I requested Gyaltsap Rinpoche, who takes care of Rumtek Monastery and lives at Ralang in Sikkim, to offer a statement about the Monlam.
‘The many obstacles we have had in the Kagyu Lineage can be removed by our prayers during the Kagyu Monlam.’
‘The Kagyu Monlam started with the 7th Karmapa and became famous during his time. It was held both at the Jokhang in Lhasa and at Tsurphu. By the time of the 10th Karmapa, the Mongol armies had arrived in Tibet and the whole system was destroyed; the Monlam was discontinued. During the time of the 16th Karmapa, it was Kalu Rinpoche and Bokar Rinpoche who together brought the Monlam to Bodh Gaya. There are lots of improvements now with the 17th Karmapa regarding rules of conduct and so on.
From the point of view of all Buddhist traditions, all practices have to be associated with prayers. The results are attained through aspirations.
When we hold the Kagyu Monlam we are praying for realization and the happiness of all beings, but we also talk about world peace. ‘May there be no suffering, sickness or war in this world.’
These aspirations are not only from the spiritual side but also for the welfare of the world.