The Song Whose Time Has Come: The Melodius Hum of a Bee
by H.H. the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa,
Rangjung Rigpe Dorje (1924 - 1981)
This song is ala ala ala. It is
thala thala thala. "Ala" means it is a song of the
unborn. "Thala" is a word that invokes.
If you do
not recognize this place, It is the place of Akanishtha's heart chakra. In the mandala of glorious
Chakrasamvara, The main seat is Tsurphu in the
Dowo valley. If you do
not recognize a person like me, I belong to the family lineage of
'den, a good ancestry. If you call me by name, I am known as Rigdröl
Yeshe. This victory banner of the teaching
of glorious Dakpo's lineage Is raised
high on the summit of worldly existence, they say, Planted at the
end of a series, held high and never declining. Nourished by the essence of the
father lama's oral instructions, It is the perfection of the great
display of innate primordial wisdom. From the
land of high snows, this turquoise mane of the lion Pervades the
countries of the future, they say. In the exquisite sandalwood
forests, lives a huge tiger With a powerful roar and the radiant color of
clouds at dawn. Insatiably he conquers the wild animals
of wrong views. What I have spoken is the truth, the Victorious
One's power, Resounding over the lake with its waters of eight
qualities Like the pleasant sound of
hastening ducks. In the
sky, vast and all-pervading, Are set the sun and moon, luminous and
natural. The most famous one called
Rigdröl Does not remain, yet knows not where he will go. The swan
places its trust in the lake And the lake, unreliable, turns to ice. The white lion places its trust on
the snow, But fine, white snow attracts the sun. May all the
noble ones left behind in the snowy land of Tibet Not come under the
sway of the four elements. From unmanifest space, the protector Padmasambhava looks after
them, Holding them always with his gentle hook of compassion. May all
sentient beings who have a connection with me Bring to fruition the four
supreme kayas. I do not stay now, yet my place is uncertain; I go to
experience the fruition of previous lives' karma. In
springtime a cuckoo will come to Tibet. Its lovely song will strike sadness
in your heart. Then you will wonder where the man Rigdröl is. Will not
you, who depend on me, know untold grief? On the
day the swan circles the edge of the lake And leaves its fledglings in the
darkening swamp, The day the white vulture soars in the depths of the
sky, You will wonder where the man Rigdröl is. O
Fledglings, I feel untold grief for you. Now I will not explain much; this is
but a jest, Yet unified with ultimate reality. When the Lord of the Path is held by the
king of birds, In prayer
I aspire that we gather in great joy. For this life, take this as the
essential point to be heard: Speech is indestructible sound like an
echo. Mind is empty, free of material concerns. On the
path that does not take up the positive nor reject the negative, The
conduct of the king of birds is relaxed within itself. Examine in detail this meaning in a
hundred flavors. Ki so so, gathering of wrathful Wermas.
"Akanishtha" can have several meanings;
here, it poetically refers to Tsurphu as a sambhogakaya pure land. Three of the
main monasteries associated with the Karmapa are linked to the enlightened body,
speech, and mind of the Buddha: Kampo gangra (Kam po gangs ra) represents the
body, Karma gon (Karma dgon), the speech, and Tsurphu (mTshur phu), the
One of the main deities practiced in
the Kagyu lineage.
The Dowo is the name of the river
that flows by Tsurphu and gives its name to the valley.
 This is a childhood name of the XVIth
Karmapa, used until his enthronement at the age of eight.
Dakpo Lhaje or Gampopa was the teacher
of the first Karmapa, Düsum Khyenpa.
 "Series" refers to the unbroken
lineage of the Kagyü teachings.
The snow lion's mane is vast and a
metaphor here for the teachings of Buddhism in Tibet.
 The lustrous saffron color of the
tiger refers to the brilliance of the Dharma.
The water is cool, sweet, light, soft,
clear, pleasant, wholesome, and soothing.
 The metaphors of the lake and ducks
refer to the clear and pleasing quality of the Dharma and to the fact that it
pervades the great oceans.
This metaphor refers to the naturally
luminous quality of the Dharma and to the fact that it pervades all
The Karmapa is the swan residing on the
lake of his monastery, Tsurphu. When the Chinese invade Tibet and take over the
monastery, it becomes uninhabitable like a frozen lake.
