Today the delegates to the sixth Khoryug conference continued their discussions at Norbulingka Institute. Nestled back from the road between Dharamsala and Gyuto Monastery, the Institute offers an oasis of natural stone paths that wind over little streams and under leafy canopies of trees flush from monsoon rains. On the way to the radiant shrine hall where the Khoryug conference was held, participants pass a huge poinsettia tree cascading its starry red blossoms down to a pond while just beyond it, a mani wheel turns in the heart of a rivulet flowing down the hill. The site has provided a perfect setting for a conference on the environment.
This morning, the Gyalwang Karmapa came to speak especially with the new participants and explain the purpose of Khoryug and what it supports. By way of introduction he gave two reasons why he started Khoryug in 2009. On a personal level, he was born in an area of Eastern Tibet known as Lhatok where he lived a simple nomadic life, passing his young years in such close contact with the natural world that it became a part of him. So when he speaks of the environment, it’s not just based on a sequence of logic or some understanding, but a very special, deep feeling. Showing this naturally, the Karmapa often touched the area of his heart as he spoke.
Many of the delegates come from remote, mountainous areas, and he encouraged them as well to look to their youth and recall their relationship to the environment as an inspiration for their work. “No matter what work you are doing,” the Karmapa commented, “it is important to make a deeper connection with it through your own personal feelings. Then you will be naturally interested and enthusiastic about it.”
These days, the environment has become an issue that interests everyone, he noted, and in particular, the ecosystems of Tibet and the Himalayan region have become critically important. One can approach the issue of Tibet from many different angles, he observed, culture, politics, or the environment, for example. And the question is not merely one of politics, he explained, but of the well-being and benefit for people within and beyond Tibet. While the issue of Tibet relates to a variety of situations, the environment is of particular importance, he remarked, because many of Asia’s great rivers find their source in the snow mountains and glaciers of Tibet. So Tibetan environmental issues relate directly to the numerous human beings and animals living in Asia since their lives depend upon the water flowing out from the country.
Therefore, experts from all over the world and politicians, too, state that protecting Tibet’s environment does not just involve Tibet, but the huge number of people living in Asia. “If one is discussing politics, then you could say that it just concerns one country. However the environment of Tibet is the concern of many countries in Asia because their very survival depends on it and, therefore, they have the right to talk about it.”
Returning to the theme of personal involvement, the Karmapa commented that in discussing the environment, there is sometimes a tendency to speak in high-flown, impressive language, but actually what we need are conversations connected to how we are actually living our lives and what we feel strongly about. He explained, “We should have a great interest in this very life and develop a feeling for it. It is not vast and deep discussions of emptiness or interdependent arising that are needed here, but paying attention to the life present all around us.”
After discussing how the various groups could stay in touch with each other and share their experiences, the Karmapa turned to the topic of the earthquake in Nepal. He mentioned how well the monks from the Kagyu monasteries had responded to the needs of the Nepali people, enduring great difficulties to help. During this time, he was in America and gave considerable thought to disaster management. He concluded that it would be good to set up rescue teams of twelve people in each monastery. They would receive professional training and, if another calamity struck, they could help immediately both inside and outside the monastery. If we all do our part, he noted, we have tremendous power as people working together.
In closing, the Karmapa spoke of Buddhist principles that are especially useful today, and in particular, learning to reduce our myriad desires. The teachings say that the Sangha should “have few desires and be content.” Being content implies that we have the ability to distinguish between what we desire and what we need. Often we think we need what we really do not. If we cannot tell the difference between desire and need, what we desire becomes what we think we need, and we will have a hard time being content.
In closing the Karmapa concluded that we should to work for the environment based on the Dharma and in harmony with the conduct of a bodhisattva, all the while paying attention to our motivation at the beginning of whatever we do.
Dharamsala, Nov. 15 (ANI): Tibetan spiritual leader, the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorjee, said today that an environmental award would be given to monasteries or nunneries that are carrying out environmental protection projects.
He said that the monasteries, which are showing a lot of innovative work or that have done a lot of consistent environmental projects, would win the prize. He said that it is a way of recognizing all the hard work that monasteries put into environment protection.
"We should do it in two ways, one award for nunneries and another for monks in monasteries but we have to see that whether it should be separate for India, Nepal and Bhutan, it can be decided later. It is a way of incentivising and recognizing all the hard work those monastries or nunneries put into environment protection," he added.
The 17th Karmapa addressed a conference on environmental protection at Norbu Lingka institute near north Indian hill town Dharamshala here.
"It would be some kind of incentivising the activities and the initiatives so he has not clearly pointed out when will it be awarded, but he has some plans for it and we are looking forward to that," said Lhakpa Tsering, the organizer of the conference.
"Today what he spoke about was more to do with the guidelines that we could work on for the coming five years regarding all the environment activities. People are very enthusiastic and they all are more enthusiastic now because his holiness came and gave wonderful guidelines that we could work on. At the moment, we have 43 participants from 29 monasteries and nunneries and three other organizations from India, Nepal and Bhutan," he added.
Deki Chungyalpa, th environmental adviser to Karmapa, said he is here today because we have a closing ceremony right now for the 6th Koryug conference, Koryug means environment in Tibetan.
