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    Excerpts of His Holiness the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje teaching on the benefits of the Tsechu lama dance (the full script), and dancing in the Golden Offering, which features offerings to three categories: lamas and yidam deities, protectors and guardians, and local deities. The Tsechu lama dance took place on Jan 10, 2014, Bodh Gaya, India.


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    Excerpts of Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche and Gyaltsab Rinpoche dancing in the Invoking the Blessings (Jinbep), one of the most important dances in the Tsechu. Through the power of its blessings, the outer phenomenal world is transformed into the Copper Colored Mountain, the pure realm of Guru Rinpoche; sentient beings are transformed into dakas and dakinis; and the offering substances are transformed into wisdom nectar.

    The supporting dancers are from Rumtek, Palchen Choling, and Benchen monasteries.
    The Tsechu lama dance took place on Jan 10, 2014, Bodh Gaya, India, as part of the special program of the 31st Kagyu Monlam.



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    1st Arya Kshema - Webcast Schedule Indian Time

    Teaching by the Gyalwang Karmapa on Gampopa's Jewel Ornament of Liberation
    Januar 21 - 28 Morning Session 8:30 - 11:00
    Afternoon Session 15:00 - 17:30


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    December 29, 2013

    Tergar Monastery



    The first part of the Akshobhya retreat—recitation of the sadhana and collection of 100,000 or more of the dharani mantra — concluded on 28th December, 2013. Now the retreatants are offering  three and a half days of fire pujas during which they will chant a further 10,000 purification mantras.  The fire pujas begin at 5.00am, with pairs of retreatants working in together in a specially constructed gazebo on the roof of Tergar Shrine hall.  There are 16 fires in all. These fire rituals invoke the power of the peaceful not wrathful White Akshobhya and are offered for the purification of all sentient beings. On the first day, His Holiness acted as the vajra master, using a microphone and speaker to lead everyone through the ritual.


    Speaking of their experiences during the six-week long retreat, the retreatants described it as an extraordinary, powerful and life-changing experience. 


    They spoke of the great compassion the Gyalwang Karmapa had shown for their ‘outer circumstances’ during this time: nutritious food, prioritizing their needs over his own, serving them personally, and only eating his own lunch later, after all the retreatants had been fed. One nun told how she had got too close to the butter lamps and her sen  accidentally caught fire. Once the flames were out, His Holiness had taken off his own sen and given it to her.


    They spoke of the extraordinary guidance and teachings he gave them through the retreat, his patience and never-ending kindness. As one retreatant said, “No words can express my feelings.  I have been ordained for 33 years and received many teachings, but this has been the ultimate Dharma experience. Nothing compares.”  Another spoke of “his presence, his kindness, his openness… inspired everyone. Our hearts are full of gratitude and joy which could last as long as we live.” 


     “He has made certain that this practice will enable us to bring other people on to the path of liberation.”


    Finally, several expressed surprise and wonder at the amazing sense of humour that His Holiness displayed, and thought that they were very privileged to glimpse this less serious, informal aspect.




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    At the end of the Kagyu Monlam in the late afternoon of the January 16, 2014 H.H. Gyalwang Karmapa has called the Benchen monastery addressing all the monks from Kathmandu and the Pharping Shedra.

    H.H. said that Kyabje Tenga Rinpoche made it clear that he will not be reborn in Tibet and that Rinpoche will be reborn close to Rinpoche's root guru. H.H. had a very clear vision that Kyabje Tenga Rinpoche will enter this world soon after the two stupas are completed. Until Kyabje Tenga Rinpoche is reborn you should practice continuously and do all the rituals, that will be the best. H.H. said that "whenever you need my support, please tell me, I am there. Whatever I can I will do to support the monastery." The last that H.H. said was that Rinpoche will be reborn not far which probably means Nepal, Bhutan, or India.


    http://www.buddyzm.eu/en/odejscie-kjabdzie-tengi-rinpoczego-w-parinirwane-2012/wiadomosc-od-gjallanga-karmapy-dla-klasztoru-bencien

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    January 22, 2014
    Monlam Pavilion Grounds


    Gyalwang Karmapa took a short break this morning from his teachings on Gampopa’s Jewel Ornament of Liberation in order to  inaugurate the first ever Kagyu Monlam Animal Camp, which opened here in Bodhgaya today. Having been greeted by the staff, he toured the facility, watched dogs being prepared for surgery, and had a glimpse of the operating theatre, before returning to resume his teachings to the nuns attending the 1st Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering for Nuns.

    Spread across the fallow ground between the Monlam Pavilion and Tergar Monastery, the Kagyu Monlam Animal Camp comprises two parts. Outside, near the main gate to the pavilion, stands the outpatients’ reception, where local people can bring domestic animals and pets of all sizes for examination and non-surgical treatment. Inside the grounds, the former Garchen kitchen tent has been transformed into a holding area for stray dogs, an operating theatre, where four vets can work simultaneously, and a recovery area.

    The staff consists of six qualified veterinarians, nine para-vets and dog-catchers, and two van drivers. A major part of the team’s work is a street dog ABC-AR programme [Animal Birth Control- Anti-Rabies], as recommended by the W.H.O. (World Health Organisation) as the only method of controlling rabies infections in people. Each morning some of the para-vet team leaves at around 6.00am to collect stray dogs and bring them to the camp. At 8.00am surgery starts, and the para-vets go back to collect more dogs. The sterilization programme is aimed at both male and female dogs, with the goal of spaying or neutering between twenty to thirty dogs each day. At the same time, the dogs will be vaccinated against rabies, treated for parasites, and given antibiotics and post-operative painkillers. An ultrasound is used on all females to check that they are not pregnant before they are operated on.

    In addition, the vets will treat a range of other conditions requiring surgery such as severe infections, prolapses, injuries, eye disease, cancers and so forth.

    After the 24th, the camp will begin an outreach programme to nearby villages where the vets will set up field clinics to treat all animals, strays, pets and domestic animals such as cows, goats, and horses.

