Jnana-Pravaha Centre for Cultural Studies & Research, Varanasi, UP, India
Friday, November 6, 2015
The sounds of Karmapa Khyenno played through the white canopies set out on a sunny green lawn while the Ganges flowed nearby along its ancient course. This peaceful landscape of the Jnana-Pravaha Centre was the setting for a dialogue between spiritual teachers entitled, Awakening the Light of the Dharma: How to Uphold Dharma in the World Today. The Gyalwang Karmapa gave the keynote speech at this meeting focused on issues close to his heart.
The gathering brought together spiritual leaders from a variety of Buddhist and Hindu persuasions, Sufi, Jewish, and Theosophist teachers along with professors from Benares Hindu University joined by representatives from other academic and cultural institutions. The conference was mainly sponsored by the Jnana-Pravaha Centre and the Global Peace Initiative of Women (GPIW), based in New York. Its founder, Dena Merriam, introduced the conference speaking from her long-term commitment to inner development as an essential element in the positive transformation of the global community.
She spoke of the pervasive violence in the world today toward the women, the environment, and animals. To deal with this problem, she said, we have learn to think in terms of the whole web of life; we need a long-term vision, an understanding of the laws of cause and effect along with an increased respect and humility towards the earth’s community of life. For this to happen, an inner transformation has to come first before an external one.
Marianne Marstrand, Executive Director of GWIP, introduced the Gyalwang Karmapa as someone who expresses a deep concern for the earth and her living systems and one who shares his wisdom and insight with young people around the world so that they do not lose hope in these times.
After extending his greetings to all the Dharma friends who had gathered, the Karmapa remarked that he had come to the conference because it was focused on “developing mutual understanding between different spiritual traditions and inspiring their sacred perception of each other.” Sadly these days, there are many conflicts and misunderstandings based on the various religious traditions and we cannot postpone dealing with them. “We can see with our own eyes the difficulties in this world so even if we wanted to hold back and not do anything, we could not. If we can take small steps together, we can accomplish great things. This is critical for the peace of the world.” The Karmapa also emphasized that the importance of making good connections between individuals, “only then can we come together and do something great.” These relationships, he noted, are facilitated by a pure and spacious attitude.
“One of the most important things religious traditions can do,” the Karmapa remarked, “is to shift people’s attitudes. For example, science has given clear messages about the damage being to our environment, but this has not helped to change things. People’s attitudes and motivations have to transform, and religious leaders must show the way here. This means that all of us engaged in the religious traditions have a great responsibility.”
The Karmapa closed his talk by saying how delighted he was to see Dharma gurus and students at the conference and offered his best wishes and prayers that all be auspicious. Afterward, he took questions from two students.
The first one asked, “In this present time, how far are the teachings and beliefs of Buddha alive and relevant?”
The Karmapa responded, “In looking at Buddhist principles, we can see that there are some that stem from tradition and others that have turned into customs. We have to examine and see what is appropriate and helpful for the present time.
“If we look at the essence of Dharma,” he continued, “we can see many aspects that are very relevant–love and compassion, having few desires and being content, the understanding of interdependence, and mindfulness meditation.” In addition, the Karmapa said that the way Buddhism is taught is crucial: “Teachers must teach in tune with our contemporary world so that the Dharma matches the needs of the people who are living here and now.”
The next questioner asked: “What role can Buddhism play in insuring and promoting gender equality? The Karmapa replied: “When the Buddha was present on this earth, he gave both women and men the opportunity to practice in four different ways: through the vows of full ordination for both men and women as well as lay vows for women and men. These four types of vows for the lay and ordained sangha resemble the four pillars supporting a house.” However, the Karmapa noted, this situation has changed over time. For example, the tradition of full ordination for women disappeared in Tibet.
In general the Karmapa stated that exploring philosophical views on the subject of equality for women or passing numerous laws will not bring the changes needed to establish equality. The rights of women, he said, are part of the basic rights of human beings. All living beings have the right to be happy and to avoid suffering, so if we can truly cherish and sustain these basic rights, equality for women will come. On this positive note, the Karmapa closed his presentation.
Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, one of the Karmapa’s teachers, then spoke and emphasized the importance of pure motivation during interfaith dialogues and also the need to sustain the Dharma so that it is available over time. Human beings have the special faculty of discerning intelligence, which allows them to change what is negative and develop what is positive. In doing so they can benefit all forms of life. So it is essential to preserve our religious traditions and let them flourish for the benefit of all living beings.
