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    When His Holiness 16th Gyalwang Karmapa visits Bhutan, Bhutan's royal princess has very strong faith to Karmapa. So she prepared a lot of gifts and go to see his Holiness Gyalwang Karmapa. But they have to cross the river, the Bhutan princess including the gifts was washed away by the river... when Princess Bhutan is about to drown, she shouted: Karmapa Khyen No! "(Karmapa Khyen No means Karmapa, take heed of me! Karmapa, think of me!)

    At the same time, His Holiness Karmapa suddenly poured a cup of tea and shout to his attendant said: "Hurry! Go and offer tea to Mahakala..."(There are many kinds of Mahakala. In this case, His Holiness Karmapa refers to his special protector - the Black Cloak Protector Bernagchen)
    Although the attendant do not know the reason, but he take the cup of tea poured by Karmapa and offer to Mahakala, flew the Karmapa down tea rushed to Mahakala ... The attendant record down the time at that moment. According to experience, he thinks that something must have happened.

    At the same time, the princess of Bhutan was pulled up by a force. A strong wind blew and pulled Princess and all people travel along with her to other side of the river, everyone is safe.

    When the Princess of Bhutan met Karmapa, before the princess speaks, His Holiness Karmapa said with a smile:
    "Ah ... it's really breathtaking! ... Fortunately, Mahakala action is quite fast!"

    Translated by 龔詠輝

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    In the future, you will be the buddha named Drukpa Sengge,
    In the present, you nurture all realms through many emanations.
    Lord of dharma, ruler of the teachings of the practice lineage,
    Düsum Khyenpa, we supplicate at your feet.

    Mastering the yidam, you gained control over the world of appearance.
    You tamed the haughtiness of the tirthika emperor of Mongolia,
    And conquered the energy of fire, water, poison, weaponry and demons.
    Karma Pakshi, we supplicate at your feet.

    Through your miraculous ability in commenting on the many sutras and tantras,
    You reveal the heart meaning to the diverse host of beings,
    Vastly propagating the teachings of the great siddhas.
    Rangjung Dorje, we supplicate at your feet.

    In various languages, you tame many types of beings.
    Through reasoning that is free of the extremes, you dispel all wrong assertions,
    And with perfect speech reveal the true state of things.
    Rölpay Dorje, we supplicate at your feet.

    By showing your major and minor marks, you instill in us lucid faith.
    You are the tathagata who is guru to the beings of the three realms,
    Fulfilling the needs of fortunate ones through supreme siddhi.
    Deshin Shekpa, we supplicate at your feet.

    Through receiving prophecies from great siddhas, yidams and Dakinis,
    You display numerous miraculous abilities in yogic conduct.
    Protector of gods and humans, your power vanquishes arrogance.
    Thongwa Dönden, we supplicate at your feet.

    Tamer of deceptive ones negative friends,
    You made vast numbers of representations of the three jewels.
    Your disciples' attainment of siddhi spreads your fame in all lands.
    Chödrak Gyatso, we supplicate at your feet.

    Your intelligence in regard to the modes of knowable objects is unobstructed.
    Thus, you are free of hesitation when elucidating the intended meaning of the scriptures.
    Of interfering with this conduct, distractions had not the slightest chance.
    Mikyö Dorje, we supplicate at your feet.

    Once again, as lord of limitless compassion,
    You manifested as changeless vajra body, speech and mind
    And came to this realm as its guide.
    Wangchuk Dorje, we supplicate at your feet.

    As that same being, you reveal the array of the great nirmanakaya
    To supreme, middling and common disciples,
    Insuring that all connections you make through being seen and heard are meaningful.
    Chöying Dorje, we supplicate at your feet.

    As that same being, you manifest your kaya out of compassion
    For as many eons as there exist beings to be tamed like us,
    And bestow supreme great bliss the very instant you are recalled.
    Yeshe Dorje, we supplicate at your feet.

    You embody the nonconceptual, great bliss dharmadhatu,
    And expand the wisdom that knows the profound and luminous non-dual nature.
    Dispeller of the darkness of ignorance, sole friend of all beings,
    Changchub Dorje, we supplicate at your feet.

    With the great sun of vajra wisdom, you vanquish without remainder
    The darkness of agitated mind,
    Those forces that are the expressions of the degenerate age.
    Düdül Dorje, we supplicate at your feet.

    Endowed with inconceivable knowledge, activity and skillful means,
    And indestructible vajra-like samadhi,
    Protector of the world who personifies effortless compassion,
    Thekchok Dorje, we supplicate at your feet.

    You are the single embodiment of all the life examples, qualities and activity
    Of all infinite victorious ones combined.
    Protector of the Land of Snows, Gyalwang Karmapa,
    Blissful Khakhyab Dorje, we supplicate you.

    Unerringly seeing the nature of dharmas and dharmata just as it is,
    You expand the wisdom of omniscience
    And give glorious bliss to the minds of all beings.
    Rikpe Dorje, we supplicate at your feet.

