Meet RAPTEN: reincarnation of a Buddhist master

Nawang Tashi Rapten, a four-year-old boy from Himachal Pradesh’s Lahaul and Spiti districts, received the moniker “reincarnation of Rinpoche” on Monday after formally becoming a monk.
Rapten, who was inducted into the religious life on Monday, was born on 16 April 2018, and hailed from the Rangrik village of the Tabo region of Spiti valley in the Lahaul-Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh.
Earlier this year, he was identified as the reincarnation of Taklung Tsetul Rinpoche, the head of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. The high Buddhist monk Namkhai Nyingpo Rinpoche from the Lhodrak Kharchu monastery of Bhutan tonsured Rapten’s head to ordain him as the new head of the Nyingma sect. made the boy a monk here at Dorjidak Monetary.
“Basically, this is very important for us, this was a long wait for us for the last seven years. We heartily welcome him here in his seat. Namkhai Nyingpo Rinpoche performed the rituals here for the haircut and dress of the monk, which are generally done to make a normal person a monk. We are looking forward to his education. He is important to us as Buddhist monks and his followers, and in general, it is a very precious and auspicious occasion for us. First, he will go to meet the high monks and get the basics, and his studies and education will continue after this,” said a Tibetan Buddhist monk.
Tibetan Buddhist monks and others in Dorjidak and other Buddhist disciples of the Himalayan region of Himachal Pradesh organised a grand welcome ceremony to welcome the boy monk in Shimla. Now the little boy, Nawang Tashi Rapten, from the nursery class of the Serkong Public School in Tabo in Lahaul-Spiti, will formally join the Sangha as a monk and start his religious education in Dorjidak Monastery at Panthaghati in Shimla.
The Tibetan Buddhist disciples and Buddhist followers from the Himalayan region are happy to see the reincarnated Lama back in the monastery after seven years. Regions are happy and are feeling fortunate that the monk has been reincarnated from their area.
“Today is a very important day for the Buddhist community here, including him in the Sanga. It is very significant, particularly for those who are following the Tibetan Buddhist tradition of tantric practice. I am not the right person to speak about reincarnation. But, briefly speaking about Buddhism, we believe there is a physical body and mind stream. The body dies when a person dies, but the mind stream continues.The reincarnation process involves locating and identifying someone to carry on that mind stream. It is great news for the Buddhists in the Spiti region and for others in the Himalayan region,” said a local resident and member of the Kinnaur-Spiti Bodh Sangha Society.
“The Taklung Tsetul Rinpoche was not only the master, but he was the lineage holder as a monk and in the modern world, there are very large many Rinpoches who are the disciples of the Taklung Tsetul Rinpoche as he himself was a practising monk. That is why they have received ordination from them. Finally, he has been inducted into the Sanga and he will have to discharge his responsibility in particular and Buddhism in general,” said a local resident and member of Kinnaur-Spiti Bodh Sangha Society,” he added.
One of the foreigners who arrived here at the Dorjak monastery took this occasion as a dream coming true for him. “This is like a magic and dream to see this important occasion, this is very important for us to get the Rinpoche here today,” said a foreign tourist.
Rapten’s family members were overjoyed and honoured to see their son become a high monk. 

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