His Holiness Karmapa Concludes 2005-2006 Tour and Returns to Dharamsala (February 2006)

After closing the 2550th Buddha Jayanti Celebration in Bodhgaya, His Holiness returned to Varanasi on the 20th of February, arriving at Vajra Vidhya Insitute in the afternoon. On his final day in Varanasi, the Karmapa fed the deer at Deer Park in Sarnath and meditated in front of the relics of Sakyamuni Buddha stored at the Relic Stupa. His Holiness then departed for New Delhi, on his way to back to Dharamsala.
Before departing New Delhi, His Holiness the Gyalwa Karmapa gave a teaching to the Tibet Study Group of India outdoors at the International Centre Auditorium in New Delhi. His Holiness arrived at his temporary camp in Gyuto Ramoche Tantric University on the 25th of February.
On the 28th of February, His Holiness was invited to participate in celebration of the Tibetan New Year (Losar according to the Phukluk Tibetan calendar -- see here for more about the different calendar traditions in Tibet).The early morning session began with a mandala offering of long life to His Holiness by Ven. Khenpo Rinpoche of Gyuto Monastery. Ceremonial tea and rice were served to the assembly, and at the conclusion members of the audience offered khatas and His Holiness conferred his blessings.
On the following day, March 1, 2006, His Holiness celebrated the New Year with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, offering him a good luck scarf (khata) as the Dalai Lama's residence. - Karma Woser Rabte



His Holiness Karmapa Leads Prayers for Peace as Chief Guest at the 2550th Buddha Jayanti Celebrations in Bodh Gaya (February 2006)

His Holiness arrived in Bodh Gaya from Varanasi on 17th February, to attend the 2550th Buddha Jayanti Celebration, at the invitation of the Maha Bodhi Society of India. Along with his entourage, His Holiness reached the Mahayana Guest House in the early afternoon, where he was received by Ven. P. Seewalee Thero, Bhikkhu-in-charge, MBSI, Bodhgaya center at the main gate of the Guest House, who offered a khata to the Karmapa.
The next morning, His Holiness visited the Maha Bodhi Temple and offered flowers and fruit to the main image of the Lord Buddha. He also offered a robe to the statue and recited a short supplication prayer. His Holiness than observed the activities aroung the the main stupa, including the ongoing month-long Tripitaka Chanting by venerable monks from different countries, which included Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar & India.
The concluding ceremony for the week-long celebrations of 2550th Buddha Jayanti celebration was on February 19th. HH Karmapa was the Chief Guest of the Celebration, at the International Inter-Religious Dialogue Conference, held at the Kalachakra ceremonial grounds. The theme of the concluding conference was “Inter-religious understanding and tolerance, with special reference to the teachings of the Lord Buddha - a need of mankind.” After the arrival of His Holiness in the morning, Ven. Dr. Rewatha Thero, General Secretary MBSI, welcomed the Karmapa with a khata offering. The distinguished guests joined in lighting the ceremonial lamps, an invocation was given and a welcoming introductory speech was made by Ven. P. Seewalee Theero. Then representatives of the world's religions, including Hindu, Jain, Islam, Sikh and Christian, gave their remarks regarding the views of their traditions. His Holiness concluded the talks with his own discourse on inter-religious dialogue.
The presidential address was given by Ven Dr. Rewatha Thero, Gen. Secy. MBSI and a vote of thanks to all participants was extended by Mr. A.H.Khan, Organizing Secretary of the Conference.
In the late afternoon, His Holiness was invited to the Meditation Park to ring the Peace Bell at the Maha Bodhi Temple. Afterwards, His Holiness lit the butter lamps and joined the assembly of monks and others under the bodhi tree to chant the Keraniya Metta Sutta (loving-kindness) by the venerable Maha Sangha. The ceremony concluded with His Holiness chanting a prayer for the World Peace.
Before departing Bodh Gaya on February 20th, His Holiness launched the newly created Website - ‘Buddha Dhamma’ by Ven Jnanananda Thero, Sri Lanka and briefly visited to the main temple to pay his last respects before proceeding to Varanasi. - Karma Woser Rabten

HH Karmapa addressing the attendees of the Buddha Jayanati in Bodhgaya on February 19, 2006, celebrating the 2550th anniversary of the Buddha



Revival Of Kagyu Tradition of Practice of Tantras of Marpa Continues at Vajra Vidhya Institute (February 2006)

At the request of Ven. Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, His Holiness joined in the last day of the practice of the Dakmema Puja at Vajra Vidhya Insitute on February 13, 2006. In January 2002 after the completion of the 2001 Kagyu Monlam, His Holiness presided over a conference at Vajra Vidhya of all Karma Kamtsang monasteries. At that conference, His Holiness called on all Kamtsang Monasteries to focus their attention on reviving the cycle of the Thirteen Tantras of the Great Marpa Lotsawa, which tantras are central to the Kagyu monastic practice. The conference members decided to apportion the revived study and practice of these tantras among different monasteries. Ven. Thrangu Rinpoche and Vajra Vidhya kindly agreed to take responsibility for the the Hevajra and Dakmema practices based on the Hevajra Tantra. The Hevajra was performed in 2005, and this year the Dakmema practice was performed for the first time since that commitment was made by Vajra Vidhya Monastery. During the morning ceremonies, Ven. Khenchen Thrangu offered a long-life mandala to His Holiness.




His Holiness Karmapa with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Sarnath (February 2006)

On Wednesday, February 8, 2006, His Holiness the Gyalwang Karmapa attended a conference entitled “The Convergence of the Views of the Four Great Lineages of Tibetan Buddhism” at the request of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The conference was held at the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies in Sarnath, Varanasi. His Holiness Karmapa had not originally planned to attend the conference, but after his stay in Sarnath was extended, he accepted H.H. the Dalai Lama’s request to attend the conference.
The conference was officiated by HH Dalai Lama and featured two scholars from each of the four main lineages of Tibetan Buddhism: the Nyingma, Kagyu, Sakya, and Geluk lineages, who were to present the views of their respective lineages. The morning session opened with a speech by HH Dalai Lama, which was followed by presentations by Geshe Lobsang Tenzin, a Geluk scholar from Sera monastery, Prof. Yeshi Thabkhe, and Khenpo Gyamtso, a Sakya scholar from the Sakya College.
His Holiness attended lunch with HH the Dalai Lama, along with Kyabje Thrangu Rinpoche, and His Holiness’s sister Ngodub Pelzom.
The afternoon session started around 1:30pm. A the request of His Holiness Dalai Lama, His Holiness Karmapa shared his views on the Great Lineages in opening remarks to the gathering. His remarks were followed by presentations by Nyingma Khenpo Yeshe Dorje from Namdroling Monastery and Khenpo Gawang and Khenpo Tsultrim Norbu, from Rumtek and Sherab Ling, respectively. His Holiness later returned to the Vajra Vidya Institute where he gave a teaching on refuge to Western students.
On 10th February 2006, His Holiness Karmapa attended the opening ceremonies of a three-day international conference entitled “Buddhism in Asia: Challenges and Prospects,” which conference was also held at the Central Institute for Higher Tibetan Studies. The event featured an inaugural address by H.H. Dalai Lama, as well as auspicious prayers, and welcome and keynote addresses. Following H.H. the Dalai Lama’s address, His Holiness enjoyed refreshments with H.H. Dalai Lama and the conference participants on the grounds of the Central Institute. Following this, the Karmapa returned to the Vajra Vidya Institute. - Karma Woser Rabten

The Karmapa and Dalai Lama are among the attendees at the International Conference on Buddhism in Asia on February 10, 2006