SABA, a Charitable Trust founded by Thaye Dorje, H.H. the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, South Asia Buddhist Association

The Kagyu Monlam 2016

December 31, 2016

From 15 to 21 December, Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Karmapa led the ceremonies of the Kagyu Monlam 2016.

Bodhgaya – The annual gathering at Bodhgaya offers a unique opportunity for the monastic Sangha and lay devotees from all parts of the globe to assemble for a week to jointly follow aspiration prayers together with Karmapa under the Bodhi Tree.

Karmapa conducted the prayers together with lamas, monks, nuns and lay students from India and around the world. During the gathering, emphasis lay on the recitation of an excerpt of the Avataṃsaka-Sūtra, called “The Aspirations of Samantabhadra” which is considered an essential aspect of a bodhisattva’s practice. Along with this throughout the day, various recitations of other aspiration prayers, sūtras and tantras were performed. At the same time, an individual practitioner can focus on his or her individual practice.

The Kagyu Monlam 2016  was organised by the South Asia Buddhist Association.


The daily schedule started at 7 and went until 5 pm. Additional to the daily prayers, the following programme was offered:

15.12. The Kagyu Monlam Chenmo started with ceremonial offerings at the Mahabodhi Temple and butter lamp offerings under the Bodhi Tree.
16./19.12. His Eminence Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche gave public teachings on Samantabhadra’s King of Aspiration Prayers of Noble, Excellent Activity.
20.12. Special Puja for deceased people at the Karma Temple.
20.12. Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Karmapa bestowed the Amitayus (Tsepame) empowerment for lay people at the Karma Temple.
21.12. Pujas, tsok offering and mandala offering  and Monlam closing ceremony.

10-day-food distribution for the poor

Starting on 11 December 2016, every day a freshly cooked meal was served to the poor on a site not far from the temple compound. The meals were prepared on the premises and served on plates made of leaves.

Together with homeless people, children, old and disabled people suffering from malnourishment, the local community of bhikkhus who live traditionally by alms, also joined the food distribution for ten days. Volunteers helped with this project and approximately 500 people came every day to receive the food offering.

Blanket distribution on the occasion of the Kagyu Monlam at Bodhgaya.

As part of our regular charity activities for the poor and needy people, SABA distributed 1000 blankets to the homeless and underprivileged local people who sleep on the footpath in the chilly winter of Bodhgaya. On 16 December, the blankets were distributed on the occasion of the ongoing 10-day food offering event at the same location.