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Archive for the ‘december’ Category

Nearly 60 high school students from Dharamsala’s TCV (“Tibetan Children’s Village”) school arrived for the Monlam to serve as guards, gatekeepers, and generally to assist security. The Kagyu Monlam Dharmapalas, as they were called, recently sent His Holiness the Gwalwang Karmapa letters of gratitude.

Dharmapala’s with Tsultrim

Thank you His Holiness the 17th Karmapa
Today , we the students and Teachers of T.C.V. Suja School, would like to stand in front of you with folded hands to say thank you so much for giving us such a wonderful chance to work as a Dharmapala. Even though that work is quite tough to us as we are only students with zero experience, it’s our pleasure to work under your blessing. By doing this work, we gained a lot of experience dealing with different people and we got this golden opportunity to visit holy places. We lack words to express your kindness. Our best wishes are always with you. Tashi Delek today and forever. Finally, we wish you a prosperous and a very HAPPY NEW YEAR.

Dharmapala on Duty 1 Dharmapala on duty 2

Thank you His Holiness the 17th Karmapa
Thank you… even though I don’t know how to say thank you since the mere concept of my thanks can never stand for your ocean-like gratitude, yet the very word “THANK YOU” is naturally flowing out from the depth of my heart like a tide of the ocean as my conscience reflects upon your matchless kindness towards us. Therefore, let me extend my heartfelt gratitude towards you through the notion or form of “thank you”.
It is more or less something incredible and like a dream comes true that we the orphans dwelling in a remote boarding school got such a once in a lifetime opportunity to attend the breathtaking, peaceful and meaningful gathering of Kagyu Molam Chenmo honoured by Your Holiness. During the 18 day long assembling, every sight of every day was a new thing to learn and the experiences are worthy to keep in mind as a memory.
We hardly felt how the days passed by but we have learned a lot. It was extremely wonderful to serve His Holiness and it bestowed us with the real tranquility and relaxation that is a blessing in this hectic 21st century life. Moreover, the delightful trip you arranged for us to nearby holy places like Nalanda made us feel as if we were visiting paradise without dying!!! For me, these sacred sites are more wonderful than the seven wonders. In every temple we chanted prayers for a perfect happiness for all in general and your long life, in particular. I believe that our wish or Dharmapalas’ request could come true soon. We are deeply indebted and grateful for all the things, all the blessings, all the beautiful presents, all the opportunities you provided us. Therefore, on behalf of all the Dharmapalas, I would like to raise up my voice and say THANK YOU VERY MUCH from the very depth of my heart. Thank you…. thank you. Thank you.
Yours Faithfully,
Dharmapalas of the 25th Anniversary of Kagyu Monlam

Group photo

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After one busy month in Bodhgaya, His Holiness left Tergar promptly at 8AM for Sarnath. This year’s closure was a rather complete and satisfying one as the Gwalwang Karmapa extended so much of himself to organizing the Monlam. There didn’t seem to be a place where his influence did not reach: he shaped each of the department’s initiatives, whether directly or through the activities of his three main assistant supervisors. As it was heard, this year’s Monlam was successful, not because people thought it was great but because many people actually felt joy and well-being as a result of the prayers.

The Buddha sat before us under the Bodhi Tree, prayed with us for the peace and happiness of all beings, pointed out the path of liberation and blessed us all in his absence.

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Khenpo Tenam

(Photo: Khenpo Tenam, His Holiness’ personal Khenpo mixes the ashes of the names of the deceased with mud.)

The day after His Holiness burnt the names of the deceased, Khenpo Tenam and Khenpo Chokdrup created tsa-tsa’s from the ashes, shaped them like stupas and offered the consecrated tsa-tsa’s in sacred rivers.

Khenpos pouring ashes

(Photo: Khenpo Tenam and Khenpo Chokdrup pours the ashes into the local river.)

Khenpos praying 1 Khenpos praying 2

(Photos: Khenpos offering prayers.)

Photos of Khenpos at the river are by courtesy of Kagyu Monlam.

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Following is a special message by the CEO of Kagyu Monlam, Lama Karma Chodrak:

This year, the Kagyu Monlam Organization is sponsoring special long life prayers and offerings for His Holiness Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje. The long-life puja will begin on December 13, 2007 at Tergar Monastery and will conclude on the morning of December 19th with Body, Speech, Mind, Qualities, Activities and Traditional Offerings presented to His Holiness underneath the Bodhi Tree. The ceremonies will be conducted and presided over by Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche, Gyaltsab Rinpoche, Thrangu Rinpoche, Tenga Rinpoche, Mingyur Rinpoche, and others.

 

Please join us in offering prayers and aspirations for the long life and excellent health of the Gyalwang Karmapa!

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Umze Ozer Rabten

(Photo: Monlam’s Chant Master, Umze Ozer Rabten also known as “Umze Bai Karma.”)

Umze Ozer Rabten has been leading the Kagyu Monlam prayers at the Stupa for several years now. Click on the video link to watch an interview with Umze Bai Karma.)

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Lama Sangye

(Photo: Lama Sangye working on the main mural.)

Pure realm 1 Detail of Dragons

(Photos: Details.)

Pure realm 2

(Photo: Ani-la painting goldleaf on the roof.)

We were requested to put up some photos of the torma mural depicting the pure realm of Buddha Akshobhya by His Holiness Karmapa. These photos are nearly the right color. Sad to say these pictures do not do justice to the actual colors of the mural. The golden glow is not just from the sun setting, but from the gold-leafed rooftop trim on the palace.

As the weeks progressed, the wooden board (see previous Buddha Mitrugpa post) evolved rapidly. Lateral wooden supports nailed to the main piece were erected first. Next, the palace building made of a butter mixture was sculpted on the wooden supports and quite overnight, the details began. For days on end, the details were painted. Details always seem to take the longest time. By the way, this mural is based on a Chinese painting.

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Akshobya board

(Photo: Sketch of Mitrugpa’s Pure Realm on wooden board.)

This year’s Monlam torma features the Buddha Akshobhya.

Maitripa head Maitripa body

(Photos: Sketch and torma sculpture of Buddha Akshobhya).

Akshobhya prayers will be recited daily during the 25th Kagyu Monlam. Please click on the Kagyu Monlam link for a complete schedule.

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