Mahamudra: Eliminating the Darkness of Ignorance

By: 9th Karmapa Wangchuk Dorje

Book Description


Mahamudra, or the Great Seal, refers to a Mahayana Buddhist system of meditation on the nature of the mind and is undertaken for realizing Enlightenment. This text, by the Ninth Karmapa (1556-1603), is one of the most famous expositions of this meditational system. It covers both the preliminary practices as well as the actual Mahamudra meditations of mental quiescence (shamatha) and penetrative insight (vipasyana), Explaining the stages and paths as traveled in this system, it represents a complete path to Enlightenment. 

Accompanying the root text is a commentary given orally by Beru Khyentze Rinpoche, based on the teachings of his guru, His Holiness the Sixteenth Karmapa. 

As a proper relation with a Guru is essential for realizing Mahamudra, also included is the basic text on Guru devotion by the first century B.C. Indian master Asvaghosa with an oral commentary by Geshe Ngawang Dhargyey.


`The Mahamudra, Eliminating the Ignorance of Darkness' is an extraordinary book - revealing, yet short - which focuses, as its title suggests, on the nature of the mind.

However, it arrives to that by reviewing the I. Preliminaries (outer, inner, conditions), II. Mental Quiescence Meditation (samatha, zhi-na), III. Penetrative Insight Meditation (vipasyana, lhag-t'ong), and IV. Enhancing Your Practice (what to do, what not to do, benefits). In its only 176 pages, it represents thereby a complete path to Enlightenment.

Despite its economy in words (which I found very positive), the text is very rich in unveiling arguments and questions, such as (p.63): `Now look scrupulously at the nature of your mind when it is in full, perfect mental quiescence. By nature, does it have a colour, a form, a shape? Does it have an arising, a ceasing, an enduring, or not? Is it outside, inside, or where is it settled? ...'

The commentaries by H. E. Beru Khyentze Rinpoche (1947) are very sharp, such as (p.77): `It has always been the case, for the nature of the mind is permanent'.

Considering the importance of a spiritual guide for the realization of Mahamudra, the text also includes the `Fifty Stanzas of Guru-Devotion', written by the Indian Buddhist poet-philosopher Asvaghosa in the second century C.E., and commented by Geshe Ngawang Dhargyey (1921-1995).

The author of `The Mahamudra, Eliminating the Ignorance of Darkness' is the The Ninth Karmapa Wangchuk Dorje (1556 - 1603), who wrote many condensed commentaries on sutras and tantras, including three treatises about Mahamudra which have since been - and still are - central in the teachings and transmissions of Mahamudra in the Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism: `The Ocean Of Definitive Meaning', `Pointing Out The Dharmakaya', and this one, which is the shortest. Today, all three are available in English.

This book, finely translated by Alexander Berzin, has been published (First Edition: 1978) under the auspices of the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives (LTWA, Dharamsala) in its remarkable effort to make available teachings from the many traditions of Buddhism in Tibet.

I do strongly recommend this book, and personally consider it a 'must have' for anyone seriously interested in Mahamudra, as by the Karma-Kagyu lineage.

by Eduardo Tramontini (Buddhist name: Karma Trinley Zangpo)

The 9th Karmapa (Wang-ch'ug dor-je) wrote three famed texts on Mahamudra. The longest one, the Ocean of Definitive Meaning (or Ultimate Meaning) was published with commentary by Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche twice ("The Ninth Karmapa's Ocean of Definitive Meaning" and "An Ocean of Ultimate Meaning"). Likewise, Thrangu Rinpoche published his commentary of "Pointing Out the Dharmakaya." The present work is one of the shortest (maybe the shortest) of the 3 texts by the 9th Karmapa (1556-1603). It is, thus, quite concise--reminiscent of "The Practice of Mahamudra" by Chetsang Rinpoche in that regard. Beru Rinpoche's commentary (paragraph by paragraph) is also quite concise, but virtually always contributes greatly to the reader's understanding of the text and of Mahamudra. The translation by Alexander Berzin seems first rate to me. I'd give the main book 4.5 stars. However, in addition to this text, the book also includes the 1st century BCE text "Fifty Stanzas of Guru-Devotion" by Aryasura (or Asvaghosa) with commentary by Geshe Ngawang Dhargyey who is presumably the co-author of the very fine modern classic, "Advice from a Spiritual Friend." It was writtn during the reign of Kanishka of the Kushan dynasty--known for his ancient coinage. It includes much detail about how to choose and treat one's Guru. However, its context must be considered. For example, it is considered unseemly to point your feet (still the case in Asia) and to step on your Guru's shadow. Some of the items could be considered either Tibetan-specific beliefs or culture or even superstition, but considering the age of the text, these should be overlooked by the Western reader. There is some practical advice still useful today.


Book Review: The Black Hat Eccentric

January-March 2013

The Black Hat Eccentric: Artistic Visions of the Tenth Karmapa

By Karl Debreczeny with contributions by Ian A. Alsop, David P. Jackson and Irmgard Mengele

Rubin Museum of Art, New York; University of Washington Press 2012

The Black Hat Eccentric: Artistic Visions of the Tenth Karmapa by Karl Debreczeny is at once a fascinating story of an unconventional artist and his times, and a landmark contribution to Tibetan studies. Debreczeny writes, “The life story of the Tenth Karmapa provides insight into the lives of Tibetan artists, who are typically absent from discussions of Tibetan art (65).” This book addresses this curious state of art history within Tibetan studies by offering the first publication about a single Tibetan artist, with a strong focus on “the hand of the master.”

The Tenth Karmapa, Chöying Dorjé (1604-1674), head of the Karma Kagyu school, was not a professional artist, but in Debreczeny’s words “painting and sculpture was his passion (65).” Chöying Dorjé’s painting style was very different from “the mainstream Tibetan painting of his time (69),” which was dominated by the Menri style from the mid-fifteenth century. Menri is known for its predominance of blue and green palette, strict iconography and iconometry [artistic conventions for the proportions of buddhas, deities and so forth], and a symmetrical composition crowded with details that fill the canvas. Chöying Dorjé was trained in part by his religious teacher, the Sixth Shamar, as well as a master painter of the Menri tradition, but seems to have developed most as an artist through the viewing and copying of Buddhist art encountered in his wide-ranging travels. Chöying Dorjé was especially interested in archaic styles and the art of Tibet’s neighbors, developing a highly personal idiom that incorporated features from what Tibetans called “Kashmir” (northwest India), Nepal, and China and was unusually versatile in styles from the Tibetan Yarlung (7th – 8th century), Chinese Song and Yuan, and fifteenth century Tibetan master artists. He was especially fond of the Chinese theme of the Sixteen Arhats, and painted sets of the subject multiple times. 

The Tenth Karmapa, Chöying Dorjé, was most influenced by Chinese painting styles, genres and techniques during his twenty-five year exile from central Tibet, mostly spent in Lijiang, Yunnan. He was a close contemporary of the Fifth Dalai Lama, but experienced the other side of geopolitical struggles of the seventeenth century, barely escaping with his life when Gushri Khan invaded in 1642 and, in securing the Fifth Dalai Lama’s throne, persecuted the Kagyu. One the most engaging accounts from his life is described in the introductory chapters by Irmgard Mengele and Debreczeny, which detail the arduous solo journeys undertaken in disguise back into Tibet to find young Karma Kagyu reincarnations and bring them back to Lijiang for training, thus preserving the lineage.

