Kagyu Monlam 2011 with His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa and Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche
For the past five years, ever since 2007, the Kagyu Mönlam Chenmo has been taking place every year.
This year’s Monlam opened on December 14, 2011, with the lighting of the sacrificial lamp by His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje, before He took His seat on the throne to lead the assembled monastic and lay sangha in the recitation of praises to different enlightened aspects and aspiration prayers for world peace and the enlightenment of all beings. Shortly afterwards His Holiness Gyalwa Karmapa was joined by Kunsig Shamar Rinpoche, also known as the Red-Hat Karmapa.
The main prayer recited during this event is Samantabhadra’s Noble King of Prayers of Excellent Conduct (short Tibetan version: Sangcho Monlam), an aspiration prayer where the practitioner makes prayers for vast, limitless activity for the benefit of all beings.
The benefit of reciting this particular prayer is said to be unimaginable. The prayer itself explains that whoever recites it “will be perfectly comfortable and lead happy lives; in this lifetime as well, comfort and happiness will reign. Without delay, they will become similar in every way to Samantabhadra, the all-excellent one. (…) Practitioners will have wisdom, the shapeliest physique, excellent signs, a noble family, and a fine complexion. The many maras and heretics will be powerless against them, and they will be honoured throughout the three worlds.” The ultimate benefit, however, is the attainment of perfect enlightenment, a state where one is able to genuinely benefit all beings.
The positive effects of the prayer are further amplified by the sacredness of the venue, the holy place of Bodhgaya where the historical Buddha Shakyamuni attained ultimate enlightenment, and the presence of great realised bodhisattvas such as His Holiness Gyalwa Karmapa and Kunsig Shamar Rinpoche.
Report: Rabjam Rikki Catty, Photos:Thule G. Jug