K a r m a . K a g y u . T r a d i t i o n

Newspaper article North Eastern Weekend Review Gangtok, Vol 2 No 29, 5-11 Dec., 2003

New Delhi: People stood in veneration for more than one hour to receive his blessings… foreigners by the score, hundreds of local devotees and sponsors queued up in the glittering main shrine of the Kagyu International Buddhist Institute (KIBI) in the Qutab Institutional Area. It was December 1, and Trinley Thaye Dorje, claimed to be the 17th Karmapa by Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche and his followers, was declared to have attained the position of Vidyadhara, also called Vajraacharya, or Highest Tantra Master, after having completed his curriculum and received all the main Kagyu initiations and empowerments, including the Abhishekha vast march ahead of the rival faction’s Ugyen Trinley Dorje, who lives in Dharamsala, and is the other claimant to the throne of the Karmapa. In a meeting with this correspondent, however, the young man who was at the center of such hectic activity, stayed equanimous and unruffled by any external goings on, and did not make any statement about himself or anyone else being the Karmapa. What he has gained out of all these arduous trainings? “I feel more confident, I guess,” he smiled and said. He admitted that there was no sense of power, but a great degree of energisation that happens during receiving the empowerments.
During the final stages of his completing his education, the Shamar Rinpoche conducted the prayers from 10 in the morning till about 1 pm, after which the devotees sought his blessings. These began on November 17 and ended with the thanksgiving by Trinley Dorje to Shamar Rinpoche on November 30.
After declaring him a Vidyadhara, Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche prayed and gave him, one by one, the Eight Auspicious Signs – all in resplendent and finely crafted metal – and the seven Lucky Symbols, and finally sought his blessings. People in the audience, which included high lamas, common devotees as well as the members of Burman family, one of the principal trustees, Seemed emotionally charged when the mentor for so long, Shamar Rinpoche, sought the blessing of his young ward.
“ From now on, according to Indian law, he is the legitimate leader of the Karma Kagyu tradition,” a press release issued from Shamar Rinpoche by KIBI said.
Prayers had been going on at the KIBI centre, popular among local people as Lal Mandir due to the almost Rumtek lookalike monastery that houses the institute, since November 17, and everyday from morning till evening, with a short break for lunch, Shamar Rinpoche had been imparting the highest empowerments to his ward.
The Abhishekha empowerment had been taken to Tibet from India by the Great Translator Marpa. The press release says that Trinley Thaye Dorje, after years of meditation and training in India, Bhutan, USA, France and other places, under senior Rinpoches of the Kagyu and even the Sakya sect, holds the profound View Tradition, the vast Conduct Tradition of Asanga, Mahamudra teachings and the Mahasiddha traditions of Saraha, Maitripa and other Indian Buddhist Masters.
He also holds the six doctrines and other teachings of the highest Buddhist Tantra emphasized by the Indian Buddhist master Naropa, a senior lama told this correspondent.
Interestingly, Trinley Thaye Dorje has also received the best of training from the present Chobgey Tri Rinpoche, Thubten Legshe Gyatso, one of the oldest living masters and head of the Sakyapa sect. Shamar Rinpoche informed this correspondent that for the transmissions given to Trinley Thaye Dorje, he had chosen the complete empowerment on Hevajra, according to the tradition of Marpa. “On this basis he proceeded to give him the ‘subsequent permission’ for Amithayus, Sarasvati, Tara and many other Buddhist aspects. All in all, he received 41 rjes gnangs or Subsequent Permissions, leaving out those which either Shamar Rinpoche had already taught the young Trinley Thaye Dorje or are sued only in the Sakyapa sect’s practices, “a senior Lama explained. The other Sakya teachings he received were from Lundig Khenchen Rinpoche, head of the Ngor tradition within the Sakyapa school. Trinley Thaye Dorje had received this teaching at Menlo Park, USA, in July 2003. The teachings there included all the great traditions of the ‘Eight Great Practices’, including Kagyupa, Sakyapa, Kadampa, etc. Lundig Rinpoche also gave him 22 empowerments that are essential for the Kagyu school, and also subsequent permissions for 21 Tara.
Also Khenchen Trinley Palzor Rinpoche, whose tradition hails from Samdrub Choling Monastery in Eastern Tibet, imparted the Six Dharmas of Naropa to Trinley Thaye Dorje. Palzor Rinpoche, during a long retreat at Le Bost, France, transmitted to Trinley Thaye Dorje the empowerment in Vajrayogini and associated reading transmissions, the explanation and readings by tantra master of yore Pawo Tsuglag Trenwa; and instructions and transmissions through the reading of the works of the 8th Karmapa, Mikyo Dorje.
Trinley Dorje has said that till the end of December he will stay and conduct pujas in New Delhi and subsequently return to his base in Kalimpong in January 2004.

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