Transcript of Press Conference of the Karmapa (April 27, 2001)
Transcript of a Press Conference
with His Holiness the Gyalwang Karmapa
held April 27, 2001 at Gyuto
Ramoche Tantric University, Sidbhari, Himachal Pradesh,
(Note: for a list of translations into other languages available
on the internet, click here)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Japanese Broadcasting
Corporation: How long are you going to Stay in India? Will you
go back to China?
His Holiness Karmapa: Having come here to India from Tibet as a
refugee and in accordance with that having received the status of a refugee, I
do not plan to return to Tibet until HH the Dalai Lama returns. I will go back
Ajit Jagra: I would like to know what actually inspired you
to come to India since you have lots of followers all over the world?
His Holiness Karmapa: One of the most important reasons why I was
inspired to come to India was so that I would be able to see or visit the sacred
places of this country [India].
Norway Radio of Tibet: Your Holiness, since you have come to India, the
government of China has asserted that you did not come to take up residence in
this country, but only to reclaim the Black Hat and other possessions of your
predecessor; that you would be returning to China, and that you left a letter
behind you in Tibet that stated that?
His Holiness Karmapa: It is true that I left a letter behind me, but
as I wrote the letter myself, I'm perfectly aware of what was in it and what
wasn't. I said in the letter that I left because, although I had for a long
time, persistently and repeatedly, requested permission to travel
internationally, I had never received it and so I had to leave. I did not in the
letter mention the Black Crown, the Black Hat. Why would I want to retrieve that
from India and bring it back to China anyway? The only thing that would be
served or accomplished by doing so that would be to place that Hat on Jiang
Italian News Service: Your Holiness in your statement you never
mentioned the Shamarpa who is the second highest Kagyu lama and has accused you
of being a Chinese agent. What is your opinion of this?
His Holiness Karmapa: Up to this point, I have done my best to deal
with the situation in an appropriate way and therefore I saw no reason to it
speculate about it or write about it in my statement as that would only make
The Week: I just wanted to ask the Karmapa whether while he
was in Tibet there was any pressure placed upon him by the Chinese to recognize
the Panchen Lama that they selected?
His Holiness Karmapa: There was no particular pressure placed on me
to support the Chinese government's recognition of their Panchen Lama, but I was
invited to his hair cutting and ordination.
PTI: Sir, It took you only thirty hours to come out of
Tibet into Nepal and yet it took you more than five days to reach Dharamsala
within a free country. Why so? [question repeated] Why did a journey of 1500
kilometers take 30 hours and yet it took 5 days to reach here [Dharamsala] form
Nepal. It's been said that [inaudible] helped you reach Nepal. Is Situ Rinpoche
an agent of the Chinese?
His Holiness Karmapa: The reason why parts of the journey took
longer than others was because of the distance to be traveled and the difficulty
of traveling in that region. The whole journey took 8 days and I think I have
explained the times pretty clearly in my statement. I don't think I can say
anything clearer than that. As far as his Eminence Tai Situ Rinpoche is
concerned, while I was in Tibet, I repeatedly asked the government of China for
permission to invite him to Tsurphu so that I could receive the empowerments,
transmissions, and instructions that I wished to received from him. But they
refused to allow Tai Situ Rinpoche to enter China, saying that he could not come
because he had too close a connection to HH the Dalai Lama and was, therefore,
inadmissible to the country of China. I think that if what you said were true,
that they would have been delighted to let him in.
Australian newspaper: Do you intend to work with the Dalai Lama in the
cause of promoting world awareness of Tibet and in the cause of Tibetan
independence or autonomy?
His Holiness Karmapa: As I mentioned in my statement earlier, what
has made Tibet so famous throughout the world is its religious tradition and
culture. So I regard it as my duty and responsibility to support the religion
and culture of Tibet as much and as vigorously as I can. I think that by doing
this I will benefit Tibetans and the people in Tibet and benefit the situation
in Tibet as well. In that sense, in the sense of supporting Tibetan religion and
culture I will assist His Holiness the Dalai Lama as much as I can.
The Daily Telegraph: Your Holiness, you are one of the most famous
lamas of Tibet and are regarded as someone who can know the past and future.