The lion is also the Karmapa, who
relies on his monastery of Tsurphu in the snowy land of Tibet. The heat of the
sun, which melts the snow, is a metaphor for the destruction of Tsurphu during
the Cultural Revolution. Both metaphors of the swan and its lake and the lion
and its snow indicate that although the Karmapa wished to remain at Tsurphu, it
was not possible.
Here, the Karmapa prays that
those who could not escape will be protected from harm caused by the four
elements, such as being drowned in water, burned by fire, and so forth.
 Referring to the troubles in Tibet and
the immense suffering of its people.
Again the swan is the Karmapa departing
for India and the young birds left behind are the people of Tibet, and in
particular, his disciples.
There are two kinds of vulture
(rgod) in Tibet, the white and the black. They are renowned as being
able to fly higher than any other bird. It is another metaphor for the
"The Lord of the Path" refers to the
astrological path or cycle of twelve years and the "king of birds" refers to the
year of the bird, when the XVIIth Karmapa will be back in his monastery,
beginning his activity again.
Here, "the king of birds" refers to the
vulture and, in particular, to the way it flies, soaring and gliding at ease in
These previous four lines refer to
meditation on the true nature of mind.
"Ki" points to one's courage and
intelligence; "so" is like a loud whistle, meaning "Wake up! Be aware! Pay
Wermas are dharmapalas (protectors of
the Dharma) with great dignity and courage.
Aldershot, Hampshire, England – Morning, May 27, 2017
Early on this day of the Karmapa’s visit to the Nepali community in Aldershot, the double arch of a luminous rainbow filled the sky. It recalled his first visit to the US when rainbows followed him everywhere on the East Coast. The Karmapa was invited by the Buddhist Community Centre UK to this beautiful area of England, famous for its military garrisons and home to a sizeable population of Gurkha soldiers who have served in the British army. In 2006 they were allowed to live in England and in 2007, the Buddhist Community Centre UK was founded by Mr. Kaji Sherpa. He had the vision of establishing a Buddhist monastery to serve the growing Buddhist Community in this southeast region of the UK.
His daughter explained that about half of the Gurkha population in Nepal is Buddhist, and that her father felt a need for Buddhist guidance in this community, so a committee of Nepalis purchased a social club and completely transformed it into a …
Government agencies had for long suspected that the Karmapa was a “Chinese spy”, but a decision was recently taken to review the restrictions on his travel in an attempt to “engage” him.
Written by Rahul Tripathi | New Delhi | Published:May 24, 2017 2:26 am
The government is set to lift the travel restrictions imposed on Ogyen Trinley Dorje, the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa. The Home Ministry has proposed to the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) that the Karmapa be allowed to travel to any part of the country, except Rumtek monastery in Sikkim, without seeking prior permission from New Delhi.
Ogyen Trinley Dorje, head of the Karma Kagyu (Black Hat) tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, was born in Tibet and escaped to India through Nepal at the age of 14. He reached McLeod Ganj, the headquarters of the Tibetan government-in-exile, in 2000. He lives in Dharamshala and is recognised by the Dalai Lama.
Government agencies had for long suspected that the Karmapa was a “Chinese spy”, but a decision was re…
May 24, 2017 – St Catharine’s and King’s College, Cambridge, England
Today His Holiness the Gyalwang Karmapa left London and travelled north to Cambridge, a city whose name has become almost synonymous with its world-famous university. The Karmapa’s visit to Cambridge was hosted by the International Buddhist Confederation’s Secretary for Environment and Conservation, Dr Barbara Maas.
His Holiness’s day in Cambridge began with an academic seminar on animal sentience and animal welfare science, and their significance for our relationship with and treatment of animals. Veterinarians turned animal welfare scientists, Dr Murray Corke and Peter Fordyce from the University’s Department of Veterinary Medicine, provided His Holiness with background about the complexities of assessing the wellbeing of animals and introduced him to some of the latest research developments that have transformed our understanding of animal awareness and suffering. These include a wide range of behavioural and physio…
During his first visit to the UK from May 17 to 28, 2017, the Karmapa, a prominent Tibetan Buddhist leader, joined former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Rowan Williams together with scientists, scholars and cultural figures for a dialogue on the environment hosted by the International Campaign for Tibet and Inspire Dialogue Foundation.
