Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The 17th Gyalwa Karmapa turns 22

Dharamsala/Rumtek/Kathamndu: June 26: The 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje turned 22 today. Unlike last year’s grand birthday celebration at the Gyuto Tantric Monastic University here in Dharamsala, this time the celebration is sensibly kept simple in view of the fact that this year is considered an obstacle year for His Holiness the Dalai Lama.In a traditional Buddhist ceremony, Karmapa was presented a long life offering (Tenshug) by Ven. Tsering Phuntsok, Minister for Religion and Tibetan Administration here this morning. Similar long-life offerings were also presented by Gyuto Monastery, where the Karmapa is currently housed for temporary residence; Tsurpu Labrang, the traditional seat of the Karmapa; Sherabling Monastery and Trilokpur Nunnery. The ceremonial long life offerings were followed offerings from public and blessing session.As part of the birthday celebration, leaflets calling for abstinence from meat consumption were distributed at the Gyuto monastery. In Kathmandu, the 22nd Birthday of 17th Karmapa was celebrated at Dasang Monastery in Boudha with thousands of Buddhists, including Tibetans and Nepal’s Himalayan ethnic groups like Sherpas, Tamangs, Gurungs, Nyeshangs, Yolmos coming together for the auspicious

Here in Sikkim, the main celebration will be held at the Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre, the seat of the Karmapa.
The celebrations will start from 6:30 in the morning, with offering of incense and prayers for the long life and fulfillment of his Holiness’ aspirations.
The Mandala offering to the Karmapa will begin at 9:30 am, followed by birthday tribute at 10 am.
The Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre will announce its charitable activities at 11 am, which will be followed by lunch. At 1 pm, a cultural programme will be held. The Birthday Cake ceremony will take place at 3 pm.
The Tsurphu Labrang, the Karmapa’s Office of administration, along with Pal Karmae Sangha Dhuche Karmae Sri Nalanda Institute, Lay Community of Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre, Dhondup Tsogpa, Rumtek, Deche Yarphel Tsogpa, Sherabling Monastery, Himachal Pradesh, Palchen Choeling, Ralang South Sikkim, Kagyu Thekcheling, Lava, West Bengal, Bokar Ngedon Chokhor Ling, Mirik, West Bengal and many other Kagyu organizations and Monasteries all over the world have wished His Holiness on his birthday and has also offered prayers for his swift return to Rumtek.
In kathmandu also, the celebration was relatively smaller than last year’s. A magnificent snow lion dance performance by monks of the Benchen Monastery was the show piece of the day.The celebration began in the morning with traditional Buddhist rituals.The President of the Nepal Karmapa Service Society Mr. Purna Siddhi Sakya addressed the gathering about the importance of the celebration. He also briefed the gathering about the kind of social welfare activities being undertaken by the society, which includes academic sponsorship of orphan children.
Mr. Jigme La, Secretary of Tibet Office, Kathmandu in his address encouraged young people to take interest in understanding Buddhism at academic level. Various other dignitaries also addressed the gathering. Prayers were offered for the well being of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Karmapa. Born on June 26, 1985 to a nomadic family in Bakor, in eastern Tibet, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorji is revered by Tibetans as the head of Kagyu Sect of Tibetan Buddhism. He escaped Tibet and reached the northern Indian town of of Dharamsala in 2000.Dharamsala is home to the exile Tibetan leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and is the administrative centre of worldwide Tibetans in exile.