25th Feb –Vajra Vidhya Institute, Sarnath.
In the culmination of weeklong activities dedicated to the long life of the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje, which was organized by Tsurphu Labrang, today Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche offered a grand long-life Tenshug ceremony to the Gyalwang Karmapa, on behalf of the Tsurphu Labrang.
Today is Chotrul Duchen or the Day of Miracles, an exceptionally auspicious day in the Tibetan calendar. The day celebrates the Buddha’s great act of displaying miracles in order to subdue his opponents from rival philosophical schools. On this auspicious day the positive results of good actions are traditionally considered to be multiplied million times, making the vast offerings for the long life of the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa especially powerful.
The highlight of the morning’s activities was an invocation of wisdom-dakinis, which represents the five elements, through a sacred Five-Dakini dance. The dancers began by weaving around the Gyalwang Karmapa’s throne, before unfurling five silk scarves stretching outwards from the throne in the colors of the five wisdoms. As the dancers paused in meditation at the ends of the scarves, their movements symbolized the sacred connections between the wisdom dakinis and the guru, whose minds are one. Having thus invoked their samaya bonds, the wisdom dakinis then danced at the feet of the Gyalwang Karmapa, their flowing movements an effortless expression of meditation in motion.
During the morning’s puja Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche stood before the Gyalwang Karmapa’s throne, supported by his attendants, adorned in a red hat, to personally recite the liturgies. His voice rang throughout the gompa as he offered praises to the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, reminding those present of the deep bonds shared by these two masters over many lifetimes.
As the puja progressed, Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche and his General Secretary Pasang Trinley approached the throne to make offerings of body, speech and mind. Ashang Drub-Ngak, representing the Tsurphu Labrang, then offered mandala to both the Gyalwang Karmapa and Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche. Long-life Tenshug was next offered by the Kagyu Association from the Central University of Tibetan Studies, who represent a unity of all eight kagyu lineages, followed by an offering from a group of sponsors.
After lunch, the Gyalwang Karmapa returned once more to the gompa to preside over the afternoon’s puja as Umze (Chantmaster), leading the entire sangha in an extended Mahakala puja. With the protector Mahakala holding special significance for the Kagyu lineage, performing an extended version of the puja on this auspicious day generates powerful blessings for the entire lineage.