Others Before Self: TCV Suja Students Serve as Dharma Protectors
year senior students from Tibetan Children’s Village Suja, in Bir Tibetan
Settlement Himachal Pradesh, come cheerfully to Bodhgaya to serve at the Kagyu
Monlam. These are the Monlam’s Dharmapalas, the protectors of the Buddhadharma.
numbers have grown over the years as their duties have expanded and their
invaluable contribution to the smooth running of the Monlam has been
recognised. This year 100 students have come, equally divided between boys and
girls. The youngest is fifteen years old and the oldest is twenty. Their main
responsibility is supporting the work of the security team; they help run the
check-points and supervise all the entrances to restricted areas within the
Monlam Pavillion. In addition, when the stage has to be changed for the
next puja, they will be there, helping the young monks to heft heavy furniture
or moving mattresses and seats. But you will also see them interacting with
little children, fetching chairs for the elderly or helping to push someone in
a wheelchair to a better place where they can see the stage, and generally
helping out. The motto of the TCV school organisation is “Others before
self”, and these young people can truly be said to put it into action.
year they form an important part of the Garchen, the Great Encampment of the
Karmapas, and have their own allocation of six large blue tents. Inside each
tent, students have individual net tents to protect them against the mosquitoes
which plague Bodhgaya and carry malaria.
is difficult to conceive of the situation in which many of these young Tibetans
find themselves. The majority of them have come from Tibet in order to have a
better chance in life and a comprehensive education. In order to do this, they
have had to make great personal sacrifices, leaving behind their family, their
friends and the way of life they knew.
for example, is from Lhasa and has been in India for eight years. During that
time, he tells how he never had a chance to go on holiday until he was given
the opportunity to come to Bodhgaya as a Dharmapala. “I am so grateful to His
Holiness, “he said. “He gave us all the chance to get out of school and see the
is also from Lhasa. He told how his mother had brought him to India when he was
only five years old because the situation in his family and in Tibet was not
good at that time. He is now eighteen years old and has only had contact with
his mother once during those thirteen years. He has no other family in
India, so while he was growing up, school holidays were particularly difficult.
Other children in his hostel had relatives to visit during the long two- month
winter holiday, and with whom they could celebrate Tibetan New Year. But
Tsering and those without relatives in India had nowhere to go. They had to stay
praised the housemother in his hostel who had been like a real mother to him,
and also the Karmapa, who has taken such an interest in the young people at
visits every year and stays with us,” Tsering said proudly. “He speaks with us,
and he really cares for us. He has made it possible for me to have a holiday in
this sacred place.” This is Tsering’s third and final year at the Monlam. Next
year he will have to stay back to study for his school leaving certificate
examinations, with the hope that he will do well enough to win a scholarship to
university. For now, he is just exceedingly happy and full of gratitude
that he was given the chance to come yet again to Bodhgaya and didn’t
have to spend the winter holiday at school.
joy at being in Bodhgaya and the Monlam is evident on the faces of all the
Dharmapalas. Sometimes they have to be on duty from 2.30am until late at night,
but there are never any complaints. As one of the teachers, said, “This year is
better than ever. It’s going very well. Each year it gets better and runs more
smoothly because we have more experience.”
the first day of Losar, the Dharmapalas had to be on duty by 3.00am as monks,
nuns and laypeople arrived for the 4.00am puja. Each had received a special
Losar gift from His Holiness the Karmapa. The boys now wore a new chuba in
heavy black brocade and long-sleeved white silk shirt. The girls wore
traditional, sleeved chubas in deep blue brocade and subtly
colour-coordinated with pale- blue silk blouses.
clothes will be theirs to keep; an expression of the Karmapa’s gratitude to
them for their service and an acknowledgement of their shared experience as
child refugees, cut off at a young age from home and family, ‘strangers in a
His Holiness Karmapa has arrived in New Jersey, United States. Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche, President Khenpo Karma Tenkyong, Khenpo Ugyen Tenzin, KTD and Karme Ling lamas, New Jersey KTC Lama Tsultrim, and Danang Foundation Lama Tsewang Rinpoche welcomed him.
When we can no longer bear the suffering of sentient beings, says the Seventeenth Karmapa, we unleash our full potential to help others and ourselves.
Practices of loving-kindness and compassion are indispensable elements of all religious traditions. These are qualities everyone can practice, regardless of their religious affiliation or ancestry. In fact, training to develop loving-kindness and compassion provides a bridge between all religions and all the many parts of our global society.
I am a Buddhist, but I still have to live my life as a member of the larger world community and take full part in society, where Buddhism is not the only spiritual tradition. There are many different forms of religion and spirituality, and there are also many different types of people, including those who are inclined toward religious or spiritual approaches and those who are not.