    The staff are all highly experienced in the field, and have been involved in successful ABC-AR programmes.  Drs Thinley, Diki and Shams and many of the para-vets come from the Sikkim Anti-Rabies Animal Health (SARAH) Division of the Department of Animal Husbandry, Livestock, Fisheries and Veterinary Services, which has been carrying out a very successful ABC-AR program across the Himalayan state of Sikkim. Previous to their intervention, the government had no choice but to shoot over a thousand dogs every year to control the population. Now, the vast majority of dogs are sterilised and vaccinated leading Sikkim to become the first rabies free state of India. For the past 2 years, the SARAH team has acted as a training institute, teaching many Indian veterinary personnel from other states the advanced surgical, nursing and humane animal handling skills required for a successful ABC-AR programme. This was carried out under the auspices of the Animal Welfare Board of India and through the Vets Beyond Borders “VetTrain” program.

    The Foundation Brigitte Bardot (FBB) has supported the SARAH program since its inception. FBB support hundreds of animal welfare programs around the world and has generously become the main sponsor of the Monlam Animal Camp, in co-operation with Kagyupa International Monlam Trust. www.fondationbrigittebardot.fr
    Vet and para-vet volunteers from the Tibet Charity Animal Care Centre, and Dharamsala Animal Rescue, both animal welfare NGO’s from the Dharamsala area, are also supporting the animal camp.

    http://kagyumonlam.org/English/News/Report/Report_20140122.html

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    Last Updated: Friday, January 24, 2014, 00:34




    Palampur: The 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, would open a 10-day medical camp for animals in Bodhgaya on Friday.

    BJP MP and animal rights activist Maneka Gandhi would be the chief guest at the function to be held at the Kagyu Monlam Pavilion of Tergar Monastery in Bodhgaya. 

    The camp, organised by Kagyupa International Monlam Trust, will be held from January 24 to February 2, with financial assistance from Brigitte Bardot Foundation and technical support from Sikkim Anti-Rabies Animal Health Division of the Government of Sikkim and Tibet Charity Animal Care Centre and Dharamsala Animal Rescue organisation. 

    PTI

    First Published: Friday, January 24, 2014, 00:34


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    January 16, 2014


    As part of the charitable activities during this year’s 31st International Kagyu Monlam, volunteers from Kagyu Samyé Ling Monastery and Tibetan Buddhist Centre in Scotland came to Bodhgaya especially to run a soup kitchen supplying  a cooked meal for the needy.

    For five days, during this year’s Monlam festival, they organised a nutritious midday meal of rice, dal and vegetables for up to 400 hungry children and homeless people. They decided to name this year’s project The Akong Tulku Memorial Soup Kitchen in honour of their  teacher who was tragically killed last October.  Dr Akong Tulku, co-founder of Kagyu Samye Ling was a great humanitarian who established the international charity Rokpa Trust which supports many health, education and care projects for the well-being of people across the Himalayan region and around the world.  His life was also celebrated in the Lama Chöpa Ritual on the last morning of the Kagyu Monlam.

    Samye Ling volunteers have run similar free food distributions during the Monlam for the last seven years. This year they worked together with the Monlam Medical Camp and valued greatly the support they received from His Holiness Karmapa’s sister Ngodup Pelzom and the Chief Executive Officer of the Kagyupa International Monlam Trust Lama Chödrak in making this happen.

    The  All Indian Bhikkhu Sangha generously provided the venue, opposite the Medical Camp, and helped with the project.



    http://www.kagyumonlam.org/English/News/Report/Report_20140116_2.html

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    Bodhgaya: January 20, 2014



    I begin by paying homage to this distinguished assembly, headed by His Holiness the 17th Karmapa and His Eminence the 12th Goshir Gyaltsab Rinpoche, along with the eminent tulkus, learned khenpos and geshes, venerable sangha and community of lay supporters.

    The Gyalwang Karmapa has convened this historical first winter Dharma session for Karma Kagyu nuns in this most sacred site of Bodhgaya, so it might be auspicious to recollect a conversation that took place here shortly after the Buddha’s enlightenment and before he left the vicinity of the Bodhi tree. At that time, Mara came and suggested that the Buddha should pass into parinirvana since he had already accomplished his aim of attaining complete enlightenment. The Buddha replied that he would only pass into parinirvana after not only his bhikshus but also his bhikshunis and upsakas had a clear understanding of the Dharma and could successfully debate with those who argue against the Dharma. This conversation is related in the Sanghabhedavastu (dge ‘dun byen gyi gzhi) and other Sanskrit texts as well, and clearly demonstrates that the Buddha intended that his female sangha also take an active role in defending the Dharma, and thereby preserving it for future generations.

    Now, a very short distance from the Bodhi tree where this conversation took place, His Holiness the 17th Karmapa is creating new opportunities for nuns to develop our clear understanding of the Dharma, so that we too can debate and help fulfill the Buddha’s plan for his female sangha to also contribute to the preservation of the Dharma in the world.

    To do so, as His Holiness often reminds us, we need to actively cultivate the wisdom that arises through study, reflection and meditation. We are incredibly fortunate to be under the care of such a kind and wise guru who is leading us along the path to liberation and arranging all the outer conditions that we need to complete that path. We ourselves also need to work hard to develop the inner conditions so we can make full use of the outer opportunities.

    Until now, women around the world have faced two major obstacles to developing their potential: outer obstacles and inner obstacles. The outer obstacle is lack of material and educational opportunities, and His Holiness is now creating those outer conditions for us. The inner obstacle is a lack of confidence in our own ability to make use of those opportunities. 

    I think to many of you, it may look as if Western women have never faced any of these obstacles. But, actually, the equal opportunities that women now have in the West are relatively recent. Less than 100 years ago in the United States, women could not even vote! Over the course of just a few generations, women were offered more and more educational and professional opportunities, but many times have been held back by doubts about their own abilities. My own mother was born in a time when women could receive the same education as men, but many had not yet developed the confidence to actually use that opportunity. My mother received a good education, but becomes painfully shy in public. So many times I have heard her say, “I could never do that,” yet she never told me and my sister we could not do it. She and my father both encouraged us children to believe in our own potential, and this was an important condition for us to explore to see for ourselves what our limitations really are.

    The point is that even if we have opportunities, if we think we are not really able to make use of those opportunities, this thought will limit our confidence and hold us back.

