For the purpose of establishing cooperation and unity between the publishing groups of the different Karma Kamtsang monasteries, His Holiness called a meeting of their leaders at Vajra Vidya Institute, Sarnath. Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche graced the conference with his presence, offering his full support and encouragement towards this important endeavour. As His Holiness explained, until now, the publishing groups of the different monasteries have been working hard within their own spheres, but because of a lack of communication between them, there have been some problems such as multiple printings of a common text, while more rare and important texts have been overlooked. Since the readership of Tibetan is relatively small, he expressed that it is important for the groups to come together to pool their resources, and share the responsibility for preserving the full Karma Kamtsang textual tradition and the Buddha’s teachings in Read the rest of this article
This chilly February morning found the Tibetan colony of Majnukatilla bedecked with flags and banners as people lined up early to get a good seat for the long life empowerment from the Gyalwang Karmapa. His Holiness first inaugurated the colony’s new community center, and then made his way to Samye Ling TCV school where more than two thousand people were waiting for the blessing and empowerment. The local head of the Tibetan community extended a whole-hearted welcome to His Holiness with speeches and a traditional offering of tea and rice.
His Holiness then bestowed the empowerment of Amitayus, expressing that our faith and good heart gave this meeting its auspicious meaning. Following the empowerment, he spoke at some length to the community members, giving them advice on many matters, from health to the Tibetan political cause. He stressed the importance of unity among Tibetans – that they shouldn’t allow the changing world situation to divide them, but should Read the rest of this article
The second day of the Tsurluk Losar festival began with the ritual of The Sixteen Arhats in the main shrine room. The Sixteen Arhats [Tib. Neten Chudruk], also known as the Sixteen Elders, were personally chosen by Shakyamuni Buddha from amongst his disciples. He asked them to remain in the world in order to protect the Buddhist Dharma for as long as beings are capable of benefitting from the teachings.
As His Holiness had explained during Kagyu Monlam, the Sixteen Arhats are invoked in order to help the Dharma flourish. “The Dharma teachings are the sole medicine, the sole salve for all sentient beings. It’s the only medicine to eliminate the sufferings of sentient beings, ”he commented.
In the context of the Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering for Nuns, there was special emphasis on the role of the nuns in the flourishing of the Dharma and an aspiration that the community of nuns would also flourish.
Yet again, from early morning His Read the rest of this article
3.00 am. In the early morning darkness the only movement was from hundreds of festive red and golden fairy lights, strung in glittering garlands from the roof and walls of the temple. They swayed gently, their reflections shimmering in the windows. Suddenly, the stillness was rent by the call of Tibetan trumpets across the rooftops of Tergar Monastery: the Tibetan Year of the Male Wood Horse had arrived. Although the majority of Tibetans these days keep the Phukluk calendar, dating from 1447 CE and named after Phukpa Lhundrup Gyatso who founded the astrological tradition on which it is based, the Gyalwang Karmapas have preserved an earlier tradition. Known as the Tsurluk calendar, because of its association with Tsurphu Monastery, it is based on an astrological treatise The Compendium of Astrology compiled by the Third Karmapa Rangjung Dorje (1284 CE -1339 CE). It became popular during the time of the Seventh Karmapa Chodrak Gyatso, and remains the official calendar of the Karma Kamtsang to Read the rest of this article
Despite his heavy teaching schedule, the Gyalwang Karmapa slipped away during the lunch break to visit the Cham dancing at the Royal Bhutanese Monastery, Druk Ngawang Thubten Chokling. The monastery is the seat of the Shabdrung of Bhutan, and belongs to the Drukpa Kagyu tradition.
As His Holiness’ car approached, a line of leaping performers danced out to greet him, forming a unique, Bhutanese-style serbang or ceremonial procession to escort his car through the welcome gate into the monastery grounds and to the temple, where the Abbot and senior monks were waiting for him.
Entering the three-storey temple, the Karmapa first lit two butter lamps as offerings on the altar, and prostrated three times. At the request of the Abbot, he then consecrated a new Buddha statue, before sitting down on the throne to receive a kusungthug mandala offering, presented by the abbot and senior monks, accompanied by the mother of the young incarnation of the Shabdrung.
His Holiness’ next duty was to Read the rest of this article