On December 13th, His Holiness traveled from New Delhi to the Annual Kagyu Winter Program of Philosophy and Debate (Karma Gön Chö) being held at the Vajra Vidhaya Insititute in Sarnath (outside Varanasi). (text continues below Fotoplayer)
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The Karmapa was welcomed at the Varanasi airport by HE Gyalstab Rinpoche and the Ven. Khenchen Trangu Rinpoche. A large number of disciples also gathered at Vajra Vidhya Institute to receive His Holiness's blessing.
His Holiness is at Vajra Vidhya to preside over the Karma Gön Chö, a winter retreat for all monks from different shedras (Buddhist universities) who which to particpate in intensive debate and logic. His Holiness began by giving teachings to all the monks on "Tsema Rikchung Gyato" composed by Seventh Karmapa Chodrak Gyatso. While His Holiness is in Varanasi, HE Gyaltsab Rinpoche is offering teachings to His Holiness on the Zamo Nang Dön. His Holiness also is giving private and public audiences everyday.
On the 18th of December, His Holiness led a practice of the newly composed "Lama Chopa" (Guru Yoga of 16th Karmapa) by HE Gyaltsab Rinpoche along with HE Gyaltsab Rinpoche, Ven Trangu Rinpoche and all the monks.At the request of the international students in Sarnath, His Holiness gave a short teaching on December 25, Christmas Day. (A summary is available here. ) On December 27th, His Holiness bestowed the empowerment of 1,000 Arm Chenrezig to everyone gathered at Vajra Vidhya, at the request of Ven. Lama Shedrub and dharma students from the New Zealand Dharma Center. Numerous disciples gathered in the main shrine hall to receive the empowerment.
On December 28th, Ven. Master Hai Tao (off-site information) and disciples from Taiwan visited His Holiness at Vajra Vidhya and met with him. His Holiness also gave blessings and answered questions. In the afternoon, His Holiness gave special instructions about monastic discipline to all monks and nuns scheduled to attend the Kagyu Monlam in Bodh Gaya. On the 30th, His Holiness began a five day teaching on the "Four Foundations," at the request of the Hwa Yue Foundation of Taiwan. Many international students are present for His Holiness's teachings, with numerous students from Taiwan, Hong Kong, Canada and the United States, as well as other students from Singapore, Malaysia and Korea. Ven. Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche is also teaching in the afternoons.
His Holiness's presence at the Karma Gön Chö to Vajra Vidhya Institute in Varanasi is part of his 2005 - 2006 Winter tour (click here for schedule).
HH Gyalwa Karmapa
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17th Karmapa (His Holiness's current activities and schedule)
Background (Kagyu history regarding predictions about the 17th Karmapa)
In Tibet (His Holiness's early years, enthronement in Tibet and activity at Tsurphu Monastery)
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Reference (Official releases from the Kagyu Office and historical background documents referenced in other sections)
When not traveling, His Holiness holds regular public audiences at his temporary camp at the Gyuto Ramoche Tantric University in Dharamsala, HP, India
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