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1st ADC - The Grand Finale

Reporting from the newsroom of the First ADC (managed by DPPL)

Prior to sharing with our online readers the account of the final day of the First ADC, we would like to take a minute to thank His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa and Kyabje Khamtrul Rinpoche. As many of you know ADC is the brainchild of His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa. With His extraordinary blessing, which transforms the most daunting of tasks into reality, with the guidance of Kyabje Khamtrul Rinpoche, who has diligently trained so many volunteers and with the diverse talent of volunteers around the world, we may, with confidence, declare the First ADC a success! There are so many people to thank. Each volunteer is not a standalone island, but has been supported and encouraged by family, friends and Sangha members. To that extent, we have millions of volunteers around the world. And to all the millions of volunteers worldwide … thank you!

Grand Ganachakra Offering

Kyabje Sey Rinpoche and others making Mandala Offering

Surprises filled the last day of ADC. His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa led a Grand Ganachakra (Tsok) offering in the Naro Assembly Hall. The organizers decked the Naro Assembly Hall with a large colorful heap of tsampa, candy, fruits, snacks and other offerings. Each representative from the various Drukpa Centers around the world made a mandala offering to His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa during the ritual. A presentation from each of the centers on its "Live to Love" activities followed the Grand Tsok offering. The Druk White Lotus School won third place for its presentation, Drukpa Plouray won second place for its presentation and Drukpa Hong Kong took home the grand prize.

The Dragon Masters were the honorable judges for the "Live to Love" presentations

Performance by members of Drukpa America, Drukpa Mexico and Drukpa Peru

Performance by Bhutanese students of Kyabje Khamtrul Rinpoche

Members of Drukpa France singing a song

Stakmo Dorje from Ladakh offered his favorite number as a supplication

Members of Drukpa Germany too gave a performance

Members of Drukpa Spain sang a song

Members of Drukpa UK too sang a song

Members of Drukpa Switzerland offered a poem

After this was a series of cultural performances from the devotees of the Drukpa Lineage from the Himalayas and the international communities. The last of which was indeed the highlight - a group of young nuns from Druk Gawa Khilwa Nunnery on Druk Amitabha Mountain performing kungfu - earning them perhaps the loudest applause and encouragement. Thanks to their teachers, the few nuns from Drukpa Vietnam, about 150 young nuns below the age of 25, have been learning kungfu every morning for an hour at 4am. Among many of us, we were thinking that one day, Druk Amitabha Mountain could be like the famed Shao Lin Temple (which applies Zen Buddhism in the movement of kungfu)!

The nuns marched onto the stage with the Dragon flag

Prior to the closing ceremonies, His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa surprised the participants by enthroning a female tulku. After the enthronement, His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa shared with the participants that a reincarnate tulku may return in any form, so certainly a female tulku is possible. In a previous interview during ADC, His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa expressed his sadness over the loss of the female lineage holders and the Bhikshuni tradition. When journalists asked His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa if He was attempting to “modernize” religion, His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa responded that he is not “modernizing” religion, but reviving its ancient traditions. Originally female and male practitioners were considered equal, but during modern times this was altered. As such, His Holiness is reviving old traditions for modern times, rather than “modernizing” religion.

Tulku Chozang Lhamo

The closing ceremony quickly followed the enthronement. At which time, the Organizing and Working Committee of ADC offered a golden dragon embracing auspiciousness to His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa, which was presented by Kyabje Khamtrul Rinpoche. Subsequently, the Organizing and Working Committee offered Kyabje Khamtrul Rinpoche, the Chairman of ADC, a gold dragon presenting auspiciousness, presented by Lama Sonam. Certificates of Appreciation were then presented to all the hundreds of talented volunteers, followed by closing speeches from His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa, Kyabje Khamtrul Rinpoche, Yangben Lobpon of the senior monastic body of the Royal Kingdom of Bhutan and His Excellency Lyonpo Dago from the Royal Kingdom of Bhutan. It was also announced that the next ADC will be hosted at Druk Amitabha Mountain.

A big THANK YOU to our beloved Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa,
the inspiration behind all the great deeds!

A golden dragon for our beloved Kyabje Khamtrul Rinpoche

The evening concluded with a monlam offering consisting of over 100,000 lamps formed in the shape of the Drukpa Lineage emblem. A few hours afterwards, around 1:30am, His Holiness led over 1,000 Rinpoches, monks, nuns and students on an impromptu kora around Swyanbhunath Stupa. It is said that if one circumambulates the Stupa 13 times, one would cleanse oneself of a lifetime of defilements. His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa led 14 circumambulations followed by prayers and further circumambulations at the top of the Stupa. It is estimated that the entire event covered over 37km.

Drukpa Vietnam designed a fantistic way to make lamp offering

We hope that all the activities of ADC will benefit all beings. We further hope that the participants will take home with them the teachings from ADC and better their communities. And we also hope and wish that His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa and all the great masters of the Drukpa Lineage live as long as the sun, moon and stars.