Karmapa Mahakala dance at the Kagyu Monlam


The Kagyu Monlam is a heart project of the Gyalwang Karmapa. Every year, thousands of lamas, monks, nuns, and laypeople gather in Bodhgaya to perform practices, charitable activities, and hear teachings, all of which is dedicated to world peace. This page is a small introduction in to this wonderful event that is expanding around the world.

Photo thanks to Filip Wolak.


Kagyu Monlam is to spread the seeds of loving kindness and pure motivation, to activate their power, and hence bring about genuine peace, love, happiness and well-being in the world.

— 17th Gyalwang Karmapa

Akshobhya Fire Ritual

Every year at the Kagyu Monlam the Karmapa performs the Akshobya fire ritual for those who have died during the year – a practice said to be able to liberate those who have fallen to the lower realms.


Kagyu Monlam Logo by Karmapa

The Kagyu Monlam Logo

In 2007 the Gyalwang Karmapa announced a new logo based on his love of the environment:

There is a new logo for the Monlam this year, and I would like to explain it. Throughout my life I have always felt that the outer natural elements and my own mind are close. I have a special connection with the four elements. I am not being superstitious and saying I can talk to the elements, but sometimes it feels that way.

Ever since the human race first appeared on this earth, we have used this earth heavily. It is said that ninety-nine percent of the resources and so on in this world come from the natural environment. We are using the earth until she is used up. The earth has given us immeasurable benefit, but what have we done for the earth in return? We always ask for something from the earth, but never give her anything back.


Teachings at the Kagyu Monlam

Each year the Gyalwang Karmapa generously teaches the Dharma at the Monlam. Here are a few highlights.

The Myraid of Activities at Kagyu Monlam

More than a prayer festival, the Kagyu Monlam is a time when many activities take place from the Kangyur Procession, animal clinic, free hospital for the local people, free kitchen, and much more. These activities are catalogued at the official Kagyu Monlam website.

karmapa with monks and yogis
free medical camp at kagyu monlam
Karmapa Mahakala Dance
offering robes to the statue of buddha
Kagyu Monlam Pavillion
reading the Kangyur
View more of the Karmapa’s activities