Tibetan religious head and 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje on Tuesday reached this Bihar town to participate in the highly-venerated ‘Kalachakra’ (Wheel of Time) ceremony to be presided over by the Dalai Lama.
Over 200,000 Buddhists from more than 90 countries across the world, especially the Himalayan region, have gathered at the holy site to receive teachings and the Kalachakra empowerment from the Dalai Lama.
The Karmapa has extended his organisation’s full support for the mega event, said a statement from his office.
Under his direction, the Karmapa’s office of administration will provide 4,000 participants with three meals per day and accommodation free of charge at the large Kagyu Monlam facility near Tergar Monastery.
Following on the heels of the Kalachakra empowerment, the Karmapa’s winter programme commences with the annual Karma Kagyu Monks’ Winter Debate from January 16 to February 4, it said.
During this time there will also be the fourth Kagyu Monlam animal camp, from January 18 to 26, which provides free veterinary care for animals in the Bodh Gaya area as well as an anti-rabies and sterilisation programme for street dogs.
The Karmapa, who fled Tibet and sought refuge in India in January 2000, is the spiritual head of the Karma Kagyu school, one of the four sects of Buddhism.
The Dalai Lama will confer the 34th Kalachakra initiation from January 11-13, event organisers said.
This is the fourth time that the Dalai Lama has performed this sacred ritual in Bodh Gaya.