On Monday, December 1, 2003, the Vidyadhara ceremony of
the 17th Karmapa, Trinley Thaye Dorje, took place in the Karmapa
International Buddhist Institute in New Delhi. This ceremony was
held in celebration of the formal completion of his monastic education
in the sutras and tantras and all other aspects of the teachings
of the profound lineage.
The ceremony also coincided with H. H. the 17th Karmapa’s
coming of age. From now on, according to Indian law, he is the
legitimate leader of the Karma Kagyu tradition.
This title of a Vidyadhara was bestowed on H. H. the Karmapa by
H. H. the Künzig Shamarpa, second to the Karmapa in the Karma
The ceremony was attended by high dignitaries of the four major
schools of Tibetan Buddhism, by Indian benefactors of the late
16th Gyalwa Karmapa, and by monks and devotees from East and West.
The Karma Kagyu
lineage spans over nine hundred years of Tibet’s
Buddhist history. The first Karmapa, Düsum Khyenpa (12th century),
began the practise of reincarnating in a line of successive masters.
The second Lama to do so was the first Shamarpa, Tragpa Senge (13th
century). Since that time they have been acting as the supreme
heads of the Karma Kagyu school. Thus, the Karmapas and the Shamarpas
are central to Buddhism in Tibet.
The present Shamarpa, Palden Mipham Chokyi Lodrö, recognized
the son of Mipham Rinpoche of Dzakhog, Derge, East Tibet and his
wife Dechen Wangmo as the reincarnation of the XVIth Karmapa Rangjung
Rigpe Dorje. This son, Tenzin Khyentse, was enthroned as the XVIIth
Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje.
H. H. Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje’s education includes the
Profound View Tradition of Nagarjuna and the Vast Conduct Tradition
of Asanga. He holds empowerments of the Buddhist Tantras brought
to Tibet by Marpa, the Mahamudra teachings from the Mahasiddha
traditions of Saraha and Maitripa and other Indian Buddhist masters,
as well as the Six Doctrines and other teachings of the Highest
Buddhist Tantras emphasized by the Indian Buddhist master Naropa.
began at 10.00 a.m. Together with H. H. the Gyalwa Karmapa, Trinley
Thaye Dorje, and H. H.
Shamarpa, Mipham Chökyi Lodrö, the monastic sangha conducted
the ritual of the 16 Sthaviras.
Thereafter, H. H. the Gyalwa Karmapa first prostrated to the main
Buddha statue in the shrine hall. Then H. H. the Künzig Shamarpa
bestowed the title of a Vidyadhara upon H. H. the Gyalwa Karmapa
and gave him the associated document.
This was followed by various offerings made to H. H. the Gyalwa
Karmapa. There was an extensive mandala offering as well as the
offerings of a series of auspicious symbols. H. H. the Karmapa
was also offered the sacred body, speech and mind of the Buddha
represented by a statue, a text, and a stupa. These offerings were
given to H. H. the Gyalwa Karmapa by H. H. the Künzig Shamarpa.
Thereafter, a great number of H. H. the Karmapa’s followers
offered him the symbols for the Buddha’s body, speech and
mind as well. All the monks, nuns, and lay-followers offered ceremonial
scarves and presents to H. H. the Gyalwa Karmapa and H. H. the
Among the Rinpoches and Tulkus who attended the ceremony were:
Khenchen Tashi Paljor Rinpoche, representatives of H. E. Luding
Khenpo Rinpoche and of H. E. Chobgye Tri Rinpoche, Sönam Tsemo
Rinpoche, Sabchu Rinpoche, Dorje Lopön Rinpoche, Shangpa Rinpoche,
Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche, Sangsang Rinpoche, Yab Mipham Rinpoche
and Mayum Dechen Wangmo, Nendo Rinpoche, Chagme Rinpoche, Tulku
Lodrö Rabpel, Drupseng Rinpoche, Gasar Gomchen Tulku, Yumo
Tenzin Norbu Rinpoche, Kalsang Tsenchog Tulku, Urgyen Tendzin Tulku,
Sengrigar Tulku Urgyen Nyima, Yönten Gyamtso Tulku, Trinle
Tulku, Nyarong Öpung Tulku Yönten Gyatso, Karma Chödar
Tulku, and Karnag Jamyang Tulku.
Among the VIPs and Dignitaries were: The King of Ladakh, Jigmed
Wangchuk Namgyal, Kazi Jigme T. Gyaltshen from Sikkim, Prof. Sempa
Dorje, Mr. Loke Darshan, former Private Secretary to the late King
of Nepal, Mr. and Mrs. Ashok Burman, Aum Tsoki, wife of the Ambassador
of Bhutan, Mr. Sangay Nyedrup from Bhutan, Mr. Manohar Kampani,
Ex Governor of the Indian Andaman- and Nicobar-Islands, and Captain
Yongdrag from Sikkim.
In the afternoon,
a long Mahakala-ritual was conducted. Thereafter H. H. the Gyalwa
Karmapa and H. H. the Künzig
Shamarpa along with numerous Rinpoches and followers went for
high tea at the
residence of Mr. Ashok Burman, a benefactor of the late 16th Karmapa.
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