The Nechung Monastery has just announced the 60th Birthday “Long Life Ceremony” for one of their most revered State Oracles; Nechung Kuten Rinpoche. This three-day ceremony is scheduled for 27-29 June 2017 and will also commemorate the 30th anniversary since his appointment to this illustrious position.
So, what exactly is a State Oracle some may ask. Much like many of the ancient civilizations of the world; oracles play an integral role in Tibetan religious culture, and its community often rely on these oracles for their support and spiritual guidance. Though the call of these much-respected figures is often to foretell the future and act as healers, their primary purpose is to protect the Buddha Dharma and its practitioners.
The State Oracle or Nechung Oracle plays an even greater role in the Tibetan community. As the Head of the tradition; this title is appointed by the Dalai Lama personally and maintains the responsibility as the vessel for which the Dorje Drakden (the principal protector divinity of the Tibetan government and the Dalai Lama) can manifest. In the Tibetan tradition, the world ‘oracle’ itself is referred to as an entity that enters into a person who acts as a medium between the spirit and human realms. The mediums themselves are therefore known as “kuten” which literally translates to “the physical basis”
The current State Oracle Nechung Kuten Rinpoche, was born Thupten Ngodup on July 13, 1958 in Pari, Tibet. In 1966, he escaped Tibet and made the arduous journey to Dharamshala where he took his ordination as a monk at Nechung Dorje Drayang Ling Monastery at the age of 12. As a gifted and artistic youth, he quickly made his way through the ranks to become the Chief Ritual Assistant to the Nechung Protector. In 1987, following the three-year gap after the passing of the head oracle- to which no kuten was appointed, Thupten Ngodup entered into his first spontaneous trance and in September of that same year was formally recognized as the Chief Tibetan State Oracle
Thus, began a successful thirty-year career that has seen Nechung Kuten Rinpoche become a much respected and beloved State Oracle. This birthday celebration will draw immense crowds and will conclude with a Khata offering ceremony along with birthday cake and luncheon. So, make the effort to attend this rare and festive occasion, you won’t regret it. I know we’ll be there.