Kagyu Monlam

Kagyu Monlam: Great accumulation of wishes for the happiness of all beings

The Kagyu Monlam is one of the most important events for Buddhist practitioners of the Karma Kagyu School. For a whole week, they recite wishing prayers together, for everyone’s happiness.

This year, the 21st edition of Kagyu Monlam will take place again in Bodhgaya, India, where Buddha Shakyamuni realized awakening. Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the XVIIth Gyalwa Karmapa, and his eminence the IVth Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche will lead aspiration prayers under the bodhi tree, along with great lamas from our lineage.

Kagyu Monlam offer the possibility to people from all over the world to gather to recite prayers coming from the deep wisdom of buddhas and bodhisattvas. The strength of these aspirations is multiplied by the gathering of thousands of practitioners who unite their wishes together, for the well-being and spiritual development of all.

We aspire to peace and prosperity for all sentient beings. Above all, we aspire for enlightenment for all sentient beings. From a Buddhist perspective, this is the ultimate aim in life. It is a state of cessation of dukkha or confusion, and this is what we aspire to.

Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa

In 2021, Karmapa mentioned the importance and the benefits of connecting to the Kagyu Monlam

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Kagyu Monlam have taken place twenty one times since 1996. At that time, Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche gathered the conditions for all the practitioners of the karma kagyu lineage to gather for the first time on the sacred site of Bodhgaya in order to recite aspiration prayers.

Prayers of Aspiration

Aspiration prayers recited during the Kagyu Monlam help dispel confusion from the ordinary mind. When we practise with such motivation, our aspirations are naturally directed towards the cessation of all that is unfavourable, and the flourishing of all that is beneficial.

“It is the best thing we can get, and perhaps, it is the only thing we should get: the clearing away of confusion”

Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa

Among these prayers of aspiration, there are the Five Royal Sutras including the “Aspiration Prayer of Samantabhadra”. The latter focuses on the highly altruistic wish of attaining enlightenment in order to lead all beings to this state.

About the Kagyu Monlam

Since 1996, apart from these last three years, Kagyu Monlam have taken place in Bodhgaya. In the presence of the greatest masters of our lineage such as Karmapa, Shamarpa, Jamgön Kongtrul Rinpoche, practitioners face the Mahabodhi temple which indicates the very place where the historical Buddha meditated until he actualised awakening, more than 2500 years ago.

Since 2020, Karmapa has been inviting us to associate – via the Internet – to the recitations done by the monks of his main monastery in Rumtek, India. It allowed thousands of practitioners, in Asia and the West alike, to gather around these wishing prayers.

This year, the community of Dhagpo Kundreul Ling will unite with the aspiration prayers for the fourth time in an uninterrupted manner. They will be broadcasted from India, from December, 15th to 21st, 2023. The community is happy to invite you to participate in the Kagyu Monlam either on-site, in the main temple of Dhagpo Kundreul Ling, Le Bost, or online on our YouTube channel.

The merit, wisdom and benefit accumulated are immense when we gather in the sacred site where Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment, and we offer aspirations for peace and prosperity for all beings.

Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa


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Live video from the Kagyu Monlam 2017

Join the prayers of aspiration led by the Karmapa, in the presence of H.E. the 4th Djamgon Kongtrul, Migyur Drakpa Senge, and H.E. the 3rd Beru Khyentse Rinpoche and many great masters of the lineage as well as Mipham Rinpoche. Thousands of students, monks, nuns and other venerables gathered in Bodhgaya, India, to take part in the recitations of wishes for the happiness of all beings.