Those in the Fearless Snow Lion Lineage Bring about the Wellbeing of Others Through their Long LivesRequesting the Great Bodhisattvas to Have Long Lives and Teach the Dharma for the sake of the Buddhadharma and BeingsThe bearers of the names Shamar, Situ, Jamgön and Gyaltsap are the four heart disciples who hold the lineage of the Sixteenth Gyalwang Karmapa, whose name it is so hard to utter: Rangjung Khyabdag Rigpe Dorje. Among the four, we had too little merit to be able to see the face or hear the voice of the Third Jamgön Kongtrul, who was like a fearless lion. Nevertheless, the remaining three, and especially the Jamgön Vajradhara, the Great Goshri Tai Situ Kenting and the Lord of Secret Mantra Goshri Gyaltsap Rinpoche, through their bodhichitta and fervent aspirations, accepted the heavy burden of protecting the Karma Kagyu at a time when it is gasping for breath, as it were.In accordance with the prediction letter left in his previous incarnation, they caused the Sixteenth Karmapa’s reincarnation to shine upon us disciples like the sun in the early morn. In this world that is muddied as a natural result of these degenerate times, it must be understood that it is an inexpressible and inconceivable kindness for them to live their lives and teach the Dharma, filling their body, speech and mind completely with an ocean of profound and firm bodhisattva deeds that are so difficult to do.

Coinciding with the 900th birth anniversary of the glorious Dusum Khyenpa that we are now commemorating, the Seventeenth Gyalwang Karmapa sees that there is both a special occasion and a need to recollect the kindness of these two Lords of Refuge and to formally request them not to pass into nirvana but to live long. His Holiness has instructed us, the organizers of the 29th Kagyu Monlam, that a special ceremony is needed.

Accordingly, on March 8 of next year in the sacred site of Bodhgaya, during the month of miracles, on the morning of the 8th day of the Kagyu Monlam Chenmo, the Gyalwang Karmapa and his heart disciples will lead the vast gathering of sangha in performing the practice of Prostrations and Offering to the Sixteen Elders and offering the two Lords of Refuge a special long-life puja that combines sutra and tantra.

His Holiness the Gyalwang Karmapa has issued the following instructions, thus we ask you to take them to heart:

From the day they read this announcement onward, for one year, all the Karma Kagyu monasteries and Dharma centers, and disciples who have connections of Dharma and of samaya all over the world, from east to west, wherever they may be, however near or far, should supplicate intensely as they perform the practices listed below, with faith and wholesome aspirations.

Kagyu Monlam Organizing Committee

April 15, 2011


  • Paving the Way, Building a Bridge – Repair or build roads and bridges.
  • Four sets of tsatsas – Make tsatsas from the four elements: earth, air, water and fire.
  • Stupas and whitewashing – Make stupas and/or offer a fresh coat of paint to existing stupas.
  • Animal Liberation and Vegetarianism – Save the lives of sheep, pigs, goats and other animals, and give up eating meat.
  • Making Offerings and Practicing Generosity – Make offerings to the Three Jewels and practice charity towards the beings of the six realms.
  • Long-life Sutras and long-Life Dharani Mantras – Accumulate recitations of long-life sutras and long-life dharani mantras.
  • Planting Trees – To protect the environment, plant flowers and trees.
  • Entertain children – Give gifts to young children and entertain them.
  • Release small fish – Release small fish or other beings from their captivity.
  • Medical treatment – Sponsor medical treatments, such as eye surgery, and give medicine free of cost.
  • Prostrations and Offering to the Sixteen Elders – Do the Prostrations and Offering to the Sixteen Elders practice.
  • Seven-Line Supplication – Do the Seven-Line Supplication to Guru Rinpoche and accumulate recitations of the Guru Rinpoche mantra.
  • 100-Syllable Mantra – Accumulate recitations of the 100-syllable mantra of Vajrasattva.