The recent visit of His Eminence Ling Rinpoche to Russia on 22nd July 2023, holds immense significance for Buddhist communities both locally and globally. At the invitation of Khambo Lama Damba Ayusheev of Buryatia, Venerable Ling Rinpoche embarked on a short pastoral journey filled with spiritual blessings and teachings. The warm welcome from representatives of the Traditional Sangha of Russia, the monastic community, and believers in Buryatia added to the auspiciousness of the visit.
The visit of such an esteemed spiritual leader to Russia is an invaluable opportunity for believers to receive blessings, teachings, and guidance on the Buddhist path. It also strengthens the ties between the Buddhist communities of India and Russia, fostering peace, friendship, and mutual understanding. The interactions during the visit, including the consecration ritual at the Aginsky datsan and discussions with lamas and believers, further deepen the spiritual bond between the regions.
As a sign of respect and friendship, Ling Rinpoche presented the Aginsky datsan with commemorative tablets with signatures to the statue of Bakula Rinpoche and 108 volumes of the sacred Ganjur (Kangyur). This gesture of goodwill symbolized his wishes for the datsan’s prosperity and well-being for the benefit of all living beings. During his visit to the datsan, Rinpoche expressed surprise and admiration at the grandeur of the large statue of Buddha Maidari (Maitreya).
During his stay, Venerable Ling Rinpoche performed the consecration ritual of the statue of Bakula Rinpoche and paid respect to the protector deities of the Aginsky datsan in Tsogchen dugan. He also engaged in meaningful conversations with lamas and believers, bestowing blessings and presenting protective amulets to all who came to pay their respects to him.
“This interaction between the Buddhist communities of India and Russia is part of Ling Rinpoche’s big mission to strengthen peace, friendship, and mutual understanding. May all living beings be in peace and harmony,” said Badma Tsybikov, Shireete Lama of the Aginsky datsan, emphasizing the profound significance of the visit.
Venerable Kushok Bakula Rinpoche, a major international Buddhist political figure in India, played a crucial role in the revival of Buddhism in Russia and Mongolia as a diplomat. His legacy continues to inspire, and his contributions have been commemorated through the visit of Venerable Ling Rinpoche, reinforcing the connection between the two nations and their shared pursuit of peace, harmony, and spiritual growth.
Amidst his spiritual leadership in the past, Venerable Ling Rinpoche has actively engaged in international events dedicated to preserving Buddhist traditions and fostering dialogues on relevant contemporary topics. His presence at events like the International Conference on Vinaya and World Peace Puja in Bodhgaya, India, and the conference on the relevance of Buddhism in the 21st Century in Rajgir, India, organized by the Indian Government Ministry of Culture and the Nava Nalanda Mahavihara, has been instrumental in promoting Buddhist teachings and values globally.
Furthermore, since 2004, Ling Rinpoche has participated in the Mind and Life Institute dialogues held in India, where he has joined the His Holiness Dalai Lama in engaging with scientists on various subjects, including physics, neuroplasticity, and the exploration of destructive emotions. These dialogues have facilitated a harmonious exchange of knowledge and wisdom between Buddhism and scientific disciplines, fostering a greater understanding of the human mind and its potential for inner transformation.
As an active participant in these international events and visits, Venerable Ling Rinpoche’s contributions transcend geographical boundaries, reinforcing the universality of Buddhist principles and their relevance in addressing the challenges of the modern world. His commitment to promoting peace, harmony, and mutual understanding is a testament to the enduring impact of Buddhism on the global stage and his recent visit to Russia is a testimony to it and thus is significant.