"It is an association that he created which consists of 55 monasteries that are doing environmental projects all across the Himalayas and we just had the conference that was quite different from previous conference because this focused on what the next five year plan should look like for Koryug as an organization. He focused very much on interdependence and why we as Himalayan people but of course he mainly speaking to monastic should care about the environment and he also talked a lot about having to integrate with community. He mentions several times that we cannot wait for other people to fix the problem. We must move into the community and come up with the solutions ourselves. He focused a lot on how coordination within Nepal, India and Bhutan could be stronger on environmental projects and in that discussion he also spoke a lot about social media and the role of social media," he added.
Kun Kyong, a Tibetan charitable trust, organized the sixth Khoryug (environmental) conference for Tibetan Buddhist monasteries and nunneries in the Himalayas.
The annual conference was first started in 2009 with the guidelines of Tibetan spiritual leader the 17th Karmapa for environmental protection. (ANI)
DHARAMSHALA, November 16: The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorjee has asked his monastic community to work with full dedication and become a leader in their respective community on environmental issues.
“In order to save the Himalaya and Tibet from the threats of deforestation, climate change, and pollution, we have to be full of courage and believe whole heartedly that his endeavor is winnable. The alternative is unthinkable,” the young Buddhist leader and head of the Karma Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism said.
“No matter what work you are doing, it is important to make a deeper connection with it through your own personal feelings. Then you will be naturally interested and enthusiastic about it,” the Karmapa said.
The Karmapa, who has been an ardent crusader for environment issues, presided over a three day conference on environment at Gyutoe monastery at Sidhbari near here on Friday. The Karmapa has been instrumental in the formation of Khoryug - an association bringing together 55 monasteries and nunneries of Karma Kagyu lineage across the Himalayas in 2009.
The association presented its action plan for the conservation and protection of environment to the Karmapa who expressed deep concerns about the effects of climate change, especially in the Himalayas and the Tibetan plateau.
Along with Environmental Guidelines for the Karma Kagyu Community, the association has also produced a popular and practical booklet called 108 Things You Can Do to Protect the Earth, which was designed during a Khoryug conference by participants from 42 monasteries and centres.
6th Khoryug Conference Day One Report 13 November 2015
Forty-five delegates gathered in the beautiful Norbulingka Institute today for the sixth Khoryug Conference. After a greeting from Gyaltsen Sonam of the Kun Kyong Charitable Trust, the conference facilitator Dekila Chungyalpa introduced the goals of the conference and agenda for the day. She explained that this conference is distinct from other conferences because rather than provide environmental and organizing training, these three days are dedicated to assessing lessons learned in the past five years and how Khoryug can improve organizationally in the next five years. The agenda today focused on examining what has and has not worked over the last five years. Dekila gave a presentation on the progress of Khoryug as a whole, explaining how His Holiness’ commitment to the environment led to the development of environmental guidelines and later the first Khoryug conference, which evolved into the creation of Khoryug as a formal association of monasteries and nunneries. She further illustrated what an important role these institutions can play in managing the state of the environment in the Himalayas and Tibetan plateau, an area that provides the water for a quarter of the world’s population.
After Dekila’s presentation, representatives from five different regions presented on the successes in their region over the last five years. The representatives spoke about the work they have done to plant trees, revitalize habitats, farm organically, better manage waste and water and conserve electricity while seeking greener options. Representatives further discussed the obstacles they face in implementation and the difficulties they are working to overcome. Delegates heard about the environmental efforts by Nalanda Monastery in South India, led by Karma Tulku Rinpoche, which have resulted in the revitalization of a nearby lake and wetland. Monks planted many indigenoustrees and plants in the area when they realized how the habitat around the lake had been devastated. After pursuing this project for several years, they have seen wildlife return and have noticed decreased flooding in the wetland due to reintroduced vegetation. Similarly, monasteries in Nepal have found success in their organic farming initiatives, in which they have striven to both grow organic produce as well as offer education in their surrounding communities about organic practices. Many monasteries reported that their organic production was sufficient to provide a significant portion of monastics’ diets. The produce not only improves the nutrition of these monks and nuns, but also offers a valuable opportunity to spread awareness about health and environmental issues. In the afternoon, monks and nuns met in regional groups to discuss what successes they had achieved in the last five years and what challenges they faced, both environmental and organizational. For many monasteries and nunneries, this was a valuable opportunity to hear about the experience of other institutions who operate in similar conditions and to share advice and strategies. The day concluded with a conference-wide debriefing session in which representatives from each region shared the outcome of their discussion, which revealed many overlapping experiences as well as distinct focuses based on regional conditions.
6th Khoryug Conference Day Two Report 14 November, 2015
Delegates met together today to delve into the details of Khoryug monasteries and nunneries’ work within and between India, Nepal and Bhutan. In the morning, the attendees heard reports from the Northeast and Northwest regions of India on the successes of their monastery or nunnery and the challenges they have faced. They then heard from Damaris Miller, a recent graduate of Princeton University, who gathered information about Khoryug in Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim during the summer of 2014. She presented highlights from her findings, as well as those from the research of two Yale graduate students that was conducted in the spring of 2015. Together, these findings echoed much of the discussion that monastics were having already, noting the crucial influence from His Holiness the Karmapa in initiating environmental work. The presentation used both quantitative and qualitative findings to illustrate how much monasteries and nunneries have accomplished as well as specific areas that have proved challenging.
In the latter part of the morning, the delegation was honored with a visit from His Holiness the Karmapa. His Holiness spoke to the representatives extensively and gave input as to how the organization should move forward. Tapping his hand to his heart repeatedly, he emphasized the importance of having a personal and emotional connection to the environment; without truly feeling the central role the environment plays in all of our lives we cannot make a lasting and genuine commitment. He pointed out that although our desires are limitless, our resources are extremely finite. Ultimately the necessary work that Khoryug strives to achieve cannot be carried out by only a few people but requires the effort and cooperation of every monastery and nunnery. His Holiness further spoke about specific initiatives like creating natural disaster rescue teams within monasteries and nunneries that have received proper training and can be deployed at any time. He also recommended using internet resources like messaging apps as a way to maintain contact between different monasteries and nunneries spread out within and among three countries.
In the afternoon, delegates met in their regional groups to discuss in detail four different themes that will structure the future of Khoryug – Implementation, Communication, Coordination, and Organization. In the case of implementation, monastics discussed how Khoryug monasteries and nunneries could be most effective in their environmental projects such as waste management, tree plantation and solar electricity. With regards to communication they discussed how to better facilitate communication between monasteries and nunneries within each country as well as between countries, including the use of internet platforms such as Internet, Facebook, and Khoryug’s website. Similarly, representatives discussed how to best coordinate across distance and borders. Finally, delegates considered what the role of Khoryug should be as an organization to facilitate these efforts. The day concluded with a debriefing from each group and the presentation of numerous excellent ideas for how the work of Khoryug can be strengthened and extended into the years ahead. http://khoryug.info/day-two-6th-khoryug-conference/
Monastic representatives participated today in a jam-packed series of discussions and presentations to develop an organizational plan for the the next five years of Khoryug. The productive day began with a presentation from conference facilitator Dekila Chungyalpa who grounded the day in a discussion of Khoryug’s vision. Delegates agreed that the vision to “practically apply the Buddhist values of compassion and interdependence towards the Earth and all living beings that dwell here” remains powerful and encompassing. Representatives further discussed including a space for Khoryug to partner with other organizations and communities.
Dekila then presented a synthesis of recommended actions that had been distilled from the previous day’s discussion under the headings of short term and long term action in Implementation, Communication, Coordination, and Organization. After incorporating feedback from representatives to ensure the list comprised every suggestion, delegates voted to rank their top three recommendation in each category.
While the vote was tallied, the conference received a presentation on Kun Kyong Charitable Trust, which now facilitates all of His Holiness the Karmapa’s charitable endeavors, including Khoryug. The presentation covered both the structure and value of Kun Kyong as well as addressing how the trust will shape further Khoryug fundraising efforts.
Delegates spent the latter part of the morning finalizing an organization structure to be presented to His Holiness. One of the biggest recommended changes was the establishment of a tier of coordination committees. In this new structure, the conference recommended establishing a Khoryug Central Committee with representatives from each country. This group will oversee the individual country coordination committees for India, Nepal and Bhutan, who will in turn oversee the communication and coordination of the monasteries and nunneries in each country. Developing this plan marked a significant step for Khoryug as it seeks to organize with more efficiency, effectiveness and accountability.
The plan also included measures to increase environmental education, optimize communications and maximize capacity building through training and clearly defined roles and responsibilities.
After lunch, representatives from each regional group presented the final draft of the organizational and action plan to His Holiness. Upon hearing the presentation, His Holiness expressed his support for the new organizational structure. He emphasized the valuable role monasteries and nunneries can play as catalysts and educators in their communities, and for this reason the next Khoryug conference will focus on natural disaster response. His Holiness also set an annual time for the conference to be held and announced that he will award a prize for environmental excellence to both a monastery and nunnery that includes a financial reward to further support Khoryug efforts.
With the organizational plan fully approved and adopted, delegates spent the final moments of the conference celebrating their achievement, expressing gratitude for everyone’s participation, speaking to their commitment to Khoryug and environmental action. In the waning sunset of the evening, everyone gathered outside the temple to share final farewells, snap last-minute group photos and share together one more satisfied meal.
Today we are happy to bring you the second episode in the new Podcast series containing selected talks and teachings by His Holiness the 17th Karmapa.
This special teaching comes from Karmapa’s most recent trip to the USA and has Tibetan with an English translation.
The talk was organized by a vibrant local Dharma center (that had to hire a hall to accommodate all the members present!) where the lama requested that Karmapa teach on any topic that he liked. His Holiness determined that loving kindness and compassion would be a good topic and begun a beautiful impromptu talk about how to apply the Dharma to daily life and overcome negative emotions or kleshas.
Karmapa addresses the inaugural function, Toenglen hostel, Sarah village, Nov. 19, 2015 Phayul Photo: Kunsang Gashon
DHARAMSHALA, November 19: The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorjee today appreciated eleven years of Tong-Len Charitable Trust’s work in educating and empowering slum children in the state of Himachal Pradesh.
The head of the Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism was speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the new hostel block to mark its 11th Annual Thanksgiving Day.
Highlighting the success of the organization in enabling slum children to reach universities for further education, Karmapa said, “It is clear evidence and indication that if given the opportunity everyone has the capacity to do well.”
The Karmapa said it is the responsibility of the parents to learn from the achievements and send their children to school. “The children are equally responsible to use this opportunity well and take inspiration from these achievements. With this I hope the parents continue giving support and students to keep their determination.”
Parents in attendance at the function to inaugurate new hostel block/Nov. 19, 2015 Phayul Photo/Kunsang Gashon
Thanking the founder, sponsors and the staff of the organization, the young Buddhist leader said that their hard work make every Tibetan proud through actual practice of compassion, love, kindness and altruism.
Tong-Len is an organization that helps displaced communities living in the slum areas around Dharamshala and other areas in the state. Lobsang Jamyang, Founder and Director, who is fondly known as ‘Guruji’ by children, said that the new hostel, funded by Fontana Foundation, will be able to house 140 children.
He said, “We provide all kinds of facilities required for a holistic development of a child, including academic, social, physical, spiritual and emotional aspects.”
Tong-len also runs child education and nutrition program in Charan slum in Dharamshala through their primary and nursery tuition tent schools. There are 150 students currently under this program, Jamyang said.
Jamyang also conveyed his gratitude to The Dalai Lama Trust, which sponsors half of the expenses incurred by the organization in their three major programs – Hostel, Tent school and health.
Rinku who is currently studying Mechanical Engineering at Lovely Professional University in Punjab is a product of Tong-Len’s program which Jamyang hoped will bring about more children like Rinku.
Karan, who graduated from Dayanand Model High School, thanked the ‘Tong-Len family’ for all the support in educating him. He said, “At the beginning, I faced some problems of not getting admission in schools because of my background. I used to do rack picking along with my parents. Now, more schools including those schools that rejected me are calling the likes of me to join their school.”
The organization also gave awards to Acha Tsering Dolkar, ‘The Tibetan Mother Teresa’, for her tireless social work in Chandigarh and Mario Fontana, the Founder of Fontana Foundation for his contribution towards charity.
Norbulingka Institute, Dharamshala, India November 15, 2015
With the goal of setting a positive example themselves, monks and nuns have been discussing for three days the environmental projects they want to pursue during the next five years. They voted on which issues were most important to them and the results were tallied. On this last day, final reports were presented to the Gyalwang Karmapa in four broad areas: implementation, communication, coordination, and organizational structure. In his talk to the gathering, he addressed each one.
First the Karmapa thanked in depth the monks and nuns who have been working for Khoryug and developing projects that have benefitted their monasteries, nunneries, and surrounding communities. He then turned to the main issues of the conference. First he asked, when we speak of protecting the environment what does implementation mean? It indicates, he answered, that we work not just for one or two days, but month after month, year after year, sustaining a flow of continuous activity. “Protecting the environment,” he explained, “does not mean merely planting some trees or painting a few signs on garbage cans. Our projects must have a real benefit and make a positive impact. They must have an effective cause and a clear result that everyone can see.” Just thinking “Well, I’ve done something” is not enough, he stated.
On a key topic of waste management, the Karmapa encouraged working with the local people. For example, here in the Dharamshala area, he suggested, we can connect with the local community and municipal authorities, as well as local Tibetan organizations, and monasteries in other places could do the same. In general, he said, when we think about protecting the environment, there is a great deal of work to do so we have to reflect carefully about what we will take on. To assist such communication, the Karmapa suggested improving the Facebook page for Khoryug where the teams in the monasteries and nunneries can post reports and share their activities.
To facilitate the conference planning, the Karmapa set a fixed time for the yearly conferences, which will take place in different venues and last for four days. The topic for next year’s meeting will be natural disaster management, as it was in 2012, since the importance of focusing on training around this issue was made clear during the recent earthquake in Nepal when people suffered so greatly. For such times of natural disasters, he advised establishing in the monasteries and nunneries an emergency response team that could also reach out to local communities. He said that Khoryug would develop a training program specifically for these teams.
The Karmapa took a two-pronged approach to promoting environmental awareness and understanding within the Sangha. First he will use the occasion of the yearly Kagyu Monlam, when many monasteries and nunneries along with their leaders gather in Bodhgaya, to emphasize the importance of protecting the environment and to encourage all the monks and nuns to support the activities of Khoryug.
Secondly he will establish special awards for environmental excellence. They will be given to the nunnery and the monastery that were most creative and consistent in their efforts to promote the protection of the environment. The prize will also come with a financial reward to be spent on Khoryug projects.
In conclusion, His Holiness thanked all the monasteries and organizations, which for years have been working and taking on hardships. As a token of his appreciation, he gave each participant an elegant certificate of attendance and then, followed by all the participants, he climbed up to the roof of the shrine hall, whence one could clearly see the Himalayan range in all its majesty as the late day sun set it alive with burnished gold. Inspiration enough to continue this work of protecting the environment and all who dwell within.
DHARAMSALA: The rate of warming at the Tibetan plateau — the third largest concentration of ice after the south and north poles — is two times greater than the global average, observed a top Buddhist monk who is also an environmentalist. The river systems that flow from the Tibetan plateau go to countries like India, Pakistan, Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam.
Tibetan religious head and 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje told IANS in an interview: "Given that the rate of warming in the Tibetan plateau is at least two times greater than the global average, we know flooding and droughts are bound to worsen."
The 29-year-old Buddhist monk, the third most important Tibetan religious head who spent initial years of life in eastern Tibet, is upbeat about the United Nations Climate Change Conference.
"We are all looking forward to the Paris conference on climate change, which will begin at the end of this month to see if the world leaders will be willing to limit rising greenhouse gas emissions," he said.
Climate researchers of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) say the Tibetan plateau is highly vulnerable to climate change. They have warned that over two-thirds of the glaciers could disappear by 2050.
The plateau has seen an increase in temperature of approximately 0.3-degree celsius every 10 years, says a researcher. In the past 50 years, the temperature has increased by 1.3-degrees celsius, three times the global average, he said.
