19th Kagyu Gunchoe
With impeccable concentration and speed, Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche offered an important reading transmission this week to the monastics gathered for the Kagyu Gunchö Winter Dharma Teachings and Debates for Kagyu Shedras, including HE Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche. The transmission was offered over three mornings in the Tergar Shrine.
The text, called Mandala of the Sun, is a commentary on the vinaya written by the 8th Karmapa, Mikyo Dorje. It includes the root text of the vinaya and an annotation on this root text by Tshonawa Chenpo. The text has not yet been translated into English. Since the vinaya is the Buddha’s teachings on monastic vows, the reading transmission was offered only to ordained monks and nuns.
The four tall tormas with the figures of the sixteen Karmapas have been transferred from the Pavilion to the Tergar shrine hall marking a shift in events from the Kagyu Monlam to the Winter Debates for Monks (Gunchӧ). It is here in the shrine hall that the main discussions and teachings will take place from February 26th to March 10th. The event is well attended this year with eight tulkus, twenty-nine khenpos (professors), nineteen lopons (teachers), ten discipline masters, and 926 students from nine different shedras (monastic colleges).
The opening talk was given by the Gyalwang Karmapa on two topics. The first on the discards and antidotes in the paramitas from the One Hundred Short Instructions by the Eighth Karmapa Mikyo Dorje. The Karmapa then spoke eloquently on the origins of the classification of tenets into four schools and the history of how mainly the Great Exposition School developed and commented on the Sutra School as well.