Would you, therefore, care to comment on where you will be in 15 years?
His Holiness Karmapa: Never mind the future, I will forget tomorrow
what I said today.
Are you worried about Tibetan culture becoming
extinct because of the state of affairs in China?
His Holiness Karmapa: [As a Dharma practitioner not involved in
politics], all I can say is that every nation has its own distinct spiritual
tradition and culture. If any of these are in danger of becoming extinct, I
would hope that that would not happen.
Newsweek: Are the Chinese waiting for the Dalai Lama to
pass away in the hopes that that will be the end of the Tibetan independence
movement and that they will thereafter be able to fully absorb Tibetan culture
within Han Chinese culture?
His Holiness Karmapa: His Holiness the Dalai Lama is not that old
and is in very good health.
In addition, I constantly pray for his
longevity and I am confident that the situation of his passing will not occur
for a long time. It is quite possible that before then the political situation
in China will change considerably. In addition, the power of His Holiness the
Dalai Lama's aspirations and compassion is inconceivable. With regard to the
youth of Tibet, I think the most important thing is for them to concentrate on
the preservation of the spiritual and cultural traditions of Tibet. And His
Holiness the Dalai Lama regularly gives them the same advice.
BBC: What future would you like to see for Tibet?
His Holiness Karmapa:
Since the foundation of the spiritual
tradition of Tibet is non-violence and peace, my greatest aspiration is that
Tibet abide in the future in a state of non-violence and peace or
The Times: I understand that you have recently spoken about
your parents. Do you have any concern about your parents being ill-treated or
your followers? And do you know where your parents are?
His Holiness Karmapa: Of course, one's parents are extremely
important to anyone, because in a sense our parents are of the greatest kindness to us of anyone. And therefore, for
me as well, the situation and circumstances of my parents are very important.
Nevertheless, for the reasons I explained in my statement, I felt it was
necessary for me to leave them behind. In this situation, I do not know the
precise details of my parents' circumstances.
However, I continually pray for the welfare of
my parents and everyone in Tibet.
Star News: What sort of cooperation have you received from
the Indian government? What restrictions, if any, have they placed on your
His Holiness Karmapa: In general the Government of India has been
extremely helpful and generous to me. In particular I have been given permission
to reside in the country and was also given permission to go on pilgrimage.
Hindustan Times: Karmapa, it is said that you were being reared by
China for a political purpose. If so, what was that purpose, particularly in
regard to Tibetan independence?
His Holiness Karmapa: I have heard it said that in a sense the
Government of China was planning to make use of me. I was certainly treated as
someone very special. For example, when I was taken on tour in China to Beijing,
I was well-treated.
But I came to suspect that there might be a
plan to use me to separate the people within Tibet from His Holiness the Dalai
Asahi Shimbun: Your Holiness, do you plan on learning English
and other foreign languages to communicate with other cultures as has His
Holiness the Dalai Lama?
His Holiness Karmapa: Having been born in Tibet, in addition to
Tibetan, I speak what I would call slightly broken Chinese, and I am acquiring a
little bit of English and have the intention of learning Japanese some day.
Times of India: Why did it take you such a long time to interact
with the media? And don't you think that the interest the Western media has
shown in you is a ploy to [?discredit, tape not clear] China?
His Holiness Karmapa: I agree that it took a long time for me to
meet with the media. I wanted to straightforwardly present the true story of my
coming here, but my situation did not allow me to have this kind of press
meeting until now. In answer to your second question, I think it is not only the
Western media but also the Asian media that are interested in my situation, and
as they are all free to take interest in whatever they wish, I cannot guess and
do not know the motivation behind their interest.
Reuters: I think we got only half the answer to a question
posed by my colleague. What specific restrictions have been placed upon your
travel in India?
His Holiness Karmapa: Having been given permission or status to
reside in India, I am free to travel within this country. The restrictions on
this or exceptions to this are that I may not go to Sikkim and I may not go to
Sherab Ling, which I find confusing.
Reuters: How do you react to the assertion of some Karma
Kagyu followers that Thaye Dorje is the real Karmapa?
His Holiness Karmapa: The identity of the Karmapa is not decided by
a popular vote or a debate between groups. It is decided only by the prediction
of the previous Karmapa.
