December 31, 2011- Sarnath, Varanasi.

December 31, 2011 – While the Gyalwang Karmapa's primary focus during this stay in Sarnath is to engage in intensive Mahakala practice in a retreat setting, he paid an auspicious visit on the last day of the year to the Dhammekh stupa in Sarnath. As the site of Lord Buddha's first teaching, the stupa marks one of the holiest sites for Buddhists of all traditions.
Approaching the site solemnly, His Holiness first passed among the remains of the many great monasteries and temples that once made Sarnath a vibrant center for Buddhist study and practice. He then circumambulated the Dhammekh stupa, and engaged in meditative prayer. In the company of a large retinue of monks and nuns, His Holiness the Karmapa recited prayers and praises to Lord Buddha, including the Praise to the Twelve Deeds.
In ancient times, the site was renowned for its herds of deer, co-existing peacefully with the sages and ascetics practicing in the park. As such, it became known as Deer Park. Tibetan monasteries to this day are traditionally marked by a wheel flanked by two deer, a reminder of the momentous event that took place on this site millennia ago, when Lord Buddha first began teaching the Dharma that had set him free and that countless others would then use to free themselves from suffering over the centuries.
In gentle homage to that history—and as an act of generosity—His Holiness detoured to a section of the park that is still home to deer, pausing to give food to them.




December 30, 2011- Sarnath, Varanasi.

His Holiness the Karmapa today addressed a group of 80 butter sculptors, including monks and nuns from over 35 monasteries and nunneries. Tibetan butter sculptures, sometimes loosely referred to tormas, are ritual cakes typically made of butter and other substances and often beautifully decorated. Each year, His Holiness appoints teams to create a dazzling visual feast of such images of buddhas, bodhisattvas and other holy beings. These butter sculptures are displayed as an offering on the altar set up before the Bodhi tree in Bodhgaya, Buddhism´s most sacred place, during the annual Kagyu Monlam prayer gathering. The making of butter sculpture is practiced widely across all sects of Tibetan Buddhism, with detailed guidelines regulating what sort of butter sculpture should be offered on various ritual occasions.
In order to preserve this unique form of Tibetan Buddhist spiritual art, His Holiness had requested two senior masters from Bhutan to spend an intensive period transmitting their knowledge and skills to a younger generation of butter sculptors. Among those apprenticing under Lama Sonam Rinchen and Gen Tsering Paljor, the two master butter scupltors, are Tsurphu Labrang's own ritual master, Osel Nyingpo, and thangka painter, Karma Wangchuk. In the talk the Gyalwang Karmapa gave at Vajra Vidya Insitute in Varanasi, he offered the group encouragement and guidance on how to approach their art as a spiritual practice.
His Holiness commented that because of the great gathering of heart sons, lamas and monastics, who serve as a special field of merit, Kagyu Monlam offers particularly powerful conditions for accumulating merit or good karma. Given such an ideal opportunity, it was appropriate to make extra efforts to create vast and high-quality offerings, without taking any shortcuts. Yet he cautioned against allowing any feelings or pride or competitiveness, comparing their butter sculptures with those of other lineages.
His Holiness noted that long-life pujas would be offered this year to the heart sons His Eminences Tai Situ Rinpoche and Gyaltsab Rinpoche, and that he himself was also planning to pass the pre-losar period in Bodhgaya, performing the accompanying gutor rituals in an expanded manner. As such, an especially large number of people were likely to view this year's butter sculptures before and during Kagyu Monlam. For this reason, the team should undertake their task with a wish to cause joy to all those who saw the sculptures, and to inspire them to greater virtue. In this way, the act of making butter sculptures could become especially beneficial for them and for others.
Since each color and artistic element of the different kinds of butter sculptures had deep symbolic meanings, it was important for them to learn and hold those meanings in mind, His Holiness said. As he spoke, the Gyalwang Karmapa consistently spoke of their work in the same terms as used for images of deities in painting and metal sculptures, emphasizing that the butter sculptors are, in fact, creating sacred images.
Furthermore, the Gyalwang Karmapa pointed out that butter sculpting had begun to attract international attention as a unique Tibetan art form, and this should encourage them all to value and enhance their own knowledge and skills in this art. (Under the Gyalwang Karmapa's direction, a documentary film about butter sculptures is currently under way. Find out more about this project at: www.tormafilm.com)

The Buddhist Channel: The Karmapa Wishes for Peace and Harmony in the New Year

by Rajeshwari K, The Tibetpost International , 30 December 2011

Dharamshala, India -- In an address the 17th Karmapa, officially known as His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, made to the media regarding the end of the current year and the fast approaching new year, he stated that he wishes we live this year with mutual love and respect for one another and for the earth that is our common home.

Referring to the popular belief that the world might end in 2012, he said "In fact, we never know what any given year might hold. But if we are sincerely committed to following a path of compassion and wisdom, this uncertainty about the future need not cause us any concern.

