His Holiness in Varanasi (January 2006)
His Holiness at the meeting of Kagyu shedras on January 19, 2006
Upon returning to Vajra Vidhya Institute, the Ven. Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche’s monastery in Sarnath (Varanasi), His Holiness on January 19 presided over a meeting of all the Khenpos from different shedras who participate in the Annual Kagyu Winter Program of Philosophy and Debate (Karma Gön Chö) at Varja Vidhaya Insititute in Varanasi. The meeting was held His Holiness to further discuss the procedures and structure of the Karma Gön Chö) and to review texts to be studied and debated during the annual Winter retreat. The meeting was also joined by Ven Thrangu Rinpoche and General Secretary Ven. Dilyak Drupon Rinpoche.
On the 28th of January, Mahakala Day according to Tsurphu calendar, His Holiness attended Mahakala practice at Vajra Vidhya Institute, along with Ven Thrangu Rinpoche.
January 30 was Losar according to the Tsurphu calendar (which differs from the Phukluk calendar, the dominant Tibetan calendar tradition). In the early morning, Ven Thrangu Rinpoche, General Secretary Ven. Drupon Rinpoche and all the Khenpos and staff of Tsurphu Labrang, met in at His Holiness’s chambers to offer khatas to His Holiness and to wish him tashi delek and long life. A traditional offering of tea and ceremonial rice was enjoyed by the entire gathering, and, pursuant to Tibetan tradition , che-mar was also offered. At about 8:00am, His Holiness entered the main shrine hall to offer a khata to the main Shakyamuni Buddha statue. He then proceeded to the throne, wherepon the main ceremony of the Losar commenced with a supplication to the Three Jewels (Buddha, Dharma and Sangha). As per tradition, tea and dre-si was offered to all in attendance. At the end of the program, at the suggestion of His Holiness, participants sang one of the Milarepa’s famous compositions to a melody composed by His Holiness himself.
His Holiness closed the program by giving a blessing to all the participants of the Losar, which was followed by a lunch offered by the Tsruphu Labrang.
On January 31, His Holiness visited Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies, Sarnath. At the gate of the main assembly hall, Director Ngagwang Samten greeted His Holiness with the khata and directed him to the main hall. His Holiness gave a blessing to the staff and students and addressed the gathering. Gen Yeshi Thabkhe then gave a speech thanking His Holiness, and His Holiness concluded his visit with tea and a snack with the Director of the Institute. – Karma Woser Rapten