    As His Holiness has said in the past, ideas about what a woman or man can do or what a woman or man should be are just ideas – they have no existence outside our mind. However, when we believe that these ideas describe our actual nature, this belief affects our experiences and limits our efforts to develop our potential. If we believe we cannot accomplish something, we definitely will not accomplish it.

    We should not let the mundane views of society tell us what our capacity is, but rather we should let the wisdom of the Dharma shape our understanding of ourselves. The Dharma tells us we all have exactly the same Buddha nature. When we fully realize this potential within us, we will have all the qualities that society normally tells us are either masculine or feminine.

    Even if we do not always have full confidence in our own potential, we do have full confidence and trust in our supreme spiritual guide, the Gyalwang Karmapa, and he has been telling us nuns that we do have the capacity to study seriously and practice deeply, and therefore to become qualified to take up more responsibility for the Buddhadharma. So our trust in our supreme guru and in the teachings of the Buddha can become the basis for us to develop confidence in ourselves.

    This historical conference is taking place in the 21st century, at a historical moment when there is an unprecedented need for the teachings of the Buddha. Our rapid material progress has led much of the world to believe that we can find happiness by having more material things. This view creates more dissatisfaction on a personal level, and collectively our unbridled consumption is having a devastating effect on the natural environment. If we do not change our understanding about where happiness comes from, in just a few generations we may have destroyed the planet’s capacity to support this way of life. The Buddhadharma offers a blueprint for a more sustainable way of living on this planet, based on a correct understanding of where lasting happiness comes from and a more compassionate way of relating to one another and to the planet.

    Therefore there is an urgent need for everyone who has committed their lives to upholding the Dharma to develop themselves to their fullest capacity, and especially for nuns to actively contribute to the flourishing of the Dharma. The Gyalwang Karmapa has also commented that we are living in an era when the world especially needs the particular qualities that women manifest more clearly. Society has long assigned to women the role of caring for others, and if we look to our own experiences, we can all see the quality in women of “sensitive listening to others’ needs,” setting aside their own wishes and allowing compassion to guide their loving actions that are represented in the figure of the mother, and that are so urgently needed in today’s world.

    In his own immeasurable kindness to us, His Holiness is now providing the means for nuns to develop, so that this inherent potential of lovingkindness can become a full source of benefit to the world.

    On behalf of people in Western countries whose happiness and wellbeing depends on the availability of Buddha’s teachings, I would like to request you nuns to deepen your Dharma understanding and practice, and to accept the responsibility of helping to keep the teachings of Buddha alive and available around the world, wherever they are so very much needed.

    Thank you.


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    Bodhgaya: January 20, 2014


     I have never felt that there is any difference between females and males. Being Buddhist disciples we all know that wisdom, courage and compassion, all these wonderful qualities, are inherently owned by all sentient beings. The only difference may be in the expression and demonstration of these qualities.


    When I think of all the women I know, different races, ages, and nationalities, among these I include many of you that I have been in touch with, when I think of you all, especially Himalayan women, my heart is full of peace and humility. I see the qualities of tenderness, humility, gentleness, and delicacy. Also the qualities of great perseverance, self-sacrifice, and forbearance.   Thereby, I have realized that perhaps these qualities are the embodiment of wisdom and courage in women. Even though this is so, I also see that you are faced with the difficulties of living conditions, the prejudice of society, less opportunities for education and fewer resources.  Indeed this is a visible and obvious reality. However, today the purpose of this gathering is not to feel sorry for ourselves or bemoan social conditions because the real difficulties do not come from external pre-defined roles imposed on us, the real difficulty we face comes from how we view ourselves I n other words it is how we identify with the idea of society and impose that on ourselves. That is our ultimate limitation.


    So today we are here under the guidance of His Holiness the Gyalwang Karmapa and at his initiative, with the support of the sangha, and we begin the first Kagyu female monastic winter debate. However, I feel that such a special first is not only for the sake of debate or listening to the teaching, nor because it was commanded by His Holiness, but also this first is for us to fundamentally transform the ideas held by the whole of society and the ideas and understanding which we hold of ourselves.


    In 1994 when I first finished shedra education, and decided to continue my studies in Tibetan Buddhism, when I brought this up, the preceptor of my ordination and many of our senior monks and nuns told me that if I went there I would experience hardship because, since olden times, the female in Tibetan Buddhism has no social status or opportunities.  Only a few women were able to succeed. At that time I disagreed and I felt confident that I would be one of the few. But when I got into the Tibetan Buddhist community, I’m sorry to say, I discovered what they said is true.


    But today I witness this debating event completely dedicated to the female sangha which makes me feel hope, even though this is only a beginning and we still have a long way to go. I anticipate that under the guidance and concern of His Holiness, and with everyone’s wholehearted diligence, one day in the debate gathering, the Khenpos and Geshes sitting in the front row will be you.




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    January 20, 2014
    Tergar Monastery Shrine Room



    The main shrine hall of Tergar Monastery had been transformed for this the first ever Karma Kamtsang Nuns’ Winter Dharma Gathering. The great tormas from the Kagyu Monlam had been brought over from the pavilion and, along with offerings of fruit, biscuits and sweets, intricately arranged into cylindrical shapes Korean style, they adorned the front of the dais behind the Gyalwang Karmapa’s throne.


    The magnificent, brightly-coloured stitched thangkas of the Kagyu forefathers and lineage holders, which had lined the sides of the Monlam Pavilion aisle, now hung on either side of the central section of the shrine room. The 197 nuns, drawn from 6 Karma Kagyu nunneries in Bhutan, India and Nepal, along with a scattering of Chinese and Western nuns who follow the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, sat patiently in rows of raised seats, and a nun umze waited to lead the chanting..

    The Gyalwang Karmapa has several times expressed his intention to raise the educational standards of nuns and make the three trainings available to them.

    As he said in a video released a few weeks ago, 
    The times have changed and we are now in an age in this world when it is important that women are equal and that everyone is given the same educational opportunities. So in this time, we must take this opportunity. I think it will be extremely good to give nuns all of the facilities for studying, contemplating, and meditating


    The Winter Debate session for Karma Kamtsang monks has been running for seventeen years but this is the very first time when the nuns of the Karma Kamtsang have been called together at the behest of the Gyalwang Karmapa.  He has chosen to call it the Arya Kshema after the nun of the same name who was the foremost of the Buddha’s female disciples, the wisest of the wise and the most confident, as a cause for the nuns to become better educated and more confident.