    Teaching the methods of accomplishing the limitless qualities
    Of the stainless teachings of the supreme sages,
    Propagating completely pure exposition and practice—
    Karmapa, may we fulfill your intention.

    In this and all our future lives,
    May we always be accepted by Karmapa,
    The performer of the activity of all buddhas of the three times.
    Having been accepted, may we engage in the attractive, supreme conduct of awakening.

    Through all our births, may the supreme holy master,
    The only holder of the black crown,
    And the essence of yidams, glorious supreme bliss,
    Chakrasamvara, accept us.

    From this life onward, may we not be mistaken as to the Lord of All Families,
    But uphold the mandala of the wrathful bhagavat.
    Drinking amrita from the lotus of prajña,
    May we purify existence into the essence of enlightenment.

    The root text of this supplication was composed by venerable Mikyö, and was then supplemented during the time of each successive master.

    Translated under the guidance of The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche and Acharya Sherab Gyaltsen Negi by Tyler Dewar of the Nitartha Translation Network. The second-to-last verse is a slightly edited version of the translation of the Nalanda Translation Committee.

    © 2002 by the Nitartha Translation Network.

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    The Gyalwa Karmapa is the father and mother of all sentient beings, the parent of all sentient beings. The parent nurtures the child and brings up the maturity of the child step by step, from a very helpless and innocent newborn to a fully matured, self-standing, capable adult.

    ~ the XIIth Khenting Tai Situpa / 
    The Qualities of the Gyalwa Karmapa 

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    Here is an excerpt from the writing of the Fifteenth Gyalwa Karmapa Khakyab Dorje (1871–1922), the Head Lama of the Karma Kagyu tradition, on the meaning and benefits of Chenrezig’s mantra OM MANI PEME HUNG. Karmapa has given this commentary on a Four-Armed Chenrezig practice at the request of two of his female disciples:
    The first syllable, OM , is in white colour; it is the manifestation of Lord Chenrezig’s five wisdoms and the essence of all his qualities. It is the expression of perfect meditation. It purifies the karma of pride, the general result of pride, and in particular it purifies the suffering of change and falling of the god realms. It is also the inseparable union of the activity and body of the Buddha of the god realm (Tib. Gya jin, Skt. Muni Zakra). The self-arisen form of the wisdom of equanimity, it liberates beings from the six realms to the Glorious Pure Land of the southern direction (Tib. Lho pal tang den pa’i shing, Skt. Ratnaloka) and it enables everyone to achieve the Buddhahood of Ratnasambhava.

    The second syllable, MA , is in green colour and is the blessing of Lord Chenrezig touching all sentient beings. It is the manifestation of Chenrezig’s limitless benevolence, the essence of all his activity, and is the expression of absolute patience. It purifies the karma of jealousy, the general result of jealousy, and in particular purifies the suffering of the fighting and quarrelling of the demigod realm. It is also the inseparable union of the activity and body of the Buddha of the demi-god realm (Tib. Thag zang ri tib, Skt. Vemachitra). The self-arisen form of all-accomplishing wisdom, it liberates beings from the six realms to the Supreme Perfected Realm of the northern direction (Tib. Chang le rab dzok pa’i shing, Skt. Karmaprasiddhi), and it enables everyone to achieve the Buddhahood of Amoghasiddhi.
    The third syllable, NI , is in yellow colour and is the blessing of Lord Chenrezig effortlessly reaching out. It is the manifestation of the combined body, speech, mind, and activity of Vajra wisdom, the syllable of reversing samsara naturally into the realm of nirvana. It is the expression of perfect morality. It purifies the ignorance of clinging to duality, and the general result of ignorance; and in particular it purifies the suffering of birth, old age, illness, and death of the human realm. It is the inseparable union of the activity and body of the Buddha of the human realm, Shakyamuni Buddha. The self-arisen form of self-arising wisdom, it liberates beings from the six realms to the Pure Land of the Absolute Realm of Dharmadhatu (Tib. Og min cho kyi ying, Skt. Akanishtha Dharmadhatu) and it enables everyone to achieve the Buddhahood of the sixth Buddha, Vajradhara.
    The fourth syllable, PE , is in blue colour and is the blessing of Lord Chenrezig’s limitless equanimity. It is the manifestation of the syllable of form, and is expression of the absolute wisdom. It purifies the karma of stupidity and its general result, and in particular it purifies the suffering of the tormented bewilderment of the animal realm. It is the inseparable union of the activity and body of the Buddha of the animal realm (Tib. Sang gye rab ten, Skt. Shravasinha). The self-arising wisdom of dharmata, it liberates beings from the six realms to the central Pure Land of Densely Displayed (Tib. Tug po kodpa, Skt. Ghanavyuha). It enables everyone to achieve the Buddhahood of Vairochana.
    The fifth syllable, ME , is in red colour and is the blessing of reaching all with limitless joy. It is the manifestation of the syllable of speech, and is expression of perfect generosity. It purifies the karma of desire and greed and their general results, and in particular it purifies the suffering of the hunger and thirst of the hungry ghost realm. It is the inseparable union of the activity and body of the Buddha of the hungry ghost realm (Tib. Kha la me bar, Skt. Mukha Agni Valate).Self-arising discriminating wisdom, it liberates beings from the six realms to the pure land of Great Bliss (Tib. Dewachen, Skt. Sukhavati), the Buddha Land in the west. It enables everyone to achieve the Buddhahood of Amitabha.
    The sixth syllable, HUNG , is in black colour, and it is the blessing of Lord Chenrezig gazing with limitless compassion on all beings as if they were all his children. It is the manifestation of the syllable of mind and is in expression of the perfect mirror-like wisdom. It purifies the karma of hatred and its general result, and in particular it purifies the suffering of the hot and cold of the hell realms. It is the inseparable union of the activity and body of the Buddha of the hell realms (Tib. Cho kyi gyal po, Skt. Dharmaraja). Self-arising mirror-like wisdom, it liberates beings from the six realms to the pure land of Obvious Joy (Tib. Ngon par ga wa, Skt. Abhirati), Buddha-field in the east. It enables everyone to achieve the Buddhahood of Akshobhya.

