Kagyud Moenlam Chenmo begins in Bodhgaya
Kelzang Thinley, BodhgayaJan 4 2014
More than 10,000 devotees including monks, nuns, and pilgrims from around 30 countries have gathered to receive blessings from His Eminence the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Thrinley Dorje, head of the Karma Kagyud School in Tibetan Buddhism. The Kagyud Moenlam is a major international prayer festival held annually in Bodhgaya, the most important and revered site for Buddhists around the world.
As a special event in the history of the Kagyud Moenlam, His Eminence the 17th Karmapa himself will perform a Vajra dance called the Garchen Tshechu.
At a press conference, His Eminence said, “We convene the Kagyud Moenlam here in Bodhgaya because it is the most sacred place for all Buddhists. We gather here, many of us coming from all over India, and from around the world, to pray together for world peace and for a better future. As you know, this is the 31st Kagyud Moenlam and we gather here to pray together for the same purpose.”
By coming to Bodhgaya, where one feels close to Lord Buddha, His Eminence added, “our own lives will improve, especially, since we’re doing our utmost to pray for a better future for the world.”
The history of the Kagyud Moenlam dates back to 15th century Tibet where the 7th Karmapa, Chodrak Gyatsho, established the tradition of great prayer gatherings for the benefit of all sentient beings.
The Kagyud Moenlam Chenmo was instituted in 1983 in Bodhgaya by two great teachers of the Drukpa Kagyud tradition of Tibetan Buddhism: Kalu Rinpoche and Bokar Rinpoche.
The 17th Karmapa revived the Kagyud Moenlam in 2004, and shaped it into the international event that it is today.
The Moenlam Chenmo ends on Janaury 16.