Whatever happens, we can simply keep our focus directed steadily at what matters most-cultivating compassion and equanimity, and acting to benefit others.""If we harbor this attitude in our hearts, we can make anything that occurs positive for ourselves and for others," he added.

Speaking of the numerous natural diasters that struck the planet this year, he offered his prayers to all those who suffered turmoil this year.

He concluded by stating that he offers his prayers to all those connected with him in any way during this year and to those who will connect in the coming future.

"May you find lasting happiness and peace. May all of us who share this planet go forward together into the new year in harmony," he concluded.



The Buddhist Channel: Art, Drama and Poetry Meet on Karmapa`s Creative Canvas

IANS, December 29, 2011

New Delhi, India -- When Ogyen Trinley Dorje is not busy managing his 900-year-old religious order, the 17th Karmapa likes to do more human and colourful things - painting and writing poetry, songs and plays.
An accomplished artist, the Karmapa sketches and paints with water colour.

"Art for me is a way of resting and replenishing my mind. As the person who holds the name of Karmapa, I hold so many responsibilities that need to be completed, to be accomplished, but not everything goes according to plan. It can be exhausting sometimes. What I like about painting a picture is that when I sit down to paint, I complete it," the Karmapa told reporters here.

The `sense of completion that goes along with completing the picture and the artistic ability` inspire him, the Karmapa said. "Even when I am drawing, there is something about the process of painting that brings peace and relaxation to my mind," the Karmapa said.

A series of six of his art works released as a New Year memento shows his mastery over his craft. The most striking among the art works made public is a roaring tiger ready to spring. Painted in water colour and ink, the exquisite Chinese style painting drawn to meticulous realistic details, depicts the snarling tiger poised on the trunk of an old tree - with its fangs bared.

A pen and ink drawing of the seated Buddhist goddess Tara on a lotus - the harbinger of good luck and wealth - is an example of the artist`s felicity with lines and free-hand strokes. The drawing stands out for its flowing details and intricacy.

The Karmapa, who has been instructed in art at various stages in life for brief periods, is fond of drawing figures, motifs from nature and icons from Tibetan religious texts which he brings to light with his intuitive play of light and shade.

"Basically, I started making (painting) pictures when I was quite young. I have always enjoyed doing it. In case of drama, it happened some time later during my days as the Karmapa (out of necessity). But I engaged in poetry naturally from a young age (along with art)," the Karmapa said.

Many of the songs written by the Karmapa have been set to music by the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA) - a 54-year-old Dharamshala-based Tibetan performing arts and culture promotion and conservation platform.

One of his plays, `Life of Milarepa`, an operatic Tibetan theatre combined with elements of modern drama in six acts, drew more 20,000 people when it was staged in Bodh Gaya by TIPA in January 2010. Scripted, produced and overseen by the Karmapa, the relay (long) play narrates the story of the life of the Buddhist monk Milarepa, a Tibetan Buddhist master and a hero for his battles with evil. The play, often described as one of the longest and the most opulent Tibetan stage productions - has been compiled into a DVD.

A voracious reader, the Karmapa reads in the only language he is proficient in - Tibetan. "I read all kinds of Tibetan compositions which include fiction, poetry and all kinds of literary art works," the Karmapa said.
He watches "some Hollywood and some Asian movies".

"I like movies which have deeper meanings to them - not just about entertainment and dramatic action. If it is a movie about war, it has to be about the journey of the mind about the process of war and the depth of human experience. It has to provide some valuable angle. In terms of plays and other forms of art, there are so many that it is hard to start with," he said.

The Karmapa`s message for youth - both in India and across the world - is that "there has been a lot of material advancement, a lot of advancement related to the external world, but this advancement has the net effect of limiting our own personal freedom".

"So in the light of the situation, it is very important to build our inner world of our mind as well. Buddhism offers methods to do that," the Karmapa said.



December 29, 2011- Sarnath, Varanasi.

From the moment of His Holiness the 17th Karmapa's arrival in Varanasi, the monastery where he is residing has been thronged by thousands of people from across India's Himalayan belt and Tibet, all seeking the Gyalwang Karmapa's blessings.
During his past visits to Varanasi, Gyalwang Karmapa has typically offered public audiences on alternating days, inside the monastery building. However, due to the large numbers of people seeking the blessing of the Gyalwang Karmapa, His Holiness is now holding daily public audiences. Many Tibetans newly arrived from Tibet, as well as people from Ladakh, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, and Kulu, Manali and Spiti in Himachal Pradesh all have converged in central India in advance of the Kalachakra initiation to be given next week in Bodhgaya by Tibetan Buddhism's supreme leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Pilgrims coming to attend the Kalachakra are taking what is for many of them a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to receive the additional blessings of the Gyalwang Karmapa.   
To accommodate the overwhelming requests for blessings, His Holiness the Karmapa is holding daily public audience outdoors, on the grounds in front of the monastery's main hall in Varanasi.



