Artist: 17th Gyalwang Karmapa
Language: Tibetan


Proclaiming Mind's Way of Being Mistaken by the Third Karmapa

I pay homage to all buddhas and bodhisattvas.
This is a proclamation of mind’s way of being mistaken.

Mind, mentation, and consciousness
Are what engage naturally pure and unconstrained luminousity,
Free from reference points, through all kinds of clinging to reference points.
You[mind], who conceives them as one, two, three, or six,
Do not rest in anything but intrinsic lucidity.

Completely ensnaring yourself by saying “me,”
Conceiving of forms, sounds, smells, tastes, and tangible objects,
Objects and subjedts are imagined as being two.
Through adopting and rejecting them, you deceive yourself.

Your ways are as fickle as those of a dancer,
Being and object of ridicule in [all] places in the three realms.
I will discuss the ways you act a bit, so listen!

Through name and form, your produce characteristics,
Which make attachment, aversion, and dullness flourish greatly in samsara.
Thus, you are born in its six sectors and dance through samsara,
Serving as a ludicrous performance for the wise.

From the book "Luminous Heart: The Third Karmapa on Consciousness, Wisdom, and Buddha Nature"


His Holiness Karmapa visited Ngoenga School


His Holiness visited the "Ngoenga school" for Tibetan children with special needs, where the disabled children performed cultural dance and songs.

Karmapa Press Converence April 27, 2001 (Worldbridges.Tibet)

Press Statement from His Holiness the 17 year old Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje April 27, 2001, Gyuto Ramoche Tantric University, Sidbhari, Distt. Kangra, HP, India

On December 28, 1999, under the cover of a dark night, my senior attendant and I escaped from my monastery in Tibet and fled to India to seek refuge. The decision to leave my homeland, monastery, monks, parents, family, and the Tibetan people was entirely my own: no one told me to go and no one asked me to come. I left my country to impart the Buddha's teachings in general and, in particular, to receive the excellent empowerment, transmissions, and instructions of my own Karma Kagyu tradition. These I could only receive from the main disciples of the previous Karmapa, Situ Rinpoche and Gyaltsap Rinpoche, who were predicted to be my teachers and who reside in India.

There have been various reports in the press about my escape, and so I will simply and briefly tell the truth about my journey. In great secrecy, my companions and I made our plans, using various stories to cover our true activities. For example, when the preparations were complete, I announced that I was entering a traditional, strict retreat and would not come out for some days. This story worked and prevented us from being pursued right away. 

On December 28, around 10:30 at night, my attendant and I slowly climbed down from my room and jumped onto the roof of the Protector Mahakala's shrine room. From this o building, we leapt to the ground where a jeep was waiting nearby with Lama Tsultrim and a driver. We left immediately. The story had been given out that Lama Tsultrim and his companions were going on a journey. As if preparing for this, they had driven in and out of the monastery several times during the day, and, therefore, everyone knew about this trip and we could easily leave. Usually, the monastery was strictly guarded, but no twenty- four-hour guards were posted and we also left through a side road. 

After a while, Lama Tsewang and another driver joined us at a designated place. We decided to head directly towards western Tibet since few travellers used this road and the check posts were not so strictly guarded. Driving day and night, we stopped only to change drivers. By taking back roads through the hills and valleys, we avoided check posts and two army camps. Through the power of my prayers to the Buddha and through his compassion, we were not discovered and arrived in Mustang, Nepal, on the morning of December 30, 1999. Continuing the journey on foot and horseback, we crossed over several passes and finally reached Manang as I had planned. This part was extremely difficult and exhausting due to the poor and often dangerous condition of the paths and the freezing cold weather. During this time, I was tired and not very well physically, yet despite the difficulties, I was completely determined to reach my goal. 

Once in Manang, a close friend of Lama Tsewang Tashi helped us hire a helicopter. We landed in a place of Nepal known as Nagarkot and then went by car to Rauxal. From there, we travelled by train to Lucknow and continued with a rented car to Delhi, arriving at last in Dharamsala early on the morning of January 5, 2000. I went straight to meet His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the very embodiment of compassion, and he received me with his great love and affection. My joy knew no bounds. 

Ever since my arrival, the Dalai Lama has given his continual and generous assistance. Following his wishes, the Office of Religion and Culture from the Tibetan Government in Exile has made arrangements for my temporary stay at Gyuto Ramoche Tantric University. Situ Rinpoche, Gyaltsap Rinpoche, and other major Kagyu lamas in addition to reincarnate lamas and followers from all the other traditions of Tibetan Buddhism, have come to visit and kindly shown their concern for my well being. This was a source of great happiness for me. 

   Pursuing my aim in fleeing Tibet, I am now receiving from Situ Rinpoche and Gyaltsap Rinpoche all the empowerment and transmissions of the Kagyu lineage that are possible under these present circumstances. Kyabje Thrangu Rinpoche and other Kagyu masters are teaching me the treatises of the Buddhist philosophical tradition. In this way, I am preparing for my life's work: to teach and study Buddhism and to encourage compassion and wisdom within the hearts of all beings.