    Because the new programme of studies for nuns, which will raise their educational level to that of the monks, is in its preliminary stages, there will not be extensive debating this year. Instead, Khenpos will hold twice-daily classes in order to teach the nuns the fundamentals of debate, based on a text on Collected Topics. In addition, as is the case during the monks’ winter debate session, the Gyalwang Karmapa will give an extensive ten-day teaching. This year he has chosen Gampopa’s Jewel Ornament of Liberation.

    After initial prayers, Ngodup Pelzom, older sister of the Gyalwang Karmapa, opened the speeches which would set the tone for the conference. She talked as “a woman talking about women’s issues“.  Though half of the world’s 7 billion population was female, and women often formed the majority in religious activities, women still faced many difficulties because of their lower status within society.  She shared her own experience of prejudice, growing up as a nomad girl in Tibet.  When her father taught her to read, his fellow villagers had criticized him, saying that there was no point educating a girl as she just needed to know how to tend the yaks and goats, how to cook, look after children and so forth. Hearing this, many of the Tibetan nuns in the audience cried; being undervalued and dismissed, and having to battle for an education were obviously experiences they shared.


    Pelzom la highlighted two requirements: to change how society views women and to educate women thus increasing their confidence so that they would not become discouraged. Without education women could neither fulfill their own personal wishes nor could they gain status in the eyes of the wider society. Nuns require the same facilities and opportunities – shedras and retreat centres— as monks, she said. In terms of the Buddhist teachings they needed to study ethical discipline, meditative stabilisation and wisdom, and though they have not yet received gelongma vows, in future that would happen too. It was essential that nuns received all of these facilities in order to fully support the Buddha’s teachings. Because of the great kindness and under the guidance of the Gyalwang Karmapa, nuns would now receive the chance to study as monks. However, this brought new responsibilities. In the past they could complain that they didn’t have the same opportunities, but, now they would not have this excuse so it was important that they had the courage to seize the opportunities. The future is in their hands.


    The next speaker was an American nun, the Ven. Lhundup Damchoe. Illustrating the Buddha’s own regard for nuns, and his intention that they should hold an equal place in preserving the Dharma, she recounted the story from Sanghabhedavastu (dge ‘dun byen gyi gzhi)  of how “Mara came and suggested that the Buddha should pass into parinirvana since he had already accomplished his aim of attaining complete enlightenment. The Buddha replied that he would only pass into parinirvana after not only his bhikshus but also his bhikshunis and upsakas had a clear understanding of the Dharma and could successfully debate with those who argue against the Dharma.” The Gyalwang Karmapa was now making this opportunity available to the Karma Kamtsang nuns. However, there seemed two major obstacles: the outer one is lack of material and educational opportunities, and the inner one which is the nuns’ lack of confidence in them.


     She continued by explaining many people didn’t realize that gender equality is a recent phenomenon in the West, and spoke of the problems her own mother had encountered. It was important to understand that ideas about gender roles are simply ideas, not truths, and women often allowed such ideas to put limitations on their achievements. Furthermore, the 21st century world desperately needed the Dharma and female qualities of caring and compassion.


    Ani Damchoe concluded with a plea to the nuns to “deepen your Dharma understanding and practice, and accept the responsibility of helping to keep the teachings of Buddha alive and available around the world”. [Link to full text of speech]


    The third speaker was the Ven. Miaorong Fashi, a Taiwanese nun. She spoke on the qualities of female wisdom and courage as she had experienced them, especially living and interacting with Himalayan women. “Being a Buddhist disciple,” she said, “we all know that wisdom, courage and compassion, all these wonderful qualities are inherently owned by all sentient beings. The only difference may be in the expression and demonstration of these qualities.” But women in particular display qualities of “tenderness, humility and gentleness, and delicacy, as well as great perseverance, self-sacrifice, and forbearance”.  Nuns now had the responsibility to “fundamentally transform the ideas held by the whole of society and the ideas and understanding which we hold of ourselves”. [Link to English translation]


    The fourth speaker was Khenpo Kelsang Nyima, the senior Khenpo at Rumtek shedra. He placed the Arya Kshema gathering in the wider context of the work which the Gyalwang Karmapa, the embodiment Buddha activity, has been undertaking for the benefit of sentient beings. First His Holiness had ensured that the heart of the Kagyu teachings, the 13 Tantras of Marpa, were preserved and protected. Then he had restructured the Kagyu Monlam, restoring codes of conduct for the Kagyu sangha, producing a new book of prayers, composing beautiful new melodies, commissioning new and splendid tormas, so that the Kagyu Monlam had become something to be admired and honoured. The Karmapa was making sure that practitioners received the empowerments, oral transmissions and key instructions that they needed in order to practice the specific Kagyu lineage practices. He had also produced plays of the Life of Milarepa and Karma Pakshi and organized the celebration of Karmapa 900. He had encouraged people to complete their preliminary practices and retreats, and he had enhanced the quality of debate in the monks’gunchoe by introducing external judges and prizes.


    Now, His Holiness had organized the Arya Kshema Winter Gathering for Nuns. This had not been at the request of the nunneries or monasteries but was part of the Karmapa’s vision for the future of the Karma Kamtsang, and reflected his continuing support of nuns, including his contribution to the debate on the gelongma issue.


    The next speaker, Khenpo Tsultrim Namdak Rinpoche Principal of Sherab Ling Shedra, emphasized the importance of education. The Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering, as well as being a great new hope for the education and conditions of nuns, would be a vast and beneficial activity because it came from the creative vision of the Gyalwang Karmapa. The 21st century is an age of education but the Karma Kamtsang had fallen behind the Gelugpa. Gelugpa nunneries already had full educational programmes in place: they held an annual debate competition between nunneries, and were soon to produce the first Geshema from their shedras. The teachings of the Buddha are vast and profound and Buddhism as a religion depends on wisdom and intelligence. It is very difficult to practice and study the Dharma without an education. Through education, we increase reasoning and logic. Traditionally in Tibetan history, many women played an important role, becoming scholars or great practitioners, and these days, many powerful countries have women leaders. Indeed, it’s a Bhikshuni who leads the largest charitable organisation in Taiwan.