The round table discussion, held on May 24, 2017, was intended to bring together perspectives “between disciplines and generations” as the beginning of an ongoing exchange, according to Lord Williams, Master of Magdalen College and a noted poet and theologian. It involved figures from the arts and sciences, including Jude Kelly, Artistic Director of the Southbank Centre in London; James Thornton, the founding CEO of ClientEarth; Dame Fiona Reynolds, former Director-General of the National Trust; Dr Bhaskar Vira, Director, University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute; Tracey Seaward, film producer …
His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, made his first visit to the United Kingdom this month.
At 31 years old, Ogyen Trinley Dorje is head of the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, a reincarnation lineage that dates back more than 900 years. His Holiness was born in eastern Tibet but fled to India in 2000, where he now resides at the Gyuto Monastery near Dharamshala. He is the only reincarnate Lama to have been recognised by both His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Chinese communist government.
The Karmapa’s 11-day visit began on May 17 and the first public event was held on May 20 in London’s Battersea Park.
“I would like to express my great delight at this opportunity that has come to pass for me to visit London, the capital of the United Kingdom, for the first time. Especially, I would like to extend my warmest greetings to all you friends who are gathered here. I have been waiting for a long time to visit the United King…
DHARAMSHALA, MAY 24: In a positive development for the Tibetan religious figure 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorjee, the Indian government is reportedly set to lift the travel restrictions currently in place.
The Home Ministry has proposed to the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) that the Karmapa be allowed to travel to any part of the country, except Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim, without seeking prior permission from New Delhi. The CCS chaired by PM Modi is a core committee on National Security with the MoD and the MEA among other significant panels, which offer directives on the Karmapa’s security and movement among other things.
The move in question has received a shot in the arm earlier this week when a delegation of monks from various monasteries in Sikkim met with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh urging permission for the Seventeenth Karmapa to visit Sikkim.
The delegation led by the Sangha MLA Sonam Kelyon Lama, who is the elected poli…
May 29, 2017 - The 17th Karmapa, one of Tibet’s leading Buddhist figures arrived in Toronto yesterday on his first visit to Canada. Known for his concerns about current global issues as well as for his spiritual leadership, the 31-year-old Karmapa will engage in a wide range of religious activities and will speak on environmental and social responsibility at various universities.
During his month long trip to Canada, the Karmapa will travel to Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver. In doing so, he is following in the footsteps of his predecessor the 16th Karmapa, who travelled extensively throughout the country and was instrumental in introducing Canadians to Buddhism in the 1970s.
Head of the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism, the Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, is the 17th holder of a 900-year old lineage. Born in a nomadic family in eastern Tibet, he made headline news in 2000 with his dramatic escape to India, where he now lives near the Dalai Lama. The 17th …
Karma Kagyu Association of Canada (KKAC) May 25, 2017 11:25 ET
TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 25, 2017) - The Karma Kagyu Association of Canada (KKAC) is privileged to officially host the first Canadian tour of His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje. The month long visit will begin with a large welcoming group upon his arrival at Toronto's, Pearson International Airport on May 29, http://www.karmapacanada.org. His Holiness's visit will proceed to Calgary and end in Vancouver while experiencing many of Canada's natural beauties in his travels across the country.
Born in June 1985, Karmapa was born into a nomad family in Lhatok, in the remote highlands of the region of Eastern Tibet. He was given the name, Apo Gaga, meaning "Happy Brother". In the months prior to his birth, his mother had wonderful, spiritual dreams. On the day of his birth, a cuckoo landed on the tent in which he was born, and many people in the area heard a mysterious trum…
This morning the Karmapa traveled to a northwest suburb of London to visit the impressive BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir, the largest Hindu temple in Europe. Marble and limestone have been brought alive by Indian artists, who carved every inch with intricate design. The founder of this Hindu bhakti tradition was guru Swaminarayan (1781-1830), famous for his support of the poor and encouraging women’s education. He was also known for his vegetarianism and opposition to animal sacrifice, positions that the Karmapa also supports.
At the temple, the Karmapa was met by Pujya Yogvivekdas Swami and offered the traditional greeting of a garland of flowers, a tika (the red mark of blessing) and a blessed cord. The Karmapa was then guided through the temple to see an exhibition on understanding Hinduism. Always curious, he asked many question of the guide. He then participated in prayers with the swami and other priests in two of the shrine rooms, both of white m…