Purpose of Kagyu Monlam

“It is said that the benefit of a large number of people doing aspiration prayers together is that the merit, each individual accumulates through doing this practice, is obtained by each and every individual of the group. In the sutra “A Wall of Flowers”, it is said that whatever aspiration prayer is made near a stupa containing one of the Buddha’s relics, will be answered. Nagarjuna, the Indian Buddhist master said that if one makes aspiration prayers together with a highly developed Bodhisattva, the resulting prayer is so powerful that one can avert famine, for example, and natural disasters, and remove evil karma of all kinds.That is why every year groups of Tibetan Buddhists, representing the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism, come together to do these aspiration prayers in various holy places in India. The two main persons making those aspiration prayers in 1996 were His Holiness, the 17th Karmapa, Thaye Dorje and Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche. Both are great bodhisattvas, progressing throughout the ten bhumis. Reciting this prayer just once with two such individuals has more effect than performing it a million times on one’s own. For centuries this has not been possible, but now we are lucky enough to have this opportunity!

Explanation by Khenpo Chodrak Thenpel Rinpoche, at the occasion of the first Kagyu Monlam with the 17th Karmapa, in 1996.