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Tibetans gather for a candle light vigil to pay respects to Norchuk, a 47 year old Tibetan woman who died after self immolation in Ngaba on Friday, March 6, 2015. SFT, India, organized the event, TIbetan Day School, McLeod Ganj, March 8, 2015, Phayul Photo: Kunsang Gashon
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Karmapa attends 300th Anniversary of Garcham
[Saturday, March 23, 2013 10:40]
The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorjee (Left) attends the Annual Traditional Tsechu Chenmo Ceremony of Khampa Gar monastery in Tashijong. (Phayul photo/Phuntsok Yangchen)
The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorjee (Left) attends the Annual Traditional Tsechu Chenmo Ceremony of Khampa Gar monastery in Tashijong. (Phayul photo/Phuntsok Yangchen)
DHARAMSHALA, March 22: His Eminence the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorjee attended the Annual Traditional Tsechu Chenmo Ceremony of Khampa Gar monastery in Tashijong.

Speaking on the occasion, the Karmapa told the audience to understand the true virtue of Padmasambhava’s mind, body and soul through the religious dance and not to consider it as a pure entertainment.

As the Tibetans inside Tibet are showing strong ‘courage’ and ‘determination’, the Karmapa called upon the exile Tibetans to offer their prayers and work towards the unification of Tibetans. ‘This is our unavoidable responsibility,’ he said.

The fundamental steps, motions and movements of Garcham or the sacred dance as well as the meditation accompanying them are based on the writings of early Indian Buddhist text translated and taught in Tibet during the time of Padmasambhava. Consequently, the Garcham celebrates the birth of Padmasambahva and his eight emanations.

Garcham performance at the Annual Traditional Tsechu Chenmo Ceremony of Khampa Gar monastery in Tashijong. (Phayul photo/Phuntsok Yangchen)
Garcham performance at the Annual Traditional Tsechu Chenmo Ceremony of Khampa Gar monastery in Tashijong. (Phayul photo/Phuntsok Yangchen)
The sacred festival was attended by over a thousand of disciples, many of whom have traveled from across the world, including representatives from Indian and the exile Tibetan governments.

The Khampa Gar cham had its origination in 1712 when Kunga Tenzin, Third Khamtrul Rinpoche, had a vision during his retreat in Govo-Chung cave. On the tenth day of the monkey lunar month the entire universe was said to have transformed into the Mandala of Padmasambhava.

Padmasambhava in his vision advised Kunga Tenzin to note down all the details of the vision and to have a sacred dance sadhana performed for the benefit of all sentient beings. This year’s garcham marks 300 years of unbroken performance.
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