In 1959, my previous incarnation, HH the 16th Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, was also forced to flee Tibet and come to India as a refugee. He settled in Sikkim and, with the assistance of the Central Government and the State Government of Sikkim, he was able to build the Dharmachakra Center, Rumtek Monastery, which became the basis for his world-wide activity. It was venerated and famous everywhere as the main seat of the Karma Kagyu lineage. Therefore, HH, the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan Government in Exile, Tibetan people from all over the world, and the Buddhist community of India, in addition to almost all Kagyu lamas and members of their Dharma centres consider it extremely important that I go to my main seat in Rumtek. They have made repeated requests that I be able to do so. From my point of view, going to Rumtek Monastery would be like returning home to continue the activity of my predecessor. This is why I consider it so important. 

I am fully confident that I will be able to go there since Sikkim is a state of India. I am also confident that just as my predecessor did, I will be able to travel abroad to meet my numerous disciples and fulfil their spiritual needs. With this end in mind, I have submitted an application to the proper authorities. 

I am especially grateful to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan Government in Exile, and the people and Government of India, all of whom have shown great kindness and generosity in providing for my stay in India. With great appreciation and respect, I offer them my thanks. 

In the past, the Gyalwa Karmapas did not engage in political activity and I can do nothing but follow in their footsteps. Concerning the future path of Tibet and the Tibetan people, I endorse and fully support everything that His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama stands for. Embodying universal love, compassion, and non-violence, he is the supreme leader of Tibet and the champion of world peace and human rights. 

Recently, HH the Dalai Lama and my disciples in Sikkim and the rest of India, in addition to disciples and centers abroad, made earnest and repeated requests to the Prime Minister, the Home Minister, and the Foreign Minister to grant refugee status to myself and those with me. After due consideration, the Indian Government decided to grant us refugee status. 

With this new status, I was able to go on pilgrimage for five weeks, visiting major sites of Buddhism in the sacred land of India. In these places, I gave blessings and initiations according to the wishes of numerous disciples who came from near and far.

Karmapa ended the press statement with these lines spoken in what he called his english with "rough pronounciation". 


"Today, many people from the media in the East and West have come here for this press meeting. I consider it a precious occasion and give my thanks to each and every one of you. I thought it was important that the world know the true story and my true purpose in coming here. This was not possible until now, however, due to circumstances beyond my control. I hope that after this press meeting today, you will sincerely help everyone to know the truth."

Tashi Delek
                                                                                          -His Holiness The 17th Karmapa 


A Song on the Alaya by the Third Karmapa

Namo Guru

I supplicate the supreme guru,
Who shows me that my own mind is dharmakaya.

Please take a seat here and listen to these words.
Realize their significance and make them your living experience.

The alaya is the basis of all of samsara and nirvana.
When not realized, it is samsara,
And when realized, it is the Tathagata mind.
This describes the essence of the alaya.

For example, in a mirror pure of tarnish,
Reflections may appear. Likewise,
In the open expanse of your own stainless mind,
Various consciousnesses rise and perish.

Since this clinging to the duality of subject and object
Rises and appears within this open expanse all by itself, The single essence of samsara and
nirvana being nondual
Not realized is delusion and, if realized, is liberation.

Though the thinker and what it thinks of are not two,
Taking them to be two is the ground of samsara.
Once you see the nondual essence,
The Heart of the victors is revealed.

This song on determining the alaya Arose in a solitary place.
Through dispelling all that obscures the alaya,
May you realize your own stainless mind.

This song was sung in the lower [valley of Tsurpu] Dolung Gyal
During the waxing ninth moon in the year of the sheep
By the dharma lord Rangjung Dorje
To the great meditator, master Ngarma, and his servant.

Translated by Karl Brunnholzl

From the book "Heart Advice of Karmapa "


Tai Situ Rinpoche talked about HH the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa (Shenpen Osel)

Question: Rinpoche, I have a number of questions about His Holiness Karmapa. The first one is, did any of the Karmapas attain buddhahood?

Rinpoche: I believe so, yes. My guru, the supreme leader of the Karma Kagyu lineage and the Kagyu lineage at large, is the embodiment of Chenrezig, yes, yes.

Question: Can you say something about The Seventeenth Karmapa, how he’s doing, what he’s like, what his situation in Tshurpu is like, how his education is progressing?

Rinpoche: Yes, I have had the great opportunity and privilege to see him about four times now in different situations. It was really an inspiration of the highest level. I don’t want to go into detail about that, but, in general, His Holiness is physically extremely healthy, and mentally he is extremely intelligent. He has performed lots of miracles, although that is not very important But miracles have happened anyway.

