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Long Life Ceremonies for the Gyalwang Karmapa

2014.03.21
Sarnath, Varanasi, March 21, 2014

On the beautiful full moon day of March 16, five days of long life practice (tsedrup) for the Gyalwang Karmapa began at Vajra Vidya Institute in Sarnath, India. In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, lamas are often requested to remain in the life for a long time, as it is believed that they have a choice over how long they stay. It is also taught that when followers have a good connection with the teacher, this petition can have a great effect. Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, a close disciple of the previous Karmapa and tutor to the 17th, called in all of his main lamas running centers abroad, from as far away as Canada to as near as Nepal, to be in Sarnath for these ceremonies.

The text for the practice is known as “The Union of Method and Wisdom, A Long Life Practice.” It was composed by Yongye Mingyur Dorje, a great treasure discoverer from Eastern Tibet, who had a close connection with the Karmapas and the Kagyu lineage. The relation between this practice and Thrangu Monastery began in Tibet Read the rest of this article

Gyalwang Karmapa Presides Over Milarepa Puja

2014.0315
15 March 2014 – Vajra Vidya Monastery, Sarnath

After resting well for the past few weeks, in a sign of his steadily improving health the Gyalwang Karmapa presided over the first session of an annual Milarepa puja at Vajra Vidya Monastery.

The day marked the parinirvana anniversary of Milarepa, Tibet’s most celebrated cave-dwelling yogi, and one of the most important Kagyu lineage masters. His extraordinary life, famously spent meditating in remote caves and composing spontaneous songs of realization, continues to inspire practitioners to this day.

At around 8.30am, golden statues of the Kagyu founding masters Milarepa, his teacher Marpa, and his disciple Gampopa—together known as ‘Mar Mi Dag Sum’—were led in a procession around the shrine hall. A long, slow-moving line of monks, nuns and laypeople followed behind the statues as they completed a single circumambulation.

The Gyalwang Karmapa then entered the shrine hall, accompanied by Kyabje Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, and took his seat facing the same direction as Read the rest of this article

The Gyalwang Karmapa Holds Candlelight Vigil for MH370

2014.03.12 MH307

12 March 2014, – Vajra Vidya Monastery, Sarnath

Four days after the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, as so many people wait, distressed and puzzled, to discover the fate of the passengers, His Holiness held a candlelight vigil at Vajra Vidya Institute in Sarnath, to make prayers for the missing people, their families and friends. His Holiness was joined by the monks of the Institute, and many foreign students. As we chanted supplications to the protectress Tara and to Guru Rinpoche, some monks began to light butter lamps. As per His Holiness’s instruction, they had written out the flight number with the lamps. Gentle tones echoed through the night, carrying our best wishes and prayers for the well-being of the lost passengers, their loved ones, and indeed all beings in distress. It was a good opportunity to slow down and feel our connections with others. As our leader and guide, His Holiness presided over the entire ceremony, setting a tone of both introspection and compassionate outreach. The vigil Read the rest of this article

Celebration of Kyabje Jamgon Tai Situ Rinpoche’s 60th Birthday at Vajra Vidya

2014.03.09 TSR birthday

9 March, 2014 – Vajra Vidhya Institute, Sarnath

On the occasion of Kyabje Jamgon Tai Situ Rinpoche’s 60th birthday, His Holiness Karmapa, Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, monastics and lay practitioners gathered on the lawn in front of Vajra Vidya Institute in Sarnath to celebrate with long life prayers for Tai Situ Rinpoche followed by tea and cake. It was a gentle and joyous afternoon party. Kyabje Jamgon Tai Situ Rinpoche’s main birthday celebration took place on the same day in Bodh Gaya.

Read the rest of this article

Spring Teaching

2014.03.06 spring teaching
6 March 2014 – Vajra Vidya Monastery, Sarnath

In the fresh warmth of an early spring afternoon, just a few days into the Tibetan new year, more than five hundred people crowded into the Vajra Vidya Monastery shrine room eager to hear the Gyalwang Karmapa’s words of wisdom.

For days many had dotted the lawns of the monastery, sitting outside on the grass catching rays of the spring sunshine, hoping that the teachings would take place. When they finally joined the long queues to enter the shrine hall many wore broad smiles on their faces, a joyful atmosphere palpable among the crowd.

Although he had originally been scheduled to give three days of spring teachings, as he is currently recovering from a minor illness the Gyalwang Karmapa decided to teach for a single session only.

“Because of the difficulty with my health,” he explained, after reciting the opening prayers, “at first I thought that we’d have to cancel the entire spring teaching. But when I came down to Read the rest of this article