The Karmapa, who now resides in a monastery on the outskirts of this town, was born into a Tibetan nomad family. He loves to paint and pursues calligraphy and poetry.
The Tibetan plateau in southwestern China with 46,000 glaciers makes it home to the third largest concentration of ice after the south and north poles.
Known as the water tower of Asia, it directly sustains over 150 million people and affects the lives of several billion downstream dwellers.
The Karmapa believes the effects of climate change on the Tibetan plateau will not occur in isolation.
"When we think about climate change impacts in mainland Asia, we should think deeply on the role of water in the region," the Buddhist monk said.
Praying that a global agreement emerges when senior officials from almost 200 nations meet from November 30 to December 11 in Paris for climate talks, he said: "If there is one thing we now know about climate change it's that its impacts do not discriminate on the basis of a nation's wealth or power."
The Karmapa, who fled Tibet and sought refuge in India in January 2000, is the spiritual head of the Karma Kagyu school, one of the four sects of Buddhism.
He's considered the third most important Tibetan religious head after the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama.
Tong-len Charitable Trust, Sarah, Dharamsala, India
November 19, 2015
On this brilliant and crisp autumn day, the Gyalwang Karmapa was invited to be the chief guest at the 11th Thanksgiving Day of Tong-len Charitable Trust and also to inaugurate its new building. Situated on the forested ridge of a valley below Dharamsala, the Trust’s major project is to provide health care and education to the children of the nearby Charan slum camp. Tong-len (tong meaning “to give to others” and len, the empathy that wishes to alleviate their suffering) was started in 2004 by Lobsang Jamyang, a Tibetan monk who felt a special sympathy for the young children of the camp, who affectionately call him Guruji. He started out helping 10 children and now their number has grown to 250.
When the Karmapa arrived at Tong-len, he was greeted with the traditional white scarves and escorted to the new building that houses dormitories, a leadership training space, and an interfaith room. Inaugurating it, he cut the decoration across the front door and offered golden flowers. Stepping around the four-petaled flower in bright colors on the lobby floor, he walked up the stairs to the interfaith room, which he specially blessed. On the room’s central wall is a spacious bodhi tree with heart-shaped leaves holding the symbols of the world’s major religions. Another wall is decorated with a statement created by the children together: “The objective of interfaith dialogue is to bring religions together to work in harmony, to live in peace and tolerance respecting each other’s views and beliefs, and to show compassion to all.”
Next to the new building, in front of a big tent for the local audience and visitors from abroad, a stage had been prepared with large swaths of radiantly colored cloths which gently billowed in the morning breeze. To the lower left of the stage stood a shrine with images of HH the Dalai Lama and Sarasvati, the goddess of learning and culture for both Hindus and Buddhists. The Karmapa, along with two other guests, lit an offering lamp to begin the ceremony. After a speech by the founding monk and director, Lobsang Jamyang, the Karmapa was invited onto the stage to give a talk.
He began by noting that after eleven years of study, some of the students have been able to enroll at universities, which delights and inspires everyone. The Karmapa expressed his thanks to “the parents who gave their children a chance to learn by sending them to school. Education brings them a real benefit they can use their whole lives. I would also like to thank the students,” he said, “who took advantage of this opportunity and achieved the good results we can see here today.” He encouraged them to keep up their efforts and not lose heart.
Through their experience with Tong-len, the Karmapa remarked, both parents and children can develop the sense that they are similar to others. He observed, “The children can study and not only that, they are also motivated to become good people with strong inner values and the wish to help others. The desire is to help not just one person but many, especially those who come from a similar underprivileged background.” The Karmapa emphasized, “Developing compassion and loving-kindness is the main goal of the Tong-len Charitable Trust, and actually the goal of us all.” He thanked everyone who supported Tong-len—the parents, sponsors, teachers, and staff—and encouraged them all to continue their important work.
The Karmapa then praised the founder Lobsang Jamyang for his dedication. “In the beginning he went through great hardships when the only support he had was his altruistic motivation and strong sense of purpose.” The Karmapa paid tribute to him as “an inspiring Tibetan, who is practicing Buddhism, and in particular, the path of a true bodhisattva. He is a fine role model for us all.”
In closing the Karmapa remarked, “The Tibetans have been fortunate in enjoying the kindness of India for over fifty years. It is important that one of us Tibetans is returning that kindness and showing our gratitude to the Indian people, and especially the displaced communities, by supporting and serving them.” The Karmapa expressed the wish that in the future more Tibetans would come forth to start projects like Tong-len to benefit their host country and its people. With this encouragement to follow the path of a bodhisattva, the Karmapa ended his talk to the Tong-len community.
Afterward, on behalf of organization, he presented the Tong-len Awards to three people: Tsering Dolkar, who helps all the Tibetans who come to Chandigrah for medical attention; the leader of the Jagori Charitable Trust working to help women and build an equitable society; and to Mario Fontano whose foundation funded the new building.
The Chief Minister of Sikkim, Shri Pawan Chamling calling on the Union Home Minister, Shri Rajnath Singh, in New Delhi on November 17, 2015. (Photo: Voice of Sikkim)
The Joint Action Committee (JAC) has thanked Chief Minister Pawan Chamling for taking up the matter with the Centre on allowing 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje to visit Sikkim.
During his meetings with Union Home minister Rajnath Singh and MoS Home Affairs Kiren Rijuju at New Delhi on November 17, the Chief Minister had reiterated the demand to the Centre for permitting the 17th Karmapa to visit Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre, Sikkim.
