By Tenzin Dharpo
CTA President offering mandala to the 34th Menri Trizin during the enthronement ceremony at Dolanji on Sept. 6, 2018. Photo- Tibet TV
DHARAMSHALA, Sep. 7: The new spiritual head of Tibet’s indigenous religious tradition of Bon, that preceded Buddhism in Tibet was officially enthroned during an official ceremony held at at Pal Shenten Menriling Monastery in Dolanji in northern India on Thursday. Kyabje Menri Trizin Geshe Dawa Dhargye was officially enthroned as the 34th head of the Bon tradition.
The two-day enthronement ceremony that began yesterday was attended by the top rung of the exile Tibetan polity including Central Tibetan Administration’s President Dr. Lobsang Sangay, Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile Khenpo Sonam Tenphel as well as standing Bonpo Members of Tibetan Parliament Geshe Monlam Tharchin and Tsewang Tashi Bhara, among others.
At the beginning of the year, few months after the passing of the 33rd Kyabje Menri Trizin Lungtok Tenpai Nyima Rinpoche away on Sept. 14, the Bon community’s apex body announced Venerable Geshe Dawa Dhargay as the new head of the oldest religion of Tibet and 34th in the lineage.
The new Menri Trizin was appointed after a thorough process known as Lha Sung Den Tarwa, where names of candidates are removed through a process of elimination in consultation with protectors of the Bon tradition.
The current proceedings to discover the new Menri Trizin were overseen by Menri Lopön Thrinley Nyima Rinpoche, Triten Norbutse Khenpo Tenpa Yungdrung Rinpoche and other distinguished Bon Lamas, beginning from Dec. 19 last year and with approximately 60 candidates, all of whom reside in exile.
The 34th Menri Trizin Geshe Dawa Dhargay who was born in Sharkhog in northeastern Tibet’s Amdo province was eventually finalised as the new head of the tradition. The announcement ceremony held at Pal Shenten Menri ling monastery in January was attended by all senior spiritual leaders of Bon tradition including Kyabje Lopon Yangton Thinley Nyima Rinpoche, Khen Rinpoche Luntok Tenpa Yungdrung, Tulkus and dignitaries from the laity.