December 28, 2011

Many people have expressed anxiety about disasters that might befall the world in the year 2012. In fact, we never know what any given year might hold. But if we are sincerely committed to following a path of compassion and wisdom, this uncertainty about the future need not cause us any concern. Whatever happens, we simply keep our focus directed steadily at what matters most—cultivating compassion and equanimity, and acting to benefit others. If we harbor this attitude in our hearts, we can make anything that occurs positive for ourselves and for others.
The year 2011 itself brought many unanticipated challenges—to our natural environment and to many human communities. My heartfelt prayers go to all those who suffered in the turmoil of this year.
I wish especially to offer my prayers to all those who connected with me in any way during this year, as well as to all who will connect in the future. May you find lasting happiness and true peace. May all of us who share this planet go forward together into the new year in harmony. May we live this year with mutual love and respect for one another and for the earth that is our common home.



December 27, 2011

His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, departed Delhi today for Varanasi, after successfully concluding the three-day Karmapa 900 Delhi commemoration in the nation's capital. His arrival was eagerly anticipated at Vajra Vidya in Sarnath, the monastery of the Gyalwang Karmapa's principal tutor, Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche.  
In preparation for His Holiness' arrival in Sarnath, the monks of Vajra Vidya decorated the road leading to the monastery with white chalk, drawing auspicious signs of welcome. Long before His Holiness' flight had even landed at the airport in Varanasi, the abbots and monks donned their ceremonial robes, and began rehearsing their instruments.  
As the car carrying the Gyalwang Karmapa reached the road leading to the noanstery's gates, a golden procession of monastics wearing their best brocade played a musical welcome and solemnly escorted His Holiness forward. By the time the procession had reached the main assembly hall of the monastery, many hundreds of disciples had gathered. Among those jostling for a glimpse of their revered guru were hundreds from across the Himalayan region, as well as Tibetans and international disciples.
  Upon arrival, the Gyalwang Karmapa paid homage at the central image of Vajra Vidya's shrine hall: Shakyamuni Buddha, as befits this monastery, located at the site of Lord Buddha's first Dharma teaching.  


The Buddhist Channel: Karmapa Reviving Use of Sanskrit in Spiritual Order

IANS, December 25, 2011

New Delhi, India -- The 17th Karmapa of the Karma Kagyu sect of Tibetan Buddhism, Ogyen Trinley Dorje is spearheading the revival of Sanskrit - the language in which several early Buddhist texts had been composed in India before the religion spread to Tibet.

The Karmapa, who heads the Karma Kagyu school of Buddhism in India, has instituted a practice of opening his morning prayers with chanting of Sanskrit shlokas.

"In 2010, the 17th Karmapa began a search for the original Sanskrit texts of dohas (sacred couplets) composed by the great Indian `mahasiddhas` whose dharma teachings and meditation practices are transmitted today in the Karma Kagyu lineage," documents provided by the Karmapa`s office said.

"After locating two rare texts, his holiness commissioned south Indian music scholar R.S. Nanda Kumar, who is reviving India`s ancient musical heritage, to set the verses to music following traditional doha song forms as faithfully as possible."

The results of these efforts were "two dohas which were performed by Nanda Kumar".

While one was a song of realisation by Saraha, the `mahamudra` master whose lineage the Karmapa transmit, the other was by Tilopa - another great `mahasiddha` in the Karma Kagyu lineage.

"In the course of our research, we have found that a form of music, `charya geeti`, which originated from eastern India, had direct links with Buddhism. It had travelled all the way down south from the Magadha kingdom," composer and vocalist Nanda Kumar told IANS.

Most of these early traditional songs were composed in Sanskrit.

"In the eighth century, `dwipadi` and `dwipathaka` - two other forms of spiritual songs - were also sung. They were similar to doha," Nanda Kumar said.

However, `dohas` are different from `charya geeti`, he said.

According to history, the Buddhist songs of realisation were sung poetry in various forms like the performance songs (charya geeti), diamond songs (vajragiti) and doha songs (couplets). The doha songs are primarily spiritual aphorisms expressed in the form of rhyme or couplets, `charya geeti` were stand-alone songs while `vajragiti` are essentially tantric.




December 24, 2011 - Delhi.