Chöying Dorjé’s “Chinese thangka painting” featured the Chinese conventions for the asymmetrical arrangement of figures, whose activities transpired in sparse, open landscapes. His “figural style is quite distinctive, especially in his fleshy elongated heads, featuring simple abbreviated faces with tiny, red, pursed lips (125).” His love of animals, especially birds, is mentioned in his biographies and animals appear in his paintings rendered with special sensitivity, naturalism and often playfulness.  From the age of nine until the end of his life, he painted works based upon visions and dreams, and delighted in compositions of his own design.

Despite his unique style, Chöying Dorjé’s mixture of styles and periods have made attribution of his works challenging. This task of the art historian is further compounded by the workshops of trained artists Chöying Dorjé employed. Debreczeny devotes several chapters to first a detailed analysis of the set of seven paintings securely dated to 1660 and inscribed by Chöying Dorjé as made “in their entirety by his own hand” (chapter 3). These then serve as an “anchor” against which other works may be compared, as Debreczeny does in the following three chapters regarding painting sets of the Sixteen Arhats (chapter 4) and Deeds of the Buddha (chapter 5), and in reevaluation of works previously attributed to Chöying Dorjé (chapter 6), and Ian Alsop takes up in regard to debate about sculptures (chapter 8). These chapters offer formal analysis, while also exploring the complicated cultural and religious questions of authorship, which can imply the artists’ own hand, his design, his workshop, or a style he initiated.

What might be of most interest to the Buddhist scholar or practitioner is the sheer number of functions that Chöying Dorjé and his associates ascribed to or engaged in through the production and viewing of religious art; I counted at least two dozen. Chöying Dorjé examined art constantly, commenting on and differentiating between its religious power and aesthetic value; he copied paintings and drew statues as a means to training, and to put back into circulation through copies images he cared for. He created works for life cycle events such as ordinations, enthronements, deaths, and as gifts for the faithful to encourage their practice. He made paintings to outfit new temples, and to serve as objects for receiving the confession, prostrations, and offerings of devotees, i.e. for merit making. Chöying Dorjé also calls upon the efficacy of paintings of the divinities as witnesses to rituals, and to directly affect the environment in terminating illnesses, removing obstacles to long life, and even in subduing an army.

Chöying Dorjé, to an extent unprecedented even today, “did not feel bound by iconographic strictures and displayed a freedom of spirit in his innovations that were probably only afforded to an incarnation of his stature (72).” Yet, his place in Tibetan tradition is tentative; “while he is venerated as one of the great artists, his eccentric and even heterodox works had a limited impact on the largely conservative Tibetan orthodox traditions (277).”

The Black Hat Eccentric is likely to become an indispensible reference: it is thoroughly annotated (with 893 endnotes), richly illustrated not only with works by and attributed to the Tenth Karmapa, but examples of art to which he was likely exposed and would have been of contemporaneous or historical interest to him. Thus the reader is offered a thorough art history, but most importantly and uniquely, from the perspective of a remarkable artist, so that we can immerse ourselves in his visual world, and be all the more amazed by his unprecedented vision.

The publication was accompanied by “The Tenth Karmapa and Tibet’s Turbulent 17th Century Conference,” held November 9-11, 2012, at the Rubin Museum of Art, New York City.

Leigh Sangster is completing a Ph.D. from the Institute of Liberal Arts at Emory University and is Director of Programs at Maitripa College, Portland, Oregon.


Kashag´s statement on the reincarnation of Gyalwa Karmapa


Translation of the original text in Tibetan

Kashag´s statement on the reincarnation of Gyalwa Karmapa

 Kyabje Tai Situ Rinpoche and Kyabje Gyaltsab Rinpoche visited Dharamsala specifically to inform His Holiness the Dalai Lama about the reincarnation of the XVI. Gyalwa Karmapa Rigpal Dorjee. They had an audience with His Holiness during which they explained how Tai Situ Rinpoche got the late Karmapa´s letter and the discovery of a boy born in the Wood-Bull year to Karma Thondup Tashi and Loga in a nomadic village near the Lathok Karlek monastery in Tibet, corresponding to the directions in the letter. The Rinpoches supplicated to His Holiness for his approval of this boy as the reincarnation of the Gyalwa Karmapa. On June 30, 1992, the 30th of the fourth month in the Tibetan Water-Monkey year, His Holiness the Dalai Lama gave his approval letter. Detailed statements on this have been released by the Department of Religion & Culture as well as by the Department of Information & International Relations.

However, recently on account of a lack of understanding of the real issue, doubts have been created among a section of officials and the public. Similarly, distorted reportings have appeared in the Indian press saying that His Holiness the Dalai Lama has withdrawn his approval to the reincarnation of the Gyalwa Karmapa. This has created unnecessary doubts and uneasiness in the community. If the public does not understand the issue clearly and is misled by rumours it would undermine our unity. It could also provide an opportunity to current Chinese activities and policy of destroying the unity in the Tibetan society.

Thus, to reiterate: His Holiness the Dalai Lama has clearly given his approval to the young reincarnation who is presently in Tsurphu. This fact should be understood clearly by the general public so that there is peace and stability in our community at this current critical period. 

 Sd. Tenzin Namgyal Tethong Chairman of the Kashag

Dharamsala, March 30, 1994.


Übersetzung des Originaltextes aus dem Tibetischen

 Darlegung des Kashag zur Reinkarnation des Gyalwa Karmapa

 Kyabje Tai Situ Rinpoche und Kyabje Gyaltsab Rinpoche haben Dharamsala speziell deshalb besucht, um Seine Heiligkeit den Dalai Lama über die Reinkarnation des XVI. Gyalwa Karmapa Rigpe Dorje zu informieren. Sie hatten eine Audienz bei Seiner Heiligkeit, während der sie erklärten, wie Tai Situ Rinpoche den Brief des verstorbenen Karmapa bekommen hatte, und wie daraufhin der Knabe, geboren im Holz-Ochsen Jahr als Sohn von KarmaThondup Tashi und Loga in einem Nomadendorf nahe dem Lathok Karlek Kloster in Tibet, entsprechend den Angaben des Briefes, gefunden worden war. Die Rinpoches baten Seine Heiligkeit um seine Anerkennung des Knabens als die Reinkarnation des Gyalwa Karmapa. Am 30. Juni 1992, dem 30. des vierten Monats im Tibetischen Wasser-Affen Jahr, überreichte Seine Heiligkeit der Dalai Lama seinen Anerkennungsbrief. Detaillierte Darlegungen diesbezüglich sind von der Abteilung für Religion & Kultur wie auch durch die Abteilung für Information & Internationale Beziehungen veröffentlicht worden.

 Kürzlich sind jedoch wegen mangelndem Verständnisses der tatsächlichen Angelegenheit Zweifel unter einem Teil der Funktionäre und der Öffentlichkeit verursacht worden. Ebenso sind verzerrte Berichte in den Indischen Medien aufgetaucht, die besagen, dass Seine Heiligkeit der Dalai Lama seine Anerkennung der Reinkarnation des Gyalwa Karmapa widerrufen hätte. Dies hat zu unnötigen Zweifeln und Unruhe in der Gemeinschaft geführt. Wenn die Öffentlichkeit das Problem nicht klar genug versteht und durch Gerüchte irregeführt wird, könnte das unsere Einheit schwächen. Dies könnte auch eine Gelegenheit für die gegenwärtigen Chinesischen Aktivitäten, speziell deren Taktik der Vernichtung der Einheit der Tibetischen Gesellschaft darstellen.

 So, zur Wiederholung: Seine Heiligkeit der Dalai Lama hat eindeutig seine Anerkennung der jungen Reinkarnation, die sich zur Zeit in Tsurphu aufhält, gegeben. Diese Tatsache sollte von der breiten Öffentlichkeit klar verstanden werden, damit während dieser so kritischen Periode Friede und Stabilität in unserer Gemeinschaft herrscht.