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    from the double CD "老實念佛 II" launched on May 10, 2013


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    Once when Karmapa was 6 years old, while he was taking a walk near Gombu Gyaka Valley where he resided, he playfully inserted his whip handle into a stone. The stone broke and there appeared a lung shaped being with many small white and black sesame like bugs on its body and eating it. 

    Karmapa spat on it as a blessing, then the being died and its body was cremated.

    Karmapa said: " In the past, when I was Playful Vajra (the 4th Karmapa), a local guru who consumed the wealth of the devotees and the dead used to pray to me. Now I have liberated him from the lower realms. Otherwise he will have to fall into the hell. Those white bugs are the karmic result of him using the wealth of the living; and the black bugs are the consequence of him using the wealth from the dead."

    via Ocean of Merit FB

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    Q: What is the profound meaning of reciting “Karmapa Khyeno”?

    A: The meaning of “Karma” is action or activity, and “Karmapa” means the one who does the activity. The activity here refers to the activity to benefit beings, and that is the main concern of the Buddhas in the ten directions and of the three times. 

    As to the origin of this title, it comes from a pure vision that the first Karmapa, Dusum Khyenpa, had when he was sixteen years old. As he first took the monastic vow, he had a vision that all of the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and the 100,000 Dakinis made a black hat out of their hair, and then offered it to him to wear. He was then consecrated or enthroned as the doer, the one who does the activities of all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. It was at that time that Dusum Khyenpa received the title “Karmapa”.

    Additionally, the name “Karmapa” does not necessarily refer to one particular individual. It can also be a general name for all Dorje Lopons – the Vajra Masters, or Vajra Acharyas - who do the activities of the Buddha. Therefore, it can be regarded as the general name for all great and genuine lamas. It is acceptable to call every lama “Karmapa”.

    Buddha once said, “When the Dharma is nearing extinction, I myself will come as Vajra Masters or Vajra Acharyas, and then do the activity of the Buddha.” What is the activity of the Buddha? It is to bring out the Buddha nature in people – the side of them that is positive, white, or light. To bring that out is to do the activity of the Buddhas. So therefore, when we talk about the “Karmapa” or say “Karmapa Khyeno”, it is also generally to bring out the positive action of the Buddhas in all sentient beings.

    Finally, in “Karmapa Khyeno”, “Khyeno” means “please think of me”. With this, we remember the lama again and again, constantly keeping in mind the positive qualities of the lama and praying to him or her. Milarepa once said, “When I am in a crowd, I call for my lama from my heart.” In the same way, you can evoke the lama, holding him or her in your heart. It is not necessary to say it aloud. But if you want to say it aloud, there is also nothing wrong with that.

    (from “17th Gyalwang Karmapa's Teachings -- “Living The Dharma”. Translator: Ringu Tulku Rinpoche. Tergar Monastery, Bodh Gaya, Period: 1/12 ~ 1/14, 2009; .http://www.kagyumonlam.org/English/Lectures/20090114_HHK_Teachings_Living_The_Dharma.html)

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  • 05/23/13--00:13: 17 Karmapas

    DÜSUM KHYENPA (1110 - 1193)

    KARMA PAKSHI (1204 - 1283)

    RANGJUNG DORJE (1284 - 1339)

    ROLPE DORJE (1340 - 1383)

    DESHIN SHEKPA (1384 - 1415)
    THONGWA DÖNDEN (1416 - 1453)

    CHÖDRAK GYATSO (1454 - 1506)

    MIKYÖ DORJE (1507 - 1554)

    WANGCHUK DORJE (1556 - 1603)

    CHÖYING DORJE (1604 - 1674)

    YESHE DORJE (1676 - 1702)
    CHANGCHUB DORJE (1703 - 1732)
    DUDUL DORJE (1733 - 1797)

    THEKCHOK DORJE (1798 - 1868)