Day Two of Karmapa 900 Delhi offered a vivid demonstration of Ancient Wisdom applied to the Modern World. The day's program was entirely devoted to Dharma teachings by His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje.
Through the practice of recognizable reincarnation that the First Karmapa founded, for 900 years, the Karmapas have kept alive and fresh all the wisdom of the Dharma lineages they hold from India. The achievement of Dusum Khyenpa was visible in all its glory today, as the audience witnessed the wisdom carried by the Karmapa lineage displayed in a new form ideally suited to our historical moment. The Karmapa of the 21st century—the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa—is entrusted with delivering Buddhist teachings in a way that keeps them fully relevant to our modern times.
During the morning session, His Holiness spoke of the history of the Karmapa lineage, sharing seldom-recounted incidents from the life of the First Karmapa, Dusum Khyenpa. He also spoke candidly of his own experience bearing the noble name of Karmapa. (See excerpt below.) He exhorted the audience to embrace fully the opportunity to transform their minds in everyday life. "The practice of dharma is about making a fresh change with our mind," the Gyalwang Karmapa said. "We have to give our mind something new to do, and not just allow it to follow its old habitual patterns." The afternoon session comprised practical instructions in how to do so.
Meanwhile, in the global spirit of the day, the teachings were webcast with translation into 10 different languages—English, Hindi, Chinese, Spanish, German, French, Polish, Russian, Korean and Vietnamese. Over 1,000 viewers watched the webcast from computers all around the world.
Lunch was offered to all participants during the break between the morning and afternoon sessions, with the Gyalwang Karmapa joining them on the lawn to share the meal.
Disciples of His Holiness in the audience commented that his teachings during Karmapa 900 Delhi had a special quality of directness and intimacy that allowed his words to penetrate deeply into their hearts.
A brief excerpt from His Holiness' teaching on Day Two of Karmapa 900 Delhi:
"In terms of my experience of being someone who is identified as the Karmapa, I've faced many hardships and challenges. Actually, sometimes in the context of 21st-century dialogues about freedom, there are people who say that tulkus, or reincarnate lamas, aren't accorded their full human rights as human beings because they are forced to be this particular person and are forced to take on this particular role and thus cannot follow their own personal dreams. Even some young tulkus have said that they feel that they are not being given all of the personal freedoms that they deserve as human beings.
"From my own personal perspective, I feel that I've really gone through a lot of hardships, probably more than other tulkus or reincarnate lamas have… But I simply regard the opportunities that I have right now as a positive, precious opportunity to serve many people. Through the situation that I'm in now, I have the chance to extend love, care and benefit to many sentient beings, to help others…. I see the situation I'm in as an opportunity to take the happiness and welfare of others as my highest priority. I've been able in this way to really value the happiness of others and care about the sufferings that other people and sentient beings go through. In the future I hope to continue to use this opportunity to the greatest extent possible to bring benefit to others.
"Of course, sometimes this involves disappointment. I think of vast schemes to benefit sentient beings and my hopes aren't always accomplished in the way I set out to accomplish them. When that happens I find the most skillful thing to do sometimes is to just reduce my expectations. You can lower your expectations and have more simple goals to benefit others that you can be contented with. In this way, instead of coming up with some vast scheme to benefit a really extensive number of sentient beings, sometimes I simplify my aspirations and say, 'I'm just going to care about others. I'm just going to extend my love to others so that other beings in the world can at least think to themselves, "There is one person in the world that cares about me."'
"In this way, even if I'm not able to accomplish something magnificent and grand, I will at least be able to continue extending my love to others and making a meaningful connection of kindness and care with others.
"This is the way that I view this opportunity that I have, and I think that all of you have a similar opportunity… The opportunity that you have doesn't have exactly the same shape and name as the one I have, but nevertheless I think that your opportunity to help the world and other sentient beings is quite similar. We all have the precious support of a human body and the precious faculty of being able to distinguish what is harmful from what is beneficial—what is to be adopted from what is to be rejected. Therefore, because we have this human body and this discernment, we all have the opportunity to benefit a great number of sentient beings in a very vast way… if we really put this opportunity into practice. If we do that, all of us will lead a good and meaningful life.
"Being identified as the Karmapa is an opportunity to serve others. So if we set the name aside, we can see that in this sense, in reality, you are the Karmapa too! All of you. It's not just my individual responsibility to be the Karmapa, helping the world and benefiting others. It is the responsibility of all of us."

2010.12.24 Karmapa 900 in Delhi 〈噶瑪巴九百年〉德里活動:第二天


The Buddhist Channel:India Owns Copyright to Buddhism - Karmapa Lama

IANS, Dec 23, 2011

New Delhi, India -- Asserting that the noble land of India owned the copyright to Buddhism, the 17th Karmapa Lama, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, flagged off a grand three-day service in the capital on Friday on the occasion of the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism completing 900 years, and said the faith had made a symbolic return to the land of its birth.

The Karmapa called upon people to use the ancient wisdom of Lord Buddha and apply it to the contemporary world to promote world peace.

The service began with a special homage to Lord Buddha?s relics at the National Museum in the capital, followed by interfaith prayers at the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat. The prayers culminated in a mega-discourse in the evening on the relevance of Buddhism.

The day's celebrations also saw the revival of the tradition of the recital of Buddhist doha (songs) - which was sung in its original Sanskrit version after a millennium by Karnataka-based musician and researcher Nand Kumar.

The doha composed by the great Buddhist master from Bengal, Tilopa, was retrieved by the Dalai Lama, who commissioned its musical composition for posterity.