Since our world community is so very vast and diverse, it is important for us to respect the…
The most important practice in Tibetan Buddhism is Guru Yoga, meditation and mantra on the spiritual head and teacher of the tradition, which is seen as living Buddha, embodiment of three kayas and 10 bhumi (extraordinary powers). In Kagyu tradition the head Lama is Gyalwa Karmapa and his mantra is Karmapa Chenno. It is believed sounds of this mantra are directly connected with the enlightened mind of HH Karmapa and carry its enlightened qualities and brings help when it is most necessary for the benefit of student. Here I would like to share with you a story about the origins of Karmapa Chenno mantra. The Karmapa mantra has originated at the times of 8thKarmapa Mikyo Dorje (1507-1554) in context of teaching about "Calling the Lama from afar." “Karmapa Chenno” can be roughly translated as "Embodiment of the compassion of all Buddhas, turn attention to me." In Central Tibet, Sikkim and Bhutan, it is pronounced Karmapa Kyen-no or Karmapa khen-no. In East Tibet, it is p…
Recently the Gyalwang Karmapa went through a medical examination in Germany, his doctor strongly advise him to stop all Dharma propagation activities so that he has more time and space to treat some of the medical conditions that he has. After much consideration, the Gyalwang Karmapa decided to cancel this year’s Asia Dharma Teaching, i.e. the Diamond Sutra Teaching.
When we heard about the Gyalwang Karmapa’s decision to cancel the teaching, our emotions evolved from unspeakable shock to calm contemplation. Eventually, we understand the difficulty and necessity to make such a decision. We will continue to pray that the Diamond Sutra Teaching to be held in future, yet we are unsure when and where the teaching will be held. Therefore, we will begin the refund process for those who had registered for the teaching after we had negotiated with the hotel for refund.
Even though we feel a sense of regret that the Diamond Sutra Teaching cannot be held, yet we understand and …
First the Gyalwang Karmapa spoke a few words related to the birthday of HH the Dalai Lama:
We Tibetans consider the birthday of HH the Dalai Lama to be extremely important. We are most fortunate that he lights our way like a blazing torch as we pass through these dark and difficult times. His birthday, therefore, is an important occasion for us. Born in the Land of Snow, His Holiness is the protector and refuge for all the Tibetan people. This enormous good fortune brings delight to all of us and also gives us great courage.
However we might celebrate his birthday, we can recall his life story and his worldwide activity to benefit others.
In relation to any advice he might give us, it is essential that we consider how we can assist him and implement his counsel in its true sense. Not only has His Holiness devoted himself to improving our material welfare externally, he has also encouraged the growth of our spiritual welfare internally. In response, from our…
A group from Palpung Wales, which actually consisted of people from all over UK, traveled to join the His Holiness 17th Karmapa’s first teaching weekend in London, Battersea. It was an absolute privilege to be part of that weekend, in many ways. We received touching and inspiring teachings from His Holiness Karmapa on Geshe Langri Tangpa’s famous “Eight verses of Mind Training,” a key instruction on how to bring the Dharma into daily life. At the same time it was like a gesture of welcoming His Holiness Karmapa’s 17th incarnation to this country for the first time. Meeting with the many Dharma friends and coming together in His Holiness’s mandala was a very heart-warming experience. We were also very fortunate to have a group audience with His Holiness on Saturday afternoon. From original Palpung Wales group it slowly formed into a Palpung United group of about 60 people from Wales, Ireland and Slovenia, and some from Italy as well. It was a great chance, although only…
ONE EARLY MORNING [in 1980] His Holiness the Sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa generously granted an interview to the readers of Densal. What follows is the text of that interview, word for word, as translated by Ngodup Tsering Burkhar. In it, His Holiness touches on many important aspects of spiritual practice, the Kagyu lineage, and life in the world today for the Dharma practitioner. It is a timely and most valuable teaching for Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike.
Densal: This is your third tour to America. Do you have any observations you would like to share about it, and about the growth of the Dharma in the United States? H.H.: The responsibility of the teacher is to always give the teachings. It doesn't matter that only a short time has passed, or a long time has passed; what matters is that the teachings are continuously given. Sometimes it may seem to be more appropriate to teach because most people are at leisure and have a lot of time, and it appears to be a good time to give teach…
The land of Sikkim, at the border of India and Tibet, was consecrated as a hidden sanctuary for the Buddha's teachings during the present epoch by the second Buddha, the great master Padmasambhava, who blessed it with the vajra wisdom of his body, speech, and mind. Through the infallible power of his aspiration and through our great effort, the monastery Shaydrup Kunkhyap Otong Khyilway Tsuklakhang (the Temple of Pervasive Teaching and Practice Blazing with a Thousand Lights), has been established for the preservation of the precious doctrine of the Buddha, which is the source of all benefit and happiness in existence and tranquility, and for the sake of all beings in the world.
Before the building's foundation was begun, I performed the customary removal of impediments and, using a sand mandala, the ritual of Chakrasamvara, blessing the location so that it is his wisdom mandala. In that and similar ways, the site has been consecrated m…
2 Apr 2017ChandigarhNaresh K Thakur n email@example.com
DHARAMSHALA: With his rival Trinley Thaye Dorje now a married man, who shed monk’s robes to get hitched with his childhood friend, the claim of Ogyen Trinley Dorje to the title of the 17th Karmapa and Rumtek Monastery throne has become stronger
Thaye Dorje, 33, married Rinchen Yangzom, 36, in a private ceremony attended by close family members in New Delhi on March 25 and announced it on March 30. His office described the couple as “close childhood friends” who have known each other for more than 19 years.
Karmapa is the title given to the spiritual leader of the Karma Kagyu sect, one of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism and are the oldest institutionalised series of rebirths in Tibetan Buddhism, preceding the Dalai Lama of Gelug sect. Currently, there are three contenders who claim to be the rightful reincarnation of 16th Karmapa. While Ogyen Dorje, who is recognised by the Dalai Lama as well as the Peoples’…