    KHAKYAB DORJE (1871 - 1922)

    RANGJUNG RIGPE DORJE (1924 - 1981)


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    28 May 2013 – Tibetan Children’s Village, Dharamsala

    The Gyalwang Karmapa graced the annual Tibetan Children’s Village (TCV) ‘Inter-House Cultural Competition’ as guest of honor on the evening of 28 May. He watched with enjoyment as the students showcased the richness of Tibetan culture through song and dance, in a friendly performance competition between the school’s four houses (Nyatri, Trisong, Songtsen and Triral). Adorned in vibrant costumes and hats from different regions of Tibet, the students offered their performances.
    The Gyalwang Karmapa warmly thanked the students for their presentation of Tibetan culture, adding that he enjoyed the show a lot.
    “During the Cultural Revolution almost 80-90% of Tibetan cultural artifacts were destroyed,” he told those gathered. “All those things that were destroyed, including precious documents, texts and objects, were things which had lots of history, and we cannot get them back. This is a very great loss, and I feel very saddened. It’s the loss of a very precious thing. Some people said to me that the Cultural Revolution was worse than losing Tibetan freedom, because with Tibetan freedom we can struggle and we have the possibility to get it back. So it’s very important to preserve our ancestral culture, because once it’s lost it’s very difficult to bring it back.”
    Highlighting the role of songs, dance, opera and traditional dress, the Gyalwang Karmapa urged each of the students to help preserve Tibetan culture. “Right now we have all the opportunities and conditions to preserve our own religion and culture, and we have to do it. For example, in our songs and dances we can clearly see our ancestors’ way of life and how their religion and devotion were a part of their life. Not only that, these songs and dances also show the traditional dress, and the Tibetan environment, and how our ancestors lived in such an environment. All these things are included in our songs and dances, so it’s very important to preserve this culture.”
    “The Tibetan situation is very fragile right now,” the Gyalwang Karmapa told the students. “Individually you have to take your own responsibility and decisions in order to preserve Tibetan culture and traditions, according to the wishes of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.”
    Special guests at the event included Members of Parliament, officials from the Central Tibetan Administration, and the heads of local TCVs. Around 1000 students also filled the hall to watch the cultural competition. As the evening drew to a close the Gyalwang Karmapa presented prizes to the winning performers, as well as khatas to the event’s organizers.
    Earlier in the day, Kyabje Tai Situ Rinpoche had also paid a visit to the Gyalwang Karmapa at his residence, where the two masters enjoyed lunch together.


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    28 May 2013 – Gyuto Monastery, Dharamsala

    When a group of students from Emory University in the United States recently visited the Gyalwang Karmapa, he spoke candidly with them about his life.
    The group of around 26 students, led by Geshe Lobsang Tenzin, travelled to Gyuto Monastery during an annual study-abroad program, and spent about an hour with the Gyalwang Karmapa.
    When asked by one student about the role of art in his life, the Gyalwang Karmapa responded,
    “There could be a number of reasons why art is important, and it’s not necessarily important to everyone for the same reason. In my case, when the environment around me seems to be quite restricting, which happens to be often, and I feel the need to vent out this feeling of restriction that I’m bound by, then I want to put my feelings of creativity or imagination on paper or canvas and nobody’s trying to restrict me from doing that. For me art is a very important way to express myself under such circumstances, to have an outlet for my creative energy.”
    When another student asked him what it was like to be the Karmapa, the spiritual leader replied with characteristic humility.
    “When I was very little, there were supposed to be a lot of special signs or indications which, according to tradition, foretold the birth of a special being. But personally I like to think of myself as a normal person, a normal human being. At least that’s what I like to think of myself. Maybe due to circumstances, a normal human being with some sort of special angle or touch to it.”
    The focus of the discussion then shifted to the environment, a topic close to the Gyalwang Karmapa’s own heart. He is renown for his environmental activities  and deep commitment to protecting the natural world.
    “What experiences inspired Your Holiness to become interested in environmental activism?” a student asked.
    The Gyalwang Karmapa recalled his nomadic childhood in a remote part of Tibet, where there was very little modern development. “I had the opportunity to be close to nature,” he said. “I had a deep experience of natural beauty, and the important role of nature in our lives. Maybe for that reason I feel a close affinity with nature and cherish the environment.”
    The Gyalwang Karmapa ended his discussion with the students by pointing out the play of interdependence in our environment.
    “We need to recognize that our environment, this very world, sustains us all. Our own life, and all of existence. Everything occurs in the context of interdependence,” he told the students.

    “Interdependence is not simply a view,” he emphasized. “Interdependence is a reality that occurs. We live surrounded by interdependence. This is where our life happens. We need to appreciate the value and preciousness of interdependence.”


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  • 06/03/13--21:48: The Cry of the Earth

  • It requires us to put down every-day concerns that preoccupy our minds and listen with our hearts to the testaments of how desperately the earth needs us. At every moment, our physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being are nurtured by the earth and yet, we are indifferent to this fact as we go about our way pursuing material success.



