Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, and His Holiness Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche were in Bodh Gaya, India for the Kagyu Monlam 2011, which started 14 December. The Kagyu Monlam is a huge festival and meditation event where aspiration prayers for the benefit of all sentient beings are recited all day long for seven days. The location, Bodh Gaya, is a very special venue, being the place where Buddha himself attained enlightenment 2,500 years ago.

In this video, the meaning of the Kagyu Monlam and what happens there is explained. Also, Shamar Rinpoche and Karmapa explain the Samantabhadra Wishing Prayer, the main practice at the Kagyu Monlam.

“There was a great disciple of the Buddha, whose name was Samantabhadra. And he made a lot of noble wishes for sentient beings. so Buddha recommended all of his followers to follow his wishes: ‘If you don’t know how to make good wishes, follow my disciple Samantabhadra’s wishes.’ So here we practise that.”

– His Holiness Shamar Rinpoche

“The purpose is to really cultivate our goodness, one could say, or in Sanskrit bodhicitta, for the betterment of all. So we utilise our aspiring quality, to generate an immense amount of compassion, an immense amount of wisdom, so that we may be able to end all sorts of confusions, all sorts of disturbances, basically klesha. The mental disturbances, more than the physical disturbances.”

– Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa