The Denjong Lhade
His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje has been residing in the Indian State of Himachal Pradesh after his escape from Tibet (China) in the year 2000 AD. His predecessor, the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa Rangjyung Rigpe Dorje lived and died in Sikkim. Karmapas are the Supreme Head of the Kagyupa Lineage of Lamaism. Due to various circumstances, restrictions have been imposed on His free movement since. However He has been allowed permission to travel across the world, off-late. The Indian government has also permitted him visit several places in India over the years. In the recent years, He was even allowed to visit Mirik in the Darjeeling district of West Bengal State to conduct religious rituals and ceremonies for over a week.
The monks and lay devotees in Sikkim have infinitely been waiting for the arrival of their Dharma Guru since the passing away of the 16th Karmapa in 1981. With the escape of the 17th Karmapa to India in 2000, the ever waning aspiration of the devotees rejuvenated once again. Overwhelming majority of the Sikkimese people acknowledges Ogyen Trinley Dorje as the 17th Karmapa and have since been representing the Indian government to allow Him to visit Sikkim, at-least once to bless them. The government has also been given prerogative to decide on the location in Sikkim where the Karmapa could be allowed to visit. However, in the garb of security it so far has fallen only on the deaf ear of New Delhi for sixteen-long years despite popular demand.
In 2014, the Sikkim Legislative Assembly passed two historic Resolutions urging the Indian government to grant permission to enable the much awaited visit of the 17th Karmapa to Sikkim to bless the land and its people. Earlier, about 40,000 people came to streets in 2010 with the same demand. Once again in May 2016, the monk community from Sikkim called on a two-day long Peace dharna at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi. Again, back at home, on June 22, 2016, all the major and minor monasteries of Sikkim held historic meeting at Gangtok and unanimously resolved that the Indian Government must immediately grant permission to His Holiness. With no response from the Indian authority, a massive Rally was held at Gangtok by hundreds and thousands of monks & lay devotees once again on July 10, 2016 with the same demand. Moreover, since July 10, 2016 – Sikkimese monks have begun indefinite Relay-hunger strike at BL House, Gangtok seeking early visit of His Holiness to Sikkim.
It is very condemnable that the religious rights and interests of the people should be encroached or subdued for a long period of sixteen years in the name of security. National security & concern is indeed a matter of utmost concern and there is no compromise on it, we respect this. However, the manager of national security must also be sensitive and considerate to our religious concern at the same time for the Buddha dharma has strongly been guarding the nation’s northern frontier with its message of peace & non-violence. It’s been sixteen frustrating long years now. A generation of Sikkimese have passed away with this simple aspiration of having their Root Lama (Karmapa) at Sikkim before they die. Root Lama is the ultimate sacred guide to any Buddhist. Since the state of tolerance of the Sikkimese devotees has crossed all heights, it can go to any extent in redeeming their simple dharma aspiration of having their precious dharma guru in their own land for few days. Perhaps, this dharma aspiration of the Sikkimese people is not a very big deal if perceptively addressed by the Indian authorities with more human heart.
India has witnessed rampant massacre of Buddhist monks in Arunachal Pradesh in the recent months. Let it not become precedence in this oft-called land of religious tolerance. If the Karmapa can be allowed to Mirik in Darjeeling (hardly one & half hour drive from Sikkim), why can’t he be allowed to Sikkim? What is the variation of security perspective between Sikkim & Mirik? Who is circulating / composing such reports (misreports rather) and analyses or who is influencing or guiding such communications at local level to the authorities? Did the authorities at New Delhi ever authenticate such reports with reality? Can the national security and common aspirations be based on such biased assumptions or reports which are a complete deviation from reality? Let the Karmapa’s visit to Sikkim be more smooth and in accordance to its dharma tradition and lineage and without ill-heart.
