Karmapa arrived at 6.00am and conferred the Sojong vows.
Before beginning the morning prayers, he spoke to the assembly. He began with a
short description of the history of Kagyu Monlam and explained that the Kagyu
Monlam was able to happen because of the coming together of causes and
conditions including merit; even being fortunate enough to attend the Monlam was
rare, a testimony to the merit every one there had accumulated. He told everyone
how fortunate they were to have attained a precious human life, to have heard
the Dharma, and now to have the opportunity to visit a holy site. He talked
about the value of attending Kagyu Monlam at Bodhgaya, the great opportunity it
offered to all practitioners because of the sacredness of Bodhgaya itself.
December 20, 2007, report by Jo
Gibson, photos taken by Karma Lekcho & Karma Norbu & Taiwan Life TV
dawn broke, Choje Gyaltsab Rinpoche conferred the Sojong vows at the Mahabodhi
Temple and led the first session of the Monlam from 6.00am until 9.00am.
Gyalwang Karmapa joined the assembly at 9.30 am, resuming his transmission of
The Life of Milarepa. He then gave a commentary on the Prayer of
Samantabhadra: The King of Aspiration Prayers before leading the chanting of
it. After lunch, he returned to the Mahabodhi Temple to lead the Akshobhya
Ritual in the third session.
December 19, 2007, report by Jo
Gibson, photos taken by Karma Lekcho & Karma Norbu & Taiwan Life TV
Thrangu Rinpoche gave the Sojong Vows and led the first part of the Monlam
prayers. There was a change in the schedule and Pal Gyalwang Karmapa arrived
at 7.00am for the conclusion of a special Tsedrub Ritual for him, sponsored
by The Kagyu Monlam Working Team. The Tsedrub began at Tergar Monastery on
December 13th and concluded at the Mahabodhi Temple this morning, with the
offering of a Tenshug (usually referred to as a ‘Long Life Prayer’). Choje
Gyaltsab Rinpoche was the Vajra Master.
On the second day
of the medical camp, the staff worked through from 8.30am until 5.00pm in
order to meet a growing need. Word had spread through the community and more
than 900 patients arrived, including many of the local children who were
very eager to collect free pencil cases and lollipops but rather reluctant
to take their medicine! More
Gyalwang Karmapa Blesses the Medical
December 18, 2007,
report by Jo Gibson, photos taken by Karma Lekcho & Karma Norbu & Taiwan
attending the second session of the Kagyu Monlam at the Mahabodhi Stupa, the
Gyalwang Karmapa visited the Medical Camp at Birla Mandir in Bodhgaya, in
order to bless the activity.
This camp is one of the special events offered this year in celebration of
the 25th Anniversary of the Kagyu Monlam. It aims to alleviate the suffering
of the local community by providing free medicine and treatment for local
people. In spite of the development of tourism, there are many people living
in desperate straits in Bodhgaya today, too poor to afford even the most
basic medical treatment or medicine. Poverty, disease and deformity haunt
the streets of this small town.
The 25th Kagyu Monlam Chenmo Begins
December 17, 2007, report by Jo Gibson & Karma Palmo, photos taken by Karma
Lekcho & Karma Norbu & Taiwan Life TV
and the dark streets of this small town, little more than a village, were
alive with hundreds of people making their way through the pre-dawn gloom to
the Mahabodhi Temple. Monks and nuns and laypeople, both Tibetans and
foreigners, thronged through the massive red Torii gates. Designed by
Gyalwang Karmapa and engineered by Choekyi Gyatso, they were built by eight
carpenters brought in specially, and took three months to complete. Then,
for two whole days and nights, the carpenters worked non-stop to erect them
in place at the entrance to the Mahabodhi site. These massive gates
Gyalwang Karmapa Tests Gelongmas
December 16, 2007, report by Jo Gibson, photos taken by Karma Lekcho
part of the on-going programme to train up monks and nuns in the new codes
of conduct, the Gyalwang Karmapa personally tested gelongmas in his private
shrine room this morning. Twelve nuns presented themselves at the
examination : two from Australia, one from
mainland China, one from Hong Kong, two from Switzerland, five from Taiwan
and one from the U.K.
obviously quite nervous at first, but Gyalwang Karmapa put them at ease as
he ran them through the various sections of the codes of conduct, giving
explanations, instructions and showing them how to do it when necessary.
Gyalwang Karmapa Meets
December 16, 2007, report by Jo Gibson, photos taken by Karma Lekcho & Karma
a short meeting in the main hall at Tergar Monastery, the Gyalwang Karmapa
met a group of about 300 volunteers who are working for the 25th Kagyu
Monlam. After thanking them all for the work they are doing, he encouraged
them and advised that whenever difficulties or hardships arose they should
keep Shakyamuni Buddha in mind and be inspired by the thought of world peace
so that the difficulties and hardships would have meaning.
