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The Soup Kitchen at the 32nd Kagyu Monlam

2014.12.30 Soup Kitchen
28 December, 2014 – 5 January, 2015 – All India Bhikku Centre

When arriving in Bodhgaya for the Kagyu Monlam, it is impossible not to be moved by the difficult life circumstances of the local people. This is particularly so for those of us who come from countries where health and well-being are more or less taken for granted. Even though we may wish to do something to alleviate the suffering we see all around us, it is difficult to know where to start and what might be the most effective way to help.

His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa has expressed his wish that we should not simply be content to feel compassion when we are making prayers but we should begin to find ways to actually put compassion into action. Following this guidance, projects that embrace this Read the rest of this article

Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche’s Teachings on The Four Freedoms from Attachment

Day 1: If You Are Attached to this Life, You Are Not a Dharma Practitioner
29 December, 2014 Monlam Pavilion, Bodhgaya

In 2012 when the Fourth Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche was only seventeen, he taught for the first time at the Kagyu Monlam in public. His teaching was from the foremost devotional prayer in the Kagyu lineage, Calling the Lama from Afar, by the First Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche, which was recited every night in Rumtek after the tragic passing of the third Jamgon Kongtrul. This first teaching seemed a response to the heartfelt cries of devotees from around the world.

Now, at the age of nineteen, Jamgon Kongtrul is giving another major teaching at the Monlam, to an audience of over 12,000 people, on an essential Sakya text called Parting from the Four Attachments. He looks composed as he sits on the Read the rest of this article

Gyalwang Karmapa Gives Two Short Teachings: The Sutra in Three Sections and King of Aspirations: The Noble Aspiration for Excellent Conduct

29 December 2014 Monlam Pavilion, Bodhgaya,

The Sutra in Three Sections

During the first session His Holiness gave a short teaching on this prayer, before it was recited as part of the thirteenth section–Confession of Wrongdoing–of the Twenty Branch Monlam.  This prayer is used particularly for confession and purification following transgressions against vows, especially downfalls of the bodhisattva vow.  There is a story which tells how a group of monks, thirty-five in all, killed a child by accident one day, when they were on their alms round. In their horror at taking a life, they went to one of the Buddha’s close disciples, Upali, and asked him to ask the Buddha for a method to confess and purify the deed. The Buddha responded by speaking this sutra. As he did so, light radiated from his body and Read the rest of this article

Kagyu Monlam Activities


The Gift of Pure Intention: Gyalwang Karmapa Thanks the Guru Sevakas

As the Monlam expands into a major festival, the infrastructure grows with it. This year there are twelve thousand people attending from fifty countries. Currently four hundred volunteers are divided into twenty teams to provide the infrastructure: cleaning, serving tea, preparing food, arranging seating, registering attendees and members, preparing tormas etc. There are technicians for the webcast, writers for the website, photographers videographers and translators. Considering the number and diversity of workers, the shrine room at Tergar Monastery for the meeting with His Holiness was unusually quiet. Each work team occupied a separate aisle and sat waiting patiently for the arrival of the Guru, while chanting mantras.

The Read the rest of this article

The 32nd International Kagyu Monlam Begins in Bodhgaya

29 December, 2014-12-30 Monlam Pavilion

Clusters of people were already making their way through the security check, when His Holiness arrived at the Monlam Pavilion for the first session of the 32nd Monlam at just turned 5.00am.

A new concrete road, laid specially for the International Buddhist Conclave, held at the Monlam Pavilion in late September, stretches from the Sujata Bypass past Tergar Monastery to the Monlam Pavilion. All those who walk along it pass under the very plain Monlam entrance gate—a simple structure of cloth, painted plywood and bamboo. The same as last year, it bears prayer flags of the dhayani mantra of Akshobhya Buddha, which has the power to purify all those who pass beneath. The right-hand pillar is decorated with the colours associated with Buddhism and used in Buddhist flags. The six colours represent the Read the rest of this article