 Tenzin Namgyal Tethong
 Vorsitzender des Kashag

 Dharamsala, 30. März 1994

 Übersetzung Julia Martin



An Appeal from President Joint Action Committee Gangtok, Sikkim (INDIA)



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All are well aware that His Holiness the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje passed away on November 5, 1981 in U. S .A. . The successive reincarnations of H.H. the Gyalwa Karmapa, in accordance with the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, appear in the world for the protection and promotion of the Dharma, for the welfare and happiness of all sentient beings.

After the passing away of one Gyalwa Karmapa, and till the recognition and confirmation of his next incarnation, one or more among the senior Rinpoches are given the responsibilities of religious and administrative matters of H.H. the Gyalwa Karmapa, as his Regent(s). Following this tradition, the Regents thus appointed in December 1981 at Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre, were Shamar Rinpoche, Tai Situ Rinpoche, Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche and Tsurpu Gyaltsab Rinpoche. These four Regents were given the overall responsibilities, such as the administration of the Dharma Chakra Centre, Rumtek, as well as search for the next incarnation of H.H. the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa.

It is most unfortunate that some elements are spreading rumours among the general public in connection with the reincarnation of H.H. the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, and are particularly trying to create a rift among the followers of Buddhism. Keeping in view the ongoing controversy over the reincarnation of H.H. the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, which islooming like a large dark cloud over the Rumtek Monastery, and because we believe in the truth and in the Dharma, this appeal is being made to state the truth, as well as to openly clarify the doubts.

In the year 1959, H.H. the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa had come to India. The then Chogyal of Sikkim, after consulting the Denzong Lhaday Tshogpa, invited H.H. the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa to visit Sikkim. When H.H. the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa accepted the invitation, the Chogyal requested him to reside in Sikkim. Accordingly, H.H. the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa agreed and accepted the Chogyal´s request to settle down in Sikkim. All the people of Sikkim considered themselves as most fortunate because of His Holiness´ willingness to stay in Sikkim, a feeling which is still predominant in the minds of the Sikkimese people even today. The then Sikkim Government donated land for the construction of the monastery and abode of H.H. the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa at Rumtek, where His Holiness established the main Dharma Chakra Centre of the Kagyu order. The Sikkim Government constructed a link road to the monastery, apart from extending all requisite assistance to His Holiness. The subsequent government has also provided all necessary assistance and help to His Holiness and the same is being continued to this date.

After H.H. the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa passed away in November 1981, all his followers were eagerly awaiting for the news of his reincarnation, and were, to some extent, agitated over the delay. A section of the people even appealed to the State Government of Sikkim, to find out about the reincarnation of His Holiness. Finally, the Letter of Prediction left by H.H. the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, was traced out by the four Regents of the Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre.

There is an age-old tradition and prescribed guidelines for locating, identifying, and recognising the successive reincarnation of His Holiness the Gyalwa Karmapa. Normally, there are many procedur to find out the reincarnation of a Tibetan Lama, but in the case of the search and identification of H.H. the Gyalwa Karmapa, thereis an extraordinary system, which is divided into two phases. In the first phase, H.H. the Gyalwa Karmapa, during his lifetime, leaves a letter of prediction about his own reincarnation. After the death of any Karmapa, his letter of prediction is traced out, and accordingly, the exact meaning of the letter of prediction is deciphered.

The second phase begins after the letter of prediction is deciphered. In this phase, as per the letter of prediction, the place of birth of the new incarnate Gyalwa Karmapa is visited and the reincarnation is sought and identified. Then, a report is sent to His Holiness the Dalai Lama for his approval of the new incarnate as the successive Gyalwa Karmapa. After the completion of this process of recognition of the new Gyalwa Karmapa, and all the connected religious and social rituals, H.H. the Dalai Lama finally gives his Seal of Approval, which is known as the `Buktham Rinpoche`.

Accordingly, as per the customs and traditions laid down, after finding the letter of Prediction of H.H. the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa and deciphering is contents, the four Regents had a meeting at Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre on March 19, 1992. On the same day, the representatives of six prominent Buddhist organizations of Sikkim had a formal meeting with the four Regents at Rumtek. When questioned by these six representatives as to whether there was a reincarnation of H.H. the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, the four Regents categorically stated and affirmed that there was such a reincarnation. The representatives were also shown the Letter of Prediction left by H.H. the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa. After the six representatives confirmed the fact of the reincarnation of H.H. the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa from the four Regents, they urged the Regents to make an immediate announcement and bring H.H. the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa to Rumtek. The four Regents responded that they had traced out the original Letter of Prediction, and that it would take some more time to exactly locate and identify the reincarnation as per the prescribed custom and tradition. However, the representatives requested the Regents to finalise the matter latest by October 2, 1992. It is most significant that some representatives of the Government of Sikkim had meeting with the four Regents the very next day. Even they were shown the Letter of Prediction and were assured that H.H. the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa would be identified and brought to Sikkim within six to seven months. Tobga Yulgyal thanked the Government representatives for their proposed cooperation and assistance for the plans to bring H.H. the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa to Sikkim. The Regents also apprised the representatives of the Government, that as per the Letter of Prediction, the new Karmapa had been born in Tibet and that H.E. Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche would be proceeding to Tibet.

Unfortunately, on April 26, 1992, his Eminence Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche met a sudden and an unexpected death.

For ages, the Tsurphu Monastery in Tibet has been the throne of all previous Gyalwa Karmapas. They were all consecrated in this very monastery. Hence, Tsurphu Monastery is considered the centre of administration, religion, training and other disciplines of the Kagyu order. Being a matter of great importance, and to resolve the issue as early as possible, the Reverend Akong Rinpoche and Shri Sherab Tharchin were deputed to go to Tibet in place of the late H.E. Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche. Before entering Tibet, the party informed the authorities of Tsurphu Monastery about the Letter of Prediction of H.H. the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, from Nepal. As indicated in the Letter of Prediction, the birth place of H.H. the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa was Bakor village in the Kham province of tibet. A team from Tsurphu Monastery also proceeded towards Bakor on May 1, 1992. After a journey of eight days the team from Tsurphu finally reached their destination. Accordingly, they identified H.H. the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa. Then, H.E. Tai Situ Rinpoche and H.E. Gyaltsab Rinpoche conversed with H.H. the Dalai Lama, over the telephone. Thereafter, a copy of the Letter of Prediction, documents indicating the birth of H.H. the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, photographs of his birth-place, and other documents, such as the prophecies made by Guru Padmasambhava on the gyalwa Karmapas, were transmitted to H.H. the Dali Lama, who was then at Brazil, by telefax. On the same day, H.H. the Dalai Lama accorded his approval to the new incarnate as H.H. the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa.

The three of the remaining four Regents were at Rumtek from June 12 to June 20, 1992. During that period, Shamar Rinpoche expressed some doubts about the authenticity of the Letter of Prediction. But on June 17, 1992 he expressed his full faith in Tai Situ Rinpoche, and subsequently gave a statement in writing, saying that he totally agreed with the recognition of H.H. the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, born in Tibet and as approved by H.H. the Dalai Lama. In this statement, Shamar Rinpoche categorically stated that henceforth, he would never question the authenticity of the Letter of Prediction of H.H. the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, and expressed his acceptance of the said Letter as authentic.

After his return from Brazil on June 29, 1992 Tai Situ Rinpoche and Gyaltsab Rinpoche together called on H.H. the Dalai Lama, and so did Shamar Rinpoche, but separately. After hearing the versions of the three Rinpoches, His Holiness gave them appropriate advice and instructions, and asked thwm to see him the following day, together.

