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Karmapa Lineage readies for 900th Anniversary celebration

December 9, 2010

Phayul
Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Dharamsala: The stage is all set and the guests have all arrived in Bodh Gaya in the Indian state of Bihar, where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment, to celebrate the 900 years of the Karmapa lineage.

This year marks the 900th year since the birth of the first Karmapa Düsum Khyenpa (1110-1193). The unique tradition of reincarnation in Tibetan Buddhism started with the First Karmapa, Dusum Khyenpa. He was said to be born in the year 1110 CE in Dreshö, a part of Dreho in Kham province of Tibet.

Karma Kagyu, or Kamtsang, is the largest lineage within the Kagyu School, one of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. The 17th Karmapa, Orgyen Trinley Dorje, is currently the holder of this oldest reincarnate lineage in Tibetan Buddhism and he has been living in India since 2000 following a dramatic escape from the Chinese-occupied Tibet.

A two-day celebration to mark the 900th anniversary of the Karmapa lineage will be held at Tergar Monastery here in Bodh Gaya.

The opening ceremony on the 8th will have three hours of pageantry, music and dramatic performances to express gratitude to Karmapa Dusum Khyenpa.

In a message for the event, the exiled Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama, has offered his prayers and greetings for a successful conclusion of the event.

Prime Minister of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile, Prof Samdhong Rinpoche will be the Chief Guest at the occasion.

Leading Kagyu Lamas, including Goshir Gyaltsap Rinpoche, who will be the special guest, Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche, Thrangu Rinpoche, Tenga Rinpoche, a few thousand monks and devotees from various countries have arrived in Bodh Gaya for the event.

Artistes of the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA) and a four-member group of classical Indian musicians from Mysore in South India will present specially choreographed performances for the occasion.

A website - www.karmapa900.org - dedicated to the celebratory event was also officially launched today. The site will publish news and updates about Karmapa 900, which will be a year-long commemoration of the 900th birth anniversary of the Karmapa lineage.

Born in 1985, the current Karmapa Orgyen Trinley Dorje fled from Tsurphu Monastery, the official seat of the Karmapas in central Tibet, and after an overland winter trek across the Himalayas, he reached India where he has been living in exile at Gyuto Monastery in Dharamsala, the seat of Tibet’s government in exile.

The Karmapa Lama, who arrived in Bodh Gaya two weeks before, will remain there to lead the 28th Karma Kagyu Monlam Chenmo which will be held from 15 to 22 December.

During his nearly six-week stay in Bodh Gaya, the Karmapa is scheduled to participate in special peace prayers, deliver sermons and meditate near the seat of Buddha's enlightenment, media reports said.

The opening ceremony of the “Karmapa 900” will be shown live at www.kagyumonlam.tv.

Based on a report filed for phayul by Lobsang Wangyal in Bodh Gaya,
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