Keep up to date with the Karmapa's activities, teachings and travels by subscribing by email or Twitter below. You can unsubscribe whenever you like.

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

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

Long Life Ceremonies for the Gyalwang Karmapa

Sarnath, Varanasi, March 21, 2014

On the beautiful full moon day of March 16, five days of long life practice (tsedrup) for the Gyalwang Karmapa began at Vajra Vidya Institute in Sarnath, India. In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, lamas are often requested to remain in the life for a long time, as it is believed that they have a choice over how long they stay. It is also taught that when followers have a good connection with the teacher, this petition can have a great effect. Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, a close disciple of the previous Karmapa and tutor to the 17th, called in all of his main lamas running centers abroad, from as far away as Canada to as near as Nepal, to be in Sarnath for these ceremonies.

The text for the practice is known as “The Union of Method and Wisdom, A Long Life Practice.” It was composed by Yongye Mingyur Dorje, a great treasure discoverer from Eastern Tibet, who had a close connection with the Karmapas and the Kagyu lineage. The relation between this practice and Thrangu Monastery began in Tibet Read the rest of this article

The Gyalwang Karmapa Holds Candlelight Vigil for MH370

2014.03.12 MH307

12 March 2014, – Vajra Vidya Monastery, Sarnath

Four days after the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, as so many people wait, distressed and puzzled, to discover the fate of the passengers, His Holiness held a candlelight vigil at Vajra Vidya Institute in Sarnath, to make prayers for the missing people, their families and friends. His Holiness was joined by the monks of the Institute, and many foreign students. As we chanted supplications to the protectress Tara and to Guru Rinpoche, some monks began to light butter lamps. As per His Holiness’s instruction, they had written out the flight number with the lamps. Gentle tones echoed through the night, carrying our best wishes and prayers for the well-being of the lost passengers, their loved ones, and indeed all beings in distress. It was a good opportunity to slow down and feel our connections with others. As our leader and guide, His Holiness presided over the entire ceremony, setting a tone of both introspection and compassionate outreach. The vigil Read the rest of this article

The Gyalwang Karmapa Meets Students At Central University Of Tibetan Studies In Sarnath


9th March 2013 –Central University of Tibetan Studies, Sarnath.

Today, the Gyawang Karmapa accepted a request for a talk from the Central University of Tibetan Studies in Sarnath, India. Sitting majestically on an elaborately carved throne, he first received ceremonial scarves from the faculty and administration of the University.

The Karmapa began his talk by encouraging people to take a larger, long-term view of the Tibetan situation and think about the ways to improve it. The University has an excellent library, which can serve as a support for extended research. It is also true that many Tibetans now live in India, the ancestral home of Buddhism, and this provides another opportunity for research. Indian has many of the remains of Buddhist civilization but if you look around there are no individuals at these sites holding the tradition. In Tibet, however, the tradition was preserved in lineages passed from teacher to student down to this present day, so the two Read the rest of this article