NEWS & CURRENT ACTIVITES

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Ritual for the Protector Sangharama

2016.02.11
11 February, 2016 -Monlam Pavilion,
This morning, continuing a centuries-old tradition, the Gyalwang Karmapa and Venerable Master Hai Tao from Taiwan officiated at a ritual for Sangharama, a protector deity. Also on stage participating in the ritual were nuns from Karma Drubdey Nunnery in Bhutan, and monastics from Hai Tao’s Life TV community in Taiwan. The Karmapa performs this ritual annually during the Tibetan New Year. Today was the first time the Sangharama ritual has been conducted inside the Monlam Pavilion.

The protector Sangharama, also known by the name Guan Yu or Guan Gong, is a Chinese deity and also one of the protectors of the Karmapa’s Tsurphu Monastery in Tibet.

The connection between Sangharama and the Karmapa lineage began when the 5th Karmapa, Deshin Shekpa, traveled to China at the invitation of the Chinese emperor Read the rest of this article

Reviving the Karmapa’s Traditions: The Empowerment and Practice of the Three Roots Combined

2016.02.08
7-8 February, 2016 -Monlam Pavilion,
The vast altar of the Pavilion was transformed again for the empowerment of the Three Roots Combined. In the center was placed the great throne covered in brilliant gold over ornate carvings: on the back panel, a radiant Tsepakme (Amitayus, the central figure of today’s empowerment) would sit just above the Karmapa’s head like his crown ornament while two elegant peacocks with long flowing tails supported the table in front of him. Behind and perfectly aligned with the throne was the new statue of the Buddha; the two were linked by a series of huge formal bouquets in saffron, pale yellow, gold, and the accents of deep red.

For the preparation, the Karmapa sat at stage right, hidden behind a four-panel folding screen painted on both sides with the four bold kings, protectors of each direction. The sangha Read the rest of this article

Mahakala Puja: Burning the Tor-Gya

2016.02.07
7 February, 2016 -Monlam Pavillion, Bodhgaya
The Gutor Chenmo concluded on the twenty-ninth day of the twelfth Tibetan month, the penultimate day of the Tibetan year, and the day in each Tibetan month which is allocated for Dharmapala practice.

The morning followed the usual pattern of Chakrasamvara self-visualisation followed by torma offerings to Four-armed Mahakala. After lunch everyone gathered back in the pavillion for the concluding rituals of the Gutor. A murmur of surprised delight ran through the auditorium when people spotted that nine-year-old Bokar Rinpoche Yangsi had arrived and taken his seat on stage in the front row. (Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche and Gyaltsab Rinpoche were not present because they were leading the lama retreat for the accomplishment of the Practice of Amitayus the Three Roots Combined, in preparation for the Read the rest of this article

Four-Armed Mahakala: Protector of the Marpa Kagyu

2016.02.05
5 and 6 February, 2016 -Monlam Pavillion, Bodhgaya,
By Friday morning, the beginning of the main practice, some noticeable changes had occurred at the pavillion. At 10.00pm the previous evening His Holiness the Karmapa had personally draped a golden silk robe over the Buddha statue. In addition, a gilded and decorated throne, higher and more ornate than the simple throne used on the first day, had been brought over from Tergar shrine room and now stood centre stage. A thangka of Four-Armed Mahakala hung over the offerings table which had been moved to the right of the Karmapa’s throne. The rows of maroon-clad monks and nuns had increased. Stretching out to either side behind the musicians and umzes, they now reached to the very edges of the pavillion. At their head sat the Vajra Master Gyaltsen Namgyal and Chief Khenpo Lobsang Nyima, both from Rumtek Read the rest of this article

The Mahakala Puja: Preparations Begin for Tibetan New Year

2016.02.04
4 February, 2016 -Monlam Pavillion, Bodhgaya
The Tibetan Year of the Wood Sheep is drawing to a close. In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, an extensive protector ritual–the Gutor Chenmo– is usually offered in the final week of the Tibetan year in order to clear away all obstacles before the new year begins. This year’s Gutor Chenmo is being offered to the Four-Armed form of the Dharma Protector Mahakala.

Over the last few weeks, many people have worked intensively to finish the Monlam Pavillion in time for the beginning of the Gutor. The floor has been repolished and cleaned. Door and window mantels have been painted in traditional Tibetan style, and a great backdrop of the rising sun has been painted on the new back wall of the pavilion. Pleated drapes have been hung from the ceiling, and the central aisle has been carpeted in red. Read the rest of this article