London Times: What do you do on an average day?
His Holiness Karmapa: I study and practice Buddhism.
Translations into other languages
(note: the referenced translations are not official translations of the Kagyu
Office and are provided for convenience):
December 28, 2016, in a historic letter sent to his Kagyu nunneries in India,
Nepal, and Bhutan, the Karmapa officially announced that the actual process of
establishing full ordination for nuns in the Karma Kamtsang tradition would
begin. He stated that at the site of the Buddha’s enlightenment in Bodh Gaya,
on the auspicious day of the full moon in the Month of Miracles, (the first
month in the Tibetan calendar, falling on March 12, 2107), the shramaneri (getsulma)
vows would be conferred on those nuns wishing to take full ordination. Following
much deliberation, a path to full ordination was established. It was decided
that the nuns would hold these shramaneri vows for a year, after which they
will take the shikshamana (gelopmaor training) vows from Dharmaguptaka
nuns and keep them for two winters or two summers. Finally, they will receive
the bhikshuni (gelongmaor full ordination) vows with the
participation of nuns from the Dharmaguptaka tra…
Dear Dharma Brothers and Sisters,
As all of you know by now, on the 21 of March, 2017, at 9am Indian time His
Holiness the Seventeenth Gyalwang Karmapa introduced Kyabje Tenga Rinpoche
Yangsi in the Tergar Monastery, Bodhgaya. Rinpoche is a four years old boy but
from time to time I see him as an old man. It is hard to believe he is that
I am very sorry at the moment I am very busy. I will later let you know details
about the search and how we found Yangsi Rinpoche and provide you with photos
and video clips for you to enjoy.
Drubwang Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche instructed us to wait for His Holiness’ advice
to Yangsi Rinpoche how to further proceed from here.
Drubwang Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche could not come to this occasion of His
Holiness’ introducing Tenga Rinoche’s Yangsi since he has a schedule in Bhutan
that was arranged long time ago. As you all know Bhutan is a remote area and in
order to join teachings and initiations elderly people have to be ca…
Monastery, Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India
many preparations are underway for the Getsulma (novice) ordination to be held
during this 4th Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering. The Karmapa plans to hold
the ordination on the auspicious full moon day of Chötrul Duchen, the historic
day that marks fifteen days after Losar and commemorates the time when the
Buddha performed a different miracle each day to instill devotion. As the
Karmapa mentioned during the first day of the Arya Kshema, this year initiates
the historic path to the process of full ordination, which will occur in stages
over several years. This is a well-thought process that grants nuns the
opportunity to practice the authentic vinaya path. They will take the Getsulma
vows in the tradition of a strictly observant tradition of Mahayana Vinaya
nuns, thus garnering respect for their sangha and demonstrating their life-long
commitment to their vows. Since there is no lineage for fully ordained nuns in
SE Report GANGTOK,
March 16: A delegation of monks from various monasteries
of Sikkim staged a sit-in protest outside the BJP national headquarters in New
Delhi today demanding the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje to be allowed to visit
and bless the people of Sikkim.
The delegation led by Denjong Lhadey chanted slogans
demanding and also submitted a memorandum with the demand to the Prime Minister’s
Office through senior officials.
The memorandum reiterates the Denjong Lhadey’s
demand to urgently send the Buddhist spiritual leader to Sikkim. The monks on
dharna outside the BJP office were also detained by Delhi police at Mandir Marg
police station and later released, informs a press release.
In November of 2015, during the 6th Khoryug Conference, His Holiness the 17th Karmapa set the aspiration that all Khoryug monasteries and nunneries should develop practical skills and knowledge for disaster preparedness and response. He later explained that “We were all affected greatly by the earthquake in Nepal and wanted to know how we could help so that in the future we are not just taken by fear but prepared to be useful and deal skillfully with the situation.…
Monastery, Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India
the second half of his teachings this morning, the Karmapa shared his research
into the history of nuns and their status. He began by explaining the
background of the name “Arya Kshema,” given to the Winter Dharma Gathering. He
noted that among the disciples of Shakyamuni Buddha, there were his eight
greatest male monastic disciples, known for their prajna (supreme wisdom) or
miracles and so forth. Likewise, there were female master disciples who were
greatest at miracles or known for their prajna and other outstanding qualities.
