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
January 1, 2014 – Bodhgaya.
For most people the first day of 2014 was a holiday, but the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa’s day was filled with a range of activities combining duty, social activism and ritual.
It began with a Massed Clouds of Nectar Sang smoke puja offering in his golden tent at the centre of the Garchen, for purification and invocation of blessings. His Holiness was joined in the puja by Gyaltsab Rinpoche and other Kagyu tulkus and lamas.
Next, on the first day of the new year, His Holiness paid a visit to the holiest Buddhist site in the world, the Mahabodhi Temple. There he launched the official 2014 calendar of the Mahabodhi Temple Management Committee in the inner sanctum, before presiding over a session of the Jonang Monlam under the Bodhi Tree.
Back at Tergar in the Monlam Pavilion, His Holiness distributed blankets to people in need, before returning to his quarters at Read the rest of this article
January 1, 2012- Sarnath, Varanasi.
As an auspicious and joyful start to the new year the Gyalwang Karmapa joined the monastic assembly of Vajra Vidya Institute for prayers and practice, including the Offerings to the 16 Elders practice.
Following the prayers, the Gyalwang Karmapa addressed the assembly, which included visiting international disciples as well as the resident lamas and monks of Vajra Vidya. His Holiness spoke first in Tibetan, and then in English.
Echoing his New Years Message, His Holiness noted that there has been a great deal of talk that the year 2012 will be a year of natural disasters and turmoil. We cannot predict what lies ahead and the potential for great change in our environment and in society is indeed present in any given year, he said. He added that our external environment is very important and also a source of great kindness to us.
Whatever upheaval may occur in the world around us, the root of our happiness and wellbeing remains the same. The cause of the health and happiness we Read the rest of this article
March 5, 2011. Sarnath, Varanasi.
According to the Tibetan calendar this is now the Year of the Iron Rabbit.
The Gyalwang Karmapa celebrated Tibetan New Year in the company of his tutor, Khenchen Yongzin Thrangu Rinpoche, and Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, who is currently visiting from the U.S.A.
Preceded by an incense bearer and monks playing the gyalin [Tibetan trumpet] His Holiness arrived in the main shrine room at Vajra Vidya Institute shortly before 7.00am, splendidly attired in gold brocade tonka and wearing traditional Tibetan white felt boots for the occasion. He mounted the throne, carefully donned his black-and-gold activity crown, and the ceremony to welcome in the new year began.
First came the presentation of traditional Tibetan white silk scarves called katag and gifts. A long line formed led by the Read the rest of this article
January 1, 2010 – Bodhgaya, India
After three years of reading the biography of Milarepa to Kagyu Monlam attendees, two hours at a time, His Holiness transmitted the entire life of Milarepa in a single, magnificent evening. In what was nothing short of a world-class theatrical event, approximately 12,000 people turned out and many viewers were watching live online to view a play of Milarepa’s life created by His Holiness and performed by actors from the Tibetan Institute for the Performing Arts (TIPA). Read more