Sakya Tenphel Ling

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Sakya Tenphel Ling 1
5 Pasir Ris Drive 4, Singapore 519455
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Established in Pasir Ris in 1995, Sakya Tenphel Ling is one of the first Tibetan Buddhist temples in Southeast Asia. The temple’s origin lies with the Singapore Buddha Sasana Society, which was formed in a classroom at Maha Bodhi School in 1965 and had premises in Serangoon and Geylang before relocating to Pasir Ris.

In 1978, Sakya Trizin Ngawang Kunga, the 41st head of the Sakya lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, visited Singapore and became the Buddha Sasana Society’s Spiritual Patron. He later sent the former principal of the Tantric College of Sakya Monastery in Tibet, Ponlop Lama Tashi Tenzin, to become the society’s first Resident Monk.

The institution soon became a regional “headquarters” for the Sakya school, which is one of four major schools of Mahayana Tibetan Buddhism. Sakya Tenphel Ling frequently receives visiting monks from Nepal, India, Taiwan and other countries, and they conduct religious services including pujas (prayers), rituals and dharma (spiritual teaching) lessons.

The painting and carving of ornamental features on the temple are mainly carried out by visiting and resident monks. They follow the Sakya colour theory in which the colours red, blue and white represent Tibetan-Buddhist deities associated with wisdom, compassion and power. The shrines inside the temple include representations of the Buddha, bodhisattvas such as Tara and Chenrezig (also known to the Chinese as Guanyin), and stupas (reliquaries) for Sakya spiritual leaders.

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