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    om ah hum vajra guru padma siddhi hum

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    Love, Compassion, Joy and Equanimity

    May all sentient beings have happiness and its causes, 
    May all sentient beings be free of suffering and its causes, 
    May all sentient beings never be separated from bliss without suffering, 
    May all sentient beings be in equanimity, free of bias, attachment and anger.

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    Gyalwang Karmapa’s Birthday: 26th June, 2013
    The Karmapa Office of Administration wishes to announce that there will be no official celebration of the Gyalwang Karmapa’s birthday at Gyuto Monastery this year.The Gyalwang Karmapa requests those who wish to celebrate this day to do so privately.
    In addition, because of increased demands on the Gyalwang Karmapa’s time due to on-going projects, there will be no private audiences from the end of June until the beginning of August. The twice-weekly public audiences, on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons, will be held as usual.

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    31 May 2013 – Gyuto Monastery, Dharamsala
    Over 500 Buddhists from across India recently converged on Gyuto Monastery to receive a teaching from the Gyalwang Karmapa. The Nalanda Shiksha group, representing Buddhist associations from throughout the country, met with the Gyalwang Karmapa on the eve of their annual teachings with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala.
    Speaking through a Hindi translator, the Gyalwang Karmapa told the packed room that it was very important for each individual to make their connection with the Buddha dharma on a personal level, rather than just following along with traditions and customs.
    “If you truly know why you are doing your practice,” he told the group, “then you understand how deep the relationship is between your practice and your life, and how your practice is helping you to live a good life. It’s very important that you know and understand what you are doing, and what the goal of practice is. The danger is that if religion becomes just a tradition or a custom that you follow, then you don’t see the benefits of practice on a personal level.”
    Exploring the Indian roots of Buddhism with the group, the Gyalwang Karmapa also reminded them of their good fortune that Buddhism was born in their own country.
    “These days many people from around the world come to India searching for meaning in their lives,” he said. “They come looking for more wisdom and knowledge. But Indians, the people who live here, don’t have to go anywhere because India is the source of wisdom. Since you already have all these things here, you have to consider this ancestral knowledge as a precious treasure, like a wish-fulfilling jewel. You have to know this treasure, because it is yours.”

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    June 17, 2011

    The Karmapa Lama, 3rd highest ranking Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader
    Photographs: Abhishek Madhukar/Reuters 

    'When Tibetans think of a place of refuge, they think of India'

