India’s 77th Independence Day: Karmapa’s message

August 15, 2023

On the occasion of India’s 77th Independence Day, Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, shares the following message.

Letter by Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, for India's 77th Independence Day

A transcript of the letter follows.

Dear Dharma friends,

Today India celebrates its 77th Independence Day, and I would like to use this occasion to once again express my heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to this noble nation.

For myself as a Buddhist teacher, I feel blessed to have called India my home ever since I left my birth country of Tibet at the age of eleven, and it is thanks to India’s hospitality that I have been able to pursue my spiritual activities both here and overseas for so many years.

Beyond that, all of us as Buddhist practitioners have every reason to be grateful to the great land of India: not only did the Buddha Dharma originate here more than 2,500 years ago, when Prince Siddhartha attained awakening under the Bodhi Tree and became known as the Perfect Buddha – it is also here that the followers of the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism, of which I am the head, found a refuge and a new home.

Thus, India has offered us the invaluable opportunity to freely practice the Buddha Dharma, and without its generosity and hospitality, the continued flourishing of our activities would not have been possible.

I therefore ask all of my students to keep India in their thoughts and hearts on this auspicious day, and to celebrate the spiritual wealth and beauty of this great nation and all of her children.

With prayers
Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa