18.02.2007, India

Tibetan New Year in Kalimpong, India

Kalimpong, Ceremony, Empowerment, Losar

On the 9th of February 2007 His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje and the students at Shri Diwakar Vihara Institute for Buddhist Research began the annual Mahakala puja that precedes the celebrations for Losar. The week long puja was joined by numerous monks and nuns from various places as well as many other participants from all corners of the world. The monks, nuns and some lay practitioners tirelessly focused their efforts day and night through the duration of this prayer service. His Holiness joined both at the beginning and ending of the service, remaining in statue-like concentration through the entirety of the all night puja. He took the time between these prayer sessions to give guidance and blessings to the hundreds of people from all races and regions gathered to participate in this year’s ceremonies.

On the last day of Losar, His Holiness gave the annual long life initiation of Buddha Amitayus to the myriad of monastic and lay followers, Buddhist and non-Buddhist alike, who had gathered for this meritorious event. His Holiness sat patiently for many hours as the procession of people lined up through out the premises to receive his blessings. A lunch was sponsored in the garden of His Holiness’ residence for all who had come to enjoy this year’s festivities. Meals, tea and snacks such as the popular Himalayan treat “Kyabze”, which is a semi-sweet cookie like snack-food, were provided throughout the days’ celebrations.

Sadly, due to the Parinirvana of His Eminence Chogye Trichen Rinpoche, the regularly Scheduled celebrations were reduced to a more simple gathering of the monastic and lay sangha from around the globe. His Holiness said “He was a great teacher of mine. We all felt it was not right to celebrate at this time. Nonetheless, the atmosphere was wonderful this year. We all are making wishes that His Eminence Chogye Trichen Rinpoche will return to us to again turn the wheel of Dharma.”

Photos: Svenja Schmitt, Report: Derek Hanger