The next day, Tai Situ Rinpoche and Gyaltsab Rinpoche, once again called on His Holiness the Dalai Lama, but Shamar Rinpoche did not do so. It may be presumed that he deliberately absented himself from the meeting. On that day itself, H.H. the Dalai Lama gave the seal of his formal approval (Buktham Rinpoche), in recognition of the 17th incarnation of H.H. the Gyalwa Karmapa. Meanwhile, on June 27, 1992 the Chinese Government made an announcement of the recognition of the 17th incarnation of H.H. the Gyalwa Karmapa. Thus, the chapter of the recognition of H.H. the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa was closed.

His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje was born on June 26, 1985 at Bakor village, in Lhatok district of Kham province of Tibet, to Shri Dhondup Tashi and Smt. Loga.

On September 27, 1992 Ogyen Dodul Trinley Dorje was consecrated as H.H. the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, on the Dharma-throne of the Kagyu sect at the Tsurphu monastery, according to tradition, and with religious fervour.

This world is inhabited by many different kinds of human beings, who, in order to fulfill their vested interests, are destroying the age-old tradition of the Karma Kagyu order. Creating controversies over the incarnation of H.H. the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, these elements are making a mere show of being followers of Buddhism. The leaders of these elements are Shamar rinpoche and Tobga Yulgyal of Bhutan.

There was no controversy about the incarnation of H.H. the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa earlier. Everything was proceeding according to prescribed customs, rituals and traditions. All the four Regents, after thoroughly examining the documents, following the religious ideologies and principles from all angles, had agreed upon and accepted the Letter of Prediction. Reverend Akong Rinpoche and Shri Sherab Tharchin had proceeded in search of the incarnatd 17th Gyalwa Karmapa in Tibet. When Shamar Rinpoche once again expressed his doubts about the authenticity of the Letter of Prediction, he claimed that the true Letter of Prediction was with him. There is one very pertinent point to be mentioned here, which will help to clarify the situation. Shamar Rinpoche is the son of the elder brother of late H.H. the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, while Tobga Yulgyal is the son of the sister of H.H. the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa. Therefore, relatively both Shamar Rinpoche and Tobga Yulgyal are nephews of H.H. the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa. Thus, under the law of succession in India, they have a right to succeed to the moveable and immoveable properties of the late H.H. the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, as his next of kin.

There are moveable and immoveable properties of the Kagyu sect at the Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre, and in various other places all over the world. Through these assets, the administration of the Kagyu sect, the establishment, propagation and conservation of Dharma are being done. H.H. the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa of Tibet has been accepted by all followers of the Buddhist faith and H.H. the Dalai Lama has also given his formal approval. Even though closely related to H.H. the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, both Shamar Rinpoche and Tobga Yulgyal have refused to accept H.H. the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa of Tibet as the real reincarnation of H.H. the late 16th Gyalwa Karmapa. Their claims of having their own candidates for the reincarnation can be well understood for their not-so-well-hidden intentions. Such improper insistance shown by both Shamar Rinpoche and Tobga Yulgyal clearly indicates that they are trying to grab the precious immoveable and moveable properties of the Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre.

On June 11, 1992 when Tai Situ Rinpoche and Gyaltsab Rinpoche, were explaining about the reincarnation of H.H. the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa to the devotees at Rumtek Monastery, Shamar Rinpoche , accompanied by some heavily armed soldiers of the Indian Army, entered the Rumtek Monastery, and disturbed the religious discourse. In doing so, Shamar Rinpoche dishonoured the Buddha-dharma on that day.

When the controversy over the incarnation of H.H. the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa was brewing up, the then Chief Minister of Sikkim called the three surviving Regents, and discussed the matter with them on June 18, 1992. During the course of the meeting, Shamar Rinpoche once again expressed his acceptance of Ogyen Trinley Dorje as the real incarnation of H.H. the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa.

On August 2, 1993 Tai Situ Rinpoche and Gyaltsab Rinpoche arrived at Rumtek Monastery, along with some monks, for the annual Yarney ceremony. Some other monks, at the behest of and under instructions from Shamar Rinpoche and Tobga Yulgyal, closed and locked the main door of the Monastery. Since the two Regents and the accompaning monks could not enter the Monastery, the ceremony could not be conducted. Even the large number of devotees who had gathered to participate in the rituals were not allowed to enter the Monastery, much to their consternation.

The doors were opened for the devotees only late into the night, that too after some people brought the issue to the notice of the Sikkim Government. It was only when the Sangha MLA, Home Secretary, Secretary Ecclesiastical Department, Inspector General of Police, District Collector and other high ranking officials gathered at the Monastery, that the monks acting at the instance of Shamar Rinpoche, agreed to open the doors to the monastery. But even as some police officials went to collect the keys, some monks of Shamar Rinpoche attacked the gathering at the Monastery with stones, steel-rods and chilly powder. As a result, many devotees were hurt.

In view of such a display of hooliganism, which is totally contradictory to the principles of Buddhism, all Buddhist organisations in Sikkim, under the aegis of the Lhaday Tshogpa, held a meeting on August 13, 1993. During the meeting, a Joint Action Committee was formed, comprising of representatives from Sherpa, Tamang, Gurung and all other Buddhist organisations.

Rumtek has, over the last couple of years, witnessed many more such shameful atrocities, but due to the timely untervention of the State-Government, no untoward incident has occured so far. In fact, as recently as in August 1995, Tobga Yulgyal, along with some monks, tried to forcibly enter the monastery. His contention was that these monks were of Sikkimese origin, and this gave them the right to enter the Monastery. The Joint Action Committee and the Lhaday Tshogpa brought the matter to the notice of the Government, which in turn directed the concerned authority to prohibit these monks from entering the Rumtek Monastery complex. It is now known that these monks, said to be on a hunger strike, are misleading the authorities posted there, as they are eating full meals. Such is the character of persons who, by creating the unnecessary controversy, have immensely dishonoured the name of religion.

The Joint Action Committee has apprised the Hon´ble Chief Minister of Sikkim, that if, as is being claimed, the said monks who are in sympathy with Tobga Yulgyal are Sikkimese monks, then they must have hailed from different monasteries in the State, and when joining the Rumtek Monastery, must have obtained admission or nomination from their respective monasteries, because that is the procedure for a monk from any Sikkimese monastery to join the Rumtek Monastery. If these rules and regulations, which all the monasteries follow strictly are violated, then it would lead to a complete breakdown of their administrative operations, which consequently would lead to absolute blasphemy and disorder. This will not be tolerated by any follower of the religion. It has come to light that these monks who are at present outside the monastery, allegedly on a hunger-strike, left their respective monasteries on their own, without any sanction. Thus, they have violated the rules and regulations of their monasteries, as well as those of the Rumtek monastery. Their activities are, therefore, totally against the Dharma and beyond the bounds of religious tolerance. If they are really keen on joining the Rumtek Monastery, then they must first seek the permission from their respective monasteries, and then seek admission in the Rumtek Monastery. They cannot forcibly enter a monastery by creating a religious controversy.

The Joint Action Committee feels that it is it´s prime duty to put an end to the disharmony and uneasy atmosphere as created by Shamar Rinpoche and Mr. Tobga Yulgyal. The main objective of the Committee presently is to bring H.H. the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa from Tsurphu and duly enthrone him at the Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre.

There are always hindrances for good causes and noble deeds, and our fate has been no different. It is unfortunate for us that such a controversy has been eating into the roots at the Rumtek Monastery. The Joint Action Committee, through this appeal, is doing its best to apprise the people about the true and correct state of affairs on the matter. We believe, that it will help in removing the doubts that some people may still have. It is the responsibility of all of us to accept the truth and protect it. Through this appeal, we also request the followers of other religious faiths, to help us in our attempt. May the blessings of H.H. the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa be with us always. Let us unitedly support the sacred venture to bring H.H. the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, from Tsurphu to Rumtek.

