Karmapa in Ladakh: photos and report

September 30, 2015

Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, visited Ladakh for a tour in August/September 2015. Ladakh is a region of northern India in the Himalayas, where traditional Buddhism thrives.

Karmapa was invited by Chime Rinpoche to inaugurate the Karma Dupgyud Choeling Monastery. The original monastery was built by the 1st Chime Rinpoche, who was sent to Ladakh by His Holiness the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa in the 1960s. After the monastery was destroyed by a storm in 2006, the 17th Karmapa requested the 2nd Chime Rinpoche to build a new monastery on the site.

Karmapa arrived at the airport in Leh, the main city in Ladakh, on 26 Aug and was welcomed by students and the public. On arrival at Karma Dupgyud Choeling Monastery, there was a welcoming ceremony, with Chime Rinpoche offering the traditional mandala.

The inauguration of the monastery took two days, with ceremonies, speeches, and performances.

Karmapa led a puja in the new shrine hall and blessed the land around the monastery.

In the days that followed, Karmapa’s program included planned visits to a large number of Buddhist monasteries in the area – and was extended as many more institutions requested him to visit.

Karmapa has received several important Buddhist transmissions from eminent Sakya masters, including some that actually belonged to the Karma Kagyu tradition and had been held and protected by the Sakya school for generations. Due in part to such auspicious dharma connections, Karmapa was invited to several monasteries belonging to the Sakya school. Karmapa also visited the two main monasteries of the Drugpa Kagyu, and several Drikung Kagyu monasteries.

Everywhere, Karmapa bestowed blessings on the public, students, lamas, and monastic community. Karmapa also granted the empowerment of Amitayus, the Buddha of Limitless Life.

An auspicious butter lamp offering ceremony was performed at Karma Dupgyud Choeling Monastery. As an expression of respect and the wish that as many people as possible benefit from the teacher’s presence, local lamas also performed a long life puja for Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa.

Finally, on 10 Sept, Karmapa departed Leh airport, and returned to New Delhi.