Holiness Karmapa visits the Kolkata Museum
in the company of museum administrators and
the ever-present security force
His Holiness the Gyalwang Karmapa traveled to
Rajasthan to preside over private ceremonies on
behalf of students. Afterwards, he was in New
Delhi meeting with students, members of the community
and well-wishers. While in New Delhi, he was afforded
a private tour of the National Museum of India
under typically heavy security. The Karmapa returned
to his camp at Gyuto Tantric University in mid-November,
where he continued his studies with his main tutor,
Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche through the end of December.
September 30-October 4, His Holiness
Karmapa was a guest of HH the Dalai Lama at a
conference hosted by the Life and Mind Institute
in Dharamsala. The conference studies the issues
of mind and ethics, exploring the relationship
between modern physical and biological sciences
Buddhist views. The discussion this year focused
on the criteria of life and matter. Participants
include the Head of the Genome Research Centre
at MIT, and the winner of the 1997 Nobel prize
in Physics, Dr Steven Chu.
Holiness the Gyalwang Karmapa, other Buddhist
teachers, scientists and committed persons from
other walks of life, such as actors Richard Gere
and Goldie Hawn, were present as observers.
Holiness Karmapa made a brief trip through Kolkata
(aka Calcutta) as part of a short trip from September
15 - 21.
his arrival in Kolkata on September 16th
for an event with the Maha Bodhi Society of India,
His Holiness held a press conference. The Karmapa
informed the assembled representatives of the
press about his understanding of the government
of India's position with respect to the return
of His Holiness to the seat of the Karmapas at
Chakra Centre, Rumtek Monastery, in Sikkim,
Sikkim is one of India's 25 states, and shares
a border with China. Although the government has
indicated that it has no objection to His Holiness
going to Rumtek, first certain matters must be
resolved. The return of His Holiness Karmapa to
traditional seat of the Karmapas is a very
important occasion, historically and spiritually.
Security must be adequate and extensive preparations
must be made before His Holiness is able to safely
go to Rumtek.
the timing of His Holiness' arrival has to be
fixed after all the proper arrangements are made,
His Holiness has stated that he believes that
he will be in Rumtek within two years.
Holiness was guest of honor at a Maha Bodhi Society
celebration of the 138th Anniversary of the birth
of Anagarika Dharmapala on September 17,
2002. Founded by Anagarika Dharmapala
in 1891, the Maha Bodhi Society in Calcutta was
established in 1915. The complex in Calcutta has
its own publishing house, meditation halls, schools,
and a social service unit with an ambulance service
and free dispensaries.
Dharmapala, born in Sri Lanka in 1864, devoted
his life to supporting Buddhism in India and around
the world. Through the Maha Bodhi Society, he
won government sanction for the recognition of
the Maha Bodhi Temple as the site where the Buddha
attained enlightenment. He restored a number of
historical structures at the site and established
new buildings honoring the Bodhgaya location as
well as other sacred sites of the Buddha throughout
Dharmapala was also internationally renowned for
representing Buddhist causes, traveling to countries
such as in Japan, America, England, Honolulu,
France and Italy.
Holiness also had the opportunity while in Kolkata
to confer the long life empowerment of Amitayus.
He returned to Delhi on the 19th
and to Gyuto Tantric University on the 21st.
Holiness received transmission and teachings at
Gyuto from H.E. Gyaltsab Rinpoche throughout the
July 24, the 15th day of the
6th Tibetan month, His Holiness the Gyalwang
received his ordination as a novice monk (dge
tshul pha) from His Holiness the Dalai
Lama, who was assisted at the ceremony by His
Gyaltsab Rinpoche. This joyous occasion was marked
by three days of celebration at Gyuto Monastery.
It is considered particularly auspicious that
His Holiness was able to receive his Getsul
from the Dalai Lama. After the Karmapa received
his vows, His Holiness the Dalai Lama conferred
novice and final ordination on some 800 monks
from southern India.
Holiness Karmapa presiding over the Kagyu
Conference on the Thirteen Tantras of Marpa
at Vajra Vidhya Institute in Varanasi
June 26, the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa celebrated
his birthday. The main guest of the ceremony was
Kalon Tripa Samdhong Rinpoche, head of the government
of Tibet in Exile. Also in attendance were Their
Eminences Tai Situ Rinpoche, Gyaltsab Rinpoche
and Khenchen Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, as well
as various other Tibetan ministers and the members
of the Kagyu Office administration. Born
on June 26, 1985, His Holiness is considered
18 years old according to Tibetan traditions (which
count a newborn as 1 year old at birth) and 17
years in the Western tradition.
June 15, the Kagyu Office released a news
bulletin about His Holiness's wishes regarding
pending litigation over a court-ordered inventory
of sacred objects at Rumtek monastery. (Text
of the press release)
Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche was in attendance at
Gyuto in May and June, providing transmission
and teaching to His Holiness.
May 10, His Holiness visited Nyingtop Ling,
a school for the handicapped in Norbulingka area,
where he participated in a groundbreaking ceremony
for a new building.
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
March, in an interview in Tricycle magazine,
a Buddhist-oriented periodical published
primarily in the United States, His Holiness
his followers in the United States, stating: "Among
all my predecessors, it was the Sixteenth Karmapa
who visited the United States. It is because
the Buddha activity that people in the U.S.
and elsewhere in the world know the Karmapa.
reincarnation, I respect and rejoice in his
Buddha activity [and] I have sincere prayers
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
sort of event, in which lives are lost and
people hurt, not happen again in future anywhere
world. My wish is that every human being live
in peace. And whatever conflict there is between
countries might be resolved to the benefit
all, without war."
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.
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.
Holiness the Dalai Lama and His Holiness
the Gyalwang Karmapa in Sarnath
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
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.
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.
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.
Holiness led the Drogen Kagyü Monlam in Bodhgaya
at the end of December. The vast ceremony
required the preparations of monks from many monasteries,
including Rumtek, and was attended many thousands
of monastics and lay people. His Holiness presided
over all the sessions, and also taught the monastics
and foreigners daily from Gampopa's Jewel Ornament
of Liberation, and on other profound topics.
Holiness presides over the Drogen Kagyu
Monlam in Bodhgaya at the end of 2001