Thanking you

With best wishes,

President Joint Action Committee Gangtok, Sikkim (INDIA)
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Alle sind sich bewußt, dass Seine Heiligkeit der XVI. Gyalwa Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje am 5. November 1981 in den U.S.A. verstorben ist. Die aufeinanderfplgenden Reinkarnationen Seiner Heiligkeit des Gyalwa Karmapa erscheinen, in Übereinstimmung mit der Tradition des Tibetischen Buddhismus, in der Welt, um den Dharma zu beschützen und zu fördern; zum Wohlergehen und zur Zufriedenheit aller fühlenden Wesen.

Nach dem Tod eines Gyalwa Karmapa, und bis zur Anerkennung und Bestätigung seiner nächsten Inkarnation, übernimmt einer - oder mehrere - der älteren Rinpoches die Verantwortung über die religiösen und administrativen Angelegenheiten Seiner Heiligkeit des Gyalwa Karmapa; als sein Regent. Dieser Tradition folgend wurden so im Dezember 1981 im Dharma Chakra Zentrum Rumtek die Regenten bestimmt: Shamar Rinpoche, Tai Situ Rinpoche, Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche und Tsurpu Gyaltsab Rinpoche. Diesen vier Regenten wurde die gesamte Verantwortung des Dharma Chakra Zentrums Rumtek, wie auch die Suche nach der nächsten Inkarnation Seiner Heiligkeit des XVI. Gyalwa Karmapa, übertragen.

Es ist höchst bedauernswert, dass einige Elemente Gerüchte im Zusammenhang mit der Reinkarnation Seiner Heiligkeit des XVI. Gyalwa Karmapa unter die allgemeine Öffentlichkeit bringen, und vor allem, dass sie versuchen, einen Keil zwischen die Anhängerschaft des Buddhismus zu treiben. Die laufende Kontroverse über die Reinkarnation Seiner Heiligkeit des XVI. Gyalwa Karmapa, welche sich wie eine große, dunkle Wolke über dem Kloster Rumtek zusammenbraut, im Auge behaltend, und weil wir an die Wahrheit und den Dharma glauben, haben wir diesen Aufruf verfaßt, um die Wahrheit darzulegen und offen alle Zweifel zu klären.

Seine Heiligkeit der XVI. Gyalwa Karmapa war im Jahre 1959 nach Indien gekommen. Der damalige Chogyal von Sikkim hat nach einer Konsultation des Denzog Lhaday Tshogpa Seine Heiligkeit den XVI. Gyalwa Karmapa nach Sikkim eingeladen. Nachdem Seine Heiligkeit der XVI. Gyalwa Karmapa die Einladung angenommen hatte, bat ihn der Chogyal, in Sikkim seine neue Residenz aufzubauen. Diesem Wunsch hat Seine Heiligkeit der XVI. Gyalwa Karmapa ebtsprochen und hat sich auf die Bitte des Chogyal hin in Sikkim niedergelassen. Das ganze Volk Sikkims betrachtete sich durch die Bereitschaft Seiner Heiligkeit, in Sikkim zu bleiben, als höchst glücklich; ein Gefühl, welches bis zum heutigen Tag in den Herzen des Sikkimesischen Volkes vorherrscht. Die damalige Regierung Sikkims spendete für den Aufbau des Klosters und den Wohnort Seiner Heiligkeit des XVI. Gyalwa Karmapa in Rumtek Land, wo Seine Heiligkeit das Hauptdharmachakra Zentrum des Kagyu Ordens gründete. Die Regierung Sikkims baute, abgesehen von allen anderen gewährleisteten Hilfestellungen für Seine Heiligkeit, eine Verbindungsstraße zum Kloster. Die nachfolgende Regierung hat ebenso alle notwendige Unterstützung und Hilfe für Seine Heiligkeit zur Verfügung gestellt, und setzt dies bis zum heutigen Tag fort.

Nach dem Tod Seiner Heiligkeit des XVI. Gyalwa Karmapa im November 1981, haben all seine Anhänger ungeduldig auf Neuigkeiten bezüglich seiner Reinkarnation gewartet, und waren bis zu einem gewissen Grad über die verzögerung aufgebracht. Ein Teil der Menschen wendete sich sogar an die staatliche Regierung Sikkims, um mehr über die Reinkarnation Seiner Heiligkeit in Erfahrung zu bringen. Schließlich wurde von den vier Regenten des Rumtek Dharma Chakra Zentrums der Prophezeiungsbrief, den Seine heiligkeit der XVI. Gyalwa Karmapa hinterlassen hatte, ausfindig gemacht.

Es gibt eine uralte Tradition und vorgeschriebene Richtlinien bezüglich des Ausfindig- machens, dem Feststellen der Identität und des Anerkennens der aufeinanderfolgenden Reinkarnationen Seiner Heiligkeit des Gyalwa Karmapas. Normalerweise gibt es viele Verfahren, eine Reinkarnation eines Tibetischen Lamas ausfindig zu machen, aber im Fall der Suche und Identifizierung der Reinkarnation Seiner Heiligkeit des Gyalwa Karmapa gibt es ein außergewöhnliches System, welches sich in zwei Phasen teilt. In der ersten Phase hinterläßt Seine heiligkeit der Gyalwa Karmapa während seiner Lebenszeit einen Prophezeiungsbrief betreffend seiner eigenen Reinkarnation. Nach dem Tod eines jeden Karmapa muß dieser Prophezeiungsbrief ausfindig gemacht und die genaue Bedeutung des Briefes entschlüsselt werden. Die zweite Phase beginnt nach dem Entschlüsseln des Briefes. In dieser Phase wird, dem Brief entsprechend, der Geburtsort der neuen Inkarnation des Gyalwa Karmapa besucht, die Reinkarnation gesucht und ihre Identität nachgewiesen. Danach wird Seine Heiligkeit dem Dalai Lama für dessen Anerkennung der neuen Inkarnation als den darauffolgenden Gyalwa Karmapa ein Bericht gesandt. Nach Beendigung dieses Prozesses der Anerkennung des neuen Gyalwa Karmapa, und allen damit verbundenen religiösen und gesellschaftlichen Ritualen, gibt Seine Heiligkeit der Dalai Lama schließlich sein Siegel der Anerkennung, das als „Buktham Rinpoche" bekannt ist.

Den Sitten und Traditionen entsprechend festgelegt, hatten die vier Regenten nach Finden des Prophezeiungsbriefes Seiner heiligkeit Dem XVI. Gyalwa Karmapa und der Entschlüsselung seines Inhalts am 19. März 1992, ein Treffen im Dharma Chakra Zentrum in Rumtek. Am selben Tag hatten die Representanten von sechs prominenten Buddhistischen Organisationen Sikkims ein formales Meeting mit den vier Regenten in Rumtek. Als diese sechs Vertreter fragten, ob es nun eine Reinkarnation Seiner Heiligkeit des XVI. Gyalwa Karmapa gäbe, bejaten dies die vier Regenten mit bestimmtheit und beteuerten, dass es eine solche Reinkarnation gäbe. Den Representanten wurde aucg der Prophezeiungsbrief, den Seine Heiligkeit der XVI. Gyalwa Karmapa hinterlassen hatte, gezeigt. Nachdem nun auch die sechs Vertreter die Tatsache einer Reinkarnation Seiner Heiligkeit des XVI. Gyalwa Karmapa bestätigen konnten, drängten sie die Regenten, eine sofortige Bekanntgabe zu verlautbaren, und Seine Heiligkeit den XVII. Gyalwa Karmapa nach Rumtek zu bringen. Daraufhin antworteten die vier Regenten, dass sie den Originalprophezeiungsbrief nun zwar entschlüsselt hätten, dass aber die genaue Lokalisation und Identifikation der Reinkarnation, entsprechend den Sitten und Traditionen, noch etwas Zeit brauche. Die Representanten baten daraufhin die Regenten, die Angelegenheit bis spätestens 2. Oktober 1992 zu einem Ende zu bringen. Es ist höchst bedeutsam, dass einige Vertreter der Regierung Sikkims am nächsten Tag ein Treffen mit den vier Regenten hatten. Auch ihnen wurde der Prophezeiungsbroef gezeigt, und zugesichert, dass Seine Heiligkeit der XVII. Gyalwa Karmapa innerhalb der nächsten sechs bis sieben Monate identifiziert und nach Sikkim gebracht werden würde. Tobga Yulgyal dankte den Vertretern der Regierung für deren beabsichtigte Zusammenarbeit und Hilfe bezüglich der Pläne, Seine Heiligkeit den XVII. Gyalwa Karmapa nach Sikkim zu bringen. Die Regenten setzten die vertreter der regierung auch davon in Kenntnis, dass der neue karmapa, entsprechend dem Prophezeiungsbrief, in Tibet geboren worden sei, und dass Seine Eminenz Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche als „Vorhut" nach Tibet reisen werde.

