March 20, 2019
Karmapa in Nepal – photos and report
Late in the Nepalese night of 3 December 2018, Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, landed at Kathmandu airport. Jigme Rinpoche, Karmapa’s General Secretary, Venerable Sang Sang Rinpoche, Venerable Lodro Rinpoche, and other lamas and local devotees were present to welcome Karmapa.
The following morning, Karmapa held audiences with a group from Indonesia and China, kindly brought together by Master Shiah Jing Shan. For many of the group, it was their first meeting with Karmapa. Karmapa offered them a blessing, as well as paintings by Master Shiah of Avalokiteśvara, a Bodhisattva who embodies the compassion of all Buddhas, and Buddha Amitabha.
During the afternoon, more than 3000 local people, as well as Jigme Rinpoche and a group of Guru Yoga retreatants, came together at the Sharminub Institute to receive the Empowerment of Buddha Amitayus (a long-life empowerment) from Karmapa. Karmapa gave a short introductory teaching about the practice of Amitayus. The Sharminub Institute is the brainchild of His Holiness the 14th Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche, whose vision was to build a world-leading institution for Buddhist studies for both lay and monastic students.
On the morning of 5 December, Karmapa took part in a symbolic groundbreaking ceremony for the new monastery Karma Karsal Ling. In 1981, His Holiness the 14th Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche requested Master Shiah to find a suitable site to build the monastery. Referring to his late teacher and fellow lineage holder’s aspiration, Karmapa says,
Now – after more than three decades – we are finally on the verge of being able to take the first step towards completing that great vision… The vision of Karma Karsal Ling is great because it will provide an access point for the teachings of the Gautama Buddha, and all the realised beings who have followed in his footsteps.
In attendance at this historic ceremony were many Rinpoches, lamas and monks, as well as the group brought together by Master Shiah.
After luncheon at a hotel, Karmapa granted several audiences to various groups and individuals for blessings and talks.
On the morning of 6 December, Karmapa visited the retreat centre at Pharping. Karmapa then spontaneously decided to make a short pilgrimage to various holy sites in the local area.
Following his pilgrimage, Karmapa visited Swayambhu, (Tibetan for ‘Sublime Trees’), an ancient Buddhist architecture on top of a tree-lined hill in the Kathmandu Valley. Swayambhu was severely damaged in the 2015 earthquakes, and is now in the process of reconstruction. Mr Roshan and others showed Karmapa the building site and shared the progress of the work.
During the afternoon, Karmapa met with Lama Ole, Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche, and granted several audiences.
On the final day of Karmapa’s trip to Nepal, 7 December, Karmapa met with representatives of various organisations and committees: KRMV; Sharminub; Thaye Dorje Foundation and Bodhi Dana Trust. Mr Roshan shared an introduction concerning the work and aims of the various organisations. Karmapa gave instructions and offered his long-term vision to those present.
The afternoon brought more audiences with Karmapa, including a visit by Gyaltrul Rinpoche.
Karmapa returned to Delhi during the evening, following yet another enriching visit to Nepal.