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The Revival of The Great Encampment (Garchen)

12th December – Bodhgaya.

An historic occasion.
In Bodhgaya on December 12, 2012, history was made: for the first time in four hundred years, the Karmapa’s Great Encampment, Ornament of the World, was established.(Follow link for a brief history.) Its form this time is serried waves of large forest and soft green tents pitched on the fields next to Tergar Monastery in Bodhgaya. The focal point of the whole area is the Gyalwang Karmapa’s quarters, fenced off by woven bamboo and containing the bright yellow tent that is his residence and shrine hall. It is flanked on either side by dark blue tents. One is a Protector Shrine for Mahakala with his gold and black banner rising high above it and the banners of Palden Lhamo and Damchen on either side. The other tent is a residence for Kyapje Jamgön Rinpoche and Kyapje Gyaltsap Rinpoche. In the four corners of the area are lighter blue tents for the guards and attendants. The grounds are Read the rest of this article

The 29th Kagyu Monlam: Day Eight

8 March, 2012 Bodhgaya

Long Life Ceremony for the Two Lords of Refuge, Tai Situ Rinpoche and Goshir Gyaltsap Rinpoche

On March 8, the Gyalwang Karmapa and the sangha gathered to offer a long life ceremony celebrating two of his heart sons, the Twelfth Tai Situ Rinpoche and the Twelfth Goshir Gyaltsap Rinpoche. As the dawn begins to color the edge of the sky, a huge crowd has filled the Monlam Pavilion and a special excitement runs through the air. Today will be Read more

The 29th Kagyu Monlam: Day Seven

7 March, 2012 Bodhgaya

Sojong and the alms procession

5.30am and at the Monlam Pavilion, H.E.Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche was giving the Mahayana sojong vows. Meanwhile, at Tergar Monastery 500 Read more

The 29th Kagyu Monlam: Day Six

6 March, 2012 Bodhgaya

The main events today centred around the Kangyur, the Tibetan collection of sutras or the written record of the words of the Buddha. This is covered in a separate feature.

Novice monks and nuns did not go to the Mahabodhi stupa. The Mahayana sojong vows  at the Monlam Pavilion were given by Khenpo Dönyö.  While the Kangyur procession was under way at the stupa,  those at the pavilion recited the Menlha (Medicine Buddha ritual).

Session Three: Prayers for the well-being of Tibet

The current troubles in Tibet mean that this year’s Monlam prayers for the well-being of Tibet have taken on an urgency and great significance.  Each year, His Holiness unfailingly attends this session. The  prayers in this section were written mostly by His Holiness the Fourteenth  Dalai Lama.

There must have been very many heavy hearts amongst the monks and nuns as they recited them, especially those whose families are Read the rest of this article

The 29th Kagyu Monlam: Day Five

5 March, 2012 Bodhgaya

Once more the day at the Monlam Pavilion began early at 5.30am.

The webcast team was in their places, ready to start broadcasting as Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche commenced the Mahayana Sojong vows. He sat on a cushion facing the assembly and read the vow-taking ritual from a sheet of paper, monks, nuns and laypeople repeating the vows after him.

Dawn broke slowly Read more