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
Karmapa Rinpoche, the head of Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism who is often regarded by international media as the third-highest Tibetan lama, said he will return to Tibet and "share the happiness and misery" with Tibetans when the situation allows him to be beneficial to them.
After 17-plus years in exile, Karmapa said publicly for first time that he had left a written message behind when he escaped for India in late 1999.
"In it, I wrote I have made many failed efforts to be able to go to abroad. Now, having no other option, I am doing this way as a final solution. However, in the future if I could be beneficial to Tibet, the Land of Snow, I will return soon.' That's what I wrote," he said Sunday, speaking in Tibetan to about 4,000 Tibetans and devotees in Toronto. He had previously said that Chinese authorities turned down his requests to travel to India before his escape.
When the then-14-year-old Karmapa met with the Dalai Lama in Dhar…
At 11 am on Friday 26th May 2017, His Holiness the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje was received by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales at his country home of Highgrove (pictured). Their conversation covered issues of mutual concern, such as global climate change. His Holiness gifted His Royal Highness a copy of his new book ‘Interconnected: Embracing Life in Our Global Society’. The meeting was followed by a tour of the grounds & gardens.
Following the historic meeting His Holiness traversed the beautiful English countryside, stopping in Chippenham, Avebury & Stonehenge.
In 2016, the Centre had lifted restrictions on 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, movement within India after five years. Following this, he visited Arunachal Pradesh, an area claimed by China.
Sujit Nath | News18.com Updated:July 26, 2017, 11:31 PM IST
Kolkata: Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling on Wednesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to grant permission to 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, to visit the state.
Any such visit to the by the Tibetan leader living in exile in India is likely to anger China. This comes at a time when the two countries are engaged in a standoff in Doklam plateau in the Sikkim sector.
In 2016, the Centre had lifted restrictions on Dorje’s movement within India after five years. Following this, he visited Arunachal Pradesh, an area claimed by China.
“I also invited the Prime Minister to visit Sikkim after the rainy season came to an end this year, which he agreed and promised to make a trip soon,” Chamling told the media after his mee…
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…
THE PRACTICE OF DHARMA involves certain possibilities. How these potentials evolve into actual situations for the practitioner, and how much is possible within these situations depends on the capacity of individual beings. It depends upon the level of teachings that one is able to relate to, such as Mahayana or Hinayana. At this particular time in our lives, the practice of the Mahayana teaching is possible. It is absolutely precious and absolutely rare. Our concern for development and our sense of responsibility has placed us in a position to integrate the preciousness and rarity of the Mahayana teaching with our lives. Through it there is the possibility of the experience of no-returning back into Samsara and the experience of ultimate bliss that is self knowing and in which there are no doubts. In the midst of the wanderings of our minds we might sometimes fall into thinking that whether one practices or not, the Dharma will always be available. If you have tha…
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Because apathy can become an epidemic.
The 17th Karmapa of Tibet, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, has been called the future “shepherd of the Tibetan people,” a Buddhist leader-in-waiting who will one day replace the Dalai Lama as the most important crimson-clad chieftain for many Tibetans. Though his claim to the throne of the Karma Kagyu lineage has been contested, most Tibetans — and even the Chinese government — agree that Ogyen Trinley Dorje is the real deal. Last month, the Karmapa was in the U.K. for his first-ever visit as he released a new book, Interconnected: Embracing Life in Our Global Society. OZY sat down with the 31-year-old philosopher monk to discuss his book and the roots of suffering, Chinese politics and why some leaders might need to have their heads examined. This interview has been condensed and edited.
THE OPPOSITE OF EMPATHY IS APATHY. THERE IS A TREND IN ENCOURAGING PEOPLE TO ONLY THINK OF THEIR OWN GOOD AND NOT TO WORRY ABOUT T…
TIBETAN DHARMA IS BASED ON Mahayana Buddhism and in Tibet there is a special Mahayana tradition. Centuries ago, Indian Mahasiddhas collected the essence of the Buddha's teachings which were subsequently brought to Tibet. Down to this present day, it is still possible to study these same teachings at an educational institution. In addition, you can actually come to experience the effect of what you have learned and enjoy the fruit of what you have practiced. I have confidence that you all are capable of experiencing this fruition of Buddhahood. The heart of Mahayana teaching is the practice of experiencing bodhicitta, or the enlightened mind. Bodhicitta can be seen from two aspects--the aspiration to benefit oneself and to benefit others--but when you are truly doing the practice then you generate bodhicitta that includes both yourself and all other beings. As you are working in the world or accomplishing some task, if you do it with the intention of benefiting…
Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju visited Phodong Monastery in North Sikkim on Wednesday where he was given a grand welcome by the monks. Rijiju expressed his happiness on the opportunity of visiting such a holy monastery of Sikkim. The Minister offered khada and lit the butter lamps at the monastery for the well being of all sentient beings.
While addressing a large gathering of monks, local public and students at the monastery, he informed that recently restrictions on the travel of the Karmapa to any place apart from Sikkim were lifted by the Government of India. His Holiness had earlier visited Arunachal Pradesh and the people of the state accorded a grand reception to him thus showing their faith in him. He said that the lifting of the restrictions on the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa in visiting Sikkim is currently under process and meetings are being held to resolve various issues. He was tirelessly pursuing the matter in his Ministry, owing t…
The 17th Karmapa, Tibetan religious leader Ogyen Trinley Dorje, was in Parkdale Wednesday, May 31, to consecrate the newly relocated Karma Sonam Dargye Ling temple. It was the first time the 32-year-old protege of the Dalai Lama has visited Canada.
His inaugural visit to his temple was a pretty big deal, and local Tibetans observed all manner of traditional practices and rituals to mark this auspicious occasion. On the morning of his arrival, the space inside and around the temple was a colourful blur of bodies, dresses and flags.
Police officers, volunteers, temple staff and devotees gathered outside, some as early as 6 am, to await the Karmapa’s appearance, scheduled for 9:30 am.
The diverse crowd included Charlotte, 73, who’d driven from Peterb…