    Claude Arpi in Dharamsala

    On Wednesday the Himachal Pradesh police filed a chargesheet naming the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Thinley Dorje, among 10 people in the case over the discovery of foreign currency worth Rs 7 crore at the Gyuto monastery. In June this year, the Karmapa Lama gave an exclusive and rare interview, to rediff.com. We reproduce it below:
    While approaching the Gyuto Ramoche monastery in Sidhbari near Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh, one is immediately struck by the pervading peace of the complex. Since 2000, the Gyuto or Upper Tantric College, has offered as temporary accommodation, a wing of its premises, to the 17th Karmapa LamaUgyen Thinley Dorje, who has been in the news in recent months.
    The 26-year old Lama lives here, surrounded by relatively tight security, with the majestic Dhauladhar range as a background.
    Till now, apart from a few statements issued by his office, the young Lama has refused to come out of his reserve and comment on the accusations levelled against him, particularly the cash donations received by his monastery but not deposited in a bank, and his relations with India.
    For the first time, he agrees to speak to Rediff.com in an exclusive interview to Claude Arpi, who also interviewed the newly elected prime minister of Tibet, Lobsang Sangay, in Dharmsala.
    Throughout the interview, one discovers a remarkable calm young man, deeply interested in Indian culture, in art and the environment of the Himalayas, who is able to see the deeper meaning of the controversies that have surrounded him since he fled from Tibet in 1999, under amazing circumstances.
    He takes time to answer each question, knowing perfectly the importance of his words. He usually prefers to speak through his interpreter, except for the last questions where he showed his proficiency in English and his sense of humour.
    Your Holiness, can you tell us about your relations with India, which is often misunderstood?
    My relationship to India is not something limited to the life of a single individual. This important relationship between the Karmapa lineage and India has a long history that goes back 900 years.
    This relationship cannot be separated from this context. The Buddhist lineage was introduced more than 1,200 years ago in Tibet. The beginning of my own [Karmapa] lineage started 900 years ago, and its traditions are firmly rooted in India. The entire history of our lineage goes back to India. The lineage transmitted by the Karmapa comes from India, and was passed through the great Indian Mahasiddha Tilopa and Mahapandita Naropa, whom we revere as our forefathers in this Dharma lineage. Without these Indian sages as predecessors, the history of the Karmapas lineage would have not come into existence. Thus the Karmapa lineage itself is rooted deeply in the very soil of India.
    Continuing with this historical background, at the end of the 1950s, when Tibet went through a critical period, Tibetans turned to India. Not only did they turn to India, but India responded warmly and since then has truly been a generous host for the Tibetan people -- not only for His Holiness the Dalai Lama but also for the many tens of thousands who took refuge [in India] and who now form the Tibetan diaspora. India has been a great host; India extended her hospitality to the displaced Tibetan people, for whom that hospitality was not a mere formality, but a matter of life or death.
    On top of this, India has provided a sanctuary for the preservation of our Buddhist religious and cultural heritage as well as our Tibetan culture in general.
    When the times were so difficult, when we were in such an utterly helpless situation, to whom did we turn? To India! And India provided the refuge we so desperately needed.
    Even someone like me, born after 1959, I have heard so much about the kindness and generosity of the Indian people after 1959. It is much talked about among Tibetans. In my generation, there is a general attitude of gratitude towards India to the extent that when Tibetans think of a place for refuge, a land of peace and freedom, where the meaning and purpose of our life can be fulfilled, we immediately think of India. This is why the Tibetan people, myself included, have eagerly turned to India for refuge. We have the feeling that just by reaching the holy land of India, we have accomplished something of great meaning in our lives.
    Your Holiness has taken the initiative to look for some religious songs in Sanskrit (they were lost in their original forms in India). Could returning to India these parts of the Indian cultural and religious heritage, be considered as your offering to your host country?
    As I mentioned, India is the source of Buddhism for the world. Buddhism originated in India, but it was unfortunately virtually destroyed in its homeland. As heirs to the Buddhist teachings from India, we feel a family connection. We think of ourselves as descendants of India. As descendants of this Buddhist inheritance, we feel responsible for preserving it. In fact, not only must we preserve it, but also whatever spread to our culture and language and is now preserved in it, I feel that we must try to offer back to India. That means we have a family obligation to bring the Dharma back home to India. We have accepted this responsibility to contribute to its revival and renaissance in India.
    In this context, I have taken some initiatives. For instance, whenever we have prayer gatherings for world peace, such as the one we hold annually in Bodh Gaya the Kagyu Monlam Chenmo -- at the beginning of the function, when the Sangha [community of monks and nuns] gather together, we chant prayers in their original Sanskrit. Reviving the use of Sanskrit in our prayer gatherings is one way to acknowledge our heritage and to recollect enduring India's kindness to us.
    We also have some wonderful sacred songs, also known as Dohas or songs of realisation with very profound words.
    Were there Sanskrit songs?
    No, they were in different ancient Indian languages. We can't single out Sanskrit; these Dohas existed in different ancient languages of India, Sanskrit is of course the best known of these languages.
    These wonderful Dohas that were once sung in India are now lost here. They are virtually unknown within Indian society. I thought it was important to revive them [by having them performed again] in their ancient form. I feel that it is our responsibility to preserve them and make them available to the Indian public. We have treasured these sacred Dohas for many centuries in Tibet. India is now the second home to us Tibetans, and this is just one small effort to try to bring back home to India what India generously offered to us Tibetans many centuries ago.

    Buddhist monks attend a candlelight vigil in support of Karmapa Lama in New Delhi on February 11, 2011
    Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

    'If there is any doubt or suspicion about me, I am ready to clarify'

    His Holiness the Dalai Lama says that he is a son of India, he says that he eats rice and dal like any Indian. Do you like Indian food?

    Oh yes, I like Indian food.
    Do you like cricket?
    Cricket is not played in every country of the world. For example, when I lived in Tibet, I never heard about this game. Frankly, even now, I do not fully understand cricket! But when you live in India, how can you not be influenced by it? Cricket is one of the most important or prevalent games in India -- some might even call it one of the 'religions' of India -- so one way or another, one gets influenced by the game. 
    Since the time you arrived in India, some Indian officials raised some doubts about you. What can be done or what can you do to dissipate the doubts?
    Recently, I have personally approached and communicated directly with some prominent Indian leaders and have also communicated indirectly through some of my representatives. [A delegation of eminent Indian disciples of Karmapa met Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and other senior leaders in Delhi].
    Your Holiness has personally met Indian leaders?
    Yes, some senior officials. I would like to say that if people in the government or people in positions of responsibility have any doubts or suspicions about me, I hope that they might ask me. Please ask me!
    You will clarify if there is any doubt.
    Yes, I am ready and willing to do whatever is needed to clarify any doubts anyone may have. In fact, I am eager to have the opportunity to answer questions, because allowing such doubts to linger is not helpful for anybody, neither for me of course, but nor for the Indian government. Therefore the best is, if there is still any doubt or suspicion, I would welcome the chance to answer them directly.
    You are ready at any time to clarify?
    Yes, I will clarify.
    Any restriction from the Government of India on your tours in India?
    According to the information made available to me, I am restricted from visiting Sikkim [where there is a court injunction] and the monastery of Sherabling [in Himachal Pradesh, the seat of Situ Rinpoche who recognised the present Karmapa]. But I can visit all other places in India, though of course I must seek permission to travel anywhere.
    Does His Holiness the Dalai Lama follow the same procedure when he informs the liaison office of the ministry of external affairs of his intended trips?
    It is not exactly the same. In the case of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, it is a matter of formality. He just has to inform of his intention he wants to go tomorrow to such and such places; in my case, it is a bit different. I have to apply through various channels, well in advance, and then wait for the clearance.
    Have the issues that made the headlines in the Indian press a couple of months ago, been sorted out, mainly the issues cash donations/offerings and benami purchase of land?
    It is better if you ask the general secretary of the trust. He knows better the details of these things.
    [General Secretary Karma Chungyalpa says that, as a measure to bring its house in order, the Karmapa Office of Administration has engaged an Indian chartered accountant. Approval under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act to accept donations in foreign currency is still under consideration by the ministry of home affairs. A delegation that met Home Minister P Chidambaram and Home Secretary G K Pillai was assured that the application was being processed. Regarding the purchase of land on which to construct a permanent home for His Holiness the Karmapa, necessary applications had been made to the relevant government departments, including the local town planning authorities of the Himachal government, well before the issue made the headlines of the Indian press. This request is still being processed.]

