Tergar Shrine Room,
February 12, 2020
The Sixth Arya Kshema began with a day-long session of prayers to remove all obstacles.
Assembled in Tergar Monastery shrine room for the first time, 400 nuns from seven nunneries in India, Bhutan and Nepal, chanted together. The nunneries in attendance this year are Karma Drubdey Palmo Choskyi Dingkhang, Karma Lekshey Ling, Khegyu Dhagma, Samten Ling, Thekchen Lekshey Ling, Thrangu Tara Abbey, and Tilokpur. In addition to the nuns, there are two Dorje Lopons, three Geshes, six Khenpos, and nine teachers.
Those nuns who were at the Kagyu Monlam have been staying in tents in the nuns’ section of the Garchen behind the Monlam Pavillion but will move to dormitory accommodation on the top floor of the Kitchen and Dining Halls building. It’s a better environment, especially as the weather here in Bodhgaya begins to warm up very quickly at this time of year and the tents become uncomfortably hot.
Drupon Dechen Rinpoche is in charge of the Sixth Arya Kshema, with direct guidance from His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, and Tsurphu Labrang are the main sponsors. The day-to-day running of the event is in the hands of the nuns of Karma Drubdey Palmo Choskyi Dingkhang Nunnery from Bhutan, and this year’s umdzes come from Tilokpur Nunnery in India.
On the first morning, the nuns offered the Green Tara Sabtik. In the afternoon, they recited the Heart Sutra and performed the Senge Dongma ritual. Senge Dongma, known in Sanskrit as Simamukha, is the lion-faced dakini protector, a wrathful manifestation of Padmasambhava, who eliminates obstacles.