A week after his arrival in the holy Buddhist town of Sarnath the Gyalwang Karmapa enjoyed Losar, or Tibetan New Year, with his main tutor Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche.
It was standing-room-only inside Vajra Vidya Monastery’s main shrine hall on the morning of Losar, with many monks, nuns, local Tibetans and international devotees crowding inside. Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche began by making mandala offerings to the Gyalwang Karmapa, followed by a traditional Tibetan ceremony with tea, sweet rice, and special Losar ‘kapsi’ bread for all. The two masters then retired to Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche’s private rooms where they enjoyed tea and each other’s company.
Celebrations marking the Year of the Wood Horse continued throughout the day, with lion dances and comical races amongst the youngest monks entertaining the crowd in the morning, including the sack race, spoon-and-marble race, tug-of-war competitions, and a lively game of musical chairs. Members of the Gyalwang Karmapa’s entourage, including his sister Chamsing-la, spontaneously joined in some of the competitions, much to the delight of those gathered. A grand feast was offered for all at lunch, while the monks of Vajra Vidya Institute skillfully performed scenes from the life of the great Indian Buddhist master Nagarjuna in the evening. It was a joyful start to the Tibetan New Year for all.