Gyalwang KarmapA commences weeklong teachings on the "three types of vows"
December 4, 2009 - Tergar Monastery, Bodhgaya
With the sound of the gyaling heightening the sense of anticipation, His Holiness entered the packed assembly hall of Tergar Monastery this afternoon to commence a weeklong series of teachings. The teachings are part of the 13th annual Karma Gunchoe, or winter debates, now under way in Bodhgaya. For this year’s teachings, His Holiness will take as his main topic the relationship among the three types of vows: pratimoksha—which includes the monastic vows as well as the upasaka or genyen vows held by many lay Buddhists—bodhisattva and tantric vows. Over the course of the next six days, His Holiness will be commenting on Brief Notes on Difficult Points of the Three Vows, a concise but important work on the subject composed by the 7th Karmapa Chödrak Gyatso.
His Holiness began by greeting the learned abbots and members of the monastic assembly, and extended a special word of welcome to the lay disciples who had travelled from many countries. As His Holiness himself noted, the winter debate teachings have attracted increasingly large crowds. While the teachings are directed primarily at the monastics who have gathered from Kagyu monastic centers for an intensive period of study and debate, in recent years they have been attended as well by many of His Holiness’ Western and east Asian lay followers. Reflecting that international presence, simultaneous translation of His Holiness’ teachings is being provided this year into English, Chinese and Spanish.