2006 Activities of the Karmapa (January 2006)
His Holiness presenting the specially crafted lineage statues to representatives of Kagyu Monasteries
note: click image to go to slideshow page
On the last day of the Kagyu Monlam Chenmo, His Holiness the Gyalwang Karmapa graciously offered a special set of fifteen-inch polished copper and gold statues of Marpa, Milarepa and Gampopa as a special gift to all the Kagyu Monasteries present at the Monlam. Creating models of lineage holders in the forms of such replicas is part of a long Kagyu tradition and provides an opportunity for followers of the lineage to inspire strong faith and devotion in their hearts. In addition to the attention to detail that went into creating the inspiring look-alike presence of these statues, they were filled and consecrated with the most sacred relic pills, including substances made from the personal relics of the three great ones.
Over the last two years, His Holiness Karmapa personally supervised the molding and crafting of the statues of the three Tibetan founders of the Kagyu lineage. His Holiness was meticulous in overseeing the production of statues to insure that they captured the spiritual likenesses of these Kagyu forefathers, and conducted extensive research to assure their authenticity and verity to tradition.
His Holiness personally presented each and every one of these statues to representatives of the Kagyu monasteries attending the Monlam, imparting his personal blessings and through him, the blessings of the lineage. His kindness in making these gifts reminded everyone of the great kindness of the lineage forefathers represented by the statues, and confirmed the sublime benefit of holding these lineage forefathers in one's heart. - Karma Woser Rapten
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.
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
The 23rd Annual Great Monlam Aspiration of the Glorious Unequaled Kagyu Sangha, which began January 7 in Bodhgaya, successfully concluded on January 14th with a moving nighttime butter lamp ceremony and special aspiration prayers. The prayers and songs included a new composition by His Holiness in Tibetan and translated into English entitled "An Aspiration for the World." The composition was musically arranged for singing by the international audience in attendance at the Monlam, and concludes with the aspiration that in every section of the world will thrive "a fertile field of peace and joy, rich with the leaves and fruits of happiness, filled with many scents of freedom." under the descendent of the very Bodhi Tree where Buddha Sakyamuni attained enlightenment.
On January 7th, His Holiness the Gyalwa Karmapa opened the annual ceremony, called in Tibetan the Pal Nyammay Kagyupay Sangha Monlam Chenmoand gave the monks and nuns (gelongs and gelongmas) their monastic vows for the Monlam, called "Theck-chen Sojong." Thousands of ordained sangha joined with many high teachers and international attendees in the daily practice. In addition to Their Eminences Jamgon Rinpoche and Gyaltsab Rinpoche, and the Very Ven. Thrangu Rinpoche, other teachers included Ringu Tulku Rinpoche, Anze Rinpoche, Phayu Rinpoche, Nyima Rinpoche, Phora Tulku, Drikung Gyaltsen Tulku, Sonam Rinpoche, Thubten Gyamtso Rinpoche, Reta Tulku, Garchen Tulku, Suru Rinpoche, Drupon Rinpoche, Sherig Tulku Rinpoche, Tulku Ngedun Rinpoche, Tulku Zopa Gyurmey , Gangkar Rinpoche, Tulku Ngotsar Wangpo and many other Lamas and Khenpos.
The daily schedule:
On the next to last day of the ceremony, a special ceremony for the words of the Buddha was celebrated by distributing the 108 volumes of the Kangyur to the sangha, who marched in a procession around the sangha, and then recited different passages of the Buddha's words throughout the morning. In the afternoon, His Holiness made Sukhavati prayers for the deceased, and purified their path through the practice of a fire ceremony of Red Chenrezig. On January 14th, the last day of the Monlam, Bodhisattva vows were given by HE Gyaltsab Rinpoche, and the assembly recited offering prayers and engaged in a ritual meal. His Holiness gave the Chenrezig Empowerment to the assembly in the afternoon, and concluded the Monlam with the nighttime procession of the full assembly around the butterlamp-illuminated courtyard of the Mahabodhi Stupa, as the international community sang the song described above.
On January 17th, HIs Holiness departed Bodhgaya after paying is respects by visiting the main temple,where offered a ceremonial robe to the main statue of Buddha Sakyamuni and engaged in short prayers in the the main shrine. After circling the Bodhi Tree where the Buddha defeated the Maras and attained enlightenment, he left for Vajra Vidhya in Varanasi.
