For five days this year’s Monlam had been held at the Monlam Pavilion, two kilometers from Bodhgaya, so it felt strange on the sixth day to be in Bodhgaya, standing at the entrance to the Mahabodhi stupa grounds at five o’clock in the morning once more. Strange, but also very comfortable, like coming home. This ancient site radiates a pervasive feeling of sacredness, as if the broken stones themselves are a repository for two thousand years of devotion, hope, and trust in the way of the Buddha. Sitting under the bodhi tree, waiting for the Gyalwang Karmapa to arrive, people commented that they missed being at the stupa. However, for once, laypeople were able to sit where the novice monks and nuns would have been sitting, closer to the shrine, His Holiness and the bodhi tree, rather than crowded Read the rest of this article
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
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 Read the rest of this article
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