“We are happy that the Chief Minister has once again taken up the Karmapa demand with the Central government. The Chief Minister has also submitted a memorandum stating that there will be no law and order problem if Karmapa is allowed to visit Sikkim. This is a good step by the Sikkim government,” said JAC spokesperson Thukchuk Lachungpa.
The JAC spokesperson expressed the committee’s hopes that the 17th Karmapa will soon take his seat at the Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre. The committee members will meet the Chief Minister after his return to Sikkim and discuss the further course of action on the matter, he said.
“We will also submit a memorandum to the Prime Minister during his visit to Sikkim in January after consulting with the Chief Minister,” said Lachungpa.
The Chief Minister of Sikkim, Shri Pawan Chamling meeting the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, in New Delhi on November 19, 2015. (Photo from Voice of Sikkim)
Gangtok, Nov 20: Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling has sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention to allow the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, to take his seat at Rumtek monastery, the headquarters of Kagupa sect of Tibetan Buddhism in exile. Mr Chamling had called the Prime Minister in New Delhi yesterday and submitted a memorandum of demands, that included Mr Modi’s initiative to make way for the Kaugpa sect head to take his seat at Rumtek. Mr Chamling told the Prime Minister that a permission to be granted by the Union government to “His Holiness 17th Gyalwa Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje to have his seat at the Rumtek Monastery where our Sikkimese people have been fondly waiting to have His darshans and blessings.” The Chief Minister also sought a one-time grant of economic package for comprehensive development of Sikkim in the next five years. Mr Chamling said the PM gave a patient hearing to all the issues for the one-time grant, which was necessitated by the fiscal difficulties due to the ‘unkindest cut’ inflicted upon the state by the successive finance commission in their awards consecutively rendering the state in a very difficult situation. The memorandum also contained important socio-political matters requiring the personal intervention of the Prime Minister as these had lingered on requiring resolution at the highest level. The CM also demanded grating of seats in Sikkim Legislative Assembly to Limboo and Tamang communities as Scheduled Tribes having being categorised at STs in 2002. The third demand was grant of Scheduled Tribes status to the left out communities. http://newshence.com/cm-seeks-pm-modis-initiative-for-safe-passage-to-17th-karmapa-in-sikkim.html
On February 14, 2016, the seventh day of the first month of the Tibetan Year of the Fire Monkey, there will be a commemoration of the life and enlightened activity of the Sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, the great Tibetan Buddhist master who revived the teachings of the unequalled Dhakpo Kagyu. Rangjung Rigpe Dorje was a leader in spreading Buddhism across the world, a master recognized for his incomparable merit and splendor, and a bhikshu who upheld the three pitakas.
The Chief Guest at the commemoration, occurring in what would have been the Sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa’s ninety-second year, will be His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgön Chetsang, Konchog Tenzin Kunsang Thrinle Lhundrup.
The morning program will include the unveiling of a new printing of the Jang Kangyur, the Collected Works of Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, and a pictorial biography of the 16th Karmapa titled Dharma King: The Life of the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa in Images. The afternoon will feature the Guru Yoga of the Sixteenth Karmapa and a ganachakra.
We request everyone who has a connection with the body, speech or mind of the Sixteenth Karmapa to participate in this event regardless of where they are.
Thursday, 26 November 2015 - 6:50am IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: dna | From the print edition
Sikkim chief minister Pawan Chamling requested union home minister Rajnath Singh last week to allow the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa visit the monastery as large numbers of Sikkimese followers want to see him Rumtek which is the main seat of Karma Kagyu or Black Hat sect of Tibetan Buddhism having over 700 monasteries worldwide.
TheSikkim governmentrequest to allow Ogyen Trinley Dorje, one of the two claimants to be Karmapa of the Kagyu sect of Buddhism, to visit the Rumtek monastery has put the Centre in a bind.
Sikkim chief minister Pawan Chamling requested union home minister Rajnath Singh last week to allow the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa visit the monastery as large numbers of Sikkimese followers want to see him Rumtek which is the main seat of Karma Kagyu or Black Hat sect of Tibetan Buddhism having over 700 monasteries worldwide.
The Centre has maintained consistently that the 30-year-old Karmapa's activities are connected to Chinese shenanigans since his arrival in India in 2000. Intelligence agencies have been watchful of Ogyen whom they refer to as Ugyen Trinley Dorje or "UTD" in secret files and believe Beijing anointed him to serve its long term ulterior motive of changing the mindset of Buddhist population in favour of China.
The intelligence agencies have also routinely reported on activities UTD for encouraging "China-friendly" religious institutions in the Himalayan region.
The conspiracy theory gained a lot of currency in 2011, when Enforcement Directorate raided several premises of Ogyen in Himachal Pradesh and booked his associates for with holding foreign currencies.
The then NSA Shiv Shankar Menon had to step in himself to contain the growing tirade against Ogyen.
Despite this, many in government, especially those in the security establishment, are still wary of Ogyen and believe that allowing Karmapa to visit Rumtek would give legitimacy to one claimant, sources said.
The Kagyu sect has two claimants as Karmapa - Ogyen Trinley Dorje who lives in Himachal Pradesh and Delhi based Trinley Thaye Dorje. Both were born in Tibet and anointed by two different senior monks and said to have escaped from Tibet due to pressure of Chinese authorities. Both have their own websites and claim that they are the real 17th Gyalwang Karmapa.
