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Gyalwang Karmapa’s Teaching During the 1st Arya Kshema Nuns’ Gathering – Why Bhikshuni Ordination is Important


21-24 January 2014 – Tergar Monastery, Bodhgaya

Women monastics are indispensible

During the historic first Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering for Kagyu nuns the Gyalwang Karmapa offered eight days of dharma discourses, interspersing his teachings with frank and well-researched advice on the important issue of full-nun’s ordination in Tibet (known in Sanskrit as ‘Bhikshuni’ ordination and in Tibetan as ‘Gelongma’ ordination).

Citing little-known textual descriptions, the Gyalwang Karmapa related accounts of thriving nuns’ communities—including many fully ordained nuns—in central areas of Tibet several centuries ago. However, such communities have disappeared and today there is no full ordination offered to nuns within the Tibetan tradition.

It is important for us to once again have a community of fully ordained nuns now, the Gyalwang Karmapa unequivocally said, stressing that only with the presence of fully ordained women is the Buddhist community complete.

Teaching primarily to around 207 nuns from six Kagyu nunneries who took part in the Arya Kshema Gathering, Read the rest of this article

A Mandala That Brings Happiness and Benefit to Animals: Inauguration of Extended Veterinarian Camp Programme in Bodhgaya

2014.01.24

January 24, 2014

Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi was Chief Guest  at the inauguration of this new initiative  by Kagyupa International Monlam Trust aimed at  alleviating the suffering of  animals in Gaya District, Bihar,  and thereby improving  the health of the local human population too. Mrs. Gandhi has been a long-standing member of the Parliament serving as a minister in four Governments, and is renowned for her love and care for animals.  During her political career she has worked to pass important legislation, including specific measures to protect the environment, to promote social welfare and to protect the rights of animals.  She helped set up new institutions such as the National Zoo Authority and the Animal Welfare Board of India.  She also runs her own animal sanctuary in the heart of New Delhi, named in honour of her late husband, Sanjay Gandhi. This sanctuary, established in 1983, is the largest of its kind in Asia and cares for 3000 animals at any one time.

 

The ceremony opened with a speech by Dr Read the rest of this article

Another Step Forward for the Nuns of the Karma Kamtsang: The Opening Ceremony of the 1st Annual Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering

2014.01.20
January 20, 2014

Tergar Monastery Shrine Room

 

The main shrine hall of Tergar Monastery had been transformed for this the first ever Karma Kamtsang Nuns’ Winter Dharma Gathering. The great tormas from the Kagyu Monlam had been brought over from the pavilion and, along with offerings of fruit, biscuits and sweets, intricately arranged into cylindrical shapes Korean style, they adorned the front of the dais behind the Gyalwang Karmapa’s throne.

The magnificent, brightly-coloured stitched thangkas of the Kagyu forefathers and lineage holders, which had lined the sides of the Monlam Pavilion aisle, now hung on either side of the central section of the shrine room. The 197 nuns, drawn from 6 Karma Kagyu nunneries in Bhutan, India and Nepal, along with a scattering of Chinese and Western nuns who follow the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, sat patiently in rows of raised seats, and a nun umze waited to lead the chanting..

The Gyalwang Karmapa has several times expressed his intention to raise the educational Read the rest of this article

In Praise of the Gurus

2014.01.15
January 15, 2014 – Monlam Pavilion, Bodhgaya

Sessions 1, 2, 3

 

Although still cloudy, the land was clear of mist and fog this morning, when the gong sounded clearly across the Garchen at 3.00am, waking the monks and nuns in order to attend the full-moon day sojong for ordained sangha at 4.00am, administered by Khenpo Lodrö Dönyö Rinpoche. Laypeople began arriving at the Monlam Pavilion two hours later to receive the Mahayana Sojong vows bestowed by the Gyalwang Karmapa.

On the top tier of the stage, the great tormas rose magnificently, set against a translucent blue sky peppered with white clouds, projected on to the new screen background, installed three days ago. This screen will be used for visual effects during the Marme Monlam on 16th January, and stretches the width of the stage, concealing the painting of Mt. Kailash.

The Karmapa sat facing the congregation  on a low seat,  flanked by Gyaltsab Rinpoche and Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche. Behind, a row of Chinese-style festive banners had Read the rest of this article

Invoking the Blessings of the 16 Arhats: the Alms Procession Takes a New Form

2014.01.14
January 14, 2014

Tergar Monastery, Bodhgaya

 

The Alms Procession, an annual feature of the Kagyu Monlam in Bodhgaya, took on a new form and meaning this year when the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa revived another Kagyu tradition, the Procession of the 16 Arhats. Originally, during the time of the 7th, 9th and 10th Karmapas, this procession of the 16 Arhats was held on the final day of the Monlam Chenmo. During the time of the 15th and 16th Karmapas it was held on full-moon day in the first month of the Tibetan year.

The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa has given this tradition new life by incorporating it into the Alms Procession, and he invested his time and energy to ensure that it went well. On Sunday evening, amid much laughter, he personally chose the gelongs who would represent the arhats in the procession. He checked each candidate, made jokes about height and weight, and debated whether an arhat could wear glasses or not. Sadly, because of the Read the rest of this article