His Holiness had arrived in Bodhgaya two days before the commencement of the ceremony, on the morning of January 5th, His Holiness left Vajra Vidhya Institute, Varanasi, accompanied by HE Gyaltsab Rinpoche, Bo Khangkar Rinpoche and others. The party traveled by road in a convoy of some ten vehicles. Upon his arrival in Bodhgaya, His Holiness Karmapa was ceremonially welcomed by the monks and lay devotees at Shechen Monastery, his residence during his stay in Bodhgaya.
In the afternoon of January 6th, His Holiness visited the famed Mahabodhi Temple and Stupa. After making prayers and offering of flowers and fruits inside the temple of the stupa, he then inspected the site behind the stupa where the Monlam is being held. This year the offering torma and butter decorations have been newly created. Monlam ceremonies start on the 7th.
His Holiness's presence at the Great Monlam Aspiration of the Glorious Unequaled Kagyu Sangha in Bodhgaya, the place where Lord Buddha Sakyamuni attained enlightenment, is part of his 2005 - 2006 Winter tour (click here for schedule). - Karma Woser Rapten et al.
On New Year's Day 2006, His Holiness the Gyalwa Karmapa conducted a refuge ceremony, giving refuge vows to the all the disciples gathered at Vajra Vidhya in Sarnath for the teaching. His Holiness also offered a very special New Year's present to the gathering of sangha and lay devotees: a new composition of a Supplication and Offering to the Guru presented to each disciple after the teaching. His Holiness himself designed the booklets on the computer, and signed each printed booklet containing the supplication.
To further commemorate the occassion, the Tsurphu Labrang offered a ceremonial rice & tea to entire students as a New Year celebration. His Holiness hosted a New Year's luncheon with Ven. Hai Tao and two other mahayana masters, along with HE Gyaltsab Rinpoche, Ven. KhenchenTrangu Rinpoche and Bo Khangkar Rinpoche.
His Holiness's presence at Vajra Vidhya Institute in Sarnath, the site where Lord Buddha Sakyamuni first started teaching the Buddhadharma, is part of his 2005 - 2006 Winter tour (click here for schedule). - Karma Woser Rapten
His Holiness addressing students at an 1000-Armed Chenrezig Empowerment in December 2005
note: click image to go to slideshow page
On December 27th, His Holiness bestowed the empowerment of 1,000 Arm Chenrezig to everyone gathered at Vajra Vidhya, at the request of Ven. Lama Shedrub and dharma students from the New Zealand Dharma Center. Numerous disciples gathered in the main shrine hall to receive the empowerment. On December 28th, Ven. Master Hai Tao and disciples from Taiwan visited His Holiness at Vajra Vidhya and met with him. His Holiness also gave blessings and answered questions. In the afternoon, His Holiness gave special instructions about monastic discipline to all monks and nuns scheduled to attend the Kagyu Monlam in Bodh Gaya.
On the 30th, His Holiness began a five day teaching on the "Four Foundations," at the request of the Hwa Yue Foundation of Taiwan. Many international students are present for His Holiness's teachings, with numerous students from Taiwan, Hong Kong, Canada and the United States, as well as other students from Singapore, Malaysia and Korea. Ven. Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche is also teaching in the afternoons. - Karma Woser Rapten
His Holiness is currently staying in Vajra Vidya Institute in Sarnath, presiding over the Annual Kagyu Winter Program of Philosophy and Debate (Karma Gön Chö). At the request of the International students in Sarnath, His Holiness gave a short teaching on Christmas Day. The following is a summary:
His Holiness began by pointing out that last Christmas passed while he was in Bodhgaya and now he was teaching on Christmas in 2005. A whole year has gone by with the natural passing of time. His Holiness said that since none of us can predict what will happen by Christmas 2006, his advice would be that instead of eagerly waiting for the next time of celebration, we should instead focus our energies on any important aspirations and objectives that we may have, and try to fulfill them.
His Holiness felt that most people present were Buddhist. Many Buddhists talk about 'karma' as if karma is somehow unchangeable. However we should realize that 70-80% of karma is actually what we create. The remaining lesser percentage involve things and events that are not in our control, such as the passing of time. There also include some cases where karma has ripened beyond the point where it can be changed. His Holiness gave the example of a person on board a aeroplane ready for take-off. At that point, it might be too late for that person to change his or her mind about flying, but there was a lot of freedom of choice within the process of buying the ticket, getting to the airport, passing through the security checks and the like. Karma is a creative process and has a lot of flexibility, so we certainly do have some control over what we can accomplish within a certain period of time.
