Monlam – December 10-14, 2004, Bodh Gaya
Monlam photos from Vienna Dharma Projects >>>
of disciples from all around the world came together at Bodh
Gaya, in India’s northeast Bihar state,
to participate in the annual Kagyu Monlam, or great prayer festival.
Bodh Gaya is the site of the Bodhi Tree under which the Buddha
achieved enlightenment 2500 years ago. The town is the principal
pilgrimage site for Buddhists of all traditions. The four-day event
took place from December 10 to December 14, 2004.
Spiritual fervour, blessing and meditation characerized these
exceptional days of rituals which were led by the 17th Karmapa,
Trinley Thaye Dorje.
Also participating in the ceremonies were Shamar Rinpoche, the
second-ranking lama in the lineage; Beru Khyentse Rinpoche, Shangpa
Rinpoche, and Jigme Rinpoche; reincarnate lamas including Tulku
Chogyal, Tulku Tenzin and Nendo Tulku; and lamas, monks, nuns,
and laypeople from the Himalayan area and India, as well as Europe
and North America.
The daily program included:
7-9 am—16th Arhat
Prayer and Manjushri Prayer
9:15-11:30 am—Arya Bhadka Charya Prani Dhana Raj
1-2:30 pm—Arya Bhadka Charya Prani Raj
2:45-5 pm—A cycle of five wishing prayers:
On December 14, the final day of the event, the Kagyu Monlam concluded
with the ritual of Korwa Tongtruk, a practice for the deceased,
and the Milarepa guru-yoga accompanied by a variety of offerings
(ganachakra / tsok).
Gyalwa Karmapa granted his blessing in individual audiences to
the groups of practitioners and individuals who came from Asia,
Europe and North America.
The simplicity and profundity of the rituals left a great impression
on all who were present.
Thousands of prayer flags decorated the places of prayer, and
participants contributed large amounts of food offerings and butter
lamps. Some groups from Western countries also distributed food
to the local people of the area.