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Offerings to the Sangha: the Alms Procession and the 16 Arhats

2016.02.21
21 February, 2016 -Monlam Pavillion, Bodhgaya
The tradition of almsgiving dates back to the beginnings of Buddhism, 2500 years ago. At that time monks and nuns were not allowed to keep or prepare food and were therefore completely dependent on whatever they were offered to eat by the local community. Each morning they would go from door to door and collect food. By offering food to the Sangha, laypeople not only showed their respect to the spiritual values that the Sangha symbolized, but were able to accumulate merit both by the action of generosity towards the Sangha and also by sharing in the merit which the monks and nuns generated through their spiritual practice.

In some Buddhist countries, the custom of the alms round has survived to this day, but in Tibet, because monasteries were supported by the local communities, it was no longer Read the rest of this article

Geshe Potowa’s Soliloquy Session Two: Death is certain, so resolve to practice the Dharma.

2016.02.17
17 February, 2016 -Monlam Pavillion, Bodhgaya
The tradition of the Dagpo Kagyu is the confluence of two great streams: the practice of Mahamudra from Milarepa and the Six Yogas of Naropa, and the mind training tradition received from Jowo Atisha and transmitted through the Kadampa masters. Both streams were united in Lord Gampopa. Mind training is the necessary foundation for the practice of Mahamudra, the Karmapa explained, which is why he chose to teach from the Kadampa masters as much as possible during the main Monlam. This year’s text—also called The Long Soliloquy of Mind Training—was too long to be taught in one year, so he would continue the teaching at next year’s Monlam.

Geshe Potowa Rinchen Sal spent seven years serving Dromtönpa, the principal student of Atisha and founder of the Kadampa tradition, and received the oral Read the rest of this article

Commemorating the Great Sixteenth Karmapa: the Dharma King

2016.02.14i
14 February, 2016 -Monlam Pavilion, Bodhgaya,
Seated on a simple throne directly below the eighteen-foot image of Shakyamuni Buddha, a life-like replica of the Sixteenth Karmapa, cloaked in golden brocade emblazoned with dragons and flowers and wearing his black activity hat, gazed down on the assembly of 10,000 gathered to celebrate his life and activities.

Many dignitaries and eminent people from across the Indian subcontinent and the world had gathered for this special event. They included eminent Rinpoches and learned Khenpos, members of the Bhutanese royal family, politicians, government officials, academics, and thousands of ordinary monks, nuns and laypeople whose lives had been touched in some way by the 16th Karmapa. The guests were dressed in a rich variety of national dress. Tibetan dignitaries in chubas, Bhutanese in their own Read the rest of this article

Royal Welcome for His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgön Chetsang

2016.02.13
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

Mahakala Puja: Burning the Tor-Gya

2016.02.07
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