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The Marmei Monlam Lights up the World

December 21, 2010 – Bodhgaya

Spheres of red and yellow lights descending from the outer path around the stupa enfold in their bright warmth all who’ve gathered this evening. In addition to the international sangha of ordained and lay people, there are also dignitaries who have come from afar to join in this celebration. The steps leading from the back gate down to the Bodhi Tree have been turned into a stage for the performances.

Tonight His Holiness is serving as the Master of Ceremonies, announcing each group and making brief comments. The first group is composed of Tibetan monks who stand with their palms together, filling the whole space of the stairs with the glowing presence of their yellow robes. His Holiness comments that te Sanskrit language comes first since India was the source of Dharma. In resonant tones, the monks chant the refuge, praise of the Buddha, and before the dedication, the epitome of the Buddha’s teachings, which the Karmapa cites Read the rest of this article

28th Kagyu Monlam: Day Six

December 20, 2010 – Bodhgaya

EARLY MORNING AUDIENCES AT TERGAR MONASTERY

As thousands of Kagyu Monlam attendees received sojong vows under the Bodhi tree at the crack of dawn, several hundred others were lining up at Tergar Monastery for group audiences with His Holiness. In response to an exceptionally large number of requests from groups attending the Monlam, the Gyalwang Karmapa added an extra session of audiences to his already packed schedule. Despite the full day of initiations and further audiences that lay ahead—and the grueling schedule he had already since well before Kagyu Monlam even began, from 6am until 8:30 am today, His Holiness offered the consummate example of selfless determination to work for others’ happiness. To ensure that none left disappointed, time after time, His Holiness graciously took khataks, invited visitors to sit, listened attentively, offered brief oral transmissions, granted blessings, answered questions, and then stood for Read the rest of this article

28TH Kagyu Monlam: Day Five

December 19, 2010 – Bodhgaya

SESSION ONE: SOJONG

Kyabje Goshir Gyaltsab Rinpoche gave the Sojong vows this morning. Kyabje Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche, Dolrob Tenga Rinpoche, Khenchen Yongzin Thrangu Rinpoche and Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche were also there to preside over the first session.

SESSION TWO: TEACHING BY THE GYALWANG KARMAPA
The King Of Aspirations: The Noble Aspiration To Excellent Conduct
Infinite Bodhicitta For Beings Beyond Number

Pausing at the top of the stairs to remove his shoes, His Holiness descends the stairs leading to his throne and the Bodhi Tree. As usual he passes by his throne through a door of yellow cloth into the inner path around the stupa. Walking around the left side to enter the main temple, he offers prostrations to the golden Buddha and then offers a radiant set of robes to the Read the rest of this article

28TH Kagyu Monlam: Day Four

December 18, 2010 – Bodhgaya

SESSION ONE: SOJONG

Kyabje Goshir Gyaltsap Rinpoche gave the sojong vows. Those in attendance were Kyabje Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche, Khenchen Yongzin Thrangu Rinpoche, Dorlob Tenga Rinpoche, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, Bagyö Rinpoche and many younger Rinpoches.

SESSION TWO:
TEACHING BY THE GYALWANG KARMAPA
The King of Aspirations: The Noble Aspiration to Excellent Conduct

Upholding the Dharma means Taming Our Minds
As usual the second session began with prostrations to the beat of a wooden bell, followed by the refuge prayer, and a mandala offering to His Holiness.

An extensive list of sponsors, read while the tea servers skilfully eased their way between the crowded rows of monks, nuns, and laypeople, was interrupted by two offering prayers, the first in Sanskrit, the second in Tibetan, then the reading of Read the rest of this article

28th Kagyu Monlam: Day Three

December 17, 2010 – Bodhgaya

SESSION ONE: SOJONG

Today, before dawn, on the third morning of the 28th Kagyu Monlam, the whole assembly of monks and nuns gathered under the bodhi tree, which was lit up by a few overhead lights. All ordained Sangha were wearing their maroon dagams [heavy cloaks] awaiting the arrival of the master who would bestow the sojong vows. This morning was a little cooler than the previous mornings.

As the sky began to lighten, Kyabje Goshir Gyaltsap Rinpoche arrived, followed by the young Jamgon Kontrul Rinpoche.

Khenchen Yongzin Thrangu Rinpoche, Dorlob Tenga Rinpoche, Yonge Mingyur Rinpoche and other senior Kagyu lamas were in attendance this morning to receive the vows.

Kyabje Gyaltsap Rinpoche came down the central aisle, stood before the Shrine, put on his chogu and namcho, and made three prostrations. He then knelt Read the rest of this article