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by Naomi Levine
 

The first major event to be held at the Mahabodhi Stupa during this year’s Monlam was the reading of the Kangyur. It was unexpectedly fresh walking the deserted streets at 5:30 am heading towards the nexus of the great temple and the Wisdom Tree at the heart of the Buddhist world. The Tree has come into renewed life this year with branches as strong as trunks. It shimmered as the dawn light filtered through the leaves. The seating was also surprisingly spacious as the huge gathering had been separated into two groups. Only the fully ordained sangha and lay people were allowed to meet there. The rest of the sangha remained in the Monlam pavilion chanting prayers. The feeling of being in hallowed ground, breathing the moisture of the dawn air and seeing His Holiness directly as if we were in the same room instead of a vast amphitheatre, brought a rush of energy to my heart.

We lined the outer circumambulation route as each of the ordained sangha came holding one of the 103 handwritten precious Kangyur volumes bound in gold cloth. The Karmapa, walked with immense dignity at the head of the procession passing so close to us it felt like an initiation into the signs of a buddha just to behold the perfection of his face.

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photos by Karma Lecho & Palten Nyima
 

Please click here to read a report by Jo Gibson on kagyumonlam.org about this auspicious event.

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