Showing posts from January, 2014

May the year of the horse brings you peace, happiness and good fortune.


2014 Chinese New Year Blessings from His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa

"Actually, there is nothing special about 'new year.' The ideas '2013' and '2014' are but figments of the human imagination [conventional concepts]. Having said that, we can make something good out of it. We can use the [idea of] transition to reconsider our lives and to renew our resolutions. My wish for you all in 2014 is that you will be happier, more joyful, and healthier than ever before, that all your good wishes will be fulfilled. Above all, as human beings, we should understand that one's existence is interconnected with all other sentient beings, and none of us is able to survive, or to live a life, completely independent of relations. As such, we ought to always maintain good relations with other living beings; that is, compassionate and cordial relations. I think this is very important. So I hope all of you can work on this aspect with more effort in the coming year."

Translated by Ratanayano Bhikkhu

Gyalwang Karmapa Celebrates Tsurluk Losar in Bodhgaya

January 31st, 2014
Tergar Monastery, Bodhgaya 3.00 am. In the early morning darkness the only movement was from hundreds of festive red and golden fairy lights, strung in glittering garlands from the roof and walls of the temple. They swayed gently, their reflections shimmering in the windows. Suddenly, the stillness was rent by the call of Tibetan trumpets across the rooftops of Tergar Monastery: the Tibetan Year of the Male Wood Horse had arrived. Although the majority of Tibetans these days keep the Phukluk calendar, dating from 1447 CE and named after Phukpa Lhundrup Gyatso who founded the astrological tradition on which it is based, the Gyalwang Karmapas have preserved an earlier tradition. Known as the Tsurluk calendar, because of its association with Tsurphu Monastery, it is based on an astrological treatise The Compendium of Astrology compiled by the Third Karmapa Rangjung Dorje (1284 CE -1339 CE). It became popular during the time of the Seventh Karmapa Chodrak Gyatso, and rema…

A Special Ritual for the Nuns’ Dharma to Flourish

30 January 2014 – Tergar Monastery, Bodhgaya In yet another special activity at the end of the first Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering—and, taking place on the last day of the year according to the Tsurphu calendar—the Gyalwang Karmapa led a ritual that he himself had personally composed especially for the nuns’ dharma to flourish. At this auspicious moment, when nuns in the Karma Kagyu tradition are stepping forward to more fully inhabit their valuable place within the sangha, and to take full advantage of the opportunities opening up for them, the Gyalwang Karmapa decided to perform this ritual so that the Buddhist teachings in general, and the community of nuns in particular can thrive. The ritual aims to dispel any harms, difficulties or obstacles to the nuns’ dharma, through powerful supplications to Avalokitesvara and the Buddha’s own personal attendant, Ananda. The Gyalwang Karmapa explained that the Buddha himself had said, in The Sutra of the Great Skillful Means of Repaying Ki…



Chöd Puja: Celebrating the Essence of Enlightened Female Wisdom

29 January 2014 – Tergar Monastery, Bodhgaya In an historic occasion coming at the end of the first Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering, nuns from six Kagyu nunneries performed an elaborate Chöd ritual, known as A String of Jewels, presided over by the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa. While the Gyalwang Karmapa has been enthusiastic about Chöd practice from a young age, this was his first ever opportunity to publicly perform the Chöd puja—an opportunity he’d been looking forward to very much. Since the time of the 3rd Karmapa, Rangjung Dorje, who wrote the first commentary on Chöd and who also compiled the text of this puja, the Karmapas have had a strong connection with the Chöd practice. Historically they are holders of the direct Chöd lineage, based on the Indian Buddhist deity Prajñāpāramitā, who is known as both the mother of all the Buddhas and the embodiment of wisdom. Chöd, which means ‘to sever or cut’ in Tibetan, ultimately aims to cut through the ignorance of self-grasping that is the ro…

My Guru, His Holiness the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa ~ by Tai Situ Rinpoche

I was with my guru, His Holiness the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, for nine years solid. You would think that after nine years of seeing somebody every day they would become like your buddy. He never did. Because my previous incarnation was his guru he always treated me well, with honor and respect. He never beat me, or shouted at me, he was not ten feet tall, so there was really no reason to be afraid of him. But interacting with him was like being in the presence of a lion. I think this was because of his ever-present awareness. He was like a big, healthy, strong lion that understood me, took care of me and taught me with kindness and compassion. Everything was also very quiet around him even though he had an aviary full of birds, ten little dogs, a huge white dog, Siamese cats and a green peacock from Java. It was just like being in the depths of the ocean. I think this quietness also came from his ever-present, primordial wisdom. It had to have.

