will you see the Enlightenment Stupa in memory of the previous abbot, Khensur Lama Lhundrup.
- Right next to it is the Great Thousand Buddha Relic Stupa, with a circular pond in front of it displaying a statue of the Buddha of Compassion, Chenrezig.
- Walk back towards the main gompa past the debate hall, and going down the side steps you come to the big prayer wheel. It contains many millions of mantras of the Buddha of Compassion, Chenrezig. Turning it even once brings great benefit. See the beautiful paintings inside the prayer wheel house of the Buddha of Compassion and the twenty one Taras.
- Please dedicate the merit you have accumulated through making this circumambulation of the holy objects at Kopan.