Tshurpu Monastery [the traditional seat of the Karmapas and the present home of The Seventeenth Gyalwa Karmapa] right now has over 400 monks. And Tshurpu’s retreats— almost every one of the Karmapas had their own retreat in the mountains around Tshurpu, which range from something like 12,000 to 15,000 feet above sea level—most of these retreats in the mountains around Tshurpu are now occupied by very good practitioners, mostly by nuns, actually. Most of them are nuns coming from all parts of Tibet. And the monastery itself has two retreat centers, both having monks doing three-year retreats for quite some time now. His Holiness sees people every day. When I was there he was seeing people every day at two o’clock in the afternoon. And every day several hundred people were there to see him, coming from all parts of Tibet, from Europe, from America, from everywhere, Southeast Asia, everywhere. And then, from time to time, he also gave empowerments. And everything is really wonderful; really, really good. I must tell you that Tshurpu Monastery officially is allowed by the Chinese government to have only 100 monks. But, now there are 400 monks.

The Wisdom Lamp That Illuminates the Basic Nature by the Third Karmapa

The view of being free from extremes, 
The meditation that is a continuous flow,
The conduct of being without do’s and don’ts, 
And the fruition of being without hope and fear—
All yogins who realize these to be one 
[Embody] the three kayas and five wisdoms.

The three kays are threefold—
Mind’s primordial purity is the dharmakaya,
Speech’s unrestrained empty resounding is the sambhogakaya, 
And the body’s various ways of conduct are the nirmanakaya. 

What are their divisions?
Mind’s great luminosity is the dharmakaya,
It’s being without meeting or parting is the sambhogakaya, 
And unobstructed thought-activity is the nirmanakaya—
These are the three kayas of mind, the dharmakaya.

Speech beyond words, thought, and expression is the dharmakaya, 
Sound resounding yet empty and free from clinging is the sambhogakaya, 
And breath’s many ways of coming and going are the nirmanakaya—
These are the three kayas of pure speech, the sambhogakaya.

The body in activity-free equipoise is the dharmakaya, 
Its unconstrained ways of conduct are the sambhogakaya, 
And its various movements are the nirmanakaya—
These are the three kayas of pure body, the nirmanakaya. 

Great meditators who cultivate the basic nature,
Point out the three kayas in this way!

What are the pure realms of the three kayas?
The alaya free from extremes, the actuality of the middle, 
Is the pure realm of the dharmakaya.
Minds great unchanging bliss
Is the pure realm of the sambhogakaya.
Minds unceasing flow of luminosity 
Is the pure realm of the nirmanakaya. 

You great meditators traveling through mountain retreats,
If you are headed for the pure realms, do so for these! 

Yogins who realize basic natures reality,
The skandha of form being pure in its own place,
The supreme abode of Akanishtha being spontaneously present, 
And resting in unchanging dharmadhatu wisdom
Are the family of the sambhogakayas, such as Vairocana, 
Of all Buddhas in the three times—
If you’re looking for a place to practice, go for this!

The skandha of consciousness being pure in its own place, 
The pure realm of Abhirati being spontaneously present, 
And resting in mind being lucid-empty, mirrorlike wisdom, 
Are the family of enlightened mind, such as Akshobhya—
If you’re looking for a place to practice, go for this!

The skandha of feeling being pure in its own place,
The supreme abode of Shrimat being spontaneously present, 
And resting in the wisdom of inseparable equality
Are the family of qualities, such as Ratnasambhava—
If you’re looking for a place to practice, go for this!

The skandha of discrimination being pure in its own place, 
Sukhavati being spontaneously present,
And resting in blissful-empty mind, discriminating wisdom, 
Are the entire assembly of the deities of enlightened speech—
If you’re looking for a place to practice, go for this!

The skandha of formation being pure in its own place,
The pure realm [of Karmaprapurana] being spontaneously present,
And resting in inseparable mind, all-accomplishing wisdom, 
Are the place to practice enlightened activity, so go for it! 

Great meditators headed for solitary places,
If you wish for places to practice, go for these! 

Manifest realization is [the wisdom of] suchness,
And knowing the mind streams of others is the one of variety—
Not realizing that these two knowledges,
As well as the three kayas and the five wisdoms, are your own mind,
Wishing to search for them somewhere else is just wishful thinking. 
Not realizing that the three kayas and the pure realms
Of the victors are complete within yourself,
To wish for them outside is just wishful thinking.

Within the ground, uncontrived spontaneously present Samantabhadra, 
The essence of the Buddhas of the three times is perfectly complete. 
In the state of the alaya, the great being,
Samsara and nirvana are perfectly complete without exception. 
Within unchanging great bliss,
All efforts, accomplishing, flaws, and qualities are perfectly complete. 
Within the unborn inconceivable mind the dharmakaya,
The qualities of all Buddhas of the three times 
Are perfectly complete without exception—
Effortless, spontaneously present, and amazing, 
Make this great perfection a living experience! 

Translated by Karl Brunnholzl

from the book "Heart Advice of Karmapa "