Addressing the gathering of more than 1,000 delegates from 44 countries, the 17th Karmapa said there were 'many reasons for holding the commemoration of 900 years of the Karma Kagyu lineage' - also known as the Karmapa lineage - in India.

'Who owns the copyright to Buddhism - the noble land of India,?' the Karmapa said.

"India was the birth place of the Buddha and the wisdom of the 'mahasiddhas' - the early practitioners and scholars of the faith - came from India to the snowy land of Tibet? And it (Buddhism) became a true lineage of experience, realization and freedom from confusion. The lineage has remained unbroken for ages- abiding for hundreds of years in Tibet," the Karmapa said in his keynote address.

"And now the noble lineage has returned to the noble land of India. It is a special honour to show our noble guests (from across the world today) as well as from the different regions of the Himalayas that the occasion for which we have gathered here is very meaningful to me," the Karmapa added.

"What should we refer to Buddhism as (in this modern world)? Just spiritual guidance from long ago," he said.

The Karmapa, who is hailed as the 'most outstanding monk in the Karma Kagyu sect led by the Dalai Lama', is believed to be the 17th reincarnation of Dusum Khyenpa, a monk born in 1110 AD in Tibet.

Dusum Khyenpa is the founder of the Karma Kagyu sect of Tibetan Buddhism.

History cites that just as Buddhism was waning in India, Tibetan monk Dusum Khyenpa, knower of the past, present and the future, instituted the practice of intentionally reincarnating in a way that disciples could recognise.

According to Buddhist scholars, the practice (reincarnation) forms the backbone of Tibetan Buddhism as it is known today. Dusum Khyenpa founded three seats of learning in Tibet and is revered as the first in the long line of Karmapas.

As a tribute to the monk, a statue of the Dusum Khyenpa, which is known to have spoken in the past, has been brought to the capital - to bless the congregation.

The statue, originally housed in the Kham region of eastern Tibet was brought to India later by the monks of the Ripa Bharma monastery and installed in Karnataka.

Highlighting the importance in Buddhist wisdom in modern times, secular Islamic scholar, writer and National Minorities Commission head Wajahat Habibullah said the unifying factor that connected the diverse faiths of India was 'compassion'.

"But most of us over the centuries have not lived up to it. Jesus had preached compassion (like Buddha) and the first page of the Quran says 'in the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful'. Unless we have love for each other, all our achievements are not going to get us anywhere," Habibullah said.

The celebrations will close on December 25.



December 23, 2011 - Delhi.

