What is Zangdok Palri?

Lama Chödak Gyatso Nubpa: “There are many ways to cultivate an understanding of the Mandala of Zangdok Palri, the Copper-Colored Mountain, the Celestial Mansion of Guru Rinpoche, who is the quintessence of enlightened activities of all the Buddhas and Mahabodhisattvas benefiting sentient beings of the degenerate time.

Visually, when we see the Mandala of Zangdok Palri either as a painting, sand Mandala or a three- dimensional Mandala we see this as a sacred space, complex yet rich in ancient symbolism.  Others may appreciate Zangdok Palri as a historic monument, by means of the extraordinary undertaking of creating such an authentic sacred Tibetan spiritual art in an effort to preserve this universal heritage which is at the brink of extinction in the West. Yet, the most complete and simple way in which one can identify the Mandala of Zangdok Palri is that it is none other than a detailed representation, in its totality, of sentient beings’ ultimate potential; the awakened state of one’s own mind.”

The Benefits of Building Such a Structure:

Lama Chödak Gyatso Nubpa: “When we reflect on history and examine through reasoning, in the snowy land of Tibet there has been no-one whose kindness surpasses the great kindness of Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava). Not only that, the Mandala of this very Buddha who is the embodiment of tremendous compassion for all sentient beings, the Copper-Colored Mountain of Glory (Zangdok Palri), this great immeasurable mansion of Lotus Light, just as all of its measurements and defining characteristics have been revealed many thousands of years ago by this very Buddha himself, as he gave rise to the supreme motivation focused solely for the benefit and happiness of all boundless mother-sentient beings, the building of this immeasurable Mandala constructed with virtue in the beginning, middle, and end. We begin with the formal earth-taming and land-requesting ceremony, and then proceed through all of the stages of building. Upon completion of the building, we have to perform consecration ceremonies, where we invite the wisdom-beings, cause them to dissolve into the Mandala like pouring water into water, and then stabilize their presence.

As it is consecrated in this way again and again by Lamas who are the regents of Guru Rinpoche, and by Lamas who are like the messengers of the Guru’s enlightened activity—glorious intrinsic awareness-holding masters, such an immeasurable celestial Mandala will become a sublime and supreme object of sentient beings’ propitious good fortune. In particular, all who see it will have some degree of blessing of liberation upon sight. In the same way, there is liberation through hearing, liberation through tasting, liberation through touching, and liberation through thinking of it, for it is imbued with the qualities of these four modes of blessings. This is an infallible truth.  For someone like myself, who is utterly devoid of either of the two qualities of innate knowledge or knowledge born from study, such a nature is beyond the capacity of an ordinary state. However, I do not feel that I am mistaken, as my words are based on even just a single drop of the nectar of the infallible enlightened speech (vajra speech) of the awakened ones.”