Monday, June 11, 2007

Karmapa Introduction

KARMAPA SECT (BLACK HAT)
Karmapa Chenno
His Holiness Gyalwang Karmapa, during the annual Great Kagyu Monlam in Bodhgaya, where the Buddha attained enlightenment.
The Karmapas
Karmapa means "the one who carries out buddha-activity" or "the embodiment of all the activities of the buddhas." In the Tibetan tradition, great enlightened teachers are said to be able to consciously arrange to be reborn as a teacher who can carry on the teachings of a predecessor in a prior life. Pursuant to this tradition, the Karmapas have incarnated in this form of manifestation body (Skt. nirmanakaya), for seventeen lifetimes, as of the present, and all have played the most important role in preserving and propagating the Buddhist teachings of Tibet.

Prior to the birth of the first Karmapa, the arrival of a Buddhist master who would be known as the Karmapa was been prophesied by the historic Buddha Shakyamuni and the great tantric master , Guru Padmasambhava . Throughout the centuries, Karmapas have been the central figure in the continuation of the vajrayana lineage in general and Kagyu lineage in particular, and have played a very important role in the preservation of the study and practice lineages of Buddhism.
Birth and Early Years of the 17th Karmapa
In 1985 a male infant was born into a nomad family in the Lhatok region of Eastern Tibet. In the months prior to his birth, his mother had wonderful dreams during her pregnancy. On the day of his birth, a cuckoo landed on the tent in which he was born, and a mysterious conch-like sound was heard by many throughout the valley in which the family of the infant lived. .
In Tibet, such events are considered auspicious portents of the birth of an enlightened teacher.
The young nomad was called Apo Gaga. While his early years seemed, to his family, full of blessing, at first Apo Gaga did not talk of any connection to the Karmapas. However, in 1992, he asked his family to move the location of their nomadic home to another valley, and told them to expect a visit from traveling monks. Soon after setting up their home in the new location, followers of the Sixteenth Karmapa came to that valley pursuant to the secret instructions of the Sixteenth Karmapa, contained in his lrtter of prediction. The birth and the other details of Apo Gaga's life matched the predictions of the letter. Apo Gaga was discovered to be the Seventeenth Karmapa, Ogyen Drodul Trinley Dorje.

(H.H. Rangjung Rigpe Dorje,Right karmapa statues)
In addition to his letter of prediction, the Sixteenth Karmapa wrote many poems, or songs, predicting that though he would leave his traditional main seat in Tsurphu, Tibet, he would soon return to Tsurphu again, that his root teacher would be HE Situ Rinpoche, and that he would study in India. After the death of the 16th Karmapa, it became clear that these predictions applied to his successor. Furthermore, the 19th Century master Chogyur Lingpa made a number of predictions about the lives of the Karmapas, and for the 17th, Chogyur Lingpa's predictions matched the details of His Holiness's birth. Since these predictions were to be fulfilled in themselves without recognition by any other master, it is traditionally said that the Karmapa is "self-recognized."


H.H. The 16 Th Karmapa (left) and H.H. The 17Th Karmapa (right)


The Karmapa's Return To Tsurphu In Tibet, The Historic Seat Of The Karmapas

The Seventeenth Karmapa did in fact return to Tolung Tsurphu Monastery in Central Tibet in 1992, where he was enthroned on September 27, 1992, with the permission of the Chinese government. The granting of permission by the Chinese was a first in Tibet.
At Tsurphu, over 20,000 supplicants assembled to witness the return of His Holiness Karmapa. The following morning, some 25,000 people filed before His Holiness to receive a personal blessing.

At Tsurphu, the Karmapa studied the Buddhist sciences of mind, learned ritual, and practiced sacred arts, such as dance. Each day he received hundreds of visitors from throughout Tibet and around the world. He eventually began to offer empowerments and participated in various rituals at the monastery. At the age of about 10, His Holiness recognized the rebirth of reincarnate teachers, including such eminent teachers as Pawo Rinpoche, Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche and the Dabzang Rinpoche.
While His Holiness was at Tsurphu, the monastery underwent extensive rebuilding to restore the temples, shrines, stupas, a shedra, and residences that had been destroyed over the years, fulfilling one of the main duties of a Karmapa. As the years went by, however, His Holiness came under increasing pressure from Tibetan and Chinese authorities to act in ways which were contrary to his obligations as a Karmapa. He publically refused to denounce the Dalai Lama and to recognize the Panchen Lama, and engaged in numerous other acts which were contrary to the wishes of the authorities.Though he was under constant surveillance from the Chinese government, who refused to grant him permission to leave the country even for a short time, he and a handful of attendants concocted a bold scheme to escape from Tibet to India. Finally, in 1999, recognizing perhaps that his usefulness in Tibet was being undermined, he decided to leave.
Karmapa's Great Escape
After months of careful planning, on December 28, the fourteen-year-old Karmapa pretended to enter into a solitary retreat, and instead, donned civilian garb and slipped out a window. Leaving Tsurphu Monastery with a handful of attendants, he began a daring escape by car, foot, horseback, helicopter, train and taxi, a heroic journey which was to become the stuff of headlines throughout the world. On January 5, 2000 he arrived, to the the great surprise and overwhelming joy of the world, in Dharamsala, India, where he was met by His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama. He received refugee status from the government of India in 2001.

His Holiness has since 2000 continued to live near Dharamsala. He has been permitted by Indian governmental authorities to engage in tours to Buddhist sites in India, and annually travels to Bodhgaya and Sarnath for important Kagyu ceremonies over which he presides. He has also travelled to Ladakh, Tibetan settlements in southern India, Calcutta and elsewhere in Himachal area. His Holiness still awaits permission from the Indian authorities to leave Dharamsala and return to Rumtek Monastery the tradicional seat of the Karmapas in India.

Information and All Pictures (except karmapa statue picture) Are based on H.H. The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa's Myspace page. plz visit http://www.myspace.com/17thgyalwangkarmapa

2 comments:

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Tibet Arts said...

Hi desidirectory,

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best Regards

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