Friday 12th December, 2008
In the morning of the 12th of December, the Gyalwang Karmapa completed his first public engagement, visiting the Mahbodhi Stupa. He was greeted by the President of the Mahabodhi Management Committee, who presented His Holiness with a traditional Tibetan khatag. He then went to the Mahabodhi stupa main temple and into the shrine hall where he prostrated three times, offered Mandala prayers and recited the Praise of the Twelve Deeds of Lord Buddha. He then completed two circumambulations: one inner and one outer circuit.
The visit to the Mahabodhi Stupa was followed by a visit to the Bhutanese Temple, where His Holiness inspected the work in progress on the butter sculptures for the Kagyu Monlam. The sculptures are being prepared by a group of monks and nuns, chosen for their expertise from several Kagyu monasteries and nunneries.
In the afternoon the Gyalwang Karmapa presided over an assembly of the participants in the 12th Annual Karmae Gunchoe. He spoke about the origins of debate in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and its importance. He encouraged all the monks attending the Karmae Gunchoe to have sincere motivation and good understanding in their dharma practice.
His Holiness visits Mahabodhi and opens the Karma Gunchoe