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Showing posts from January, 2015

“The Greatness of Small Acts”: Gyalwang Karmapa Interacts with Students at the University of Delhi

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31 January 2015, New Delhi

This afternoon the Gyalwang Karmapa made his first ever visit to the University of Delhi, where he interacted with students and faculty primarily from the Department of Buddhist Studies and spoke on ‘The Greatness of Small Acts’. He was warmly welcomed to the university with a traditional Tibetan white silk scarf and bouquet of flowers by Professor Jain Khurana, Dean of Student Welfare and Professor Hira Paul Gangnegi, Head of the Department of Buddhist Studies. The Karmapa appeared relaxed and lighthearted, joking with the students that he didn’t really think he could teach them much. “I’ve had several opportunities to meet with students and we’ve had a wonderful chance to share experiences and ideas,” he said. “Sometimes the way I feel after these events is that I have so much to learn from hearing about your experiences and education, that in the end I get more out of it than you do!” Over past years the Karmapa has held a series of sustained interactions with…

New logo for the "Arya Kshema Winter Gathering for Kagyu Nuns"

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Designed by His holiness he 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje (2015)



It shows three nuns, their curving robes shaped like individual lotus petals; underneath on the right and left are quick, pointed strokes indicating the leaves and grounding the image.




White Tara Mantra chants by Karmapa

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Dedicating the Merit at the Mahabodhi Stupa

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29 January 2015, Bodhgaya.

The Gyalwang Karmapa spent almost three months in Bodhgaya, beginning in November with the monks’ Winter Dharma Gathering followed by the peaceful empowerments from the cycle of Knowing One Frees All, and then teachings on The Torch of True Meaning. These led into the 32nd Kagyu Monlam and then the nuns’ Winter Dharma Gathering, which included management and medical training for the nuns as well as debating. Further, the Karmapa made the major announcement of a program leading to full bhikshuni ordination. Also during the nuns’ gathering, the recognition and haircutting ceremony of Bokar Rinpoche’s reincarnation took place. These months have been an incredibly rich and fulfilling time, a vast cornucopia of Dharma flowing from the profound generosity and the compassionate activity of the Gyalwang Karmapa. His last gesture was to dedicate all of this merit at the Mahabodhi Stupa, where he stopped on his way to the airport. Inside the main temple in front of the …

Second Arya Kshema Gathering for Kagyu Nuns (Buddhist News)

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by Naushin Ahmed, Buddhistdoor International, 2015-01-28





The Second Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering for Kagyu nuns took place from 8–24 January 2015. The annual event—named after Arya Kshema, a bhikshuni (nun) from the time of the Buddha, who was renowned for her wisdom and confidence—was held at Tergar Monastery in Bodhgaya, in India’s Bihar State. Established last year by His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, the gathering was launched to enhance the practice and education of Kagyu nuns, as well as to boost equality between nuns and monks.

Discussing the initiative behind the program, the Karmapa explained, “Another aim was that the nuns would be able to take responsibility not just for activities within their own nunneries, but also take wider responsibility for upholding the teachings” (The Karmapa). On the same website he goes on to state, “Monks and nuns are the same in being able to uphold the Buddha’s teachings, and have the same responsibility to do s…

Kagyu Monlam Hosts Children for Republic Day Celebration

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Monlam Pavilion, 26 January, 2015



The children live in the Elizabeth Children’s Home, which is run by the Jesus Christ of Compassion Charitable Society. In what was a very special treat, they gathered with their teachers in the Monlam Pavilion, drank mango juice and munched biscuits. In addition each child received a new woollen blanket.  As part of Indian Republic Day celebrations, International Kagyu Monlam CEO Lama Chodrak organised a small party for thirty children from the local Christian orphanage.
The culmination of the celebration, however, was when the Gyalwang Karmapa himself came over to the pavilion especially to meet the children.



http://www.kagyumonlam.org/English/News/Report/Report_20150126.html

The Inaugural Ceremony of the Ladakh Buddhist Vihara in Bodhgaya.

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January 26, 2015 The road into the Vihar has been lined in soft orange and cream satins embellished with gold sequins, and just after the gate into the Vihar, a large Dharma wheel has been chalked on the red carpeting. Nearby are a group of five male dancers with tall brocade hats and their maroon and white striped stoles. Just behind them wait five Ladakhi ladies, wearing their distinctive clothing and headdress—a wide turquoise studded wave that dips down over their forehead to end in a single beautiful stone. They carry long-spouted brass pitchers of liquor, the traditional offering of welcome in the Himalayan region. In the courtyard, about four hundred ordained and lay people wait before an open area reserved for the dance performances. Just beyond it, an elevated pavilion has been set up with a throne for the Gyalwang Karmapa, net to which is a shrine with an impressive three-foot Buddha statue lined below with the traditional seven offering bowls and a butter lamp. Minutes before…