    The Karmapa Lama with the Dalai Lama at the Kangra airport on the outskirts of Dharamsala on May 16, 2011
    Photographs: Reuters

    'It is not justified to compare me with His Holiness the Dalai Lama'

    Do you still have contacts with your Tsurphu monastery in Tibet?

    Of course, I have no direct contact with Tsurphu monastery. But sometimes when people are able to come from there, I am able to hear some news second-hand from them.

    Do you have many Chinese disciples from mainland and Taiwan?
    Yes, they come here [to Himachal] or to Bodh Gaya [in winter].
    Apparently, the Chinese government never criticises you, is it true?
    I am not sure that it is correct. Criticism need not to be always public [in the press]. For example, I heard that some time back it was forbidden to display my picture in monasteries in Tibet.
    In Tsurphu?
    No, in other monasteries, not in Tsurphu.
    My point is that criticism is sometimes not made public. Just because the Chinese government does not single someone out for public criticism, can this justify accusing this person of being a Chinese spy? I think that it is ridiculous.
    It is equally ridiculous to equate anybody with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He is the unquestionable temporal and religious leader of the Tibetan people. He is the symbol of the Tibetan cause; he is its supreme torchbearer. It is not justified to compare me with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Obviously, the Dalai Lama is specifically targeted for criticism by the Chinese government because he has this prominent leadership role and he leads the cause so very well.
    It would be very naive to believe that there is something suspect about me, simply because the Chinese government does not criticise me. They are more clever than that. If they calculate that it is in their interest to criticise somebody publicly, they will criticise them. If it better serves their interests not to criticise them openly, they will not do so openly.
    Furthermore, we have different traditions in Tibetan Buddhism and there are leaders for each of these different traditions. The leaders of these traditions are not criticised by the Chinese government either. Why? Because they have no political role, just like me. Why should it be normal that other religious leaders are not criticised, while not criticising me is wrong?
    You said the Dalai Lama is the Light of Tibet. He has now announced his political retirement, will he remain the Light of Tibet?
    Yes, His Holiness the Dalai Lama has made clear that he is devolving all his political and administrative responsibilities, but this does not diminish the spiritual authority of the Dalai Lama. It does not and cannot diminish the deep faith and respect that the Tibetan people place in him. This will not change. His authority in that sense will remain unquestionable.

    'Meeting with Thaye Dorje is not an issue, but what is the purpose?'

    There was another Karmapa 'candidate', Thaye Dorje (sponsored by Shamar Rinpoche, one of the regents of the 16th Karmapa). In the past, this issue has created some bitterness. Would you be ready to meet Thaye Dorje and sort out this issue, which is used by your enemies?

    To make it very simple, meeting him is not a problem. Of course we can meet. I have even met with Shamar Rinpoche, so a meeting with Thaye Dorje is not an issue. But what would be the purpose and the result? It is unclear whether it would have a positive outcome. The result of such meeting might be positive or might not.
    Further, Thaye Dorje is only the person in front. One needs to ask, who is behind him? For this reason, just meeting him personally is not the answer; in fact it could create more rumours or confusion, with no substantial result at the end. It is not that easy. Thaye Dorjee would have other people advising him as to whether we should meet. I too would take others' views into consideration as to the wisdom of such a meeting.
    In the end, it is not simply meeting that matters. What matters is what would be the immediate and longer term benefits of such meeting. That it is the big question.
    Someone in your monastery of Rumtek in Sikkim told me that the dispute with Shamar Rinpoche (and Thagye Dorjee) is a 'karmic' issue; a time factor is involved and therefore it may take some time to be solved. Would you like to comment?
    You can try to reason it through in such way, but this issue is difficult to reason through. In fact, it is inconceivable for this to have happened. For those who know the history of the Shamar Rinpoche reincarnation lineage and the long history of the Karmapa reincarnation lineage, it seems simply impossible that a situation like this could occur. It is utterly unprecedented in the Karma Kagyu lineage. There was nothing indicating that something like this could happen. As far as the sanctity and integrity of the Karmapa lineage is concerned, it is impossible. Yet it has happened.
    From this point of view, one could say that it is a karmic situation. In all fairness, it can't be blamed on one side or one situation exclusively. This could be opened for discussion, but I do not think all the fault lies entirely on one side. By this, I mean that if all people involved had proceeded with integrity, in accordance with the truth of karma, if they had remained harmonious in their vision, this would not have happened. But it has not been so, and thus this has happened.
    As far as solving the issue, it cannot be solved as a technical problem by employing some [outer] techniques. The solution must come from "taming of the mind" or proper training of the mind. If one has the ability, one should recall the integrity of our predecessors, the highest standard of their spiritual ethics, and the spiritual vision that they have set for us. To recall this and bring it back into ourselves [His Holiness shows the gesture to bring down the wisdom of the lineage] is the solution. We have to reinstate this integrity [of the lineage] in our minds.
    It is a spiritual practice?
    Yes. It cannot be solved technically. Ultimately, only spiritual transformation will work.