    The penultimate speaker was Goshir Gyaltsab Rinpoche who emphasized that all sentient beings have buddha potential. There is no difference between men and women, he maintained, in vows, realisations, attainment, or practices. There are male and female bodhisattvas and yidam deities. Women have attained Arhatship. He then gave examples of many famous women practitioners who had benefited the Dharma and sentient beings: Yeshe Tsogyal assisted Guru Rinpoche when he concealed his treasures; Dagma, Marpa’s wife, gave empowerments; Machig Labdron began the Chöd tradition, and she was an important disciple of the 9th Karmapa; the 16th Karmapa received transmissions and teachings from Shugseb Jetsunma, who entered the state of thugdam when she died.  Rinpoche reassured the nuns that this great opportunity for them to study would, likewise, be of immense benefit to sentient beings.


    His Holiness the Gyalwang Karmapa’s speech concluded the opening ceremony. Time was running out, he said, and he felt that most of what he had to say had already been said, so he spoke briefly of the need for all four pillars of the teachings, the four communities of male and female, ordained and lay practitioners, to exist in order for the Buddha’s teachings to flourish and survive. The Buddha himself gave the order for the ordination of women and established the female sangha [Tib. Gelongma] so the Tibetan tradition was at fault for letting things slip. Consequently, Tibet could not be counted as a ‘central land’. As had been mentioned already, women formed half the world’s population , and there were many female followers, so it was very important to support and care for their practice.


    Gyalwang Karmapa expressed his belief that this was an auspicious moment: the first Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering for Nuns, and a fortunate opportunity. He prayed that this dharma gathering would continue forever, serving the good of not just the Buddhist teachings in general, but also the nuns in particular.  He spoke movingly of his mother in Tibet. Even though, naturally, he was fond of both his parents, he admitted missing his mother more. They were now separated by a huge distance but he felt that to serve and benefit nuns and laywomen was a way in which he could continue to symbolically serve his mother and his sisters. He admitted that in recent years many problems had arisen for him personally, both internal and external, such as had never arisen in the lives of previous Karmapas. This had led to moments when he had experienced both disappointment and discouragement, but still he held the hope that he would be able to serve the Dharma and work for the benefit of nuns and all beings for the rest of his life.


    Finally, he said, everyone should appreciate the auspiciousness of the conditions. This gathering at the sacred site of Bodhgaya, with Rinpoches, Tulkus, Khenpos, nuns and laypeople was the fruit of great merit, the result of the compassionate blessings of the buddhas, the arhats and the bodhisattvas.




    http://www.kagyumonlam.org/English/News/Report/Report_20140120.html

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    Kagyupa International Monlam Trust Animal Medical Camp. The SARAH division from the Sikkim Department of Animal Husbandry, volunteers from Tibet Charity India andDharamsala Animal Rescue are running a two week animal medical camp and street dog steralisation and anti rabies program for His Holiness Karmapa at the Kagyu Monlam site in Bodhgaya. Fondation Brigitte Bardot has kindly sponsored the program, thanks to Brigitte Auloy.




    Source: Catherine Schuetze
    January 23,2014
    Kagyu Monlam Pavillion, Sujata Bypass Road, Bodhgaya.

    Many needy villagers bringing their cows, goats and buffalo for free treatment. Dr Thinlay Bhutia has been dispensing medicine and advice in equal quantity all day.
    Leaving the treatment area with free medicines for their only cow which suports their family.
    His Holiness 17th Gyalwang Karmapa at the operating theatre blessing the staff.
    His Holiness blessing the operating theatre and facilities on the first morning of operations. Dr Gemma is demonstrating an ultrasound pregnancy test on a bitch lined up for surgery to prevent accidentally desexing a pregnant dog (not appropriate in a Buddhist program and at a Monastery facility).
    Young children from nearby villages bringing their local dogs for anti-rabies vaccination and treatment for skin disease.
    Dr Gemma finalising the amputation of this pup's hind leg. He was hit by a car and his leg was broken and damaged beyond repair. But he will be fine with three legs.
    Dr Diki taking a break between surgeries.
    Dr Thinlay Bhutia examining a sick buffalo brought in by his concerned carers.
    The children proudly displaying their dog's anti-rabies vaccination certificate. Children and dogs live in close proximity in rural villages. Children are at the greatest risk from rabies through dog bites so anti-rabies vaccination campaigns of local dogs is a life saving program.
    Our amazing vet-aide team preparing dogs for surgery.




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    Friday, 24 January 2014 13:32 The Tibet Post International 

    The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Inaugurating a medical camp
     at Siddhartha Vihara, Bodhgaya, Bihar State
    of India, on January 6, 2014. Photo: TPI

    Bodhgaya, 22 January, 2014: - The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorjee has launched Animal Health Care Programme with Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi as Chief Guest, in Bodhgaya, Bihar State of India.

    "For Buddhists, especially Mahayana practitioners, one of our greatest aims is to actually benefit sentient beings. It is important for us to serve and benefit all sentient beings of all groups without bias, without discriminating against who needs help on the basis of whether they are Buddhist or not, whether they are human or not, whether they are the same nationality or not, and so forth," Karmapa Rinpoche said.

    For that reason, the Karmapa said, he "hopes and pray that in the future the Kagyu Monlam will do more programs to help the public."

    "Following its successful medical camp for the needy held in Bodhgaya, Bihar, the Kagyupa International Monlam Trust is now opening an animal medical camp, as part of the health support offered to the local community," Karmapa Office of Administration said in press statement released on Friday, adding: "The Karmapa Rinpoche will formally inaugurate the animal camp on 24th January 2014, with Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi as chief guest. Member of Parliament Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi is well-known for her deep commitment to animal rights and animal protection."

    "Inspired by His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, the Kagyupa International Monlam Trust has committed to a multi-year animal health-care project, involving annual camps for treatment of all animals, sterilization of dogs and anti-rabies vaccination. With a nationwide street dog population estimated at 35 million dogs and 20,000 human deaths per year from rabies transmitted by dog bites, the World Health Organization's (WHO) recommends dog Animal Birth Control and Anti Rabies programs (ABC-AR) to control rabies in people," the Karmapa Office of Administration told The Tibet Post International.