If the Indian authority still keeps on denying permission to the Karmapa to visit Sikkim, series of volatile questions arise. Its reluctance to unanimously decide on the matter poses grave question of Sikkim being a part of the Union unlike the way the Union has decisively allowed Him to Himachal Pradesh, Bihar or West Bengal - its other constituent units like that of the Sikkim State. Indian government must maintain complete authority on all matters pertaining to its territory. Moreover, the disinclined approach of the Indian authority is also indicative of its feeble foreign policy wherein it appears to be under duress of some extra-territorial power or unseen factor that apparently is even beyond its sovereign jurisdiction. If so, is India - the largest democracy that helpless? Frustrated Sikkimese devotees now remember and compare that when the 16th Karmapa came to Sikkim in 1956, there was no trouble at all regarding permission, asylum, etc. for then they had their own Chogyal (King) as the Head of the State. They did not move from post to pillar of alien systems as today. It simply was faith and respect that worked then.
We live in an era of instant communications, connections and contacts owing to tremendous technological advancement. At such circumstances, mere physical presence of any individual at any given location, and more so of the stature of a Karmapa who is already delimited by intelligentsia & security beeline on any visits can never have repercussions, if ever. Such conceptions are no more than hallucination at this age. It rather is the intention of the Indian authority that has to be stable, clear and pro-people. The government must realise the fact that the security of the nation depends largely on its people and not necessarily on circumstances or territory.
We, the Sikkimese monks and devotees already have had enough of it in this past sixteen years. In fact, it has been an infinite wait out of the rough and insensitive handling of New Delhi. We have begun Indefinite Relay Hunger Strike since July 10, 2016 at Gangtok as Holy Crusade and will go to any extent in simply having our dharma guru here in Sikkim for few days. Indian government! Aren’t we justified in expressing our simple dharma aspiration?
Karmapa Khyeno Karmapa Khyeno Karmapa Khyeno
Gangtok July 19, 2016
HH 17th Karmapa Graces Ceremony of Birth Anniversary of Guru Padmasambhava at Nechung Monastery - CTA
July 18, 2016
|His Holiness 17th Gyalwa Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje graced the ceremony of the birth of Guru Padmasambhava at Nechung Monastery on 18 July 2016.|
|His Holiness 17th Gyalwa Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje, Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay and representatives of CTA at invocation of Oracle at Nechung Monastery on 18 July 2016.|
JULY 14, 2016
|His Holiness Karmapa Rinpoche with former Kalon Mr Tempa Tsering at the launch of a book on His Holiness the Dalai Lama, published by Bureau of His Holiness the Dalai Lama based in New Delhi. (Photo courtesy: tibet.net)|
(TibetanReview.net, Jul10, 2016) – The 81st birthday Jul 6 of Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, was marked in India’s capital New Delhi, with the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorjee and India’s Minister of State for Home Affairs Mr Kiren Rijiju being among the guests. Later in the evening, more than 300 guests attended a dinner reception hosted by the Bureau of HH the Dalai Lama at the Silver Oak, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.
In his address, Mr Rijiju praised the Dalai Lama as a global icon of peace and nonviolence and said India was blessed by his benevolent presence in the country.
Others who attended the morning function included Kasur Tempa Tsering, Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, New Delhi, who read the Kashag’s statement for the occasion; Kasur Gyari Dolma, Dr NK Trikha, former National Convener of the Core Group for Tibetan Cause, India; and Mr Pankaj Goyal, Core Group member and members of Indian Tibet support groups.
Those who attended the dinner reception included Ambassadors, Indian Government officials, Members of Parliament, Former Indian bureaucrats, servicemen and diplomats, people from the media, Tibet support group members and academics. The main speaker at the event was Ambassador Dalip Mehta, former secretary of the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India.
During the reception, the 17th Karmapa released a book on His Holiness the Dalai Lama published and launched by the Bureau of HH the Dalai Lama.
|[Monday, July 11, 2016 19:16]|
By Tenzin Monlam
DHARAMSHALA, July 11: Boosting the recent initiative taken by the Sikkim government to facilitate the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorjee’s visit to Rumtek Monastery, thousands of people yesterday took to the streets of Gangtok urging the central government to allow the young head of Karma Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.
The rally known as ‘Peace and Aspiration Rally’ reportedly saw around 5,000 people including Tibetans, monks and devotees carrying large portraits of Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorjee, Karmapa’s Dream Flags and Buddhist flags while reciting ‘Karmapa Khyenno’ mantra.