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    Melody Composed and Chanted by HH the 17th Karmapa

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  • 06/10/13--07:22: Statues by the 10th Karmapa
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    The most important practice in Tibetan Buddhism is Guru Yoga, meditation and mantra on the spiritual head and teacher of the tradition, which is seen as living Buddha, embodiment of three kayas and 10 bhumi (extraordinary powers). In Kagyu tradition the head Lama is Gyalwa Karmapa and his mantra is Karmapa Chenno. It is believed sounds of this mantra are directly connected with the enlightened mind of HH Karmapa and carry its enlightened qualities and brings help when it is most necessary for the benefit of student.
    Here I would like to share with you a story about the origins of Karmapa Chenno mantra. The Karmapa mantra has originated at the times of 8thKarmapa Mikyo Dorje (1507-1554) in context of teaching about "Calling the Lama from afar."
    “Karmapa Chenno” can be roughly translated as "Embodiment of the compassion of all Buddhas, turn attention to me." In Central Tibet, Sikkim and Bhutan, it is pronounced Karmapa Kyen-no or Karmapa khen-no. In East Tibet, it is pronounced "Karmapa chenno."In western countries the most widespread pronunciation is Karmapa Chenno and it is considered correct.
    One day, in 16th century, the head of a nomadic household in desolate, windswept northern Tibet passed away. In such a sparsely inhabited region it was rare to find monasteries and lamas to perform Buddhist funeral rites, so the family wondered what to do. Then they noticed a ragged individual travelling on foot who appeared as if he could be either an itinerant yogi or a beggar, so they went to inquire. The mendicant turned out to be, in fact, a lama. The grieving family requested his ministrations for the deceased, and he complied.
    When he reached the man's deathbed and began his incantations, the family respectfully requested the lama to perform phowa (consciousness transference to higher realms). The lama, however, said: "I am just a poor, uneducated practitioner of the Buddha's teachings; I have not mastered that esoteric practice. But I do have one positive quality, infinite faith in the living Buddha, named Lama Karmapa; he is like the great gate to Dewachen (a transcendent Pure Land from which evolution on the path of enlightenment is said to be more easily assured). His name is the magic password to that fabulous spiritual domain."
    Then he began reciting again and again the powerful name-mantra, "Karmapa Khyenno!" "Karmapa Khyenno, Karmapa Khyenno," he intoned loudly, again and again.
    After each and every rosary of one hundred and eight fervent recitations, he would then hit the corpse with his mala, or prayer beads, commanding that, in the name of the Buddha Karmapa, the spirit of the deceased be reborn in Dewachen.
    After some time, everyone noticed that the signs of successful consciousness transference began to appear. Hair fell from the top of the corpse's head; there was a pleasant fragrance in the air, and a large bump appeared at the crown aperture where the subtle consciousness of the deceased departed for the other world.
    Everyone present rejoiced, and gratefully thanked the mendicant lama. All began to faithfully practice the mantra of the Karmapa, praying to realize the great freedom and bliss of Dewachen in this very lifetime.
    The travelling lama soon continued on his journey. One day he heard that the omniscient Karmapa was visiting south Tibet, so he determined to go and meet him and pay his respects.
    Upon finally reaching his destination, the first thing the clairvoyant Karmapa said to him was: "That was a difficult phowa we performed up there in the north, wasn't it?" The Karmapa laughed, hitting the other lama with his mala.
    Then the mendicant knew with unshakable certainty that the Karmapa is an omniscient living Buddha, who always keeps his disciples, wherever they are, in his heart and mind.
    Since those days Karmapa Chenno is the most important mantra to invoke the enlightened qualities and powers of Karmapa in Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. With the name of Karmapa is understood not just some particular individual, but the enlightened qualities of all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Karmapa is the one who embodies all three jewels of refuge, Buddha, Dharma and Sangha for his students.
    This is the story on origin of Karmapa mantra I have heard.

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