Unglücklicherweise ereilte Seine Eminenz Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche am 26. April 1992 ein plötzlicher und unerwarteter Tod.

Seit ewigen Zeiten ist das Kloster Tsurphu in Tibet der Thron aller vorherigen Gyalwa Karmapas gewesen. Sie alle wurden in diesem Kloster geweiht. Daher wird das Kloster Tsurphu als Zentrum von Verwaltung, Religion, Training und anderen Disziplinen des Kagyu Ordens betrachtet. Da es um eine Angelegenheit von höchster Wichtigkeit, und damit Lösen dieses Problems so schnell wie möglich ging, wurden der ehrfürchtige Akong Rinpoche und Shri Sherab Tharchin abgeordnet, anstelle Seiner Eminenz, des verstorbenen Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche, nach Tibet zu reisen. Bevor sie nach Tibet einreisten informierte der Trupp noch von Nepal aus die Verwaltung des Klosters Tsurphu über den Prophezeiungsbrief Seiner heiligkeit des XVI. Gyalwa Karmapa. Wie im Brief angegeben, war der Geburtsort Seiner Heiligkeit des XVII. Gyalwa Karmapa das Dofr Bakor in der Provinz Kham (Tibet). Eine Gruppe des Klosters Tsurphu reiste also am 1. Mai 1992 Richtung Bakor voraus. Nach einer achttägigen Reise erreichte die Gruppe aus Tsurphu schließlich ihr Ziel. Sie identifizierten Seine Heiligkeit den XVII. Gyalwa Karmapa entsprechend. Dann unterhielten sich Seine Eminenz Tai Situ Rinpoche und Seine Eminenz Gyaltsab Rinpoche via Telefon mit Seiner Heiligkeit dem Dalai Lama. Danach wurden eine Kopie des Prophezeiungsbriefes, Dokumente welche die Geburt Seiner Heiligkeit dem XVII. Gyalwa Karmapa anzeigen, Fotografien seines Geburtsortes und andere Unterlagen, wie die Prophezeiungen Guru Padmasambhavas bezüglich den Gyalwa Karmapas, mittels Telefax an Seine Heiligkeit den Dalai Lama nach Brasilien übermittelt. Noch am selben Tag verlieh Seine Heiligkeit der Dalai Lama sein Anerkennung für die neue Inkarnation Seiner Heiligkeit des XVII. Gyalwa Karmapa.

Die drei verbliebenen Regenten waren vom 12. - 20. Juni 1992 in Rumtek. Während dieser Tage brachte Shamar Rinpoche einige Zweifel bezüglich der Authentizität des Prophezeiungsbriefes zum Ausdruck. Aber am 17. Juni 1992 drückte er sein vollstes Vertrauen in Tai Situ Rinpoche aus, und später gab er ein schriftliches Statement ab, in dem er seine volle Zustimmung zur Anerkennung Seiner Heiligkeit des XVII. Gyalwa Karmapa, geboren in Tibet und von Seiner Heiligkeit dem Dalai Lama anerkannt, unterstrich. In dieser Stellungnahme gab Shamar Rinpoche mit Nachdruck an, dass er fortan niemals wieder die Authentizität des Prophezeiungsbriefes Seiner Heiligkeit des XVI. Gyalwa Karmapa in Frage stellen werde, und drückte seine Anerkennung des besagten Briefes als echt aus.

Nach seiner Rückkehr aus Brasilien am 29. Juni 1992 riefen Tai Situ Rinpoche und Gyaltsab Rinpoche gemeinsam Seine Heiligkeit den Dalai Lama an; dies tat auch Shamar Rinpoche, allerdings separat. Nach Anhörung der Versionen der drei Rinpoches gab Seine Heiligkeit ihnen entsprechende Ratschläge und Anordnungen, und bat sie alle drei gemeinsam , am nächsten Tag zu ihm zu kommen. Tags darauf riefen Tai Situ Rinpoche und Gyaltsab Rinpoche noch einnmal bei Seiner Heiligkeit dem Dalai Lama an, aber Shamar Rinpoche meldete sich nicht mehr. Es wird angenommen, dass er absichtlich seinerseits dem Treffen fernblieb. An diesem Tag übergab Seine Heiligkeit der Dalai Lama das Siegel seiner formalen Anerkennung (Buktham Rinpoche), zur Anerkennung der XVII. Inkarnation Seiner Heiligkeit des Gyalwa Karmapa. In der Zwischenzeit, am 27. Juni 1992, gab auch die chinesische Regierung ihre Anerkennung für die Reinkarnation der XVII. Inkarnation Seiner Heiligkeit des Gyalwa Karmapa bekannt. Damit war das Kapitel der Anerkennung Seiner Heiligkeit des XVII. Gyalwa Karmapa abgeschlossen.

Seine Heiligkeit der XVII. Gyalwa Karmapa Orgyen Trinley Dorje wurde am 26. Juni 1985 im Dorf Bakor, im Bezirk Lhatok der Provinz Kham in Tibet, als Sohn Shri Dhondup Tashis und Smt. Loga geboren.

Am 27. September 1992 wurde Orgyen Dodul Trinley Dorje auf dem Dharma-Thron der Kagyu Sekte im Kloster Tsurphu entsprechend der Tradition und mit religiöser Inbrunst zu Seiner Heiligkeit dem XVII. Gyalwa Karmapa geweiht.

Diese Welt wird von vielen verschiedenen Arten menschlichen Seins bewohnt, welche, um ihre persönlichen Interessen zu verfolgen, die uralte Tradition des Karma Kagyu Ordens zerstören. Durch das Erzeugen von Kontroversen über die Inkarnation Seiner Heiligkeit des XVII. Gyalwa Karmapa machen diese Elemente eine bloße Show daraus, Anhänger des Buddhismus zu sein. Die Führer dieser Elemente sind Shamar Rinpoche und Tobga Yulgyal aus Bhutan.

