Soon I will be leaving London for India.
I have mixed feelings about returning to my monastery where I was educated, and where I lived for 18 years. On the one hand this is a great honour, on the other hand it is a big duty. On the one hand many of the great teachers and colleagues who were there when I left will not be there when I return. On the other hand there will be many young and energetic monks at my old college, and I look forward to seeing their debates.
I will be enthroned on the 17th June. It will be a full day of many traditional activities. It will be a great honour to follow in the footsteps of the ninety Abbots who come before me. I will be the ninety first. At the same time it will be a daunting day.
There are two things in particular I will have to do. I will have to perform by heart a ngowa, a long dedication ceremony, while all the other monks enjoy tea and cake. This will be my first test in memorisation.
My second test will be the debate classes. Each class has its own debate material. For each class I need to go one by one and give a page and a half recitation by heart from their debate class material. There are fourteen debate classes.
For those who have been studying with me, one of the debate classes will be on the Essence of Eloquence, from the Chittamattra section.
I have one small thing I would like to mention, from the organiser of the enthronement ceremony. He wants to know how many invitation cards are to be sent to my friends in the West. I said he will need at least 300 to 400 cards, but no one will come. Just to have tea and lunch! So I said, don’t bother to send them. Although you are all invited, it is practically impossible to come at this late stage. But I apologise I didn’t send these colourful invitation cards. I would have liked to have done so.