The Arya Kshema Winter Gathering for Nuns Begins in Bodhgaya
Shrine Hall, Tergar Monastery, Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India
this first day of the 4th Arya Kshema Winter Gathering, the Karmapa welcomed
560 nuns from nine different shedras (scholastic colleges) and their teachers,
along with large groups of nuns from Taiwan, Korea, Vietnam, and China as well
as a few from the West plus the community of laywomen. From March 6 to 18, the
shedra nuns will be participating in the thirteen days of teachings, debate,
and ritual ceremonies.
Karmapa noted that there are two special aspects to this year’s event. First of
all, the nuns from seven shedras will be competing for the first time. The
judges will be three Geshemas, nuns who have recently passed all the exams
after years of intense study of the major treatises and received the equivalent
of the Geshe degree from His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The Karmapa remarked that
having these brilliant nuns as judges indicates our respect for them and also
inspires other nuns to attain the highest level of excellence.
after years of research and discussion, the Karmapa related, we will start the
historic path to full ordination for nuns in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.
This year Dharmagupta nuns from Nan Lin Nunnery in Lantou on the west coast of
Taiwan will assist in giving the Getsulma (novice) vows which will be held for
one year. Afterward the Gelopma (special vows), which are held for two winters
or two summers, will be given, and finally the full ordination of the Gelongma
vows. The Karmapa emphasized the importance of following a graduated path and
going carefully step-by-step to build a strong foundation.
Karmapa then returned to Gampopa’sOrnament
of Precious Liberationpicking
up where he had stopped last year—the section on the ceremony for taking the
bodhisattva’s vow from the ninth chapter on the “Proper Adoption of
Bodhichitta.” He reminded his listeners that there are two lineages for taking
the vows: one passes from Manjushri through Nagarjuna and the other from
Maitreya through Asanga. The first one is usually associated with the Middle
Way school and the second with the Mind Only school. The Karmapa stated,
however, that this implies a hierarchy with the Middle Way being considered
superior, so it is better to refer to the two as the lineage of the profound
view and the lineage of vast conduct.
ceremony for lineage of the profound view is further divided into two: a
ceremony in the presence of a guru and not. When, as King Amba Manjushri was
taking the vows, he did so in a ceremony without a guru. This is described here
inthe Ornament of Precious
Liberationas it is
in Atisha’sLamp for the Path of
Enlightenment. However, the scriptures on the bodhisattva vehicle
state that it should not be too easy to take these vows. We should exert
ourselves in searching for a guru, and if we are not successful, we can take
the vows in a ceremony without one. Further, we may have found an authentic
teacher, but in order to serve them, there may be a danger to one’s life or
vows of chase conduct. Since this is the same as not finding a guru, in this
situation we can also take the vows without a lama.
again to King Amba, the Karmapa explained that the king had made offerings to
the Buddha called Melody of Thunder for many years. When it came time to
dedicate the merit, the king had wanted to do so for the sake of achieving the
level of a sravaka or pratyekabuddha arhat. Then a voice from the sky
encouraged him, “You must dedicate the merit to achieving buddhahood.”
Following this advice, King Amba gave rise to genuine bodhichitta. The words he
spoke, or the ceremony he performed, are found in the sutra calledEstablishing the Pure Realm
of Manjushri, which is part of the Ratnakutra sutras. This is the
ceremony we can do when not finding a guru.
of whether the ceremony is with or without a lama, we must first train our
minds in aspirational bodhicitta so that it is not mere words, but comes from
the depth of our heart. This is the actual basis for taking the vows. At a
minimum, for one week beforehand, we should train our minds in bodhichitta
through the pith instructions on cause and effect or in the practice of
exchanging ourselves for others or the equality of self and other. Of course,
it would be difficult to generate authentic bodhichitta in one week, but at
least this training will create imprints in our mind. On the other hand, if we
cannot say for sure what bodhichitta is, if it remains some intellectual
fabrication and we merely repeat the words of the ceremony, it would be
difficult to say that we have truly received the vow.
Kadampa spiritual friend Potowa explained the stages of the practice. First we
meditate to recognize that all living beings are our mothers and then feel
gratitude to them for their kindness. This can bring about great love, and from
this, comes great compassion. Then we can find the extraordinary intention that
leads to the generation of bodhichitta.
Kadampa master Netsulpa said the only way to bring perfect benefit to others
and ourselves is to achieve buddhahood. As long as we remain in samsara, we
cannot even accomplish our own aims to say nothing of benefitting others.
Shravakas and pratyekabuddhas are able to partially accomplish their own aims,
but they are unable to benefit others. Achieving full awakening, which comes
about due to bodhichitta, is the only way that we can spontaneously benefit
both self and others.
causal chain leading to bodhichitta travels back through compassion to loving
kindness, to gratitude for others’ kindness and to recognizing that they have
been our mothers. This, in turn, depends on entering the view of the transitory
collections, meaning that one has the view of a self (that longs to benefit
others). This is said to be the tathagatas’ love. Geshe Sharwa’s explanation is
basically the same as this sequence of causes, though he phrased it
rousing bodhichitta comes out of various causes and conditions, not just a
single cause, and it is important to train our mind in these and develop
bodhichitta in stages. Whether we are discussing Nagarjuna’s tradition of the
profound view or Asanga’s tradition of vast conduct, the necessity of first
training our mind remains the same.
