October 28, 2017
Karmapa leads several Buddhist ceremonies in Kalimpong
The third commemoration of the paranirvana of HH Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche and the Gyalwa Gyamtso ritual practice was held at Diwakar Buddhist Academy in Kalimpong. The event was organised under the auspices of the South Asia Buddhist Association.
Kalimpong, a hill station located at an elevation of 1,200 metres in West Bengal stood once again in the centre of attention as Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Karmapa paid a two-week visit to the small town in the foothills of the Himalaya. The ceremonies were held at Diwakar Buddhist Academy, a Buddhist institute for higher studies. The institute, which offers a 10-year curriculum of Buddhist philosophy to presently 120 students, is located next to the residence of Karmapa. The location is easily accessible for devotees from the local areas and allows devotees from Sikkim to pay a single-day visit to meet the Karmapa and join the ceremonies.
Preparations and audiences with Karmapa
1 June – The extensive programme began with the arrival of Karmapa from Delhi on the evening of 1 June. Despite the late arrival and a refreshing rain shower, many followers waited eagerly to welcome the Karmapa at the Airport of Bagdogra and the Tamang lay community of Kalimpong paid their respect by offering scarfs along the road up to Kalimpong.
The second day saw the final preparations for the pujas and Karmapa spent the day receiving visitors and gave audiences to his disciples who waited patiently for the special occasion in his residence.
The sadhana ritual ceremony of Gyalwa Gyamtso and prayers for the swift rebirth of Shamar Rinpoche
3 – 10 June – The sadhana ritual ceremony of Gyalwa Gyamtso, the tantric aspect of the Buddha of Compassion in his red form (Tib: Chenresig) began in the early morning with the preparation of the ground for the mandala. Karmapa conducted the ritual practice together with the monastic Sangha of Rumtek and Diwakar Buddhist Academy. The term sadhana ritual ceremony (Tib: drupchod) means “accomplishment offering”. The ritual is usually performed as an intensive group practice in retreat and not in public. Therefore, the ceremony conducted personally by Karmapa was regarded as very fortunate. An adjacent room to the temple was reserved for the lay participants who joined the event and allowed them to take glimpses of the auspicious occasion. Most of the lay participants used the week to intensively follow their own personal practice.
Karmapa leads ceremonies for Shamar Rinpoche
9 June – Karmapa filled and consecrated a stupa with the relics of Shamar Rinpoche and conducted prayers for the swift rebirth of his teacher.
11 June – The week-long practice was concluded with a public empowerment of the Buddha aspect of Long Life, Amitayus (Tib: Tsepame). Over 2000 people from Kalimpong and Sikkim gathered in order to receive the blessings and the empowerment from Karmapa.
Certificate distribution at Diwakar Buddhist Academy
13 June – Karmapa spent the day with the Diwakar Buddhist Academy administration and students. Certificate distributions and thanksgiving was performed in the main temple room and Karmapa bestowed the oral transmission of the Manjushri (Tib: Jampalyang) practice.
Inauguration at Dhotray village
14 June – Karmapa paid a visit to Dhotray village and performed the inauguration ceremony of a small temple with a large prayer wheel (Tib: Mani Lhakang) for the local lay community. The small village is located within the Singalila National Park in Darjeeling district situated at 2.600 m above sea level. The community has strong bonds with Karmapa and the entire village was decorated with Buddhist flags and flowers. The villagers welcomed Karmapa and his entourage cheerfully and celebrated the long awaited visit.