Es gab zuvor keine Kontroverse über die Inkarnation Seiner Heiligkeit des XVII. Gyalwa Karmapa. Alles verlief den entsprechend den vorgeschriebenen Bräuchen, Ritualen und Traditionen. Alle vier Regenten hatten, nachdem sie die Dokumente gründlich studiert hatten, den religiösen Ideologien und Prinzipien folgend, dem Brief der Prophezeiung zugestimmt, und ihn akzeptiert. Der ehrwürdige Akong Rinpoche und Shri Sherab Tharchin waren für die Suche nach der Inlarnation des XVII. Gyalwa Karmapa nach Tibet vorausgereist. Als Shamar Rinpoche erneut seine Zweifel über die Echtheit des Prophezeiungsbriefes ausdrückte, behauptete er auch gleich, dass der wahre Prophezeiungsbrief bei ihm sei. Es gibt einen sehr relevanten Punkt, welcher hier erwähnt werden muß, der helfen wird, die Situation klar darzustellen: Shamar Rinpoche ist der Sohn des älteren Bruders des verstorbenen XVI. Gyalwa Karmapa, während Tobga Yulgyal der Sohn der Schwester Seiner Heiligkeit des XVI. Gyalwa Karmapa ist. Daher sind beide, Shamar Rinpoche und Tobga Yulgyal, Neffen Seiner Heiligkeit des XVI. Gyalwa Karmapa. Folglich haben sie laut Gesetz der Erbfolge in Indien das Recht, die beweglichen und unbeweglichen Eigentümer Seiner Heiligkeit des verstorbenen XVI. Gyalwa Karmapa als nächste Verwandte zu erben.

Es gibt bewegliche und unbewegliche Eigentümer der Kagyu Sekte im Rumtek Dharma Chakra Zentrum, wie auch an zahlreichen anderen Orten in aller Welt. Über diese Aktiva wird die Verwaltung des Kaygu Ordens, seine Festigung, Verbreitung und die Erhaltung des Dharma abgewickelt. Seine Heiligkeit der XVII. Gyalwa Karmapa von Tibet ist von allen Anhängern des Buddhistischen Glaubens akzepiert worden, und selbst Seine Heiligkeit der Dalai Lama hat seine formale Anerkennung gegeben. Obwohl beide, Shamar Rinpoche und Tobga Yulgyal, enge Verwandte Seiner Heiligkeit des XVI. Gyalwa Karmapa sind, haben sie es abgelehnt, Seine Heiligkeit den XVII. Gyalwa Karmapa von Tibet als die wahre Reinkarnation des verstorbenen XVI. Gyalwa Karmapa anzuerkennen. Ihre Behauptung, einen eigenen Kandidaten für die Reinkarnation zu haben, kann nur allzu gut als nicht sehr gut versteckte Eigenintention verstanden werden. Solch unangebrachtes Beharren, welches beide - Shamar Rinpoche und Tobga Yulgyal - an den Tag legen, zeigt eindeutig, wie sehr sie versuchen die kostbaren unbeweglichen und beweglichen Güter des Rumtek Dharma Chakra Zentrums an sich zu raffen.

Am 11. Juni 1992, als Tai Situ Rinpoche und Gyaltsab Rinpoche gerade dabei waren, den Anhängern des Rumtek Klosters alles über die Reinkarnation Seiner Heiligkeit des Xvi. Gyalwa Karmapa zu erklären, betrat Shamar Rinpoche in Begleitung einiger stark bewaffneter Soldaten der indischen Armee das Kloster Rumtek, und störte den religiösen Diskurs. An diesem Tag hat Shamar Rinpoche dadurch den Buddhedharma geschändet.

Als sich die Kontroverse über die Inkarnation Seiner Heiligkeit des XVII. Gyalwa Karmapa zusammenbraute, rief der damalige oberste Minister Sikkims die drei überlebenden Regenten zu sich, und diskutierte, am 18. Juni 1992, mit ihnen die Angelegenheit. Im Verlauf des Treffens drückte Shamar Rinpoche abermals seine Anerkennung Orgyen Dodul Trinley Dorjes als wahre Inkarnation Seiner Heiligkeit des XVII. Gyalwa Karmapa aus.

Am 2. August 1993 reisten Tai Situ Rinpoche und Gyaltsab Rinpoche gemeinsam mit einigen Mönchen zum Kloster Rumtek, um die jährliche Yarney Zeremonie durchzuführen. Einige andere Mönche - auf den Befehl und unter Anleitung Shamar Rinpoche und Tobga Yulgyals - schlossen und verriegelten das Haupttor des Klosters. Da die zwei Regenten und die sie begleitenden Mönche das Kloster nicht betreten konnten, konnte auch die Zeremonie nicht durchgeführt werden. Nicht einmal der großen Zahl der Anhänger, die zusammengekommen war, um an dem Ritual teilzunehmen, war es erlaubt das Kloster zu betreten - sehr zu ihrer Bestürzung.

Die Tore wurden den Anhängern nur spätnachts geöffnet, und auch, nachdem einige dieses Problem der Sikkimesischen Regierung vorgetragen hatten, haben jene Mönche, die auf Befehl Shamar Rinpoches agierten, die Tore des Klosters erst geöffnet, als der MLA Sangha, der Sekretär für Inneres, der Sekretär der Kleriker-Abteilung, der Generalinspektor der Polizei, der Bezirkskollektor und andere hochrangige Beamte sich beim Kloster versammelt hatten. Aber sogar noch als einige Polizeibeamte bereits die Schlüssel einsammelten, attackierten ein paar von Shamar Rinpoches Mönchen die beim Kloster Versammelten mit Steinen, Stahlstangen und Chilipulver. Das Ergebnis waren zahlreiche verletzte Anhänger.

Angesichts derartiger Zurschaustellung von Rowdytum, welches total den Prinzipien des Buddhismus widerspricht, hielten am 13. August 1993, unter der Schirmherrschaft von Lhaday Tshogpa, alle Buddhistischen Organisationen in Sikkim ein Meeting ab. Während dieses Treffens wurde das „Joint Action Committee" gegründet; bestehend aus Vertretern von Sherpa, Tamang, Gurung und allen anderen Buddhistischen Organisationen.

Rumtek hat im Verlauf der letzten Jahre zahlreiche derartig schamhafte Grausamkeiten miterlebt, aber dank der rechtzeitigen Intervention der staatlichen Regierung war danach kein derart unangemessener Vorfall mehr aufgetreten. Aber Tatsache ist, dass im August 1995 Tobga Yulgyal gemeinsam mit ein paar Mönchen versucht hat, sich mit Gewalt Zutritt zum Kloster zu verschaffen. Er behauptete, dass diese Mönche sikkimesischen Herkunft seien, und dass ihnen dies das Recht gebe, das Kloster zu betreten. Das Joint Actio Committee und Lhaday tshogpa gaben die Angelegenheit der Regierung bekannt, welche umgehend die betreffende Stelle kontaktierte und diesen Mönchen den Zutritt zum Klosterkomplex Rumtek verbot. Wie nun bekannt wurde, haben diese Mönche, die behaupteten in Hungerstreik getreten zu sein, die besagtenAuthoritäten irregeführt, da sie in Wahrheit volle Mahlzeiten zu sich nahmen. So sehen die Charaktere jener Personen aus, die unnötige Kontroversen erschufen, und den Namen einer Religion immens entehrt haben.