Karmapa then gave a reading transmission up to the third point, Taking the
Special Form of Refuge. Afterward, he turned to speak about issues related directly
to the nun’s gathering. It is said that our greatly compassionate teacher,
Shakyamuni Buddha sacrificed one third of his lifespan so that the teachings
would flourish and remain a long time. Some 2,600 years have gone by since he
passed away, and until now, the teachings have remained continuous in the
world, bringing great benefit and happiness to many beings. Included in the
third of his lifespan that the Buddha sacrificed for the teachings are the
teachings for the nuns, or those with a female body, so they could practice the
three trainings or the three vows.
we know this is based on theDharma
BlazeAspiration,which is actually from a sutra taught
by the Buddha called,the
Sutra of the Essence of the Moon. This was not translated into
Tibetan, but Atisha quoted from it in hisCompendium
of the Sutrasand his
citation included theDharma
Blaze Aspiration. At the end of this aspiration, there are two
lines: “May my retinue flourish” and “May my retinue be respected.” The
Tibetan, however, simply says, “My retinue,” and it is not clear what this
Sutra of the Essence of the Moonwas
fully translated into Chinese during the sixth century.
this version, we findthe
Dharma Blaze Aspirationand
also an explanation of “my retinue” as indicating the four types of retinue (bdag
‘khor rnam bzhi). The aspiration states, “May my retinue be
respected through the power of bringing into the proper view those who had
previously held the wrong views of the extremists.”Retinuehere refers to the four types of
retinue: the fully ordained monks and nuns as well as the laymen and laywomen.
In brief, there are two groups of monastics and two groups of householders. The
Buddha was making the aspiration that by the power of his declaring words of
truth, may his four types of retinue flourish. This alone shows us clearly that
the Buddha had the aspiration or hope that the community of fully ordained nuns
is sometimes said in Tibetan groups or in Buddhist centers that if women become
nuns, it will harm the teachings. The same thing is also said about instituting
the gelongma vows. However, if these steps would really harm the Dharma, the
Buddha would not have wished for the nuns to flourish. If we think about these
matters, we have to consider them in a spacious and broad-minded way.
Karmapa closed out the morning with advice to the nuns on how to compete in
debate without falling prey to worldly aversion and attachment. He suggested
they remember that debate is for blending the Dharma with their mind. It is
also good to relax a little bit to make their minds peaceful. The Karmapa
offered his hopes and prayers that the Arya Kshema Winter Gathering would be
virtuous in the beginning, the middle, and the end. The assembly then recited
the Third Karmapa’sAspiration
of Mahamudra, a profound text on the nature of mind, which, in its
focus on the ultimate nature, parallelsthe
at the beginning of the teachings. Both texts describe and celebrate the
perfection of wisdom embodied by women.
Government agencies had for long suspected that the Karmapa was a “Chinese spy”, but a decision was recently taken to review the restrictions on his travel in an attempt to “engage” him.
Written by Rahul Tripathi | New Delhi | Published:May 24, 2017 2:26 am
The government is set to lift the travel restrictions imposed on Ogyen Trinley Dorje, the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa. The Home Ministry has proposed to the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) that the Karmapa be allowed to travel to any part of the country, except Rumtek monastery in Sikkim, without seeking prior permission from New Delhi.
Ogyen Trinley Dorje, head of the Karma Kagyu (Black Hat) tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, was born in Tibet and escaped to India through Nepal at the age of 14. He reached McLeod Ganj, the headquarters of the Tibetan government-in-exile, in 2000. He lives in Dharamshala and is recognised by the Dalai Lama.
Government agencies had for long suspected that the Karmapa was a “Chinese spy”, but a decision was re…
Aldershot, Hampshire, England – Morning, May 27, 2017
Early on this day of the Karmapa’s visit to the Nepali community in Aldershot, the double arch of a luminous rainbow filled the sky. It recalled his first visit to the US when rainbows followed him everywhere on the East Coast. The Karmapa was invited by the Buddhist Community Centre UK to this beautiful area of England, famous for its military garrisons and home to a sizeable population of Gurkha soldiers who have served in the British army. In 2006 they were allowed to live in England and in 2007, the Buddhist Community Centre UK was founded by Mr. Kaji Sherpa. He had the vision of establishing a Buddhist monastery to serve the growing Buddhist Community in this southeast region of the UK.
His daughter explained that about half of the Gurkha population in Nepal is Buddhist, and that her father felt a need for Buddhist guidance in this community, so a committee of Nepalis purchased a social club and completely transformed it into a …
May 24, 2017 – St Catharine’s and King’s College, Cambridge, England
Today His Holiness the Gyalwang Karmapa left London and travelled north to Cambridge, a city whose name has become almost synonymous with its world-famous university. The Karmapa’s visit to Cambridge was hosted by the International Buddhist Confederation’s Secretary for Environment and Conservation, Dr Barbara Maas.