Before a crowd composed of disciples and delegates from nearly every state in India and from 44 countries around the world, Karmapa 900 Delhi began a three-day gala event to commemorate the 900th birth anniversary of the First Karmapa, Dusum Khyenpa. Today's event was focused on paying tribute to the Indian roots of the Karma Kagyu lineage.
To open the day's activities, His Holiness the 17th Karmapa travelled to the National Museum of India to pay solemn homage to the relics of Lord Buddha enshrined there. With the aim of creating harmony among all faiths, a gathering of leaders from virtually all the major world religions gathered at Rajghat, the monument to Mahatma Gandhi, joining their voices in interfaith prayer.
Hindu priests opened the event at Gandhi's memorial with Vedic chants, and were followed by prayers from the Jain, Jewish, Parsi, Christian, Sikh, Muslim and Baha'i spiritual traditions. Several hundred followers attended the interfaith gathering, which marked the first public activity of Karmapa 900 Delhi.
Following the formal event, the leaders joined Gyalwang Karmapa for tea and a lovely exchange of views in an informal setting.
Meanwhile, back at the main venue for Karmapa 900 Delhi, before the afternoon session even began, the crowd already filled the ballroom of the Grand Hotel and began spilling out into the adjacent outdoor patio. Advance registration had been closed within a week when the number of attendees hit 850, yet visitors who had travelled from overseas to attend pleaded their case to be allowed admission without having registered. In the end, nearly a thousand people were on hand when His Holiness arrived to commence the session.
A traditional Tibetan procession escorted a rare and exceptional statue of the First Karmapa, Dusum Khyenpa renowned for having uttered human speech. For centuries the statue attracted pilgrims from all over eastern Tibet to Ripa Barma monastery in Kham, where it was housed until the communist Chinese invasion of Tibet. The statue was brought to safety in India shortly before Ripa Barma was destroyed, and currently serves as the most precious holy object at the rebuilt Ripa Barma Monastery in the state of Karnataka.
After His Holiness and the chief guest had offered a lamp, a brief account of the historical ties between the Karmapa lineage and India was offered by the master of ceremonies, Choechung Wangchuk, member of the parliament of the Tibetan administration in exile. To begin with, the First Karmapa trained intensively in the cultivation of bodhicitta and meditation techniques taught by the great Indian mahasiddhas Saraha, Tilopa and Naropa. His lineage then transmitted those teachings for the next 900 years in Tibet.
Dusum Khyenpa's years of solitary yogic practices took him to caves and forests all across Tibet and into India. His biographies recount an encounter with a tiger while he was doing meditative retreat in modern day Indian territory. For the next 500 years, most of the Karmapas, up to and including the Ninth Karmapa, maintained close relationships with Bodhgaya. They sent offerings to maintain the holy Mahabodhi stupa and corresponded with senior gurus in north India. The Twelfth Karmapa made the journey to India personally to visit the holy Buddhist sites of India, the MC related. In recent times, the 16th and 17th Gyalwang Karmapas each fled Chinese-ruled Tibet to seek refuge in India, thus renewing the First Karmapa´s special bond with India, he said.
Next on the afternoon's schedule was an address by His Holiness the 17th Karmapa himself. The Gyalwang Karmapa first clarified that he does not see Karmapa 900 as a celebration of himself, but rather as an opportunity to recollect the qualities of the great masters of the past and gain inspiration in seeking to emulate them.
He went on to describe the close ties between India and the Karma Kagyu lineage that he transmits. "Our teachings too were born and took root with the Mahasiddhas of India….The masters of this lineage were able to hold these teachings in such a way that the lineage never became just the reverberation of words, but rather became a true lineage of experience and realization.... This lineage continued in an unbroken way through the ages, first originating in India, then abiding for many hundreds of years in Tibet.  Now, once again, this noble lineage has returned to the noble land of India. I think that this is something that we should all be very proud of. This is something that we should all be very inspired by. It is a marvelous fact that this lineage remains alive today, and has once again returned to the noble land of India."
The Gyalwang Karmapa described the tireless activities of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in spreading the message of compassion and peace to the world. "Basically," the Gyalwang Karmapa noted, "what His Holiness the Dalai Lama is doing when he delivers this message is propagating the wisdom of ancient India. This wisdom of ancient India was also the pure nectar that was held for hundreds of years in the snowy land in Tibet, and this pure nectar is now being shared as a gift with the entire world."
Nevertheless, he quipped that in terms of copyright, one would have to say there was no question but that India was the holder of the copyright to Buddhism!
His Holiness' speech was followed by a dazzling display of his affection and appreciation for the Indian roots of his Dharma lineage. Last year, in preparation for the Opening Ceremony of Karmapa 900 in Bodhgaya, the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa had begun a search for the original texts of dohas, spontaneous songs of realization sung by highly accomplished masters. Many such dohas exist today only in Tibetan translations, while the original Sanskrit texts are largely lost.
Nevertheless, His Holiness located the vernacular Indian text of a doha by Tilopa, a great mahasiddha from Bengal and contacted Shree Sangita Vidvan Nanda Kumar, a scholar and singer committed to researching and reviving India's ancient song heritage. His Holiness requested him to set the doha verses to music, following traditional doha song forms as faithfully as possible.
The result of this research were two dohas performed in Sanskrit by Vidvan Nanda Kumar and a team of accomplished musicians that included his wife Radhika and son Sumukha.
The singer began with Sanskrit verses that he composed in homage to His Holiness the Karmapa. Following that, the audience was witness to an event of deep spiritual as well as historical significance, as Vidvan Nanda Kumar sang Saraha's doha publicly in Sanskrit for the first time in over a millennium.
They next performed a spontaneous song of realization by Tilopa, a great Mahamudra master in the Karma Kagyu transmission lineage.
With the public performance of these two Sanskrit dohas, set to historically accurate music, the singers accomplished His Holiness the Karmapa's wish to revive this Indian Buddhist song form that had been all but lost to history.
The next portion of the afternoon's program was given over to speeches by four honoured guests. First to speak was the internationally revered meditation master, Gurumaa, who spoke movingly of how extraordinary it is to have a living master who is willing to return to benefit beings and also capable of pinpointing the time, place and parents to whom they will return. She spoke of the Buddha nature in each of us, and reminded the audience how fortunate they were to have a spiritual master such as His Holiness. "A living master is the best example of what you can become. You can choose to be that, or you can choose not to be that," she said. "But the guru provides the living model to follow, if we choose to," she said.
Next to speak was Dr. BK Modi. Although best known as Chairman of the Indian conglomerate Spice Group, Dr. Modi has made lasting contributions to the flourishing of Buddhism in India in modern times, and is currently patron of the Mahabodhi Society of India. Dr. Modi noted that when the Nalanda tradition was being destroyed in India, Tibetan's stepped forward and gave that tradition a home in Tibet. "We must acknowledge the hardship and dedication with which the people of Tibet preserved this knowledge."
Kalon Tenpa Tsering, the primary representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Delhi and one of the longest-serving members of the Tibetan administration in exile, also spoke as an honoured guest.
As chief guest at Karmapa 900 Delhi, the final speaker of the afternoon was Shri Wajahat Habibullah, Honourable Chairman of the National Commission for Minorities. Presenting a sophisticated vision of a secular India that still welcomes a diversity of religious views and practices, he observed that India had not only given birth to many of the world's major religious traditions, it had also offered the gifts of that wisdom to the world.
"His Holiness' presence among us reminds us of our duty to ourselves and our duty to the world," said Shree Habibullah. He called for the world to truly act on the principles of compassion preached by all faiths. "I believe," Shri Habibullah said, "that it is time to return to the wisdom of the great being, of which His Holiness is the reincarnation."
Finally, His Holiness presented mementoes to the chief guest and esteemed guests on the dais, and the crowd joyfully dispersed, buoyed by the beauty of the vision of Buddhism returning to India articulated during the afternoon, and by the prospect of a day of teachings from the Gyalwang Karmapa tomorrow.