    According to the press release, the animal health camp is being initiated this year in support of the Government of India's active promotion of ABC-AR programs. "The WHO's recent 'One Health' guidelines recommend an integrated approach to human health and animal health. This approach is particularly relevant in rural areas such as Bodhgaya where humans and animals live in close proximity and where animals constitute an important economic asset. Animal wellbeing is, therefore, important for rural households and human health," it added.

    Karmapa Office said that "the Kagyupa International Monlam charitable trust was established in 2004 to support annual prayer gatherings for world peace, and to engage in other charitable activities. Over the years, the prayer gathering has grown both in size and scope, with over 10,000 people now traveling to Bodhgaya annually to engage in prayers for world peace. The trust also organizes medical camps and distributes food and blankets annually to the underprivileged."

    The press release also stated that "the animal health project will be formally inaugurated on 24th January 2014, at 11 a.m. at the Kagyu Monlam Pavilion, at Tergar Monastery in Bodhgaya. His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorjee, will grace the event along with Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, who heads the 'People for Animals' organization that she established in 1992 and which is the largest animal welfare organization in India. "


    The Kagyupa International Monlam Trust's medical camp for animals will take place from 22nd January 2013 to 2nd February 2014 with funding support from Brigitte Bardot Foundation and technical support from Sikkim Anti-Rabies Animal Health Division, Government of Sikkim and Tibet Charity Animal Care Centre and Dharamshala Animal Rescue organization.

    http://www.thetibetpost.com/en/features/environment-and-health/3844-karmapa-inaugurates-medical-camp-in-bodhgaya

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    Phayul[Saturday, January 25, 2014 12:18]


    Maneka Gandhi speaks at the launch of medical camp for animals,
     Bodhgaya/Jan. 24, 2014


    DHARAMSHALA, January 25 - The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje on Thursday inaugurated a medical camp for animals initiated by The Kagyupa International Monlam Trust at the Kagyu Monlam Pavilion, Tergar Monastery in Bodhgaya. Animal right activist and Indian parliamentarian Smt. Maneka Gandhi attended the inaugural ceremony as the chief guest. Gandhi heads the ‘People for Animals’ organization that she established in 1992. 

    Smt Gandhi pointed out that this is the first animal health program to be initiated in Bihar. "Throughout history great spiritual beings have come in human form. I believe the Karmapa is among those beings who have come to help us realize ourselves," Gandhi said in her address to the gathering. "If you want to make the world a better place for humans, you have to make it a better place for all beings including animals." Gandhi last year visited Dharamshala where she met with the Karmapa and visited various Tibetan institutes. 

    The Karmapa expressed hope that the land of Buddha's enlightenment will transform into a space where animals' rights are respected as much as humans. "Bodhgaya is a land which has been a source of wisdom and compassion, and my hope is that it can become a 'mandala' or pure realm where we can especially appreciate the worth of animals," said the Karmapa.

    Inspired by the Karmapa, the Kagyupa International Monlam Trust has committed to a multi-year animal health-care project, involving annual camps for treatment of all animals, sterilization of dogs and anti-rabies vaccination. With a nationwide street dog population estimated at 35 million and 20,000 human deaths per year from rabies transmitted by dog bites, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommends dog Animal Birth Control and Anti Rabies programs (ABC-AR) to control rabies in people. 




    The animal health camp is being initiated this year in support of the Government of India's active promotion of ABC-AR programs, said Kunsang Chungyalpa, press officer for the young head of the Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. "The WHO’s recent ‘One Health’ guidelines recommend an integrated approach to human health and animal health. This approach is particularly relevant in rural areas such as Bodhgaya where humans and animals live in close proximity and where animals constitute an important economic asset. Animal wellbeing is, therefore, important for rural households and human health," Chungyalpa said. 

    The Kagyupa International Monlam charitable trust was established in 2004 to support annual prayer gatherings for world peace, and to engage in other charitable activities. Over the years, the prayer gathering has grown both in size and scope, with over 10,000 people now traveling to Bodhgaya annually to engage in prayers for world peace. The trust also organizes medical camps and distributes food and blankets annually to the underprivileged.

    The Kagyupa International Monlam Trust’s ten day medical camp for animals until Feb. 2 is jointly funded by Brigitte Bardot Foundation and technically supported by Sikkim Anti-Rabies Animal Health Division, Government of Sikkim and Tibet Charity Animal Care Centre and Dharamshala Animal Rescue organization.



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    [Voice of Tibet January 25, 2014] reported that the Tibetan Kagyu Holiness the 17th Karmapa Rinpoche, Buddhist shrines in India, Bodhgaya, Kagyu Monlam for the establishment of the Foundation Animal Medical Camp projects were unveiled. Karmapa Rinpoche urged people to strive to be the Buddha's place of enlightenment, living beings into an equity can be respected place.

    International Kagyu Monlam Foundation in India, Bihar Bodhgaya Buddhist shrine, the new animal health camp project, and yesterday (January 24) is locally invite His Holiness the first preaching of the Kagyu 17th Karmapa Rinpoche, and Indian parliamentarians, animal rights activists, environmentalists Shima Nika • Gandhi (Maneka Gandhi) Lady attended the launching ceremony of the project.

    International Kagyu Monlam Foundation, who really tie in accepting this station telephone interview, describes the main purpose of establishing the animal health business projects. (Recording), he said, although Bodhgaya Buddha enlightenment of the land, but the animal health conditions, but very poor. People often happens via stray dogs and cattle infectious disease cases. Therefore, the Foundation established the animal health programs, plans to set up the camp each year, for the treatment of animals for disinfection, vaccination.

    Indeed tie Karmapa Rinpoche also introduced a speech at the ceremony yesterday, the main content. (Recording) Karmapa Rinpoche stressed at the ceremony, as Buddhists, we should understand that all beings are the parents of truth, in addition to not speak, animals and humans is no different, so to Yigai treated equally.  Karmapa Rinpoche also appeal to everyone, to the Department of Buddha enlightenment, living beings are able to become a respected place.  On the day of the ceremony, the chief guest of India MPs Manica • Gandhi also stressed the importance of protecting animal rights, criticized some of the animals do not have emotions mistaken view, noting that the kind to animals, the animals concerned, that is repaid We humans ecological debt owed.

    It is understood that the Karmapa Rinpoche to Bodhgaya, mainly to attend the 31st Kagyu Monlam. This month on the 20th day, the Karmapa Rinpoche also chaired the local temple held in Germany Karma, the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, the first session of the 900-year history of the female public debate by "prophecy Mobiqiuni debate by the Council." 

    According to official Chinese news network Karmapa Rinpoche, the "prophecy Mobiqiuni debate by law would" have six nuns Buddhist Institute from India, Nepal and Bhutan and other places, about 200 nuns attend. Karmapa Rinpoche perceptual meeting in France said they were in different places, there is no chance of dutiful mother, so I hope the mother will miss and love, to convey to every one female public, while nuns pray debate by law will be forever gone out of existence.

    http://www.vot.org/cn

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    January 24, 2014


    Thank you.  It is an honour to be here and to be involved in the Kagyu Monlam animal health program. On behalf of the veterinary team I would like to thank His Holiness for the opportunity he has given us to carry out this animal health program.

    There are strong connections between Buddhism and veterinary public health. The first is the Buddhist principle of interdependence. Amongst health care professionals, there is a growing awareness of the interconnectedness of animal and human health. 75% of global emerging diseases of concern are zoonotic, that is, they are spread between animals and humans. TB and rabies are good examples of this. The World Health Organisation promotes a “One Health” approach to its own programs- improving human and animal health are equally necessary to tackle community health problems. Without providing adequate health care and vaccination to the animal populations, you cannot control the disease in the human populations. Therefore the program we are inaugurating today is equally for the benefit of the people in this community as it is for the animals.

    The second connection between Buddhism and programs like this is compassion for all sentient beings. May they all equally be free from suffering. His Holiness has spoken on this many times and is a strong advocate of a vegetarian lifestyle, free from violence towards those sentient beings. Mahatma Gandhi also said A nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way it treats its animals. There are a vast number of Indian animal welfare organisations and work being done throughout India. This is due to Indians great compassion for animals as evidenced by the vast numbers of vegetarians. India is therefore a great nation. Mrs Gandhi has been championing that cause for such a long time and has made the most significant impact on animal welfare and rights of anyone, anywhere. She is always there to help anybody who is working for animals, big or small, rich or poor, despite their religion, caste or socio-economic status. We applaud her for that and thank her heartily for gracing us with her presence today.

    His Holiness is also a strong advocate for animals and the environment. It is therefore very fitting that the Kagyu Monlam’s social work program be extended to include Animal Health Camps. We recognise that while a single two-week camp will help many individual animals, it will not improve the overall health and welfare situation for animals of Bodhgaya in the long term. Therefore today is the inauguration of a long-term project where the veterinary team will return each Kagyu Monlam for several years and continue the work started this week.

    The program has several arms. The first and most technical is the surgical desexing and anti-rabies vaccination program. This is the only humane way to control the roaming dog population and rabies deaths in animal and humans. Health benefits for the whole community come through reducing dog numbers and the incidence of dog bites and rabies infections. It also allows the veterinarians to treat other health problems like skin disease, cancers, wounds and fractures. Research studies have shown that in areas where these programs are carried out, there are significant improvements to the animal health and also a reduction in the numbers of dog bites and rabies deaths in humans. It is therefore a very important part of this initiative and will build onto the significant achievements already made by the local NGO MAITRI who have been carrying on this work for many years now.

    The second wing of the Kagyu Monlam program is the out patients clinic where every animal, large or small, is treated and given free medicine. So far we have seen many buffalo, cows, goats, dogs and other animals brought in for urgent treatment. This will soon extend to an outreach program and the vets will travel from panchayat to panchayat dispensing medicines and advice in equal measure.

    The third wing is community education about animal diseases, welfare and the compassionate and responsible care of animals under their care. For example, we will be teaching children how to avoid being bitten by dogs, and what steps to take to prevent rabies in the case of a dog bite injury. Children are the ones most at risk from rabies through dog bites and so this is lifesaving training.

    This is a brief overview of the programs aims and objectives. The team of dedicated volunteer animal health care professionals from Sikkim and Dharamsala include vets, vet-aides cum dog-catchers and kennel hands. Many monks are also chipping in to lend a hand and have proven to be quite good at catching dogs and also are very kind with them. The team will be returning each Kagyu Monlam for the next few years and we hope you will come and visit again. Thank you.


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    January 24, 2014



    As all of you know, over 2500 years ago, the Buddha awoke to perfect enlightenment here in Bodh Gaya and after he awoke to enlightenment he realized that all sentient beings have the same value and their lives are all the same in worth.  And so, in that way, he made the aspiration that there may be happiness and love and well-being for all animals; we all need to strive to bring this about.

    Now, this is something which came from the wisdom and compassion of the Buddha, but we can also say that this is the ancient   wisdom and compassion of India, so here now we are following in those footsteps in establishing this animal medical camp here. This is one small thing that we are doing for their sake, and I am very happy that we are taking this opportunity. So I would also like to thank all of the workers at this camp.

    As you all know, Bodhgaya is the sacred place where the Bhagavan Buddha awoke to enlightenment, and has become a source of wisdom and compassion. I have the hope that in this day it may become a mandala or pure realm for bringing benefit and happiness to animals.
    There are many local dignitaries and officials who have come here today, and I would like to ask you as well to take up this call. In particular, Maneka Gandhi has taken a great interest in animal welfare. I have been to see her shelter for animal protection, and she has done wonderful work there. I hope that this work can spread all over India, and that we can respect the lives and freedom of animals.  

    Humans have often treated animals badly. I have the great hope that we can decrease that, and that an understanding that animals are members of our family in this world can spread everywhere.


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    January 24, 2014


    Respected Your Holiness Karmapa, Rinpoches and people who’ve come from all over the world for His Holiness’s teachings, I’m happy to come here because I know I can see history in the making. Every so many years one spiritual being in the form of a human comes to change history, to make religion more centred, to bring it to its original path and I believe that Karmapa is amongst those beings who has come to help us realize ourselves.

    When an ant sleeps at night it makes a little pillow and it sleeps like this. When she gets up in the morning, the first thing she does is yawn and……..if you tickle a mouse it will also do hee hee hee.

