Opening the Treasury of Wisdom
Jetsun Drukmo begins her formal studies in the Tibetan language
by Conner Loomis
On the auspicious third day of the eleventh month of the Year of the Wood Sheep, the eldest daughter of the Sakyong and Sakyong Wangmo, Jetsun Drukmo, began her Tibetan studies. To begin, she was taught the Tibetan alphabet by her great uncle, Tulku Karma Shedrup, the brother of His Eminence Namkha Drimed Rinpoche. Tulku Karma Shedrup is renowned as an umdze, a master of liturgy, and Gesar scholar.
The Sakyong and the Sakyong Wangmo felt that beginning her Tibetan studies while in Nepal on an auspicious astrological day would be a good introduction for Jetsun Drukmo. An auspicious day was picked, and Tulku Karma Shedrup was asked to be her tutor. In the Tibetan tradition, it is considered very important who introduces the alphabet and teaches one to read.
On the first day of study, His Eminence Namkha Drimed Rinpoche performed a ceremony to mark the occasion. He recited the Nang Se Nang Dak—“The Eight Auspicious Ones”—and a chant of Manjushri, the bodhisattva of wisdom. Then, as her first introduction, His Eminence recited the Tibetan alphabet to Jetsun Drukmo in order to create an auspicious beginning. After that, Tulku Karma Shedrup began the first lesson in pronouncing the letters.
Jetsun Drukmo will continue these lessons in Nepal for the next few months. When she returns to the West, Lama Pegyal has agreed to continue tutoring her in Tibetan liturgy in addition to her education at Ziji Early Elementary School. As Jetsun continues to grow and learn, she will continue this bicultural education, training in both Eastern and Western disciplines.
The Sakyong and the Sakyong Wangmo are delighted that Jetsun Drukmo can begin her Tibetan education in such an auspicious way. It feels like an important landmark for the Mukpo royal family and the entire Shambhala community. While performing a lhasang at the Kalapa Court in Halifax to mark the occasion, the Sakyong said, “Learning the literary Tibetan language opens the door to the treasury of Buddhist wisdom.”
Conner Loomis serves as chair of the Education Committee for the Mukpo Family.