Over 20,000 devotees and monks from across the globe gather in Bodhgaya for a week long Monlam festival from 14th-20th December, 2011
New Delhi: December 13, 2011: The annual Kagyu Monlam celebration considered auspicious by Buddhists starts this year in Bodhgaya on the 14th of December. The seven-day long festival at the Mahabodhi temple will see huge gathering of Rinpoches, Lamas, Monks, Nuns and Devotees who have travelled from different parts of the world to seek the blessings of Buddha Shakymuni and pray in unison for all sentient beings. The participants have already started gathering in Bodhgaya for an opportunity that every Buddhist follower wishes to be a part of. The festival will conclude on 20th December.
The commemoration of the Kagyu Monlam shall open with the 16 Arhat and Samantabhadra ‘Wishing Prayer’ followed by Manjushri Prayers for sentient beings. Then six different Wishing Prayers shall be recited by learned Rinpoches, Monks, Lamas and Nuns.
HH the 17th Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorjee shall be making a public appearance to give the initiation of Chenresig to his devotees at Karma Temple on December 18. Followers who would like to seek His direct blessings may go to the temple on the marked day.
On the 19th of December, the followers of the Kagyu lineage from Rumtek monastery, who were also present during the life span of 16th Karmapa, shall be making Mandala offerings, special prayers and meditations for the good health and long life of His Holiness the 14th Kunzig Shamarpa Rinpoche, also known as the Red Hat Lama of Tibet and the 2nd highest order lama in the Kagyu Lineage. Shamarpa is looked upto as the saviour of the lineage which has stood tall against all odds to protect the traditional culture and customs of the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism.
With every passing year the celebration and enthusiasm of participants is on the rise. The tradition of the Kagyu Monlam (Monlam means aspiration in the Tibetan language) goes back to the life and times of the 7th Karmapa, Karmapa Chödrak Gyatso. It is believed that group Aspiration prayers have a high energy level and it manifolds many times to add to the merit of the participants.
The final day will mark the participation of thousands of devotees and followers of the Karma Kagyu order of Tibeten Buddhism for World Peace. The event shall be culminated with the Tsokkhor (Prasad) distribution on 20th December.
The Rinpoches, learned and senior monks, nuns, devotees and other followers of Buddhism, from Europe, Asia, South and North America, Australia, Kalimpong, Ladakh, Rumtek Monastery and the rest of the world are participating in the much looked forward to event, who all will make a group prayer for the protection of the Kagyu Lineage. Apart from them, Katherine Cheng of New World Development Company Limited, a Hong Kong-based leading conglomerate, and some well known personalities from India, Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet are expected to participate in the event. It is presumed that a gathering of over 30,000 Buddhist followers would be present in Bodhgaya during the Kagyu Monlam.