During the afternoon session of Karmapa 900 Delhi, Day One the Gyalwang Karmapa gave the opening address.
I'd like to begin by welcoming all of our honored guests to this observation of the 900th anniversary of the Karmapa lineage, which is being held in Delhi. I'd like to extend my warm welcome as well to all of my dharma friends gathered here. Welcome everyone and Tashi Delek.
When we consider this occasion of the 900th anniversary of the Karmapa lineage, and the observation that we are holding here, many people may look on this in some way as a celebration of me, the Karmapa, but I'd like to make it clear that this is not the attitude that I have. In my own mind, I come here today as a follower or student of the Karmapa lineage. In no way do I see this as any type of celebration of myself.
I think it's important for us to step back and look at what the notion of commemoration means. In Buddhism we talk about the buddhas and the bodhisattvas, who are their sons or daughters, and we speak of the importance of recalling, or bringing to mind again and again the noble and excellent qualities of their body, speech and mind. We can use that recollection as a stepping stone to further inspire ourselves to emulate them in body, speech and mind, so that we can bring more benefit to ourselves and others as well. I think that is really the heart of what a true practice of commemoration and recollection is.
On this particular occasion, we are recalling a lineage and tradition that has lasted for the past 900 years as one part of the vast tradition we call Tibetan Buddhism. One school within that tradition is known as the Karma Kagyu lineage, and the particular guru or master we are celebrating today is known as Dusum Khyenpa, the First Karmapa. This occasion offers us the chance to recall, commemorate or bring to mind the noble and excellent qualities of Dusum Khyenpa's body, speech and mind, and try to make this a stepping stone in our own life, so that now and in the future, we can come to benefit ourselves and the world more and more. We can use this as an occasion to refresh that inspiration and sense of commitment.
As we know, the tradition and teachings of Tibetan Buddhism have survived and developed in Tibet in a very remote and isolated context for hundreds of years—roughly one thousand years, in fact—before they started to gain exposure to the wider world. Although Tibet was in many ways devoid of much material development, its spiritual development and spiritual teachings were able to flourish over this period. In such a context, many Tibetan practitioners were able to pay a great deal of attention to the Buddhist teachings and bring them deeply into their experience. We're arriving now at a time when the richness of this process is not only a fruit to be enjoyed by Tibetans alone, but is becoming a gift that can be shared with the whole world.
On that note I think it's very important for us to be clear and to acknowledge that Dusum Khyenpa was simply one of a great many highly accomplished masters. He was one of a great many people who were able to master the teachings and practice of Buddhism in this way. In holding this celebration of Dusum Khyenpa's life and the 900 years of his tradition, the point is not to assert that he was the only person who reached that level of accomplishment. It is important for us to know that there were many, many masters who reached a similar level of accomplishment. Therefore, rather than regarding this as a celebration of just one individual person's accomplishment, we can take this whole festival as a celebration of the accomplishments of a great many noble, enlightened, powerful masters of Tibetan Buddhism.
In general, as students of Buddhism, we enter into the teachings, we connect with a spiritual friend or spiritual master, and then we endeavor to accomplish the instructions that he or she gives us as best we can for the benefit of both ourselves and others. However, I think the truest and most powerful form of spiritual instruction is the life example of the masters themselves. Of course, we receive many precious teachings from the masters. But from one perspective, when compared to the actual example of their deeds and their experience, the things they say to us are of lesser power. The life examples of the masters themselves are something that we can directly witness with our own eyes, and be One point I would like to make impacted by in our own experience. They are a gateway to the master’s enlightened qualities of body, speech and mind. So when we approach the histories or biographies of the enlightened masters, we are not doing just a history lesson. We are not just reviewing events that happened in the past. Rather, we are trying to invoke a spirit in ourselves that endeavors to emulate their example and really achieve these enlightened qualities of body, speech and mind ourselves. In this way, by reacquainting ourselves with the life examples of the great masters of the past, we're making them fresh and alive once more.
I think there are many reasons why that the fact that we are holding this commemoration in the noble land of India is very special, meaningful and important. As we know, India was the birthplace of Buddhism as a whole. In particular, in the case of the Karma Kagyu lineage, our teachings too were born and took root with the Mahasiddhas of India. Their realization and experience was passed down in an unbroken lineage and eventually came to the snowy land of Tibet. The masters of this lineage were able to hold these teachings in such a way that the lineage never became just the reverberation of words, but rather became a true lineage of experience and realization. This lineage consists in the transmission of the qualities of freedom from confusion and of realization of true reality. This lineage continued in an unbroken way through the ages, first originating in India, then abiding for many hundreds of years in Tibet, and now, once again, this noble lineage has returned to the noble land of India. I think that this is something that we should all be very proud of. This is something that we should all be very inspired by. It is a marvelous fact that this lineage remains alive today, and has once again returned to the noble land of India.
I therefore think that it is a special honor to share this occasion with our noble guests today who are of Indian descent as well as with our many friends who are gathered here today from the various regions of the Himalayan plateau. It is very important and meaningful to me that we are gathered here today for this occasion as Indian brothers and sisters, Tibetan brothers and sisters, and people from the Himalayas.
Whether we refer to it as Buddhism or as spiritual guidance from long ago, basically the source of all of this was the noble land of India. Perhaps we can apply this to a modern concept of copyright and ask the question, "Who holds the copyright to all of this wisdom?" There can be only answer to this: The noble land of India is the copyright holder of all of this.
One wonderful example of how this wisdom is being shared in the world is the work and activity of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. His Holiness the Dalai Lama has been traveling the world for many, many years, spreading the message of how to accomplish world peace, how to follow the path of nonviolence, how to spread more love in the world, and how societies can cultivate more harmony within themselves. Basically, what His Holiness the Dalai Lama is doing when he delivers this message is propagating the wisdom of ancient India. This wisdom of ancient India was also the pure nectar that was held for hundreds of years in the snowy land in Tibet, and this pure nectar is now being shared as a gift with the entire world.
So rather than viewing this occasion as just a celebration, instead I think we should view this as a chance to further inspire ourselves, to further boost our positive motivation, to open our heart even further, to expand our mind even further, and to expand our intention even further—so that we can bring true benefit to the world and really adopt together this responsibility of cultivating further world peace.
That is basically all that I have to say for now. There's no need for me to go on for a long time. We have other honored guests who are going to be speaking as well, and they will undoubtedly have some very profound sentiments to share with us, so I would just like to conclude by once again thanking my honored guests for joining me here today, as well as all of you, my dharma friends. Thank you.
For full reports of the coming day's activities, please visit www.karmapa900.org.