During this first morning of the conference, the esteemed speakers also included Sri Jagadguru Dr. Chandrashethar Shivacharya Mahaswami from Varanasi, Radhanath Swami, a teacher of Bhakti-yoga, and the famous woman teacher Anandamurti Gurumaa. The conference will continue through November 8 with further presentations and discussions.
Dear Dharma Brothers and Sisters,
As all of you know by now, on the 21 of March, 2017, at 9am Indian time His
Holiness the Seventeenth Gyalwang Karmapa introduced Kyabje Tenga Rinpoche
Yangsi in the Tergar Monastery, Bodhgaya. Rinpoche is a four years old boy but
from time to time I see him as an old man. It is hard to believe he is that
I am very sorry at the moment I am very busy. I will later let you know details
about the search and how we found Yangsi Rinpoche and provide you with photos
and video clips for you to enjoy.
Drubwang Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche instructed us to wait for His Holiness’ advice
to Yangsi Rinpoche how to further proceed from here.
Drubwang Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche could not come to this occasion of His
Holiness’ introducing Tenga Rinoche’s Yangsi since he has a schedule in Bhutan
that was arranged long time ago. As you all know Bhutan is a remote area and in
order to join teachings and initiations elderly people have to be ca…
December 28, 2016, in a historic letter sent to his Kagyu nunneries in India,
Nepal, and Bhutan, the Karmapa officially announced that the actual process of
establishing full ordination for nuns in the Karma Kamtsang tradition would
begin. He stated that at the site of the Buddha’s enlightenment in Bodh Gaya,
on the auspicious day of the full moon in the Month of Miracles, (the first
month in the Tibetan calendar, falling on March 12, 2107), the shramaneri (getsulma)
vows would be conferred on those nuns wishing to take full ordination. Following
much deliberation, a path to full ordination was established. It was decided
that the nuns would hold these shramaneri vows for a year, after which they
will take the shikshamana (gelopmaor training) vows from Dharmaguptaka
nuns and keep them for two winters or two summers. Finally, they will receive
the bhikshuni (gelongmaor full ordination) vows with the
participation of nuns from the Dharmaguptaka tra…
Monastery, Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India
many preparations are underway for the Getsulma (novice) ordination to be held
during this 4th Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering. The Karmapa plans to hold
the ordination on the auspicious full moon day of Chötrul Duchen, the historic
day that marks fifteen days after Losar and commemorates the time when the
Buddha performed a different miracle each day to instill devotion. As the
Karmapa mentioned during the first day of the Arya Kshema, this year initiates
the historic path to the process of full ordination, which will occur in stages
over several years. This is a well-thought process that grants nuns the
opportunity to practice the authentic vinaya path. They will take the Getsulma
vows in the tradition of a strictly observant tradition of Mahayana Vinaya
nuns, thus garnering respect for their sangha and demonstrating their life-long
commitment to their vows. Since there is no lineage for fully ordained nuns in
SE Report GANGTOK,
March 16: A delegation of monks from various monasteries
of Sikkim staged a sit-in protest outside the BJP national headquarters in New
Delhi today demanding the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje to be allowed to visit
and bless the people of Sikkim.
The delegation led by Denjong Lhadey chanted slogans
demanding and also submitted a memorandum with the demand to the Prime Minister’s
Office through senior officials.
The memorandum reiterates the Denjong Lhadey’s
demand to urgently send the Buddhist spiritual leader to Sikkim. The monks on
dharna outside the BJP office were also detained by Delhi police at Mandir Marg
police station and later released, informs a press release.
In November of 2015, during the 6th Khoryug Conference, His Holiness the 17th Karmapa set the aspiration that all Khoryug monasteries and nunneries should develop practical skills and knowledge for disaster preparedness and response. He later explained that “We were all affected greatly by the earthquake in Nepal and wanted to know how we could help so that in the future we are not just taken by fear but prepared to be useful and deal skillfully with the situation.…
Monastery, Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India
the second half of his teachings this morning, the Karmapa shared his research
into the history of nuns and their status. He began by explaining the
background of the name “Arya Kshema,” given to the Winter Dharma Gathering. He
noted that among the disciples of Shakyamuni Buddha, there were his eight
greatest male monastic disciples, known for their prajna (supreme wisdom) or
miracles and so forth. Likewise, there were female master disciples who were
greatest at miracles or known for their prajna and other outstanding qualities.
