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Gyalwang Karmapa Teaches in Sarnath on Keeping our Dharma Practice Pure

27 February 2015 – Varja Vidya Institute, Sarnath

As dawn broke in Sarnath on 27 February, the skies opened and an auspicious light rain began to shower, several peals of thunder ruffling the early morning stillness. By 9am the skies had cleared and the sun shone brightly down on the crowd gathered in the lush gardens of the Vajra Vidya Institute, eagerly waiting to enter the shrine hall.

Although he had not planned to teach in Sarnath, the previous evening the Gyalwang Karmapa had spontaneously announced he would give a talk the following morning. This came as a surprise gift for the large, international group gathered at Vajra Vidya Institute for the annual two-week teaching seminar with Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, many of the Gyalwang Karmapa’s own students and devotees among them.

The Karmapa began by joking with the gathering that since he had spoken so much and given so many teachings already this year, he felt he hadn’t much left to say. Nonetheless, Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche and the Vajra Vidya khenpos had Read the rest of this article

Celebrating the Lama’s Long Life

February 26, 2015 – Vajra Vidya, Sarnath
The first month of the Tibetan New Year is called the Month of Miracles since the Buddha demonstrated different miracles each day for fifteen days. It is said that during this month, the effect of practice is multiplied one hundred thousand times. February 26th is the eighth day of this first month; in general, the eighth day of any month is the one for engaging in the practice of the Medicine Buddha. In this way the Gyalwang Karmapa chose an especially propitious time to perform a long-life ceremony for his teacher, Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche.

The evening before, the Karmapa could be seen roaming the shrine hall as he directed a crew of monks to transform the main altar and area around it. A large and heavy throne along with its tall table was moved from one side to another and then back again while onlookers smiled, remembering how Marpa put Milarepa through building up and taking down the many towers. The central focus unfurled beneath the central golden Buddha, was an impressive scroll Read the rest of this article

Welcoming the Year of the Wood Sheep

22 February 2015
Vajra Vidya, Sarnath

On 19 February the Gyalwang Karmapa enjoyed a low-key Losar or Tibetan New Year celebration in the sacred place of Bodhgaya. He began the Year of the Wood Sheep with a morning puja, individually blessing all those in attendance, before he joined around 150 close disciples, friends, and locals for a grand Losar lunch offered by Tsurphu Labrang.

After spending the first day of the New Year in the place where the Buddha attained ultimate awakening, on 20 February, the second day of the new year, the Karmapa followed in the Buddha’s own footsteps after enlightenment and journeyed west to Sarnath, to the place where the Buddha offered a Dharma teaching to his first five disciples and thus turned the wheel of Dharma for the very first time.

The Karmapa set off from Tergar Monastery in Bodhgaya in the early afternoon and finally reached Vajra Vidya Monastery in Sarnath just as the sun slowly dipped into the horizon, its last rays striking off the curved golden rooftops of the monastery and Read the rest of this article

Happy Losar

2014.03.02 LOSAR
2 March 2014 – Vajra Vidya Monastery, Sarnath

A week after his arrival in the holy Buddhist town of Sarnath the Gyalwang Karmapa enjoyed Losar, or Tibetan New Year, with his main tutor Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche.

It was standing-room-only inside Vajra Vidya Monastery’s main shrine hall on the morning of Losar, with many monks, nuns, local Tibetans and international devotees crowding inside. Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche began by making mandala offerings to the Gyalwang Karmapa, followed by a traditional Tibetan ceremony with tea, sweet rice, and special Losar ‘kapsi’ bread for all. The two masters then retired to Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche’s private rooms where they enjoyed tea and each other’s company.

Celebrations marking the Year of the Wood Horse continued throughout the day, with lion dances and comical races amongst the youngest monks entertaining the crowd in the morning, including the sack race, spoon-and-marble race, tug-of-war competitions, and a lively game of musical chairs. Members of the Read the rest of this article

Inaugural Meeting of the Karma Kamtsang Directors of Publications

2014.02.26 publication meeting
26th Feb, 2014 – Vajra Vidhya Institute, Varanasi.

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