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Posts Tagged ‘Karmapa’

His Eminence Tai Situ Rinpoche visits Tergar and the Kagyu Monlam site in Bodhgaya on October 5, 2012.  He spent some time walking around the pavilion, taking note of the stage and the details of the construction.

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from kagyumonlam.org

Finally, our narrator explains that the next performance of Tibetan opera is based on a Jataka tale, recounting a previous life of the Buddha as the king Lodro Zangpo. The actors and actresses come from the Rumtek Opera Society, formed in 1961 during the time of the Sixteenth Karmapa, who was very fond of Tibetan opera. Sometimes, the group would perform for seven days in a row. Among the actors tonight are original members of the society, who have trained the new generation, helping to preserve this tradition started in Tibet by Thangtong Gyalpo (1385-1464). The opera ends with all the actors on stage and a lively Ki ki so so lha gyalo! All victory to the divine!

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from kagyumonlam.org

… tonight’s play based on the life of the Second Karmapa, Karma Pakshi (1206-1283). Written by the Gyalwang Karmapa in a contemporary idiom, the drama focuses on three events: the arrival of Orgyenpa (1230-1312), who would hold the Karma Pakshi’s lineage; the meeting of these two great lamas; and finally, Orgyenpa’s meeting and recognizing the Third Karmapa, Rangjung Dorje (1284-1339). During the time of the Seventh Karmapa, such dramas, based on the lives of buddhas, bodhisattvas, and other realized beings, were performed during the first fifteen days of the New Year, commemorating the time when the Buddha performed his great miracles. At Tsurphu, (the Karmapa’s main seat in Tibet), the custom was to practice the Twenty-Branch Monlam in the morning and present these dramas in the afternoon.

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It has been a wonderful 29th Kagyu Monlam. What an amazing gift from His Holiness Karmapa to this world.

To keep the Monlam spirit throughout the year some of us might want to do the Sanskrit prayer regularly. Here are recordings of some of these prayers and the Sanskrit Prayer Booklet with English, Chinese, and Korean translation for download.
 

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photos by Filip Wolak

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photos by Filip Wolak

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photos by Filip Wolak

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photos by Filip Wolak

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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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