The Great Seating Ceremony

The Great Seating Ceremony

7th Arya Kshema Day Three 
8 March 2023

༅། །ཕྱི་ལོ་ ༢༠༢༣ ཟླ་ ༣ ཚེས་ ༨ བོད་ཟླ་ ༡ ཚེས་ ༡༦ ཉིན། འཕགས་ཡུལ་གནས་མཆོག་ཝ་རཱ་ཎ་སི། བཛྲ་བིདྱ་གཙུག་ལག་སློབ་གཉེར་ཁང་དུ། འཕགས་མ་བདེ་བྱེད་མའི་དཔྱིད་ཆོས་ཐེངས་བདུན་པའི་ཉིན་གསུམ་པ། སྒར་པ་ལོ་གསར་གྱི་བཞུགས་གྲལ་ཆེན་མོ།

The third day of the 7th Arya Kshema Spring Dharma Gathering for Nuns was dedicated to two rituals which form part of the traditions of Tsurphu Losar. In the morning, everyone participated in the Great Seating Ceremony, which is also known as the Row ceremony because, traditionally, all members of the Karmapa’s labrang, rinpoches, khenpos, monks and lay staff would be seated in front of the Karmapa, in rows according to rank to enjoy a Losar feast together. 

Although this year’s Tibetan Losar has finished, the Karmapa wished that the nuns should have the opportunity to celebrate this tradition, albeit a little later than usual. The Karmapa’s presence was symbolised by his embroidered cloak placed on the throne, and the altar below the throne was piled high with traditional Losar offerings. 

Drupon Dechen Rinpoche and Trulku Damchoe Rinpoche presided. The guests included monastic and lay members of Tsurphu Labrang, the nuns and their teachers, and students and teachers from Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche’s Vajra Vidya Institute. The Tilokpur vajra master led as a choir of umdzes recited the traditional liturgy for the occasion which comprises “The Hand Offering of Vajravarahi”, a few songs including the famous “Three Men of Kham”, and dedication prayers.

In addition to these prayers, the Great Seating Ceremony included a feast of plentiful Tibetan butter tea, celebratory sweet rice, a compote made of dried fruits and nuts, and gifts of fruit, biscuits, sweets, and kapsey —the fried biscuits which are key to Tibetan Losar celebrations—offered to all the guests as a take-away treat. 
Finally, everyone lined up to offer white katags to the thrones of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the Karmapa and Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche.

2023.03.08: The Great Seating Ceremony