Time Asia’s April 22 issue selected His Holiness Karmapa as one of the Asian Heroes from Tibet. “These heroes have won battles for noble causes, surmounted the greatest of odds and stood as examples of the best in all of us. TIME salutes the individuals whose valiance inspires us.”
In March, in an interview in Tricycle magazine, a Buddhist-oriented periodical published primarily in the United States, His Holiness addressed his followers in the United States, stating: “Among all my predecessors, it was the Sixteenth Karmapa who visited the United States. It is because of the Buddha activity that people in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world know the Karmapa. As his reincarnation, I respect and rejoice in his Buddha activity [and] I have sincere prayers and dedication toward the whole world and that all sentient beings have peace and harmony. Specifically, the US has had to face terrible tragedy at this time. Since September 11, it has been my prayer that this sort of event, in which lives are lost and people hurt, not happen again in future anywhere in the world. My wish is that every human being live in peace. And whatever conflict there is between countries might be resolved to the benefit of all, without war.”
At the end of January, His Holiness Karmapa returned to Bodhgaya with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. After the illness of His Holiness the Dalai Lama led to the cancellation of the Kalachakra scheduled for this year, His Holiness returned to Gyuto Tantric University, arriving back in the Dharamsala area in early February.
His Holiness conducted his second pilgrimage around India in December through January, visiting numerous holy sites of the Buddha including Bodhgaya, where the Buddha attained enlightenment, Sarnath, where the Buddha first turned the wheel of Dharma, and Kushinagar, where the Buddha passed into Nirvana.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama and His Holiness the Gyalwang Karmapa in Sarnath
During most of January, His Holiness Karmapa stayed in Sarnath. By auspicious coincidence, His Holiness the Dalai Lama also arrived in Sarnath in early January. While there, the Dalai Lama and Gyalwang Karmapa went together to pay their respects to the relics of the Buddha in the famous Damekh stupa in Sarnath. His Holiness the Dalai Lama and His Holiness Karmapa presided over a ceremony called on short notice and attended by thousands of monks.
In Sarnath, His Holiness was in residence at Vajra Vidya Institute with his main tutor, Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche. During his time in Sarnath, His Holiness presided over the Kagyu Conference, where preservation of the Thirteen Tantras of Marpa was discussed in great detail.
While in Sarnath, His Holiness also presided over pujas and ceremonies such as the Lighting of One Thousand Butter Lamps, held audiences and interviews, participated in prayer ceremonies, visited Burmese, Chinese, Japanese, Nyingma and Thai temples, gave an audience to Students of CIHTS, Sarnath, visited the Alice Project Universal School, Sarnath and the Central Institute for Higher Tibetan Studies, presided at an Outdoor picnic at Lakhani, Varanasi, and preside over the ceremony for the new installation of a white marble slab bearing the teaching of the Four Noble Truths at Mulagadi-kutti, Sarnath.
His Holiness also visited Kushinagar, where the Buddha passed into parinirvana, and a number of other Buddhist Sacred Places, including the Parinirvana Temple, Ailing Spot, and the Black Stupa.