Arya Kshema is one of these and she is described in theSutra of the Wise and
greatest in wisdom and confidence, so the Winter Dharma Gathering is named
after her. “In
giving this name,” the Karmapa explained, “we are also following the saying,
‘Later disciples should practice the example of past masters.’ Previously,
during the time of the Buddha Shakyamuni, there were woman arhats, bhikshu…
the third year in succession, the Taiwan Health Corps has been working with
Kagyu nuns during the Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering. Twenty-one
nuns from eight nunneries—Ralang, Tilokpur and Palpung Yeshe Rabgye Ling in
India, Karma Leksheyling, Tara Abbey, Osel Karma Thekchöling and Samten
Ling in Nepal, and Drubde Palmo Chökyi Dingkhang in Bhutan– have
successfully completed a nine-day training in basic health care. Dr
Jeffrey Chen, CEO of the Taiwanese based NGO Taiwan Health Corps, first
responded to a request from the Gyalwang Karmapa to develop initiatives to
improve the health and healthcare of nuns more than three years ago. This year
he has returned for a third time with a team of six health professionals to
provide basic training for a new batch of nuns. The team comprises Professor
Kuo Su Chen, a specialist in Women’s Health, Dr Chin Min Yi, a doctor of
traditional Chinese medicine, Dr Wei Cheng Chou, urologist and surgeon, Hsin-Yu
For the Gyalwang Karmapa, the Tibetan New Year began in the
first hours of the day, as he met in the Tergar Monastery shrine hall with
tulkus, khenpos, and masters from various monasteries and received their
khatas. In return he gave them his blessing and a traditional bright red cord.
The monks recited prayers for peace in the world and the flourishing of the
teachings as well as the very long life of the Karmapa. Afterward the entire
monastic and lay Sangha gathered at 4:30 am in the Monlam Pavilion for a
special long-life practice based on theThree
Roots Combined, calledA
Life-Force Indestructible like a Vajra. The practice was led by the
Karmapa’s heart son, Gyaltsap Rinpoche, who had bestowed this empowerment the
previous day. In February of 2016 the Karmapa had also given this empowerment,
and at the time commented on its importance for his Kamtsang Kagyu lineage. The
short lineage is traced back to a text based on the pure visions of th…
Pavilion — Bodh Gaya, Bihar
break, after the smoke offering Massing Clouds of Amrita had
ended on Sunday morning, the stage needed to be cleared and rearranged in order
for Gyaltsab Rinpoche to bestow the Red Crown ceremony and the Long
Life Empowerment of the Three Roots Combined. His Holiness the 17th Karmapa
personally took charge of arranging Gyaltsab Rinpoche’s throne with great
respect and care; he had received the Empowerment of the Three Roots
Combined from Gyaltsab Rinpoche when he bestowed the Treasury
of Precious Terma, or Rinchen Terdzo empowerments some
throne was placed directly in front of the Gyalwang Karmapa’s high throne. To
the right, on an elegant golden table covered with brocade, sat a delicately
wrought silver pavilion.
At last the
stage was set, the gyalings blew, and the sangha returned from the break to
take their seats. After several minutes, the Gyalwang Karmapa led an elderly
2017Tergar Monastery, Bodh Gaya,
welcoming everyone for the second day of the 4th Arya Kshema, the Karmapa
continued with the discussion of the ceremony of the bodhisattva vows from
Gampopa’sOrnament of Precious
Liberation. Having completed the discussion of the tradition of the
profound view, that of Manjushri to Nagarjuna, he elaborated upon the tradition
of vast conduct, the tradition passed down from Maitreya to Asanga and known as
Master Serlingpa’s tradition.
Karmapa delineated the two parts of this tradition: aspiration of the
bodhicitta vow and engagement of the bodhicitta vow. He focused on the actual
ceremony of the aspiration of bodhicitta and explained that before the aspirant
takes the vow, he or she must contemplate whether they are ready to receive the
vow. The Karmapa explained that the bodhisattva is like a hero, though these
days we see movie stars as being heroes. A bodhisattva is similar to a hero
because a bodhisattva is someone who h…