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Authentic Refuge

The Torch of Certainty, Session 2

Monlam Pavilion, Bodhgaya, India

January 3, 2014


In the morning session the Gyalwang Karmapa had explored the meaning of taking refuge and described how to visualize the refuge tree. After lunch he resumed his exposition of the text, blending an oral transmission of Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye’s commentary with his own insights and much practical advice.

Only the Three Jewels are able rescue us from samsara.  How then can we test the depth and authenticity of our refuge for ourselves?

First we can use the four measures:

1.     We need to be clearly aware of their unique attributes. This includes the qualities of body, speech, mind and activity.  The greatest and most immediate benefit for us comes from the qualities of the Buddha’s speech.  As to mind, the qualities of the Dharma are immeasurable because not only does it include the individual attributes of the Dharma of tradition and the Dharma of realization, but at the heart of the Dharma is the truth of the path and the truth of cessation. Ultimately, every good result  from our Read the rest of this article

Anniversary of Dusum Khyenpa


5 December 2013 – Tergar Monastery, Bodhgaya

On the anniversary of the parinirvana of the great First Karmapa, Dusum Khyenpa, His Holiness the Seventeenth Karmapa led several special celebratory events in the holy place of Bodhgaya.

After continuing the scheduled Kagyu Gunchö program in the morning, in the afternoon the Gyalwang Karmapa gave a detailed teaching on the sacred spiritual biography or namthar of Dusum Khyenpa, followed in the evening by a special Feast Offering Puja.

The great master known as Dusum Khyenpa, or ‘the knower of the three times’, was renowned for his ability to clearly see the past, present and future. He was the wellspring of the Karma Kamtsang lineage, and the first in the string of lives of the seventeen Karmapas, following one after another like beads on a mala.

Teaching to a gompa packed full with Read the rest of this article

“Environmental Conservation Must Be the Essence of Our Spiritual Practice”: Gyalwang Karmapa


12 November 2013 – India International Centre, New Delhi

On the final day of the 5th Khoryug Conference on Environmental Protection being held in New Delhi the Gyalwang Karmapa spoke passionately about the environmental emergency facing the world, and pointed to our individual personal consumption choices as one way to make a difference.

“Because of the sheer numbers of the human population and because of modern technology, we are having a horrific impact on our environment,” he told the 60 monastic delegates gathered from across the Himalayan region. “And we’ve become so jaded about this on the whole that it is as if we are asleep in the sleep of ignorance about what we are doing to the environment.”

“Each and every one of the more than 7 billion people on this planet has a brain. We’re all capable of understanding this, and yet Read the rest of this article

Gyalwang Karmapa Launches Major New Book on Tibet

20131107 Book Launch

6 November 2013 – Vivekananda International Foundation, New Delhi

Speaking at the launch of a major new book titled ‘Tibet: Perspectives and Prospects’, edited by Prabhat P. Shukla, the Gyalwang Karmapa spoke of the profound and important relationship between the Tibetan and Indian nations.

“Because Tibetan dharma and Tibetan culture both come from India, it is important for us as Tibetans to appreciate what we have received from India and our tremendous and long-standing debt, both spiritual and cultural, to this country,” he said. “It is important for us to recognize that as Tibetans partaking of Tibetan dharma and culture, we are in a sense the children of India—that India is the mother of Tibetan culture and dharma.”

“The relationship between India and Tibet is not Read the rest of this article

Anniversary Celebrations at the Tibetan Children’s Village

20131023 TCV anniv

23 October 2013 – Upper TCV, Dharamsala

Marking the 53rd Anniversary of the founding of the Tibetan Children’s Village School in Upper Dharamsala, today the Gyalwang Karmapa was guest of honor at a day of public celebrations. The school educates and raises young Tibetan refugee children, many with parents and families remaining in Tibet, and is currently home to around 2000 students and staff.

The Gyalwang Karmapa arrived around 9am, escorted by the school’s marching band, and took his seat on the balcony overlooking the outdoor arena. Shortly afterwards he was joined by Dr Lobsang Sangye, the Sikyong or Prime Minister of the Tibetan Government-In-Exile, while several thousand people filled the seats below.

Throughout the morning the Gyalwang Karmapa watched with enjoyment as the students Read the rest of this article