29 August 2013 – Gyuto Monastery
On 30 August the Gyalwang Karmapa departs for a weeklong tour of the Kinnaur region at the request of local Buddhist communities. His first visit to Kinnaur comes after 3 years of requests from devotees, initiated by Lochen Rinpoche.
Travelling as a State Guest of the Himachal Pradesh Government, the Gyalwang Karmapa will be honored with a grand welcome ceremony on his arrival at Chaura which is the border of the Kinnaur region.
During his time in Kinnaur he is scheduled to give two days of teachings to devotees at Rekong Peo, including Mahamudra teachings on 1 September, and Phowa teachings on 2 September. In the afternoon of 2 September he will bestow a long-life empowerment for those gathered.
With Tibet along its eastern border, the Indian region of Kinnaur is strongly influenced by Tibetan Buddhist culture, traditions, customs, and language. The Kinnauri people have a deep historical connection to Tibetan Buddhism, and several monasteries over a thousand years old are found in the region. With this visit to Kinnaur the Gyalwang Karmapa retraces some of the steps of his predecessor the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa, who also visited the region while on pilgrimage to Mt Kailash in 1948.
After paying visits to several different monasteries and temples in Kinnaur, on his return trip the Gyalwang Karmapa will also stop at Lhamo to visit the nunnery of Lochen Rinpoche, and at Solan to visit the Bon Monastery.
On 6 September the Gyalwang Karmapa will then travel to Delhi where he will attend the 1st Founding Members’ Conclave of the International Buddhist Confederation, organized by the Ashoka Mission. There he will join Buddhist leaders and representatives of Buddhist sanghas from throughout the world in the historic first meeting of a new global Buddhist umbrella body, the International Buddhist Confederation.
During the 4-day conference the Gyalwang Karmapa has been invited to chair a session on “Changing Times: Buddhism in the 21st Century”, as well as to give a talk on the theme of Buddhist responses to the environment.
He returns to Dharamsala around 14 September.