November 20, 2010
The Gyalwang Karmapa left first thing in the morning with a small entourage to pay homage at the central shrine of Buddhism, the Mahabodhi Temple, home to the Bodhi tree and other sites linked with the time when Shakyamuni Buddha attained enlightenment.
The Gyalwang Karmapa was welcomed by Mr N.T. Dorje, Secretary of the Bodhgaya Temple Management Committee, and the Head Monk-in-Charge the Venerable Pande Chalinda. His Holiness was escorted in procession through the Mahabodhi Stupa Ground and went directly to the main shrine room. Having prostrated three times, he presented traditional offerings of light, fruit, flowers, a donation and a new golden silk robe for the Buddha image, and recited prayers.
Leaving the shrine room, Gyalwang Karmapa walked around to the area behind the temple, under the Bodhi tree, where he joined a session of a Guru Rinpoche Tsog, at the request of a local Drukpa Kagyu Monastery, Sangak Choeling Monastery, the sponsor of the tsog.
On his return journey to Tergar Monastery, His Holiness stopped to visit the Bhutanese Monastery where each year a dedicated group of specially trained monks and nuns prepare the extraordinary butter sculptures – or in Tibetan torma- for the annual Kagyu Monlam Chenmo.
This year there are eight large torma in preparation. Each torma portrays a scene from the Life of Buddha, and is crowned by an image of one of the first eight Karmapas, flanked by their two main disciples.
The monks and nuns started work at the beginning of November and have made excellent progress.
His Holiness discussed their work with them and made a few suggestions.