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Torch of True Meaning

Session One
Offering the Mandala: Extracting the Essence

12 February, 2016 -Monlam Pavillion, Bodhgaya,
To open the Mandala offering practice, the Karmapa emphasized the essential meaning of the word ‘mandala’. We say ‘mandala’ but it is a Sanskrit word not Tibetan, he explained. The word means ‘centre and edges’ or ‘centre and surroundings’, or ‘the primary and the edges’.

    The centre is the essence. The meaning of mandala is that we are extracting the essence. In the secret mantra it’s said the essence is the natural fundamental wisdom. That’s what we need to extract. Beginners need to accomplish it gradually through the path.
    Mandala is a method for us to extract the essence, the ultimate unified fundamental wisdom. We repeatedly make offerings to the gurus. We have Read the rest of this article

Royal Welcome for His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgön Chetsang

Tergar Monastery, Bodhgaya -13 February, 2016
His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgön Chetsang Trinley Lhundrup was accorded the highest honours in the Tibetan tradition when he arrived in Bodhgaya today. His Holiness, the 37th in the line of throne holders in the Drikung Kagyu lineage, will be the Chief Guest at the commemoration of the life and activities of the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa to be held on 14th February, 2016.

His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgön Chetsang was received at the airport by Karma Chungyalpa, General Secretary of the Tsurphu Labrang, Chamsing Ngodup Pelzom, sister to His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, Rinpoches, Khenpos and General Secretaries and representatives of Palpung Labrang, Jamgon Labrang and Gyaltsab Labrang.

Three welcome gates had been erected along the approach road to the monastery. More than a Read the rest of this article

Ritual for the Protector Sangharama

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

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

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