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His Holiness the Dalai Lama extends greetings on 900th year of Karmapa Lineage

December 10, 2010

Thursday, December 09 2010

DHARAMSALA: His Holiness the Dalai Lama has offered his prayers and good wishes for a successful year-long celebration of the 900th anniversary of Karmapa lineage, spiritual head of Karma Kamtsang Kagyu school, one of the eight great practice lineages within Tibetan Buddhism's Kagyu tradition.

The founder of Karma Kamstang Kagyu or the first Karmapa, Dusum Khyenpa, was born to Dorje Gonpo and Gangcham Mingdren in the Tibetan year of the Iron Tiger of the 2nd Rabjung, which corresponds to the year 1110, in a place called Teshod Gangkyi Rawa in the Dokham province of Tibet.

In his message issued on 10 November, His Holiness the Dalai Lama: “Recalling that the best way to please your spiritual teacher is to put his teachings into practice, it is my humble appeal that people who are interested listen to, think about and study all the schools of Tibetan Buddhism, and dedicate themselves to preserving and promoting the values that the Buddha taught in the hope that his wonderful message of compassion spreads throughout the world.”

“With my prayers and good wishes that the celebrations and their associated events may go very well,” His Holiness said.

His Eminence the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, in his message said: “What we are remembering and reflecting on with Karmapa 900 is the great kindness of Dusum Khyenpa, the First Karmapa. Not only did he show measureless kindness to beings: through his deeds in founding the Karmapa lineage and the great lineage of the Karma Kagyu, Dusum Khyenpa was the source of 900 years of kindness to beings.

"Countless great beings have come and engaged in enlightened activities over the past nine centuries through this lineage. That was all possible only because Dusum Khyenpa came into the world. He was the actual seed for the vast tree of the Karma Kagyu, with its wide shade-giving branches and its blossoms and rich fruits.

“It is my personal duty and the duty of all followers of the Karma Kagyu to honor his deeds and his great compassion, courage and wisdom, by cultivating those same qualities ourselves. Karmapa 900 is designed to serve as a reminder, and as an opportunity to do so.”

The grand opening ceremony of Karmapa 900 began this morning under the auspices of the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, in Bodhgaya. Thousands of Karma Kagyu lineage lamas, disciples and supporters are gathering for a grand two-day opening ceremony on 8 and 9 December, said a statement posted on, a website specially designed to celebrate the occasion.

The opening ceremony includes chanting of sacred song, prayer and speeches by Gyalwang Karmapa, Goshir Gyaltsap Rinpoche and Kalon Tripa Samdhong Rinpoche.

The Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts will present a special Karmapa 900 drama, while a sacred song (dohā) by Dusum Khyenpa will be sung to a tune specially composed for the occasion by the 17th Karmapa. In addition, a dohā by the great Indian mahāsiddha Tilopa will be performed in Sanskrit by a four-member, world-class troupe from Mysore, India.

Other highlights of the two-day opening ceremony includes Guru Yoga Feast Offering (an expression of joyful gratitude to Dusum Khyenpa) at Tergar Monastery in Bodhgaya on the evening of 8 December and special prayer offerings at Kagyu Monlam stage on 9 December.
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