Kopan Community Celebrates Annual Monlam

Kopan Community Celebrates Annual Monlam
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These tormas (ritual cakes) offered during Monlam at Kopan Monastery, Nepal, take one month to make, are nine feet (three meters) tall, and will remain for one year. Photo by Ven. Losang Sherab.

During March 9-14, Kopan Monastery hosted its annual Monlam, a prayer festival first founded by Lama Tsongkhapa in 15th-century Tibet that has survived the Tibetan diaspora. Kopan hosts the annual event for all of the Gelug monasteries and nunneries in Nepal.

Public display of large Eight Taras thangka during Monlam, painted by Peter Iseli, Kopan Monstery, Nepal, March 12, 2017. Photo by Ven. Losang Sherab.

Throughout the festival, sangha and lay students are invited to spend the day engaged in prayers and pujas, view and receive blessings from holy objects, and attend monastic debates. On the last day of the Monlam, which coincides with the Day of Miracles, the final day in a series of fifteen holy days, thousands of people attend the festivities. This year, Jangtse Chöje Lobsang Tenzin Rinpoche presided over the ceremonies and gave public teachings and an oral transmission.

Jangtse Chöje Lobsang Tenzin Rinpoche presides over Monlam, Kopan Monastery, Nepal, March 15, 2017. Photo by Laura Miller.

Ven. Legtsok answers debate questions during Monlam, Kopan Monastery, Nepal, March 14, 2017. Photo by Ven. Losang Sherab.

Tibetan youth band, Kopan Monastery, Nepal, March 12, 2017. Photo by Ven. Losang Sherab.

A special torma is burned on the Day of Miracles for the benefit of all beings, Kopan Monastery, Nepal, March 15, 2017. Photo by Laura Miller.

Many important teachers and lamas were in attendance, including Khen Rinpoche Geshe Chonyi, the abbot of Kopan Monastery; Cherok Lama; Phuntsok Rinpoche; and Kundol Rinpoche. Other Kopan monks currently studying at Sera Je Monastery in South India were also able to participate.

Watch the activities of Kopan’s Monlam on Facebook (via Kopan Apso, March 12):
https://www.facebook.com/choekuapso

 


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