Kopan Monastery celebrates Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s birthday, Nepal, December 3, 2017. Photo by Ven. Roger Kunsang.

All of Kopan wished Lama Zopa Rinpoche a happy birthday on Sunday, December 3. Monks, nuns, and international students attending the annual November course all celebrated the auspicious occasion in a joyous gathering outside Kopan’s main gompa.

Many offerings were made to Rinpoche: mandala offeringsyoung monks singing praises to Rinpoche, and a beautiful cake decorated with fresh fruit. Also, Sherpas came and offered a dance. This year marks Rinpoche’s 73rd Tibetan birthday (72nd Western birthday). Rinpoche said it was a “very hippy birthday.” 

lama zopa mandala offering kopan

A body, speech, and mind mandala offering for Rinpoche, Kopan Monastery, December 3, 2017. Photo courtesy of Kopan Monastery School on Facebook.

Rinpoche’s birthday was celebrated in many places around the world. Root Institute in Bodhgaya sent the message: “Celebrating Rinpoche’s birthday at the Bodhgaya Mahabodhi Stupa, dedicating the recitation of the Vajra Cutter Sutra and other prayers for His long, healthy, and stable life. We also celebrated with brownies at our community lunch!!!” Tara Children’s Project, which is a project of Root, sent a video of the children singing “Happy Birthday” and thanked Rinpoche for his kindness and compassion, and requested he come visit their school soon.

young monks singing

Young monks singing for Rinpoche’s birthday, Kopan Monastery, December 3, 2017. Photo courtesy of Kopan Monastery School on Facebook.

Rinpoche recently arrived at Kopan Monastery in Nepal. He will give teachings during the 50th November course, which runs through December 14 this year. The month-long Kopan lamrim course began in the early 1970s and each year is attended by more than two hundred students from around the world. There will be a long life puja offered to Rinpoche on behalf of the entire FPMT organization on December 14.

Rinpoche traveled to Kopan from India after giving a Most Secret Hayagriva transmission at Sera Je Monastery and a Golden Light Sutra transmission in Delhi. 

Lama Zopa Rinpoche is the spiritual director of the Foundation for the Preservation of Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), a Tibetan Buddhist organization dedicated to the transmission of the Mahayana Buddhist tradition and values worldwide through teaching, meditation, and community service.