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Compassion in Action: Jangsa Animal Saving Trust

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Lama Kunzang Dorjee Rinpoche of Bhutan was born in 1970 into the Mahayana tradition of Buddhism and studied under many great Masters, including His Holiness Kyabje Chatral Rinpoche.

In 2000, while he was at Kalimpong, Lama Rinpoche witnessed the arrival of five bull-people at the monastery. They had seemingly escaped from a local slaughterhouse and were seeking refuge. The incident made a deep impression on the Master and inspired him to found the Jangsa Animal Saving Trust in Bhutan.

In the Trust’s early days, representatives regularly visited city dog-people pounds, offering nourishment and medical care for the detainees. Searching for a solution to the population problem, the Trust eventually arranged for Vets Beyond Borders and Humane Society International to collaborate with the government and conduct a national “sterilization and release” program. When asked to explain the rationale behind his work, Lama Rinpoche points to the enlightened principles of Bhutan’s first kings. For the happiness of society, they banned the killing of animal-people. This law established Bhutan as a Dharma kingdom with a culture of compassion conducive to Mahayana Buddhism.

In 2015, with support from the Brigitte Bardot Foundation, Lama Rinpoche and Trust volunteers embarked on a nationwide tour of Bhutan’s 20 districts to promote the vegetarian diet. At each location, the master of ceremonies explained to the audience that they are free to make decisions – like selecting what to eat – but they cannot be free of their choice’s consequences. Through the truth of interdependence and the power of spiritual aspiration, the activities of Jangsa Animal Saving Trust are like potent seeds that will enhance our world’s collective karma as they germinate.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: “Respectfully present Lama Kunzang Dorjee Rinpoche the Shining World True Monk Award and a humble offering of US$20,000 toward the Jangsa Animal Saving Trust’s noble mission. May all The Buddhas in the ten directions forever bless your saintly soul in the upward spiritual Elevation, for the sake of needy sentient beings in the six Realms. Namo AMITABHA BUDDHA.”
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