Arya Kshema is one of these and she is described in theSutra of the Wise and
greatest in wisdom and confidence, so the Winter Dharma Gathering is named
after her. “In
giving this name,” the Karmapa explained, “we are also following the saying,
‘Later disciples should practice the example of past masters.’ Previously,
during the time of the Buddha Shakyamuni, there were woman arhats, bhikshu…
the third year in succession, the Taiwan Health Corps has been working with
Kagyu nuns during the Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering. Twenty-one
nuns from eight nunneries—Ralang, Tilokpur and Palpung Yeshe Rabgye Ling in
India, Karma Leksheyling, Tara Abbey, Osel Karma Thekchöling and Samten
Ling in Nepal, and Drubde Palmo Chökyi Dingkhang in Bhutan– have
successfully completed a nine-day training in basic health care. Dr
Jeffrey Chen, CEO of the Taiwanese based NGO Taiwan Health Corps, first
responded to a request from the Gyalwang Karmapa to develop initiatives to
improve the health and healthcare of nuns more than three years ago. This year
he has returned for a third time with a team of six health professionals to
provide basic training for a new batch of nuns. The team comprises Professor
Kuo Su Chen, a specialist in Women’s Health, Dr Chin Min Yi, a doctor of
traditional Chinese medicine, Dr Wei Cheng Chou, urologist and surgeon, Hsin-Yu
For the Gyalwang Karmapa, the Tibetan New Year began in the
first hours of the day, as he met in the Tergar Monastery shrine hall with
tulkus, khenpos, and masters from various monasteries and received their
khatas. In return he gave them his blessing and a traditional bright red cord.
The monks recited prayers for peace in the world and the flourishing of the
teachings as well as the very long life of the Karmapa. Afterward the entire
monastic and lay Sangha gathered at 4:30 am in the Monlam Pavilion for a
special long-life practice based on theThree
Roots Combined, calledA
Life-Force Indestructible like a Vajra. The practice was led by the
Karmapa’s heart son, Gyaltsap Rinpoche, who had bestowed this empowerment the
previous day. In February of 2016 the Karmapa had also given this empowerment,
and at the time commented on its importance for his Kamtsang Kagyu lineage. The
short lineage is traced back to a text based on the pure visions of th…
Pavilion — Bodh Gaya, Bihar
break, after the smoke offering Massing Clouds of Amrita had
ended on Sunday morning, the stage needed to be cleared and rearranged in order
for Gyaltsab Rinpoche to bestow the Red Crown ceremony and the Long
Life Empowerment of the Three Roots Combined. His Holiness the 17th Karmapa
personally took charge of arranging Gyaltsab Rinpoche’s throne with great
respect and care; he had received the Empowerment of the Three Roots
Combined from Gyaltsab Rinpoche when he bestowed the Treasury
of Precious Terma, or Rinchen Terdzo empowerments some
throne was placed directly in front of the Gyalwang Karmapa’s high throne. To
the right, on an elegant golden table covered with brocade, sat a delicately
wrought silver pavilion.
At last the
stage was set, the gyalings blew, and the sangha returned from the break to
take their seats. After several minutes, the Gyalwang Karmapa led an elderly
2017Tergar Monastery, Bodh Gaya,
welcoming everyone for the second day of the 4th Arya Kshema, the Karmapa
continued with the discussion of the ceremony of the bodhisattva vows from
Gampopa’sOrnament of Precious
Liberation. Having completed the discussion of the tradition of the
profound view, that of Manjushri to Nagarjuna, he elaborated upon the tradition
of vast conduct, the tradition passed down from Maitreya to Asanga and known as
Master Serlingpa’s tradition.
Karmapa delineated the two parts of this tradition: aspiration of the
bodhicitta vow and engagement of the bodhicitta vow. He focused on the actual
ceremony of the aspiration of bodhicitta and explained that before the aspirant
takes the vow, he or she must contemplate whether they are ready to receive the
vow. The Karmapa explained that the bodhisattva is like a hero, though these
days we see movie stars as being heroes. A bodhisattva is similar to a hero
because a bodhisattva is someone who h…