His Holiness Karmapa Joins KTD’s Daily Mahakala Puja

IMG_1051Every afternoon at KTD Monastery, lamas and laypeople participate in the daily Mahakala protector ritual to remove obstacles and promote success for monastery activities.

During His Holiness Karmapa’s visit, it was heard that His Holiness would like to join the daily ritual for one afternoon. A plan was made to arrange for this puja on Tuesday afternoon.

Like many plans, this one underwent some changes.

The original idea was for his Holiness to do the daily protector ritual in the special protector shrine room near the front of the monastery.

The special shrine, with a magnificent statue of the main Karma Kagyu protector Mahakala, is beautifully appointed but quite small. And once a throne for his Holiness had been placed within the room, it rapidly became clear that the room would be too small to fit more than 6 to 8 participants.

While this preparation work was going on, monks, nuns, and lamas waited anxiously outside the door to the small Mahakala shrine, wondering if they would have to sit on the Monastery’s front porch in order to participate.

His Holiness was consulted, and word came down that the afternoon Mahakala Puja would be relocated to the large main shrine room.

IMG_1048Tormas and shrine objects were hastily relocated to a quickly but beautifully prepared shrine, and monks, nuns and lamas were seated. Even Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche came to participate.

IMG_1052In the end, more than 50 monastics, lamas, volunteers and guests took part in the daily ritual, their voices thundering as a cloud over the roll of the drums and cymbals.

IMG_1056
Lama Lodro Lhamo prepares the Mahakala shrine in the main shrine room.

His Holiness was an active participant, playing the bell and drum and acting as the ritual master. The fullness of heart and being was experienced by all. Our guru provided us with a lesson in patience and cooperation, ending with a communal celebration of faith.

— Lama Kathy Wesley, text and photos

IMG_1055
Fifty people attended the Mahakala puja with His Holiness Karmapa
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4 thoughts on “His Holiness Karmapa Joins KTD’s Daily Mahakala Puja

  1. I once attended a Mahakala Empowerment by His Holiness 16th Karmapa in a tiny cabin in a forest in Canada. It was all the more special because there were only about eight of us there…only that number would fit, and also only that number did Mahakala as a daily practice. It’s a memory I shall never forget. Karmapa Khyenno!

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