Claiming that Ogyen was anointed by Beijing, India tacitly backs Delhi-based Thaye as the religious leader. But the undisputed and topmost leader of Tibetans, Dalai Lamarecognises Ogyen Trinley Dorje as the Karmapa.
Understanding Centre's dilemma, Chamling has given it the ropeway that even if the government disallows the monk to visit the monastery now, it should specify a time frame by which a should be made. His party, the Sikkim Democratic Front has maintained that a large number of Sikkimese believe Ogyen Trinley Dorje is the Karmapa.
Sikkim MP, PD Rai also said that the cooling off period of so many years should be enough for intelligence agencies to decide and at least a date should be given now to allow him to visit Rumtek. A written request has also been made to the Narendra Modi government.
Cooling off period Sikkim MP, PD Rai also said that the cooling off period of so many years should be enough for intelligence agencies to decide and at least a date should be given now to allow him to visit Rumtek. A written request has also been made to the Narendra Modi government.
[This version: 4 May 1994] ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 4 May 1994 01:53:57 +0100 Reply-To: Tibet Interest List Sender: Tibet Interest List From: Michael Farmer Subject: Re: Karmapa/Sharmapa
The Press Release below (which was printed on Rumteck Monastery stationary) has been passed to me by Namgyal Tsering, a monk in Situ Rinpoche. He tells me that Situ Rinpoche wishes to see it widely circulated. It was published following some disturbances in Delhi at the time of Tenzin Chentse's "enthronement" ceremony.
(Note: spelling and line breaks are as in original document)
============================================================ New Delhi. April 4, 1994
Press Release THE DALAI LAMA REAFFIRMS THAT THERE IS ONLY ONE KARMAPA TO THE KAGYU THRONE
The entire Tibetan community were greatly preturbed when a small faction of the Karma Kargyu order of Tibetan Buddhists, on 17 March 1994, suddenly performed a welcome ceremony at Delhi for a young boy allegedly named Tenzin Chentse who they claim on the basis of some vague credentials to be the seventeenth Karmapa. The indignation and consequent scuffles that followed are a matter of sorrow and regret to a community that deeply believes in truth, peace and harmony.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama, on 29th March 1994 received a delegation representing almost all the heads of the Kagyu order and was appraised of these unfortunate developments. He strongly reaffirmed that there can only be one Karmapa on the throne and the he is Ugyen Trinlay Dorji who has already been enthroned at Tsurphu in Tibet. The Dalai Lama reiterated that this decision is final and impossible to change.
The Dalai Lama was distressed by some media and other reports concerning these matters and instructed his cabinet to write to all Tibetan Buddhists, The Home minister of india and the Chief minister of the State of Sikkim affirming his satisfaction concerning the enthronement of the 17th Karmapa and dismissed as baseless some mischevous allegations concerning any Chinese connection.
In our capacities as the leaders of the Kagyu order of Tibetan Buddhists, we are making our official position clear that there can be no other Karmapa than Ugyen Trinley Dorji. Today, the Kagyu order is one among the four major Tibetan Mahayana Buddhist orders and accounts for about 20% of the Tibetan followers and between a third to a half of the followers in Sikkim, Ladakh, Bhutan and Nepal. This order also has a large following among some 100,00 foreigners from, South East Asia, Europe and North America. It has nearly 200 monasteries in Tibet, 30 in India and Nepal and over 200 meditation centres around the world.
The supreme head of the Karma Kagyu order has always been the Karmapa in a succession of incarnations since the eleventh century. His Holiness the Sixteenth Karmapa passed away on November 5, 1981 at the age of 58. The four regents agreed, in writing, to administer the affairs of the sect by rotation. The 'letter of prediction' was discovered in a brocade talisman which the Karmapa had given to Tai Situ Rimpoche ten months before his passing away on November 5, 1981. This discovery was shown to all the regents on March 22, 1992 and was initially greeted by universal joy. However, soon thereafter, Shamar Rimpoche and his followers began to behave strangely and threaten the solidarity of the Kagyu community.
Details concerning all these events, the circumstances of the discovery of the seventeenth Karmapa on the basis of the 'letter of prediction', his formal approval by the Dalai Lama, his enthronement at Tsurphu in Tibet and the unfortunate incidents on March 17, 1994 are noted in the attached background note.
On behalf of all members of the Kagyu community we collectively appeal to all followers and especially the followers of our dear and respected colleague Shamar Rimpoche to honour the sacred tradition of Tibetan incarnation where there can only be one incarnation of the revered Karmapa. We earnestly appeal to all followers of the Kagyu order so that we can stand together and ensure that no external interests can break our unity and we can all work together for truth, peace and harmony which is our message to the world in these troubled times.
The 12th Tai Situ Rimpoche. Regent of the Karmapa.
The 12th Gyaltsab Rimpoche. Regent of the Karmapa.
Ponlop Rimpoche. Senior Rumtek High Lama.
Trangu Rimpoche. Supreme Abbot of the Karma Kargyu order.
Bokar Rimpoche. Supreme Meditation Master of the Kagyu liniage.
Drupon Rimpoche. Senior Rumtek High Lama
Khenpolodoe Dhonyu. Abbot of the Kagyu liniage.
Lama Gyaltsen. General Secretary of the Dhaksang Kagyu liniage.
Tenzin Namgyal. General Secreary of Kagyu International head Quarters of the Gyalwa Karmapa at Rumtek.