Das Joint Action Committee hat den ehrwürdigen obersten Minister Sikkims davon in Kenntnis gesetzt, dass, wenn wie behauptet, die besagten Mönche - die mit Tobga Yulgyal sympathisieren - sikkimesische Mönche sind, diese in verschiedenen Klöstern im gesamten Staat angeheuert worden sein müssen, und wenn sie sich zum Kloster Rumtek begeben wollen sie von ihren jeweiligen Klöstern eine Zulassund oder Ernennung bekommen haben müssen. Denn dies ist die Prozedur für einen jeden Mönch eines sikkimesischen Klosters, um das Kloster Rumtek betreten zu können. Wenn diese Regeln und Vorschriften, an welche sich alle Klöster streng halten, gebrochen werden, so würde dies zu einem kompletten Zusammenbruch der administrativen Handhabung führen, welcher schlußendlich in absoluter Blasphemie und Unordnung enden würde. Wie sich herausstellte, haben diese Mönche, die sich gegenwärtig außerhalb des Klosters in angeblichem Hungerstreik befinden, ihre jeweiligen Klöster eigenmächtig und ohne Zustimmung verlassen. Folglich haben sie die Regeln und Vorschriften ihrer eigenen klöster, wie auch jene des Klosters Rumtek, verletzt. Ihre Aktivitäten sind also total gegen den Dharma gerichtet und weit über die Grenzen religiöser Toleranz hinausgegangen. Wenn sie tatsächlich starkes Interesse am Erreichen des Klosters rumtek haben, dann müssen sie zuerst bei ihrem jeweiligen Kloster um die Erlaubnis ansuchen; und dann erlangen sie auch Zulassung zum Kloster Rumtek. Sie können keinesfalls mit Gewalt ein Kloster betreten, nochdazu durch Erzeugen religiöser Kontroversen.

Das Joint Action Committee sieht es als seine oberste Pflicht an, der Disharmonie und der unangenehmen Atmosphäre, durch Shamar Rinpoche und Tobga Yulgyal hervorgerufen, ein Ende zu bereiten. Das Hauptziel des Ausschusses ist es gegenwärtig, Seine Heiligkeit den XVII. Gyalwa Karmapa von Tsurphu weg zu bringen, und ihn entsprechend im Rumtek Dharma Chakra Zentrum zu inthronisieren.

Es gibt immer Behinderungen guter Sachen oder nobler Taten, und unser Schicksal war kein anderes. Es ist unglücklich für uns, dass sich so eine Kontroverse in die Wurzeln des Klosters Rumtek vorgefressen hat. Das Joint Action Committee versucht sein Bestes, auch durch diesen Aufruf, die Menschen über den wahren und korrekten Zustand der Affäiren dieser Angelegenheit in Kenntnis zu setzen. Wir glauben, dass er mithelfen kann die Zweifel, die einige Menschen immer noch haben, zu beseitigen. Es ist die Verantwortung von uns allen, die Wahrheit zu akzeptieren und zu beschützen. Mit diesem Aufruf bitten wir auch die Anhänger anderen religiösen Glaubens, uns in unserem Versuch zu unterstützen.

Möge der Segen Seiner Heiligkeit des XVII. Gyalwa Karmapa immer mit uns sein. Laßt uns einig das heilige Unterfangen unterstützen, Seine Heiligkeit den XVII. Gyalwa Karmapa von Tsurphu nach Rumtek zu bringen.

Euch allen dankend mit besten Wünschen,

Vorstand des Joint Action Committee Gangtok, Sikkim (INDIEN)
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In Rumtek, a Generation of Buddhist Monks Loses Hope(New York Times)

Anjani Trivedi for The New York Times
The inner courtyard at Rumtek monastery in Sikkim.

RUMTEK, Sikkim —In their 13th year of waiting for their spiritual leader, the Tibetan Buddhist monks at a mountainside monastery in Sikkim are starting to give up hope.

“Our hearts have fallen — the master isn’t coming,” said Karma Yeshi, a monk and teacher at the Rumtek monastery, home to 150 monks in the Himalayas in the erstwhile kingdom annexed to India in 1975. “It’s like a house without a father.”

The person the monks are eager to see is Ogyen Trinley Dorje, the 27-year-old man deemed to be the leader of the Kagyu order of Buddhism, one of the four main schools in Tibetan Buddhism.

Tibetan Buddhism stresses the importance of meeting the Karmapa. Teachings in the Kagyu order are passed on from master to student, and the Kagyu’s Web site says that “all great Kagyu teachers regard his Holiness Karmapa as the embodiment and source of all the blessings of the lineage.”

The young man known as the 17th Karmapa is currently based in Dharamsala at the Gyuto Tantric University, having been granted official refugee status in 2001 after fleeing from Tibet in late December 1999. But since 2000, the Indian government has blocked the Karmapa from entering Rumtek and the state of Sikkim, citing security concerns.

To travel outside Dharamsala, the Karmapa needs prior approval from various government agencies and ministries, and he is given security once he does begin his travels, said a Home Ministry official, who asked to remain anonymous because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Rumtek is the most important seat of the Kagyu tradition outside the Tsurphu monastery in Tibet. Rumtek has also been the site of much controversy, as different factions have fought over who is the real Karmapa, or incarnate lama. At least two others have laid a claim to the title, but the Dalai Lama and China have officially backed Ogyen Trinley Dorje. The monastery’s valuable relics have also been the source of contention among two rival factions, leading to fistfights.

The gated monastery and community in Rumtek is more of an armed garrison, with India’s border forces patrolling it 24 hours a day, seven days a week. While some say the Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force, which also maintains vigil on the nearby India-China border, is guarding the treasure and symbols of authority at the monastery, others say the forces were placed there after clashes among the monks.

“This has lowered the morale among the monks and Buddhist community at large,” Karma Yeshi said.

The government has two concerns about letting the Karmapa travel: his security and the legal battle over ownership of the relics, according the official in the Home Ministry.

State officials say they believe that the national government thinks the Karmapa is a spy. “There is a strong feeling that he might be an agent of China,” said a state government official, who did not want to be identified because he is not authorized to speak publicly on the issue. “It’s very difficult to escape from China, as far as Tibetans are concerned.”

However, China, which does not recognize Sikkim as a part of India, has dismissed these claims by the Indian government.

In 2011, the Karmapa came under scrutiny by Indian police officials after trunks filled with foreign currency were discovered at his residence in Dharamsala, drawing even more suspicion from the government. The Karmapa’s lawyer said the money was donations from devotees from all over the world.

The Karmapa’s presence is a “very, very sensitive” issue that involves multiple ministries, including External Affairs, said the Home Ministry official, although he denied it had anything to do with security.

However, the official said, “He’s been living here, so it’s our duty to protect him. Rumtek being a controversial matter, it’s not in his interest to go there because there are other claimants. So it’s as simple as that.”

“The government of India has adopted a policy of refraining from any succession controversy. We are not favoring or supporting anyone. This policy has been consistent – it was the case 10 years ago and it is still the same,” he added.

Sikkim’s state government backs the Kagyu monks. Sikkim’s chief minister, Pawan Chamling, who has governed for 18 years, has appealed to Manmohan Singh, the prime minister of India, many times to allow the Karmapa to visit the state.

“The chief minister had taken up this matter when he last visited Delhi,” the state government official told India Ink. “At least, if you don’t allow him to visit Rumtek, his official seat, let him visit Sikkim and bless the people of Sikkim, who are great followers. Even that is not being done by the government of India.”

However, the Home Ministry doesn’t want to take a risk with his security, according to officials in the ministry, which deals largely with internal security matters. Ultimately, they say, the responsibility for his safety rests with the central government, and not the Sikkim government.

Karma Yeshi of the Rumtek monastery said that this issue is not just a local matter, as India is a place of pilgrimage for all Buddhists, masters and monks alike, as the birthplace of Buddhism.
“This is very important not only for the Karmapa issue but for Buddhism. The Buddha dharma is from India, from India it went to China, from China to Tibet – this is how the lineage came about,” the senior monk said.

The inability to meet the Karmapa is nothing less than a tragedy for these Tibetan Buddhists.
“We have been waiting for long enough now,” said Monay Rai, a 24-year-old guide at the monastery, who was born and raised inside the gates of the Rumtek community. “Sometimes when V.I.P.’s visit, the aged people tell me, ‘Please tell the V.I.P.’s to help us, to allow our guru. I can’t travel. It is my dream before I die to see the Karmapa here.’”