 (From: 12th Kenting Tai Situpa, “Ground, Pa…

Gyalwang Karmapa Attends Bhutanese Cham Dance

January 26, 2014

Despite his heavy teaching schedule, the Gyalwang Karmapa slipped away during the lunch break to visit the Cham dancing at the Royal Bhutanese Monastery, Druk Ngawang Thubten Chokling.  The monastery is the seat of the Shabdrung of Bhutan, and belongs to the Drukpa Kagyu tradition.
As His Holiness’ car approached, a line of leaping performers danced out to greet him, forming a unique, Bhutanese-style serbang or ceremonial procession to escort his car through the welcome gate into the monastery grounds and to the temple, where the Abbot and senior monks were waiting for him.  
Entering the three-storey temple, the Karmapa first lit two butter lamps as offerings on the altar, and prostrated three times.  At the request of the Abbot, he then consecrated a new Buddha statue, before sitting down on the throne to receive a kusungthug mandala offering, presented by the abbot and senior monks, accompanied by the mother of the young incarnation of the Shabdrung.  
His Holiness’ ne…

Celebrating Republic Day 2014

January 26, 2014

At 9.30am, during the morning tea break, His Holiness momentarily put aside his teachings on Gampopa’sJewel Ornament of Liberationand went outside for a flag-raising ceremony to celebrate Republic Day. Hundreds of nuns, monks, and laypeople crowded after him to watch. And across India, the peoples of the world’s largest democracy celebrated its 65thRepublic Day in similar ways.
On the paved path between the gated entrance to the monastery and the main shrine hall, more than a hundred young monks with their teachers lined up in straight lines and stood to attention.  Smartly kitted in khaki, Army security stood to attention, presenting arms with their automatic rifles. Indian security police, standing straight and tall, saluted. His Holiness stood and watched respectfully, as Gongkar Rinpoche raised the Indian national flag. Emblazoned with Emperor Ashoka’s 24-spoke chakra wheel in navy blue, the tricolour flag —with saffron, green and white panels— has become the symbol…

Karmapa, Maneka Gandhi launch medical camp for animals in Gaya(phayul)

Phayul[Saturday, January 25, 2014 12:18]

DHARAMSHALA, January 25 - The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje on Thursday inaugurated a medical camp for animals initiated by The Kagyupa International Monlam Trust at the Kagyu Monlam Pavilion, Tergar Monastery in Bodhgaya. Animal right activist and Indian parliamentarian Smt. Maneka Gandhi attended the inaugural ceremony as the chief guest. Gandhi heads the ‘People for Animals’ organization that she established in 1992. 
Smt Gandhi pointed out that this is the first animal health program to be initiated in Bihar. "Throughout history great spiritual beings have come in human form. I believe the Karmapa is among those beings who have come to help us realize ourselves," Gandhi said in her address to the gathering. "If you want to make the world a better place for humans, you have to make it a better place for all beings including animals." Gandhi last year visited Dharamshala where she met with the Karmapa and visited…

Karmapa inaugurates Medical Camp for animals in Bodhgaya (TPI )

Friday, 24 January 2014 13:32 The Tibet Post International 

Bodhgaya, 22 January, 2014: - The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorjee has launched Animal Health Care Programme with Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi as Chief Guest, in Bodhgaya, Bihar State of India.

"For Buddhists, especially Mahayana practitioners, one of our greatest aims is to actually benefit sentient beings. It is important for us to serve and benefit all sentient beings of all groups without bias, without discriminating against who needs help on the basis of whether they are Buddhist or not, whether they are human or not, whether they are the same nationality or not, and so forth," Karmapa Rinpoche said.

For that reason, the Karmapa said, he "hopes and pray that in the future the Kagyu Monlam will do more programs to help the public."

"Following its successful medical camp for the needy held in Bodhgaya, Bihar, the Kagyupa International Monlam Trust is now opening an animal medical ca…

A Mandala That Brings Happiness and Benefit to Animals: Inauguration of Extended Veterinarian Camp Programme in Bodhgaya

January 24, 2014

Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi was Chief Guest  at the inauguration of this new initiative  by Kagyupa International Monlam Trust aimed at  alleviating the suffering of  animals in Gaya District, Bihar,  and thereby improving  the health of the local human population too. Mrs. Gandhi has been a long-standing member of the Parliament serving as a minister in four Governments, and is renowned for her love and care for animals.  During her political career she has worked to pass important legislation, including specific measures to protect the environment, to promote social welfare and to protect the rights of animals.  She helped set up new institutions such as the National Zoo Authority and the Animal Welfare Board of India. She also runs her own animal sanctuary in the heart of New Delhi, named in honour of her late husband, Sanjay Gandhi. This sanctuary, established in 1983, is the largest of its kind in Asia and cares for 3000 animals at any one time.
The ceremony opened w…

Dr Thinlay’s speech at the Inauguration

January 24, 2014

A very good morning to one and all! Respected Your Holiness, Madam Maneka Ji, istinguished guests, ladies and gentleman:
 At the outset, let me have  a privilege to extend my  sincere  gratitude to the organising committee for having given me a chance to deliver a talk on animal welfare, the  importance of  animals and  an holistic approach towards the  prevention and  control of rabies and the stray dog population, including  the  various initiatives of the Sikkim Govt. on this aspect. The Sikkim Govt.  is the only government division in the whole of India to implement a holistic, long-term and sustainable animal welfare and public health initiative. This kind of activity embodies the basic Buddhist principles  of loving kindness and compassion.
Where such a programme is being organized is an historic moment for Bihar and the whole of India. It is an apt moment for this holy place where real Buddhism and the teachings of the Buddha will be practiced in a real sense by a…

Maneka Sanjay Gandhi Speech at the Inauguration

January 24, 2014

Respected Your Holiness Karmapa, Rinpoches and people who’ve come from all over the world for His Holiness’s teachings, I’m happy to come here because I know I can see history in the making. Every so many years one spiritual being in the form of a human comes to change history, to make religion more centred, to bring it to its original path and I believe that Karmapa is amongst those beings who has come to help us realize ourselves.
When an ant sleeps at night it makes a little pillow and it sleeps like this. When she gets up in the morning, the first thing she does is yawn and……..if you tickle a mouse it will also do hee hee hee.
When an elephant dies, the other elephants come for four days and they mourn that dead elephant. We also have a four day ceremony.  You take any animal, when a dog’s babies are run over in front of the mother, she cries and cries and cries.
There is no difference, the soul, the atman, the essence is the same. But we who believe in incarnation, I…

Gyalwang Karmapa’s Speech at the Inauguration

January 24, 2014

As all of you know, over 2500 years ago, the Buddha awoke to perfect enlightenment here in Bodh Gaya and after he awoke to enlightenment he realized that all sentient beings have the same value and their lives are all the same in worth.  And so, in that way, he made the aspiration that there may be happiness and love and well-being for all animals; we all need to strive to bring this about.
Now, this is something which came from the wisdom and compassion of the Buddha, but we can also say that this is the ancient   wisdom and compassion of India, so here now we are following in those footsteps in establishing this animal medical camp here. This is one small thing that we are doing for their sake, and I am very happy that we are taking this opportunity. So I would also like to thank all of the workers at this camp.
As you all know, Bodhgaya is the sacred place where the Bhagavan Buddha awoke to enlightenment, and has become a source of wisdom and compassion. I have the ho…

Dr Catherine Schuetze’s Speech at the Inauguration

January 24, 2014

Thank you.  It is an honour to be here and to be involved in the Kagyu Monlam animal health program. On behalf of the veterinary team I would like to thank His Holiness for the opportunity he has given us to carry out this animal health program.
There are strong connections between Buddhism and veterinary public health. The first is the Buddhist principle of interdependence. Amongst health care professionals, there is a growing awareness of the interconnectedness of animal and human health. 75% of global emerging diseases of concern are zoonotic, that is, they are spread between animals and humans. TB and rabies are good examples of this. The World Health Organisation promotes a “One Health” approach to its own programs- improving human and animal health are equally necessary to tackle community health problems. Without providing adequate health care and vaccination to the animal populations, you cannot control the disease in the human populations. Therefore the program…