Friday, June 12, 2015

Princess Roshana and Singing Nun

Tonight we hosted a very special dinner at Tien Court for two very special friends from Nepal: Princess Roshana and a Singing Nun. It was a sumptuous vegetarian meal specially created by a celebrity chef, He Tian Cai, for his special guests. He named his creation “Universal Buddha Light”, clearly showing his attention to details. The chef greeted Acho Rinpoche and Ani personally during the meal and took a photo with his special guests.
Princess Roshana Lama is a member of the Nepalese royal family. Her grandfather, Chiniya Lama, was a descendent of the Qing Dynasty of China, who moved to Nepal and married the daughter of the Nepalese King at that time. Chiniya Lama was a great Nyingma Buddhist Master of the Vajrayana Buddhism very much respected by the King of Nepal. So, he became a Minister of the Nepalese Government too and was given four big pieces of land including the one around the Boudhana Stupa. He was instrumental in the development of Nepal in both her secular and spiritual aspects, and he started the illustrious Chinaya Lama family line in Nepal that lasts till today. 
Roshana studied in Taiwan and married a Taiwanese husband. Ever since, she travelled frequently between Taiwan and Nepal in order to continue to manage her family business in Nepal. She is the chairperson of Chiniya Lama Boudha Foundation. We met Roshana in Singapore few years ago through a Tibetan Buddhist Khengpo who was as resident abbot of a local Buddhist centre. She left a deep impression on us as a very down-to-earth person, an elegant lady and a true Buddhist practitioner. Her teacher is the renowned 105 year-old Chatral Rinpoche, who is the regent of H.H Dodjum Rinpoche.  
Nepal was recently damaged badly by a major earth quake. Roshana was actively involved in helping the earth quake victims and visiting all affected areas in the past two months. As a result of her hectic schedule and physically demanding activities, she has obviously lost a lot of weight. Despite all that, she still looked gorgeous and high spirited. We were indeed very touched by her altruism and compassionate endeavour. 
Ani Choying Drolma is a famous “Singing Nun” who impressed the musical world with her very unique style of singing and a low but soothing voice. She actually visited Singapore in the 80s when she was still a teenage nun – that was the very first time she travelled outside of Nepal and Singapore was her first destination. Later, she became a famous Grammy Award winning singer who has cut a few musical albums so far and given her concerts worldwide. A few of our members have even become her fans!
Ani Choying is a student of Urgyen Tulku, another renowned Buddhist Master in Nepal. She became a nun since young and later set up a nunnery too to help the female Buddhist practitioners. She shared with us her personal experience during the recent Nepal earthquake.
She was sitting in a sofa on a 12th storey high living room at the time, when the earth quake struck Nepal around 12pm on that fateful day. The world around her was shaken drastically and everything was falling onto the floor. She was nearly thrown out of the window due to the violent shakes that lasted for about one minute. She tried to hang on tightly to the sofa in order to avoid being flung out of the window and die a more painful death! She kept chanting the mantra of Guru Rinpoche and told herself that “If it should end like this, let it be so!” Finally, the tremor subsided. She took it as a message from Guru Rinpoche to run for her life. And she did. At the very moment she stepped out of the building, she saw a dead body lying on the floor, killed by a heavy falling object. There were a few other injured people around too.
She survived the major disaster. But it was not over yet. She became very sensitive to tremors now, even when she is in Singapore. A slight tremor will just throw her into a state of panic momentarily, reminding her of the unforgettable moment in Nepal. She would still get her goose pimples each time she recalled that frightening moment. And she found herself transformed by that experience – her vision seems to be sharper now, giving her greater insight into everything she came into contact with, which appeared to be even more precious and meaningful to her now. She has finally realized that life is indeed very fragile, as everything can just perish instantaneously! She realised by now that every breath she took is so beautiful, every bite of the food she ate is so tasty, and everything that happens in her life is so wonderful…… Being alive, is in fact so “delicious”!
Roshana Lama and Ani came to Singapore this time to settle some business related to the Chiniya Lama Boudha Foundation, as well as to raise funds for Nepal. They did an interview for the 833 Radio Station and worked with a local charitable organisation on a plan to hold a concert at the Espanade Theatre on 25 Dec 15, to raise funds for Nepal. So, let us help Nepal to rise from the debris swiftly, and let us pray that the teachings of the Buddha will continue to flourish in Nepal and guide the people of Nepal on the path to enlightenment.  
Reported by Sun-Moon Kfs on 2015-5-10