His Holiness’s day in Cambridge began with an academic seminar on animal sentience and animal welfare science, and their significance for our relationship with and treatment of animals. Veterinarians turned animal welfare scientists, Dr Murray Corke and Peter Fordyce from the University’s Department of Veterinary Medicine, provided His Holiness with background about the complexities of assessing the wellbeing of animals and introduced him to some of the latest research developments that have transformed our understanding of animal awareness and suffering. These include a wide range of behavioural and physio…
During his first visit to the UK from May 17 to 28, 2017, the Karmapa, a prominent Tibetan Buddhist leader, joined former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Rowan Williams together with scientists, scholars and cultural figures for a dialogue on the environment hosted by the International Campaign for Tibet and Inspire Dialogue Foundation.
The round table discussion, held on May 24, 2017, was intended to bring together perspectives “between disciplines and generations” as the beginning of an ongoing exchange, according to Lord Williams, Master of Magdalen College and a noted poet and theologian. It involved figures from the arts and sciences, including Jude Kelly, Artistic Director of the Southbank Centre in London; James Thornton, the founding CEO of ClientEarth; Dame Fiona Reynolds, former Director-General of the National Trust; Dr Bhaskar Vira, Director, University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute; Tracey Seaward, film producer …
Centre may allow him to visit any place, except Sikkim, without seeking its nod
Urgyen Trinley Dorje, the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, may be allowed to visit any place in the country, except Sikkim, without seeking the government’s permission. The Home Ministry has moved the proposal before the Cabinet Committee on Security, a senior government official said here on Tuesday.
The move assumes significance in the wake of China’s repeated warnings over the recent Northeast visit of the Dalai Lama, who Beijing describes as a “separatist” for spearheading the Tibetan freedom movement. No certainty
Though the Dalai Lama has endorsed Urgyen Trinley Dorje as the 17th Karmapa, it does not necessarily mean that the latter succeeds him, said Amitabh Mathur, Adviser to the Home Ministry on Northeast subjects, including Tibetan affairs.
“But that doesn’t mean he is seen as his successor. That will depend on how Tibetans see him and whether they will look up to him for s…
His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, made his first visit to the United Kingdom this month.
At 31 years old, Ogyen Trinley Dorje is head of the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, a reincarnation lineage that dates back more than 900 years. His Holiness was born in eastern Tibet but fled to India in 2000, where he now resides at the Gyuto Monastery near Dharamshala. He is the only reincarnate Lama to have been recognised by both His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Chinese communist government.
The Karmapa’s 11-day visit began on May 17 and the first public event was held on May 20 in London’s Battersea Park.
“I would like to express my great delight at this opportunity that has come to pass for me to visit London, the capital of the United Kingdom, for the first time. Especially, I would like to extend my warmest greetings to all you friends who are gathered here. I have been waiting for a long time to visit the United King…
DHARAMSHALA, MAY 24: In a positive development for the Tibetan religious figure 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorjee, the Indian government is reportedly set to lift the travel restrictions currently in place.
The Home Ministry has proposed to the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) that the Karmapa be allowed to travel to any part of the country, except Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim, without seeking prior permission from New Delhi. The CCS chaired by PM Modi is a core committee on National Security with the MoD and the MEA among other significant panels, which offer directives on the Karmapa’s security and movement among other things.
The move in question has received a shot in the arm earlier this week when a delegation of monks from various monasteries in Sikkim met with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh urging permission for the Seventeenth Karmapa to visit Sikkim.
The delegation led by the Sangha MLA Sonam Kelyon Lama, who is the elected poli…
May 29, 2017 - The 17th Karmapa, one of Tibet’s leading Buddhist figures arrived in Toronto yesterday on his first visit to Canada. Known for his concerns about current global issues as well as for his spiritual leadership, the 31-year-old Karmapa will engage in a wide range of religious activities and will speak on environmental and social responsibility at various universities.
During his month long trip to Canada, the Karmapa will travel to Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver. In doing so, he is following in the footsteps of his predecessor the 16th Karmapa, who travelled extensively throughout the country and was instrumental in introducing Canadians to Buddhism in the 1970s.
Head of the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism, the Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, is the 17th holder of a 900-year old lineage. Born in a nomadic family in eastern Tibet, he made headline news in 2000 with his dramatic escape to India, where he now lives near the Dalai Lama. The 17th …
Karma Kagyu Association of Canada (KKAC) May 25, 2017 11:25 ET
TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 25, 2017) - The Karma Kagyu Association of Canada (KKAC) is privileged to officially host the first Canadian tour of His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje. The month long visit will begin with a large welcoming group upon his arrival at Toronto's, Pearson International Airport on May 29, http://www.karmapacanada.org. His Holiness's visit will proceed to Calgary and end in Vancouver while experiencing many of Canada's natural beauties in his travels across the country.
Born in June 1985, Karmapa was born into a nomad family in Lhatok, in the remote highlands of the region of Eastern Tibet. He was given the name, Apo Gaga, meaning "Happy Brother". In the months prior to his birth, his mother had wonderful, spiritual dreams. On the day of his birth, a cuckoo landed on the tent in which he was born, and many people in the area heard a mysterious trum…