Dharamshala: Sikyong Penpa Tsering, Central Tibetan Administration, attended the convocation ceremony for awarding certificates to the first batch of graduates in medicine and astrology who completed the study curriculum, practical application, and retreat at Palpung Sherabling monastic seat Rigney Tholob Donnyi Norbui Gatsal University of Buddhist Sciences on 7 July 2022.
At the convocation ceremony, Sikyong was accompanied by Kenting Tai Situ Rinpoche as chief guest, along with special guests Secretary Chime Tseyang (Department of Religion and Culture), Secretary Jigmey Namgyal (Department of Education), Secretary Palden Dhondup (Department of Health), Khyungpo Gyalton Rinpoche, Secretary Lobsang Jinpa (Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama), Director Thupten Tsering (Men-tsee-khang), Director Josay Tashi Tsering (Amnye Machen Institute), Vice president Lothar (Central Council of Tibetan Medicine) and representatives from governmental and non-governmental organisations.
Following the commencement of the ceremony with prayers and commentary on phun tsog nga (the five perfections), Tai Situ Rinpoche addressed the gathering, succeeded by the launch of books by Sikyong Penpa Tsering. Afterwards, the Central Council of Tibetan Medicine conferred the accredited certificate to the Rigney Tholob Donnyi Norbui Gatsal University. Furthermore, Tai Situ Rinpoche bestowed degree certificates to astrologers and first batch graduates, while Sikyong awarded presents to ranked students of the second batch and students of language & grammar studies. The first batch graduates of the university also offered a mandala of long live prayers to the chief guest Tai Situ Rinpoche.
Before concluding the morning programmes, Sikyong and other guests inspected the essay, calligraphy and sacred diagram of mandala (kilkhor) displays prepared by the graduates along with the visitation to the university’s library.
Prior to Sikyong’s address, the university’s three tutors made presentations on Tibetan astrology, medicinal studies and grammar at the convocation.
In his address, Sikyong Penpa Tsering suggested re-affiliating two Astro and medical sections previously withdrawn from the Central Council of Tibetan Medicine while conveying felicitations to Tai Situ Rinpoche and other attendees on behalf of the 16th Kashag. He further apprised the gathering about kashag’s scheme to initiate plantation of medicinal plants to meet the demands of swelling traditional sMenpas.
Subsequently, Tai Situ Rinpoche and Sikyong inaugurated a medicinal plant garden and toured the departments of the university.