The Gyalwang Karmapa Consecrates Land for a New Kitchen

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January 26, 2015 Inside the now empty and rambling frame of the Monlam kitchen with the bound lengths of bamboo still supporting deep blue tarpaulins, a small shrine has been set up. On the brocade covered table are two rows of the traditional offering bowls, and in front, a large offering cup on its stand sits next to a plate with a white torma. Not far away, a small rectangular area of earth has been opened in the brick floor. Around eleven in the morning, the Gyalwang Karmapa comes walking through the nearby field with the young Druppön Dechen at his side and accompanied by a small group of monks. He will perform a special ceremony (sometimes called taming the earth) to request the land and gratify the local spirits. The offerings are divided into three main phases. First, the white torma and a golden libation (gser skyems) are offered to the earth goddess to solicit the land from her. The Karmapa kneels in front of his chair with Druppön Dechen to make prayers. A stick of incense is…

Gyalwang Karmapa Commemorates Republic Day

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26 January, 2015 – Tergar Monastery, Bodhgaya

In what has become an annual event during his winter programme, the Gyalwang Karmapa joined in the flag-raising ceremony to celebrate Indian Republic Day.

More than a hundred young monks with their teachers lined up in straight lines on the patio outside the Tergar Monastery shrine hall, and stood smartly to attention, below the flagstaff. Members of the regular police force in their knife-crease, pressed khaki uniforms and the paramilitary protection squad in blue-and-grey camouflage stood to attention beside them. As one, they presented arms with their automatic rifles or saluted, while the Indian national flag was raised. Emblazoned with the Buddhist Emperor Ashoka’s 24-spoke chakra wheel in navy blue, the tricoloured flag —with saffron, green and white panels— has become the symbol of modern, democratic India.

Also present at the ceremony were members of His Holiness’ Tsurphu Labrang staff and Tibetan security personals, most of whom are …

Gyalwang Karmapa Blesses the Site for the New Monlam Kitchen

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Monlam Pavilion Grounds, Bodhgaya,
26 January, 2015





The Gyalwang Karmapa assisted by a small entourage of Drupon Rinpoche Yangsi, Geshe Rinchen Ngodup, Khenpos and the ritual master  performed a short sa-lung  ritual in the huge Monlam kitchen area.

For several years now,   all meals for the thousands of monks and nuns attending the Kagyu Monlam have been prepared and served in this massive tented bamboo structure.  Each year it has to be erected before Monlam starts and dismantled afterwards, so the hope is that in the future it may be replaced by a permanent structure.

Tibetans believe that the earth is sacred and not just theirs to use as they choose, so a sa-lung ritual, comprising offerings and prayers, is performed to request permission from the earth goddess  and the local deities and spirits who dwell  on the land, before any development can take place.

A small altar had been set up, with two sets of traditional offerings−water for drinking, water for foot-washing, flowers, incense…

Gyalwang Karmapa Makes Historic Announcement on Restoring Nuns’ Ordination

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24 January 2015,Tergar Monastery During the Second Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering the Gyalwang Karmapa made the historical announcement that, beginning next year, he would take concrete steps towards restoring nuns’ vows in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. Beginning with the restoration of the novice ‘getsulma’ and training ‘shikshamana’ nun’s vows next year, which will be conferred with the assistance of a special contingent of nuns from the Dharmagupta tradition, this will then lay the necessary framework leading to ‘gelongma’ or ‘bhikshuni’ full nun’s vows in the future. “The biggest event during next year’s Third Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering will be reinstituting the novice and training vows for nuns within the Tibetan tradition,” he said. “This will be a historical event.” “Many people might think I’m doing this because others want me to,” the Karmapa explained. “But I’m not doing it to placate anyone or in response to anyone. No matter how others see it, I feel this is so…

Successful Conclusion of the Second Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering

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24 January 2014 Tergar Monastery After two-and-a-half weeks of daily teachings from the Gyalwang Karmapa, intensive debate training for the participating nuns, and a variety of other dharma activities, the Second Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering successfully concluded. “We’ve had a long string of dharma activities here in Bodhgaya,” the Gyalwang Karmapa said during the closing ceremony, “starting with the Kagyu monks’ Guncho, the Kagyu Monlam, and now the nuns’ Winter Dharma Gathering. They have all gone very well, and this is because everyone here worked together as one. We can all take joy in this.” Beginning in the morning, on the final day the Gyalwang Karmapa first led a Tara puja which then continued on through the afternoon. Tara is renowned as having taken a vow to become fully enlightened in a female form. She is particularly supplicated for protection and removal of obstacles, thus making the Tara puja especially appropriate for concluding the nuns’ Winter Dharma Gathering. T…

The Nuns Prove Themselves in Debate

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January 24, 2015
 Tergar Monastery

For the final event of the Second Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering, the Tergar shrine hall has been set up with tables for the defenders, set across the center aisle in front of the Karmapa’s throne, and with a microphone for the challengers who will stand two thirds of the way back towards the shrine door. This is to keep the challengers, who can get quite enthusiastic as a group, at a certain distance from the defenders.


The young Druppön Dechen Rinpoche sits at the head of the first row of teachers and khenpos. In a previous lifetime, when he was the guide for the Karmapa’s seat at Tsurphu in Tibet, Druppön Dechen Rinpoche was very kind to a group of nuns who had no home. He generously gave them teachings and also a place to stay at Tsurphu; several of them came to live in the famous caves of the previous Karmapas, located on the middle circumambulation path. His tulku seems to be continuing his support of nuns in this next life, too. This evening…