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27th Kagyu Monlam Opens in Bodhgaya – A Theme of “Gratitude”

December 24, 2009 – Under the Bodhi Tree, Bodhgaya

As His Holiness moved through the dawn mist yesterday to take his place under the graceful branches of the Bodhi Tree, the long-awaited 27th Kagyu Monlam was officially underway. The theme for this year’s prayer gathering is “gratitude,” and this theme was surely reflected in the hearts of the thousands of disciples who managed to bring together the conditions to be present in Bodhgaya after this year of economic turmoil.

The Gyalwang Karmapa opened Kagyu Monlam by offering the 24-hour Mahayana Sojong precepts to the immense gathering of monks, nuns, laymen and laywomen. His Holiness has noted in the past that aspirations made by men and women together are more powerful and carry greater effects, as are the aspirations made by people holding vows. As such, the Mahayana Sojong ceremony is a particularly appropriate way to open Kagyu Monlam, since it allows monastic and lay to observe pure ethical discipline and so to strengthen the power of the prayers they make throughout the day.

During the second session of the day, His Holiness continued the reading transmission of The Life of Milarepa that he had begun in previous years. This year he will conclude that transmission, and in honor of that, the Read the rest of this article

Gyalwang Karmapa Attends The 8th Jonang Monlam at the Mahabodhi Stupa

December 18, 2009 – Mahabodhi Stupa, Bodhgaya

His Holiness was requested to attend the 8th Jonang Monlam and to lead the prayer ceremonies. At the Jonang Monlam entrance gate, His Holiness was welcomed by Khen Rinpoche Choe-kyi Nangpa Chog of the Jonang Tradition. His Holiness was escorted to the main shrine room inside the Mahabodhi Stupa by monks carrying incense and playing gyalin. His Holiness prostrated and recited prayers before making his way to the enclosure in front of the Bodhi Tree, to join the morning session of the Jonang Monlam.

Many people were gathered at the Jonang Monlam, mostly monks and nuns, some Tibetan laypeople, and a scattered crowd of foreign tourists and Westerners. After a mandala offering was made to His Holiness, he completed his visit by circumambulating the outer circuit, followed by a large crowd of devotees. Read the rest of this article

The 26th Kagyu Monlam Begins

Saturday January 04, 2009

His Holiness dedicated the first day of Kagyu Monlam Puja to the victims of recent Mumbai attack.

26th Kagyu Monlam Chenmo began with a quiet thick, damp fog blanketed all over Bodh Gaya. At 5 am the participants proceeded to the Mahabodhi Stupa, only gradually did their forms emerge from the silent mist. The closer to the Stupa they came, the greater were their numbers, until monks, nuns and laypeople from all parts of the world came streaming through the great gates of the Stupa complex and began their circumambulation of the ancient site, murmuring mantras and prayers. An electricity cut made the early morning seem even more mystical, and the reduced lighting caused the Stupa to appear floating in space and insubstantial.

Beneath the Bodhi Tree, devotees found their way to their seats and sat waiting expectantly for the arrival of His Holiness Gyalwang Karmapa, Jamgon Rinpoche, Gyaltsab Rinpoche, Thrangu Rinpoche, Kalu Rinpoche, Mingyur Rinpoche and other high lamas. Fragrant incense wafted in the air, every stupa, wall and railing was decorated with strings of marigolds, and the Kagyu Monlam Shrine stretched resplendently across the front of the assembly against a background of draping yellow and blue cloth. Monks and nuns donned their yellow Read the rest of this article

His Holiness In Bodhgaya (January 2006)

Goto slideshow


The 23rd Annual Great Monlam Aspiration of the Glorious Unequaled Kagyu Sangha, which began January 7 in Bodhgaya, successfully concluded on January 14th with a moving nighttime butter lamp ceremony and special aspiration prayers. The prayers and songs included a new composition by His Holiness in Tibetan and translated into English entitled “An Aspiration for the World.” The composition was musically arranged for singing by the international audience in attendance at the Monlam, and concludes with the aspiration that in every section of the world will thrive “a fertile field of peace and joy, rich with the leaves and fruits of happiness, filled with many scents of freedom.” under the descendent of the very Bodhi Tree where Buddha Sakyamuni attained enlightenment.

On January 7th, His Holiness the Gyalwa Karmapa opened the annual ceremony, called in Tibetan the Pal Nyammay Kagyupay Sangha Monlam Chenmoand gave the monks and nuns (gelongs and gelongmas) their monastic vows for the Read the rest of this article