Review 28. Kagyu Monlam

Kyabje Tenga Rinpoche left Kathmandu on 4th December 2010 for Bodhgaya via Varanasi.  When he arrived on 6th December, Kyabje Tenga Rinpoche paid homage to HH Karmapa. Rinpoche was overjoyed to see HH Karmapa again.

Kyabje Tenga Rinpoche was invited to participate in the 900th anniversary of the first Karmapa, Dusum Khyenpa. The very elaborate 2 days celebration began on 8th December.

A big Buddha Sakyamuni statue was placed on the highest part of the stage. On a lower section in front of this was a wax statue of the first Karmapa, Dusum Khyenpa. This was specially ordered by HH Karmapa. This life-sized statue was truly life like!

The highlight of the ceremony was the grand procession bearing the statue of Dusum Khyenpa. This very statue of Dusum Khyenpa reportedly spoke to somebody previously. The majestic procession left Tergar Monastery and the statue was received by HH Karmapa on stage. All present were fortunate and blessed by this rare opportunity of seeing this precious “talking statue” of Dusum Khyenpa.

Following this ceremony, HH Karmapa gave teachings for three days. Kyabje Tenga Rinpoche attended all teachings during these three days, not missing a single session.

On the 4th day, HH Karmapa with great compassion bestowed the blessing empowerment of Guru Rinpoche. To all the participants numbering more than 10000, went up to HH Karmapa individually to receive the blessings directly from Him.

The 28th Kagyu Monlam officially commenced on 15th December. At 6 am on 22nd December, the last day of Kagyu Monlam, HH Karmapa gave Sojong Vows and then he continued with the Refuge prayer in Sanskrit.  This was followed by a long-life ceremony for our senior Karma Kagyu masters, namely Kyabje Yongzin Thrangu Rinpoche, Kyabje Dorlop Tenga Rinpoche and Kyabje Khenpo Tsultrim Gyatso Rinpoche.  The three masters were invited to sit on their individual thrones facing HH Karmapa who was seated beneath the Bodhi tree, with Kyabje Thrangu Rinpoche in the middle, Kyabje Tenga Rinpoche on the right, and Kyabje Khenpo Tsultrim Rinpoche on the left.

Kyabje Thrangu Rinpoche was the first to go up to HH Karmapa to repeat special verses after HH Karmapa. Kyabje Tenga Rinpoche and then Kyabje Khenpo Tsultrim Rinpoche too took their turns to recite these special verses after HH Karmapa. HH Karmapa then bestowed a Long-Life Empowerment to each of these three masters. HH Karmapa then gave a khatag each to the three masters.

Following this, with the three Rinpoches back on their thrones, HE Gyaltsab Rinpoche read out a commendation written by HH Karmapa to each  of  the three Rinpoches. HE Gyaltsab Rinpoche then bestowed the certificate of encomium to the three Rinpoches in turn.

HE Jamgon Rinpoche gave a big Sakyamuni statue to each of the three Rinpoches. This was followed by the offering of a statue, a text, a stupa and representing the body, speech and mind by the Tsurphu Labrang, Palpung Labrang, Jamgon Labrang, Gyaltsab Labrang, Pawo Labrang and Tewor Labrang. Representations of body, speech and mind were offered to the three Rinpoches by their respective Labrang, worldwide centres and sponsors too.

This memorable ceremony concluded with an auspicious prayer. After this, HH Karmapa requested for a group photograph.

On 23rd December, Kyabje Tenga Rinpoche kindly led our Benchen monks and disciples on a one day pilgrimage to Vulture’s Peak (where Buddha turned the wheel of Dharma for the second time) and to Nalanda Institute. Rinpoche returned to Bodhgaya in the evening. On the morning of 24th December, Rinpoche paid homage to HH Karmapa, received his blessings and bade him goodbye for now. Rinpoche left for Vanarasi on Christmas day to catch a flight back to Kathmandu on 26th December. Unfortunately the flight was cancelled. With utmost compassion, Rinpoche for the sake of disciples decided to make the journey by car as a pilgrimage to Lumbini. The convoy arrived at Lumbini on 27th December and there, Rinpoche paid homage at the birthplace of Buddha. Kyabje Tenga Rinpoche arrived back in Benchen late in the evening of 28th December.

Although it was a very long journey for him, Rinpoche did not feel that tired. On the other hand he felt happy to be able to spend time with disciples and to have the chance to pray for all sentient beings at the very holy birthplace of Sakyamuni Buddha.

Both our beloved Rinpoches and the Benchen Monastery community wish all Dharma friends and sponsors a very successful and Happy New Year 2011!


Photos by Sherab Wangchuk

© Benchen Monastery

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