2011.12.23〈噶瑪巴九百年〉德里活動:第一天 Karmapa 900 in Delhi



December 14, 2011 - Gyuto, Dharamsala

Nearly a thousand people from across the Himalayan region, including many Tibetans newly-arrived from Tibet, sought darshan and blessings from His Holiness the Karmapa yesterday afternoon. His Holiness gave an oral transmission of the Compassion Buddha practice to the large gathering, followed by an individual blessings to every person present.  
 The blessings were conferred at Gyuto Monastery as part of the Gyalwang Karmapa's normally scheduled public audiences, held every Wednesday and Saturday when His Holiness is in residence in Dharamsala.

Gyalwang Karmapa's Foreword for The Best Way to Catch a Snake by Karma Yeshe Rabgye

The author with HH Karmapa




(9 December, 2011) In the light of the recent media reports, Karmapa's Office of Administration wishes to reassure His Holiness the Karmapa's disciples in India and around the world and the concerned public that as of today we have received no court orders. The matter remains under judicial consideration and we cannot therefore comment further at this stage.
Since the outset of the investigations, His Holiness' office of administration has been co-operating fully with the investigating agencies. We had provided them with full documents and details regarding the case. During this entire process, His Holiness the Karmapa was never at any point called or examined by the investigating agency. His Holiness has no involvement, direct or indirect, in the financial administration or managing the day-to-day affairs of the office or trust.
The cash seized earlier this year came from donations offered by disciples from around the world who come to see His Holiness and pay their respects to him, often leaving behind cash donations. This cash is managed by the Karmapa Office of Administration. That office has been actively seeking permission under the Foreign Currency Regulation Act (FCRA), and their application is still pending before the Government of India.
The Karmapa reincarnation lineage has a 900-year history of engaging in a vast range of spiritual activities, from teaching Dharma to rigorous meditation to composing philosophical texts. The Tsurphu Labrang, known now as the Karmapa Office of Administration, has existed for hundreds of years to allow the Karmapas to devote their time and energy to their role as spiritual leaders. It manages all the worldly affairs of the Karmapa, including handling the donations and administering the finances. In this way, the Karmapa has been left free to fulfill his solemn duties as spiritual guide to millions of followers and leader of a worldwide Buddhist order.
Contact details: Press Spokesperson Karma Chungyalpa (91) 9736696066