Wood Dragon Year Begins

Wood Dragon Year Begins

Tergar Shrine Hall and Monlam Pavillion
10 February 2024

At 8am on Losar morning, monks, nuns and laypeople all gathered together in Tergar’s Shrine Hall to bring in the Wood Dragon Year. The celebration began with some general prayers and rousing bodhicitta. Dechen Drupon Rinpoche acted as vajra master for the performance of a long-life offering to the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa.

The ritual used was The Three Roots Combined, in the form of Amitayus, a practice which originated as a terma of the 3rd Karmapa Rangjung Dorje. It was also used by the 8th Karmapa Mikyӧ Dorje whose yidam was Amitayus. These days, it is still the ritual traditionally used for making long-life offerings in the Karma Kamtsang.

After reciting the practice, usually the Lama is invited, but as the Gyalwang Karmapa was unable to be there, his brocade ceremonial cape was brought down from his quarters on the roof of Tergar and placed on the throne to symbolise his presence. Drupon Dechen Rinpoche first offered the mandala to Karmapa’s throne, followed by the eight auspicious substances, the seven articles of kingship, and the eight auspicious symbols.

At the conclusion of the ritual another mandala offering was made.

Following the ritual, sweet tea, Tibetan butter tea and sweet rice were served to all present in celebration. Then, everyone was given the opportunity to go up on the stage and offer katas to Karmapa’s throne. It was also possible to offer a kata to Chamgon Tai Situ Rinpoche’s throne and to Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche’s throne. As people exited the stage, all were given a blessing cord.

Everyone received a copious amount of kabsey—Tibetan fried biscuits which are a Losar treat—combined with fruit, sweets, and other edibles to take home.  As the congregation exited, Losar Tashi Deleks resounded across the shrine hall.

The morning ended with a festive lunch, sponsored by Tsurphu Labrang, which was served to VIP guests, khenpos, nuns, monks, staff and many lay people over in the Monlam Pavillion, which had been specially decorated with potted plants and flowers for the occasion.

This year’s Losar celebration is more subdued, in accordance with the Tibetan custom when there has been a death in the family. In this case, it was the passing of a great lama of the Karma Kamtsang, Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, who was appointed as tutor to the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. For many years, Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche served the teachings, benefitting many beings worldwide, and his contribution was commemorated during the recent Kagyu Monlam Chenmo

2024.02.10 Wood Dragon Year Begins