The prominent slogan on the banners were: “It’s time that our dharma guru visit Sikkim now”, “Please allow Karmapa to visit and bless Sikkim” and “Government of India, you have sovereign power to allow Karmapa to visit Sikkim”.
The rally, also participated by former Sikkim CM Narbahadur Bhandari, urged the central government to allow Karmapa to visit his rightful seat at Rumtek, indicating that they would be ‘compelled to undertake revolutionary approaches to democratic traditions’ should the government of India fail to fulfill their demand.
“We the people of Sikkim, in conformity and continuity to our common aspiration and prayers, therefore unanimously resolve that the Government of India must immediately grant permission and necessary clearance to Gyalwang Karmapa to visit and bless Sikkim,” the organizers said in a statement.
It has been over 17 years since he fled into exile and has never set foot in the monastery, which became the seat of Karmapa lineage in India since the 16th Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje’s escape in 1959.
The organizers have also initiated a relay hunger strike, which they say would continue until central government agrees to their demand of allowing Gyalwang Karmapa to visit Sikkim.
According to a source, the Shamar Rinpoche-appointed 17th Karmapa Trinlay Thaye Dorjee, one of the claimants to the throne, have raised objection over the Sikkim government’s move.
The Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the CTA recognize Ogyen Trinley Dorje as the 17th Karmapa. However, the Indian government has still not lifted the restriction it imposed on the young Lama to visit Rumtek.
A circular issued on July 6, by the Sikkim Government under the order of the state Governor, which appointed Acharya Tshering Lama of Simick Chandey as the Chairman of the Ecclesiastical Affairs Department sparked a hope for his long awaited visit to Rumtek.
Reconnu par le dalaï-lama, le 17e karmapa est l’un des plus importants chefs spirituels tibétains. Après avoir fui son pays natal à l’âge de 14 ans, il est devenu un symbole du Tibet en exil. Ce jeune maître a fait de la protection de l’environnement son combat quotidien. Nous l'avons rencontré pour un entretien exclusif lors de sa toute première visite en France.
GANGTOK, July 11: A day after holding a Gangtok rally demanding the Union government to allow the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje to visit Sikkim, monks have started a relay hunger strike here at BL House, Tibet Road seeking a Sikkim visit of their religious leader.
Seventeen monks along with Sikkim Bhutia Lepcha Apex Committee(SIBLAC) convener Tseten Tashi Bhutia are on the relay fast from a temporary shelter outside the BL House starting Monday. The relay hunger strike will continue till Drukpa Tsheshi which falls on August 6, it was informed.
The monks are demanding that the Karmapa is permitted to visit Rumtek, Ralong or Phodong monastery.
“The Karmapa is allowed to visit Mirik close to Sikkim but cannot come to his rightful throne here in Sikkim. We want the Union government to consider allowing him to visit one of three Kagyud monasteries in Sikkim on the holy occasion of Drukpa Tsheshi,” said the SIBLAC convener.
“We also thank Chief Minister Pawan Chamling for leading a delegation to New Delhi recently and submitting the demand on Karmapa to the Union government. We seelk support of all political parties and organizations so that the Karmapa demand is fulfilled,” said Tseten Tashi.
11 July, 2016
11 July, 2016
Images of the rally held in Gangtok on Sunday by monks and devotees requesting the Union government to permit 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorjee to visit and bless Sikkim. The rally commenced at around 10 am from BL House, Tibet Road an took a round of the town via Nam Nam, Deorali and Zero point before concluding at BL House.
The rally organised by Denjong Monasteries Chogchen was to seek early Sikkim visit of the Karmapa which has been a long pending demand from Sikkim.
The Rally also saw participation of Sangha MLA Sonam Lama, Shyari MLA Kunga Nima Lepcha, former Chief Minister Nar Bahadur Bhandari and others.
A SKM release informs that SKM president P.S. Golay could not participate in the rally as he is in Delhi for medical treatment. He has extended his good wishes to the organisers and those who participated in the rally, the SKM release mentions.
Golay has said the SKM is always in support of this demand, said the SKM adding that it has raised the Karmapa demand in Centre. (Text: Dichen Ongmu / Pics: Wang Chen)