    When an elephant dies, the other elephants come for four days and they mourn that dead elephant. We also have a four day ceremony.  You take any animal, when a dog’s babies are run over in front of the mother, she cries and cries and cries.

    There is no difference, the soul, the atman, the essence is the same. But we who believe in incarnation, I do not love animals, I love myself, and I see myself in every animal, and I feel scared [because] we are due for incarnation all the time. I have been a tree, I have been a donkey, I have been a dog, I have been a horse, I have been a snail, I’ve been a fish. Who knows what I will be next time, so why do I not make  preparation for my next time?  And that is the only reason why I work for animals, because I am the animal, I am the tree, I am the air.

    How do you talk to God and say, “Help me!” when you are the eaten yourself?  Any animal you eat is a form of cannibalism, because there is nothing different. The cells are the same, everything is the same. Therefore, cannibalism is one of the reasons for all our diseases. We need to understand we are them, they are us. I believe that if we are going to make the world a better place for humans, then we have to make it a better place for every living being.

    And that is why I am so happy that we have His Holiness the Karmapa, who has changed the Kagyu thought, who has turned many thousands and thousands of people vegetarian.

    Bodhgaya has been the centre of so much enlightening thought. Till today there has been no animal welfare provided for in Bihar because nobody thought about it, but today we are thinking about it.

    Today we have the ex-Urban Development Minister, the Health Minister, the local Mayoress, the MLA.

    We have so many. We have the spokesman of the Chief Minister, we have so many wonderful people who have come here. I hope that today’s camp, which is going to be of a long duration, is the beginning of all animal welfare in Bihar. I will certainly work towards it and I hope that all of you [will too].

    [India is] an ancient culture, an ancient civilization,

    I wish the camp all well.

    I would like to thank Catherine for introducing me to His Holiness and changing my life, and, hopefully, through us changing so many other lives. And I would like to thank Gangkar Rinpoche, whose guest I was in Chauntra, and all the other Rinpoches, and  enlightened souls who are here

    Thank you all for coming.  Namaskar.

    http://kagyumonlam.org/English/News/Report/Report_20140124_Maneka_Sanjay_Gandhi_Speech.html

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    January 24, 2014



    A very good morning to one and all! Respected Your Holiness, Madam Maneka Ji, istinguished guests, ladies and gentleman:

     At the outset, let me have  a privilege to extend my  sincere  gratitude to the organising committee for having given me a chance to deliver a talk on animal welfare, the  importance of  animals and  an holistic approach towards the  prevention and  control of rabies and the stray dog population, including  the  various initiatives of the Sikkim Govt. on this aspect. The Sikkim Govt.  is the only government division in the whole of India to implement a holistic, long-term and sustainable animal welfare and public health initiative. This kind of activity embodies the basic Buddhist principles  of loving kindness and compassion.

    Where such a programme is being organized is an historic moment for Bihar and the whole of India. It is an apt moment for this holy place where real Buddhism and the teachings of the Buddha will be practiced in a real sense by alleviating the pain and suffering of animals.

    We believe that people and animals are intrinsically linked and seek to be an advocate   for the relief of the suffering and distress of animals, thereby improving the welfare of animals and  humans alike.

    Based on human moral values and ethics, if people start caring, loving and showing compassionate feelings to all sentient beings, whether human beings or animals, then we will have a positive mind, positive attitude and positive thinking.  Once we have that feeling then the overall human situation will improve as people become more peaceful and progressive.  Peace and tranquillity will prevail, and these are the cornerstones of state development and progress. The various human poisons under Buddhism such as desire, anger etc will be sublimated due to the feeling of loving kindness and compassion.

    I will talk briefly about the importance of animals:

    Animals have been associated with and benefited humankind for thousands of years.  We are very selfish indeed.  We forget that these speechless creatures have served human kind without expecting anything in return and we don’t really care for their welfare and wellness.

    Especially the street-dogs and cats.  Both of these are vital components of the ecosystem, helping to maintain a proper ecological balance. They guard the streets against predatory wildlife such as wild-boar and bear and thus minimise human-wildlife conflict. They control the numbers of rats, mice and other vermin which can spread diseases to humans. Dogs also provide great service to us in the police, army and in medical therapy. They can also be valuable, beloved pets. We do not really appreciate their contribution and importance to society. We always think that we are superior and do not bother to think of their wellbeing and welfare.

    •     A cow is the biggest asset for a marginalised farmer
    • ·  The importance of wild-life


    What Does SARAH Do?

    SARAH works in animal welfare, public health and wildlife conservation. It primarily performs animal birth control surgeries, systematic rabies vaccinations of dogs and cats, and provides care and treatment to sick and injured animals.  By performing these activities, we feel that Sikkim becomes a better place to live in.

    On Animal Welfare activities:

    We are making people aware of various rules and laws relating to animal welfare. We advocate people   not to inflict unnecessary pain and suffering on these  voiceless creatures.  They have an equal right to live and are an important part of our complex ecosystem.  We all should know how to co-exist together. 

    Avoiding inflicting  pain and suffering on animals is the right thing to do.  But there are also other benefits.  Teaching children to care and love animals teaches a good moral value.  Minimising the pain and suffering of animals in food production, ensures better productivity, and good quality food.  Good quality food leads to better nutrition, which leads to better public health. 

    On Public Health initiatives:

    As we know Rabies is a disease of antiquity and one of the most lethal and gruesome disease. It is mostly transmitted from dogs to people.  It creates a huge financial burden. The World Health Organisation endorses the ABC-AR approach. 

    The Importance of “One World one Heath Approach”

    There is a concept of One World One Health – the health of people, animals, and the environment is closely inter-related. Until we have Environmental and Animal health, we can’t have  good public health.

    The Importance of various Animal Welfare laws and Animal Birth Control- Anti-Rabies

    I would like to express on behalf of the this Animal Medical Camp sincere gratitude to Kagyupa Monlam International Trust and the main sponsor- Brigitte Bardot Fondation- for making this programme a successful.

    Let us live in harmony with all of nature.  Mother Nature is so bountiful and kind.  There is a place for everyone. But there is no place for cruelty and violence.


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