The holy site of the Mahabodhi Temple was at its most splendid on the morning of the opening day of this year’s Kagyu Monlam. Thangkas depicting the masters of the Kagyu lineage had been put up on the Monlam shrine, and in front of them countless flower garlands, bouquets of flowers and butter lamps had been arranged, and a vast number of elaborately manufactured offering tormas set out. Every surface was covered with flowers laid out in intricate patterns, and a mood of joyful anticipation was in the air.
On December 2, 2010, a day of religious festivities at KIBI (Karmapa International Buddhist Institute) in New Delhi marked the beginning of the month-long celebration of the 900th anniversary of the first Karmapa Düsum Khyenpa’s birth year. Düsum Khyenpa, the founder of the Karma Kagyu, or Karma Kamtsang lineage, was born in 1110. He was the first master in the history of Tibetan Buddhism to give indications concerning his next rebirth, and the second Karmapa, who was to become known as Karmapakshi, announced from an early age on that he was the reincarnation of Düsum Khyenpa. The latter was thus at the origin of the oldest lineage of consciously reborn masters (tulkus).
The 17th Gyalwa Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje has just finished a two-month retreat in Kündröl Ling in France. His visit being of a strictly private nature, no public events were scheduled during his stay there. There was, however, a very special reason for the Gyalwa Karmapa’s visit to Kündröl Ling: during his two-month stay he received the entire transmission of the dam ngag dzö from Pewar Rinpoche, one of Tibet’s most revered lamas today.
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