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The Seventeenth Karmapa In Tibet(1985-1999)

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Young Karmapa: Photo Album by Sina Vodjani

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The Karmapa's Great Escape (December 28, 1999-January 5, 2000)

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While His Holiness was at Tsurphu, the Karmapa fulfilled the traditional responsibilities of the Karmapa, ministering to the Tibetan people and supporting Tsurphu Monastery. The monastery underwent extensive rebuilding to restore the temples, shrines, stupas, a shedra, and residences that had been destroyed over the years, fulfilling one of the main duties of a Karmapa. As the years went by, however, the authorities began to restrict the Karmapa's ability to travel and teach his disciples, and to receive the transmission from his lineage teachers. His Holiness decided that it would benefit beings most if he were no longer to stay in Tibet. In view of the refusal of the authorities to allow him to leave, he undertook a plan of his own.

Various accounts of the Karmapa's escape has been described in innumerable media reports around the world. On April 27, 1992, His Holiness himself described his departure to the world wide media, which is reprinted below.
“During this…

The Qualities of the Gyalwa Karmapa

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The Nature of the Karmapa 




The Karma denomination of Tibetan Buddhism originates with a disciple of Milarepa. It reaches us today in the form of a chain of word-of-mouth teachings that comes by means of the activity of Karmapa, who is sometimes called the Black Hat Lama.

In 1999, just before H.H the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa left Tsurphu in Tibet to undertake the trek over the Himalayas to India, both H. E. Tai Situ and Khenpo Karthar carefully  explained the role of the Karmapa.   Unless otherwise indicated, in the first section the explanations are Tai Situ's. 

The Gyalwa Karmapa is the embodiment of all the activities of the past, present and future Buddhas of all directions. All directions are described as the 10 directions. The Gyalwa Karmapa is the source of all the 84,000 Dharmas, which manifested as part of the enlightenment of the Buddha Sakyamuni. In the same way, a manifestation of the source of all the limitless immeasurable teachings of the Buddhas of the three times. Th…

A Feast for the Fortunate, a Lamp Aspiration

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OM SVASTI

Dharmakaya, unchanging unity of appearance and emptiness, Vast expanse of youthful, great bliss, Sky of spontaneously present joy free of defilement, Bestow a feast of unchanging goodness upon us.
Through the seeds of inherently pure virtue That arise from even a bit of glorious goodness, And the bright smile of virtue revealed By offering the light of these lamps to the three jewels, May the well-being of a golden age arise In this realm of the thousand-petalled lotus.
May this time of warfare and disputation be pacified. May auspicious excellence, prosperity and goodness flourish. Especially, throughout the land of America, May the youthful lotus of teaching and practice bloom. May innumerable oceans of realms be filled With the melodious roar of the profound secret.




In response to the request of Tenzin Chonyi, whose good intentions are peerless, this was written by Ugyen Trinley, who bears the crown of the name Karmapa, on the 16th of August 1999. May it be auspicious. Copyright 1999 Karm…

Teaching on His Holiness Karmapa

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Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche

From the text “The Lives of the Karmapas”
by Mendong Tsampa Rinpoche February 20 and 21, 1999
Translator: Yeshe Gyamtso
Vol 15 No 1



I have been living and teaching here for many years and up till now have not had the auspicious opportunity to teach in the early part of the New Year.
Today is not only close to the beginning of the year but it is the third day of the Tibetan year, which is considered especially sacred. Therefore I am delighted to have this opportunity to begin a new cycle of teaching on this auspicious day. Because of the day on which these teachings are beginning, I felt that the most auspicious and beneficial explanation to give, would be about the lives of His Holiness the Gyalwang Karmapa.
When you study the biographies of the Gyalwang Karmapas you come to the conclusion that each one seems even more magnificent and bearing even greater blessings than the one before him. Therefore it would be impossible to attempt to choose from among them and say, t…