Disturbances in Delhi

Apr 4, 1999

Category: Trinley Thaye Dorje

The Press Release below (which was printed on Rumteck Monastery stationary) was published following some disturbances in Delhi at the time of Tenzin Chentse's "enthronement" ceremony.

New Delhi. April 4, 1994
The entire Tibetan community were greatly preturbed when a small faction of the Karma Kargyu order of Tibetan Buddhists, on 17March 1994, suddenly performed a welcome ceremony at Delhi for a young boy allegedly named Tenzin Chentse who they claim on the basis of some vague credentials to be the seventeenth Karmapa.The indignation and consequent scuffles that followed are a matter of sorrow and regret to a community that deeply believes in truth, peace and harmony.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama, on 29th March 1994 received a delegation representing almost all the heads of the Kagyu order and was appraised of these unfortunate developments. He strongly reaffirmed that there can only be one Karmapa on the throne and the he is Ugyen Trinlay Dorji who has already been enthroned at Tsurphu in Tibet. The Dalai Lama reiterated that this decision is final and impossible to change.

The Dalai Lama was distressed by some media and other reports concerning these matters and instructed his cabinet to write to all Tibetan Buddhists, The Home minister of india and the Chief minister of the State of Sikkim affirming his satisfaction concerning the enthronement of the 17th Karmapa and dismissed as baseless some mischevous allegations concerning any Chinese connection. In our capacities as the leaders of the Kagyu order of Tibetan Buddhists, we are making our official position clear that there can be no other Karmapa than Ugyen Trinley Dorji.

Today, the Kagyu order is one among the four major Tibetan Mahayana Buddhist orders and accounts for about 20% of the Tibetan followers and between a third to a half of the followers in Sikkim, Ladakh, Bhutan and Nepal. This order also has a large following among some 100,00 foreigners from, South East Asia, Europe and North America. It has nearly 200 monasteries in Tibet, 30 in India and Nepal and over 200 meditation centres around the world.

The supreme head of the Karma Kagyu order has always been the Karmapa in a succession of incarnations since the eleventh century. His Holiness the Sixteenth Karmapa passed away on November 5, 1981 at the age of 58. The four regents agreed, in writing, to administer the affairs of the sect by rotation. The 'letter of prediction' was discovered in a brocade talisman which the Karmapa had given to Tai Situ Rimpoche ten months before his passing away on November 5, 1981. This discovery was shown to all the regents on March 22, 1992 and was initially greeted by universal joy.

However, soon thereafter, Shamar Rimpoche and his followers began to behave strangely and threaten the solidarity of the Kagyu community. Details concerning all these events, the circumstances of the discovery of the seventeenth Karmapa on the basis of the 'letter of prediction', his formal approval by the Dalai Lama, his enthronement at Tsurphu in Tibet and the unfortunate incidents on March 17, 1994 are noted in the attached background note. On behalf of all members of the Kagyu community we collectively appeal to all followers and especially the followers of our dear and respected colleague Shamar Rimpoche to honour the sacred tradition of Tibetan incarnation where there can only be one incarnation of the revered Karmapa.

We earnestly appeal to all followers of the Kagyu order so that we can stand together and ensure that no external interests can break our unity and we can all work together for truth, peace and harmony which is our message to the world in these troubled times.

The 12th Tai Situ Rimpoche. Regent of the Karmapa.
The 12th Gyaltsab Rimpoche. Regent of the Karmapa.
Ponlop Rimpoche. Senior Rumtek High Lama.
Trangu Rimpoche. Supreme Abbot of the Karma Kargyu order.
Bokar Rimpoche. Supreme Meditation Master of the Kagyu lineage.
Drupon Rimpoche. Senior Rumtek High Lama.
Khenpolodoe Dhonyu. Abbot of the Kagyu lineage.
Lama Gyaltsen. General Secretary of the Dhaksang Kagyu lineage.
Tenzin Namgyal. General Secreary of Kagyu International headQuarters of the Gyalwa Karmapa at Rumtek.



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