His Holiness said that whether one will accomplish the state of complete awakening is entirely dependent on us as individuals and that all of us are fully equipped with the potential to achieve that enlightenment. He expressed his sense that whenever he teaches Dharma, it is with the hope that it acts as a cause for us to appreciate that potential and perhaps that we might experience a sense of urgency to put this potential into practice. His Holiness felt that many of us have may have aspirations and objectives that remain currently unfulfilled and aspired that his words may inspire us to gather renewed conviction to pursue and fulfill them.
Then with a touch of humour, His Holiness noted since he was speaking on a Sunday, which is usually a day off, and that it was Christmas day as well, he had not prepared to so much. So His Holiness advised everyone simply to relax. In general, we should learn to relax the conceptual mind, because it is only within such a relaxed atmosphere that real communication takes place.
In conclusion, His Holiness expressed the aspiration that, through his sincere good wishes and prayers on this occasion, the unfulfilled aspirations and objectives of everyone will be fulfilled. - Karma Woser Rapten
His Holiness arrives in Varanasi for the Karma Gön Chö Winter Retreat for Debate and Logical Study (December, 2005)
Monks from many Kagyu shedras practice debate in the Vajra Vidhya courtyard during Karma Gön Chö Winter Retreat
His Holiness is at Vajra Vidhya to preside over the Karma Gön Chö, a winter retreat for all monks from different shedras (Buddhist universities) who which to particpate in intensive debate and logic. His Holiness began by giving teaching to all the monks on "Tsema Rikchung Gyato" composed by Seventh Karmapa Chodrak Gyatso.
While His Holiness is in Varanasi, HE Gyaltsab Rinpoche is offering teachings to His Holiness on the Zamo Nang Dön. On the 18th of December, His Holiness led a practice of the newly composed "Lama Chopa" (Guru Yoga of 16th Karmapa) by HE Gyaltsab Rinpoche along with HE Gyaltsab Rinpoche, Ven Trangu Rinpoche and all the monks.His Holiness is also giving private and public audience at 11:00am and in the afternoon at 2:00pm everyday.
His Holiness's presence at the Karma Gön Chö to Vajra Vidhya Institute in Varanasi is part of his 2005 - 2006 Winter tour (click here for schedule). - Karma Woser Rapten
HH Karmapa Leads Tibetan Community in New Delhi in Prayers After Delhi Bombing and J&K Earthquake (December 12, 2005)
His Holiness is welcomed at the Majnukatilia Tibetan camp in Old Delhi with traditional musical intruments and decorations
On December 12, 2005, His Holiness Karmapa visited the Tibetan Settlement at Majnukatila in Delhi. At the request of the Tibetan Welfare Office, His Holiness performed special prayers in response to the recent bombing incident in Delhi and the October 8th earthquake which caused such destruction in Pakistan and the Indian side of Kashmir. His Holiness prayed for blessings for those who passed away, for comfort for the injured, and for the good fortune that similar natural and man-made calamities never occur again on this world, the home of sentient beings.
Mr. Lhakpa Tsering of the Tibetan Welfare Officer offered a traditional welcoming khata to His Holiness and with Mr. Phuntsok, the leader of the Tibetan Camp, offered a mandala and ceremonial rice and tea to His Holiness and the attendees. His Holiness led the assembly in special prayers and dedicated the blessing of the prayer gathering specifically to the victims of recent earthquake and Delhi bombing incident. His Holiness also gave advice to the gathering and the transmitted the oral authorization to practice Chenrezig, the supreme embodiment of compassionate activity.
His Holiness's visit to Majnukatila is part of his 2005 - 2006 Winter tour (click here for schedule). - Karma Woser Rapten
His Holiness is presiding over this year's Karma Gön Chö at Vajra Vidhya Institute in Varanasi in December with representatives of Kagyu monasteries from all over the world. HH Karmapa will subsequently proceed to Bodhgaya for this year's Great Monlam Aspiration of the Glorious Unequaled Kagyu Sangha (Pal Nyammay Kagyupay Sangha Monlam Chenmo).
HH Gyalwa Karmapa
Detailed biographical information about His Holiness the 17th Karmapa is available from the drop down menus above. The materials are divided into:
17th Karmapa (His Holiness's current activities and schedule)
Background (Kagyu history regarding predictions about the 17th Karmapa)
In Tibet (His Holiness's early years, enthronement in Tibet and activity at Tsurphu Monastery)
In India (The Karmapa's escape to India and activities in India)
Reference (Official releases from the Kagyu Office and historical background documents referenced in other sections)
When not traveling, His Holiness holds regular public audiences at his temporary camp at the Gyuto Ramoche Tantric University in Dharamsala, HP, India
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