Karmapa’s visit to Indonesia (photos and report)

November 26, 2019

Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, visited Indonesia from 14-22 November 2019.

Karmapa arrived at Soekarno–Hatta International Airport in Jakarta, Indonesia, on 14 November.

On 17 November, Karmapa, with his entourage of Tibetan Buddhist monks, came together with the Theravada and Mahayana masters and monks of Wihara Ekayana Arama, a Mahayana Temple in Jakarta.

There was a solemn procession of the Venerable masters and sanghas into the temple. The procession included incense, instruments, and umbrellas held over the heads of the masters. Then there was a beautiful offering procession of local women holding flowers.

The day also included speeches by the Abbots of the various schools and a joint blessing of the devotees who had gathered for this auspicious occasion. Everyone then shared a delicious, festive, vegetarian lunch.

On 18 November, Karmapa presided over the Kagyu Monlam Prayer at Wihara Ekayana Arama, a blessing for the peace and prosperity for Indonesia and its people. Karmapa then blessed all the students present.

On 19 November, Karmapa and his entourage traveled to Batam, the largest city in the province of Riau Islands in Indonesia. Master Da He, the local sangha, Rinpoches and lamas from other countries, welcomed Karmapa at the airport.

On the morning of 20 November, Karmapa led a traditional fish release ceremony and groundbreaking ceremony at the site of a new monastery. Karmapa also led a consecration (rabne) ceremony for Master Da He’s two Buddhist centres in Batam.

During the evening, there was a dinner at the Vihara Amitabha Mahayana temple in Batam. Karmapa gave a teaching about refuge, and blessed the 700 students who were gathered, including Rinpoches, lamas and a number of overseas students, including many from Singapore and Malaysia.

On 21 November, the afternoon session at the Pacific Palace Hotel in Batam started with an extensive offering ceremony, together with some wonderful song and dance performances.

Karmapa bestowed the Empowerment of the Four-Armed Chenresig (the Buddha aspect representing enlightened compassion) for 2,000 students gathered in the ballroom.

Before and during the empowerment, Karmapa offered detailed instructions for all the assembled students. The joy and appreciation of everyone in the room was palpable, for it was a rare and precious opportunity to receive such rich teachings directly from Karmapa. At the end, Karmapa conferred the blessing to each and every person present by distributing the consecrated water from the bumpa (ritual vase).

On 22 November, Karmapa again led Kagyu Monlam Prayers and teachings at the Vihara Amitabha Mahayana temple in Batam. Karmapa gave explanations regarding the correct way to accomplish aspiration prayers. Karmapa said that when making aspirations, we are walking a fine line: on the one hand, we should aspire as fervently as possible, but at the same time, we should do our best to avoid cultivating too many expectations regarding the results of our aspirations. Karmapa also gave teachings related to dedicating merit. He emphasised that we need to give away merit freely and must not hang on to any of it.