He blessed them
individually and handed each one a protection cord and a gift of a signed
photo of his hands holding a butter lamp. Each volunteer also received a
special silk scarf ─ maroon for women and grey for men ─ decorated with the
Kagyu Monlam logo, embroidered in gold.
An interview with the Gyalwang Karmapa
Karmapa kindly gave the following interview at Tergar Monastery on 13th
Q : Your Holiness, please could you explain the meaning of the word
GK : From the perspective of mind, the meaning of monlam can be
explained in several ways. From the perspective of the individual it means
having the profound wish to bring happiness and well-being to others and
simultaneously enhance our own root of virtue, dedicating that merit for the
benefit of all sentient beings. That type of dream is monlam.
Q : What
is its importance?
GK : Generally speaking, all major developments in human culture have
come about as the result of hope and a clear vision. From the Buddhist point
of view, our ultimate goal is to attain parinirvana; in this process, the
role of aspiration is fundamental and threefold. At the beginning it is like
the seed, in the middle it is like water and manure, and at the end it is
the fruit. Without an aspiration the seed of Buddhahood will not germinate.
The Gyalwang Karmapa Meets the
a special meeting for gelongma (Sanskrit: Bhiksuni), held in his private
room at Tergar Monastery this morning, the Gyalwang Karmapa welcomed
everyone who had come to attend the 25th Kagyu Monlam. He then gave a short
talk, discussing the reasons why he had specially invited the gelongma to
attend Kagyu Monlam.
He recounted how,
in 2004, when he took on the responsibility of overseeing the running of
Kagyu Monlam, he began looking into the Vinaya and researching codes of
The Gyalwang Karmapa’s Vision for the
International Kagyu Monlam
a meeting with the Kagyu Monlam Committee members, the Gyalwang Karmapa
shared his clear and moving vision of how the Kagyu Monlam should be. He
clarified the origins of the reasons and conditions for Monlam, explaining
that Monlam means aspirations, giving as an example Shakyamuni Buddha. When
the Buddha made the aspiration to attain the mind of enlightenment, he
offered a simple bowl of soup – a small thing, but offered with pure
motivation for the ultimate aspiration. So, although it was such a small
thing, its blessings pervaded the whole of space and benefited all beings.
New Initiatives in preparation for
CONCERNING THE CONDUCT OF MONKS AND NUNS
2004 the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa issued new instructions on conduct to members
of the Kagyu Sangha attending the Kagyu Monlam. In March 2007, there was a
meeting at Gyuto of representatives from different monasteries and nunneries
and the Gyalwang Karmapa personally instructed them in the new codes. They
were then asked to teach these back in their own monasteries and nunneries.
INTRODUCTION OF SANSKRIT PRAYERS
This year, in
accordance with the wishes of the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, many of the most
important common Buddhist prayers are to be recited in the original Sanskrit
form. The original Mahayana teachings were in Sanskrit so this brings us
closer to that tradition and forms a continuity between past and present.
Furthermore, it encourages us to study the original texts in Sanskrit.
A Message from the Gyalwang Karmapa
year marks the 25th anniversary of the Kagyu Monlam at the Buddhist holy
site of Bodhgaya. This is a small milestone in the Kagyu lineage’s
activities for the benefit of sentient beings, but a big step forward for
world peace and well-being. So, first of all, I would like to thank all
staff members, participants, and those who have supported and been involved
in the Monlam over the last 25 years. Because of the power of your
aspirations and long-standing support and diligence, I sincerely hope that
the Kagyu Monlam will not remain static but will flourish until peace and
well-being permeate every corner of the world.
Coming Soon -- The 25th Kagyu
25th Kagyu Monlam will be held
17th to 24th December,
2007 in Bodh Gaya, India. The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa will preside over the
assembly. Kyabje Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche and Kyabje Gyaltsab Rinpoche along
with many other senior lamas and trulkus will attend.
Karmapa will continue his teaching on The Life of Milarepa
and will also teach The Fivefold Mahamudra
Practice to foreign students at Tergar Manastery.
In addition, Pal Gyalwang Karmapa will perform the complete
nyen-drub-ley-sum Purification Puja of Buddha Akshobhya for the deceased and
burn their names on paper. On the first day of the Medicine Buddha Puja, Pal
Gyalwang Karmapa will give teachings related to Medicine Buddha and confer
Other features include
free medical treatments and a Charity
Souvenir Bazaar to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Kagyu Monlam.
Click here for
General Information for
All Participants of the 25th Kagyu Monlam Chenmo
Click here for the detailed