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Gyalwang Karmapa Teaches in Sarnath on Keeping our Dharma Practice Pure

2015.02.27
27 February 2015 – Varja Vidya Institute, Sarnath

As dawn broke in Sarnath on 27 February, the skies opened and an auspicious light rain began to shower, several peals of thunder ruffling the early morning stillness. By 9am the skies had cleared and the sun shone brightly down on the crowd gathered in the lush gardens of the Vajra Vidya Institute, eagerly waiting to enter the shrine hall.

Although he had not planned to teach in Sarnath, the previous evening the Gyalwang Karmapa had spontaneously announced he would give a talk the following morning. This came as a surprise gift for the large, international group gathered at Vajra Vidya Institute for the annual two-week teaching seminar with Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, many of the Gyalwang Karmapa’s own students and devotees among them.

The Karmapa began by joking with the gathering that since he had spoken so much and given so many teachings already this year, he felt he hadn’t much left to say. Nonetheless, Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche and the Vajra Vidya khenpos had Read the rest of this article

Celebrating the Lama’s Long Life

2015.02.26
February 26, 2015 – Vajra Vidya, Sarnath
The first month of the Tibetan New Year is called the Month of Miracles since the Buddha demonstrated different miracles each day for fifteen days. It is said that during this month, the effect of practice is multiplied one hundred thousand times. February 26th is the eighth day of this first month; in general, the eighth day of any month is the one for engaging in the practice of the Medicine Buddha. In this way the Gyalwang Karmapa chose an especially propitious time to perform a long-life ceremony for his teacher, Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche.

The evening before, the Karmapa could be seen roaming the shrine hall as he directed a crew of monks to transform the main altar and area around it. A large and heavy throne along with its tall table was moved from one side to another and then back again while onlookers smiled, remembering how Marpa put Milarepa through building up and taking down the many towers. The central focus unfurled beneath the central golden Buddha, was an impressive scroll Read the rest of this article

Welcoming the Year of the Wood Sheep

2015.02.22
22 February 2015
Vajra Vidya, Sarnath

On 19 February the Gyalwang Karmapa enjoyed a low-key Losar or Tibetan New Year celebration in the sacred place of Bodhgaya. He began the Year of the Wood Sheep with a morning puja, individually blessing all those in attendance, before he joined around 150 close disciples, friends, and locals for a grand Losar lunch offered by Tsurphu Labrang.

After spending the first day of the New Year in the place where the Buddha attained ultimate awakening, on 20 February, the second day of the new year, the Karmapa followed in the Buddha’s own footsteps after enlightenment and journeyed west to Sarnath, to the place where the Buddha offered a Dharma teaching to his first five disciples and thus turned the wheel of Dharma for the very first time.

The Karmapa set off from Tergar Monastery in Bodhgaya in the early afternoon and finally reached Vajra Vidya Monastery in Sarnath just as the sun slowly dipped into the horizon, its last rays striking off the curved golden rooftops of the monastery and Read the rest of this article

The Gyalwang Karmapa Returns to the Mahabodhi Temple

2015.02.13
February 13, 2015
The stupa is peaceful on this clear midmorning. Light falls through the Bodhi Tree, glancing off its shiny leaves and weaving its way through the spread of the ancient branches. Beneath its canopy Thai pilgrims, all dressed in white, follow ocher-robed monks around the stupa, the call and response of their chanting reverberating off the carved stone walls. A few seasoned pilgrims have gathered along the path, having noticed that a red carpet has been laid from the main gate, its triple arch covered in rose buds, down the wide flight of steps, along the marble path and into the temple; another red carpet circles the entire inner circumambulation path; and on the far side, the low stone lotus flowers marking the path of the Buddha have been overlaid with a thirty-foot strip of maroon silk, embroidered in a long row of gold lotuses.

Slightly after ten, the Gyalwang Karmapa appears at the head of the sacred precinct’s stairs and walks down the red carpet into the main temple to bow at the feet of the golden Buddha. He Read the rest of this article

“The Greatness of Small Acts”: Gyalwang Karmapa Interacts with Students at the University of Delhi

2015.01.31i
31 January 2015, New Delhi

This afternoon the Gyalwang Karmapa made his first ever visit to the University of Delhi, where he interacted with students and faculty primarily from the Department of Buddhist Studies and spoke on ‘The Greatness of Small Acts’.

He was warmly welcomed to the university with a traditional Tibetan white silk scarf and bouquet of flowers by Professor Jain Khurana, Dean of Student Welfare and Professor Hira Paul Gangnegi, Head of the Department of Buddhist Studies.

The Karmapa appeared relaxed and lighthearted, joking with the students that he didn’t really think he could teach them much.

“I’ve had several opportunities to meet with students and we’ve had a wonderful chance to share experiences and ideas,” he said. “Sometimes the way I feel after these events is that I have so much to learn from hearing about your experiences and education, that in the end I get more out of it than you do!”

Over past years the Karmapa has held a series of sustained Read the rest of this article