For further information please contact Murad Ali Baig. R-8 Hauz Khas, New Delhi, 11006. Tel 665512, 6854751
2 ================================================================ Attached to the preceeding Press Release was another document, also dated April 4th, 1994 and titled "A Background note concerning the Kagyu Order of Tibetan Buddhism and issues relating to the Karmapa incarnation."
As several people in this thread seem to have already read the so-called "Karmapa Papers" -(apparently representing the views of Sharma Rinpoche and his followers) - I will also be posting this background note here once I have re-typed it from the hard copy) as it represents the case as stated by the followers of Situ Rinpoche and the Karmapa enthroned at Tsurphu.
----------------------------------------------------------------------- end of file
(TibetanReview.net, Nov27, 2015) – Chief Minister Pawan Chamling of Sikkim has asked India’s Home Minister Mr Rajnath Singh to allow the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje to visit his Rumtek Monastery located in the state, saying his large numbers of followers wanted to see him take his seat there, reported dnaindia.com Nov 2. Rumtek is the principal seat in exile of the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism headed by the Karmapa.
The report said the request was made the week before, although the Home Minister’s response, if any, remains unknown.
Ogyen Trinley Dorje was born in Tibet and recognized as the reincarnation of the 16th Karmapa who had built Rumtek after escaping from Chinese ruled Tibet and passed away in the USA. The circumstance of his recognition remains a bit murky. However, Tai Situ Rinpoche, one of the four regents of the previous Karmapa, fully supported him. His recognition was endorsed by Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, and he was duly enthroned in his principal seat of Tsurphu Monastery in Tibet.
Chief Minister Pawan Chamling of Sikkim. (Photo courtesy: indiatvnews.com)
Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje fled Chinese ruled Tibet in Dec 1999, citing lack of religious freedom. He arrived in Dharamsala in Jan 2000 where he has remained ever since. India has restricted his movements and disallows him from visiting Rumtek despite repeated pleas from his large numbers of followers in Sikkim.
India is said to be suspicious about the circumstance of his escape from Chinese ruled Tibet and also concerned about disturbance to social order in view of the existence of another 17th Karmapa-claimant, namely New Delhi-based Thaye Dorje, also said to have been born in Tibet, supported by the late Shamar Rinpoche, another regent of the previous Karmapa.
Chief Minister Chamling, leader of the Sikkim Democratic Front party, was reported to have asked New Delhi to specify a time frame by which Ogyen Trinley Dorje will be allowed to visit Rumtek even if it disallows a visit now. Sikkim’s MP to the Indian parliament, Mr PD Rai, has also demanded a decision on the date issue, saying the cooling off period of so many years should be enough for India’s intelligence agencies, seen as the main objectors, to decide the issue.
A separate request has also been made to the Narendra Modi government, the report added.
DHARAMSALA, Nov 26: The government of Sikkim has requested the Central government to allow His Eminence the 17th Karmapa Ugyen Thrinley Dorjee to visit Rumtek monastery, the main seat of Karma Kagyu or Black hat school of Tibetan Buddhism in India.
Photo by: Indrjit Das, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution.
Sikkim Chief Minister, Pawan Chamling made the request last week during his meetings with Prime Minister Modi and Minister of Home Affairs, Rajnath Singh, citing large number of Sikkimese followers who have been fondly waiting to their spiritual leader’s audience and blessings.
Prime Minister Modi gave positive assurances of favourably considering the demand requiring quick resolution for which the Chief Minister thanked the Honorable Prime Minister, according to a Voice of Sikkim report.
Responding to the request, Union Minister Rajnath Singh agreed that there is no ‘in-principle’ impediment to allow the Buddhist leader to visit Sikkim and expressed hope that the issue is going to be resolved, VOS said in an earlier report.
The Chief Minister of Sikkim, Shri Pawan Chamling meeting the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, in New Delhi on November 19, 2015.
Despite numerous requests, the Central government has not allowed the 30-yr-old Tibetan Buddhist leader to visit Rumtek since his arrival in India in 2000. Especially, those in the security establishment have been watchful of the 17th Karmapa and have held reservations over his visit to Rumtek.
“Intelligence agencies have been watchful of Ogyen whom they refer to as Ugyen Trinley Dorje or “UTD” in secret files and believe Beijing anointed him to serve its long term ulterior motive of changing the mindset of Buddhist population in favour of China,” DNA news agency said in a report today.
Because there are two claimants as the reincarnation of the 16th Karmapa, Ugyen Trinley Dorjee who resides in Dharamsala and Delhi-based Trinley Thaye Dorjee, the Centre finds itself in a dilemma as allowing anyone of them would be seen as giving legitimacy to one claimant.
The Chief Minister of Sikkim, Shri Pawan Chamling calling on the Union Home Minister, Shri Rajnath Singh, in New Delhi on November 17, 2015.
Since Chamling’s party, Sikkim Democratic Party maintains that large number of Sikkimese believe Ugyen Trinley Dorje, who was recognized by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, as the true Karmapa, he has demanded the Centre to specify a time frame by which the Tibetan Buddhist leader should be allowed to visit the monastery even if it disallows the visit for now.
Stating that a written request has been made to the Narendra Modi government, DNA quoted Sikkim MP, PD Rai as echoing similar sentiment.
“The cooling off period of so many years should be enough for intelligence agencies to decide and at least a date should be given now to allow him to visit Rumtek,” MP PD Rai has said.