Gyalwang Karmapa Begins Teachings on Nagarjuna’s “A Letter to A Friend”
December 18, 2009 – Mahabodhi Stupa, Bodhgaya
2nd Annual Teaching for Foreign Students: Day 1
Today His Holiness began his long-awaited annual teachings for foreign students. For three days at Tergar Monastery in Bodhgaya, His Holiness will be giving a commentary on Nagarjuna’s “Letter to a Friend”- a text mainly focusing on the Six Perfections. In acknowledgment of the large proportion of the audience who are practicing Buddhism as “householders”, His Holiness explained that this text was addressed to a king, and thus contains practice advice that is particularly appropriate for laypeople. The number of attendees wishing to receive teachings from His Holiness exceeded the capacity of Tergar’s immense assembly hall, and some latecomers could be seen listening intently from outside the gompa.
The main topic for today’s morning session was Refuge, while the afternoon teachings were devoted to the practice of the Ten Virtues. The afternoon session closed with a question-and-answer period.
Speaking about the practice of Dharma in general, His Holiness said that we need to grasp the words and meaning of the Dharma, and that our understanding must not remain on the level of mere words. Rather, we must take the meaning to heart and allow the Dharma to enter into our very being. Additionally, the results of our study and contemplation should become evident in our conduct.
His Holiness’ teachings are being translated this year into 9 different languages: English, Chinese, French, German, Spanish, Russian, Polish, Korean and Vietnamese. To extend access to His Holiness’ teachings further, the teachings are being webcast live at kagyumonlam.tv. Along with the video-cast of the Tibetan and English, live audio transmission in several other European languages will also be available through the same site.