The Song Whose Time Has Come: The Melodius Hum of a Bee
by H.H. the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa,
Rangjung Rigpe Dorje (1924 - 1981)
This song is ala ala ala. It is
thala thala thala. "Ala" means it is a song of the
unborn. "Thala" is a word that invokes.
If you do
not recognize this place, It is the place of Akanishtha's heart chakra. In the mandala of glorious
Chakrasamvara, The main seat is Tsurphu in the
Dowo valley. If you do
not recognize a person like me, I belong to the family lineage of
'den, a good ancestry. If you call me by name, I am known as Rigdröl
Yeshe. This victory banner of the teaching
of glorious Dakpo's lineage Is raised
high on the summit of worldly existence, they say, Planted at the
end of a series, held high and never declining. Nourished by the essence of the
father lama's oral instructions, It is the perfection of the great
display of innate primordial wisdom. From the
land of high snows, this turquoise mane of the lion Pervades the
countries of the future, they say. In the exquisite sandalwood
forests, lives a huge tiger With a powerful roar and the radiant color of
clouds at dawn. Insatiably he conquers the wild animals
of wrong views. What I have spoken is the truth, the Victorious
One's power, Resounding over the lake with its waters of eight
qualities Like the pleasant sound of
hastening ducks. In the
sky, vast and all-pervading, Are set the sun and moon, luminous and
natural. The most famous one called
Rigdröl Does not remain, yet knows not where he will go. The swan
places its trust in the lake And the lake, unreliable, turns to ice. The white lion places its trust on
the snow, But fine, white snow attracts the sun. May all the
noble ones left behind in the snowy land of Tibet Not come under the
sway of the four elements. From unmanifest space, the protector Padmasambhava looks after
them, Holding them always with his gentle hook of compassion. May all
sentient beings who have a connection with me Bring to fruition the four
supreme kayas. I do not stay now, yet my place is uncertain; I go to
experience the fruition of previous lives' karma. In
springtime a cuckoo will come to Tibet. Its lovely song will strike sadness
in your heart. Then you will wonder where the man Rigdröl is. Will not
you, who depend on me, know untold grief? On the
day the swan circles the edge of the lake And leaves its fledglings in the
darkening swamp, The day the white vulture soars in the depths of the
sky, You will wonder where the man Rigdröl is. O
Fledglings, I feel untold grief for you. Now I will not explain much; this is
but a jest, Yet unified with ultimate reality. When the Lord of the Path is held by the
king of birds, In prayer
I aspire that we gather in great joy. For this life, take this as the
essential point to be heard: Speech is indestructible sound like an
echo. Mind is empty, free of material concerns. On the
path that does not take up the positive nor reject the negative, The
conduct of the king of birds is relaxed within itself. Examine in detail this meaning in a
hundred flavors. Ki so so, gathering of wrathful Wermas.
"Akanishtha" can have several meanings;
here, it poetically refers to Tsurphu as a sambhogakaya pure land. Three of the
main monasteries associated with the Karmapa are linked to the enlightened body,
speech, and mind of the Buddha: Kampo gangra (Kam po gangs ra) represents the
body, Karma gon (Karma dgon), the speech, and Tsurphu (mTshur phu), the
One of the main deities practiced in
the Kagyu lineage.
The Dowo is the name of the river
that flows by Tsurphu and gives its name to the valley.
 This is a childhood name of the XVIth
Karmapa, used until his enthronement at the age of eight.
Dakpo Lhaje or Gampopa was the teacher
of the first Karmapa, Düsum Khyenpa.
 "Series" refers to the unbroken
lineage of the Kagyü teachings.
The snow lion's mane is vast and a
metaphor here for the teachings of Buddhism in Tibet.
 The lustrous saffron color of the
tiger refers to the brilliance of the Dharma.
The water is cool, sweet, light, soft,
clear, pleasant, wholesome, and soothing.
 The metaphors of the lake and ducks
refer to the clear and pleasing quality of the Dharma and to the fact that it
pervades the great oceans.
This metaphor refers to the naturally
luminous quality of the Dharma and to the fact that it pervades all
The Karmapa is the swan residing on the
lake of his monastery, Tsurphu. When the Chinese invade Tibet and take over the
monastery, it becomes uninhabitable like a frozen lake.
The lion is also the Karmapa, who
relies on his monastery of Tsurphu in the snowy land of Tibet. The heat of the
sun, which melts the snow, is a metaphor for the destruction of Tsurphu during
the Cultural Revolution. Both metaphors of the swan and its lake and the lion
and its snow indicate that although the Karmapa wished to remain at Tsurphu, it
was not possible.
Here, the Karmapa prays that
those who could not escape will be protected from harm caused by the four
elements, such as being drowned in water, burned by fire, and so forth.
 Referring to the troubles in Tibet and
the immense suffering of its people.
Again the swan is the Karmapa departing
for India and the young birds left behind are the people of Tibet, and in
particular, his disciples.
There are two kinds of vulture
(rgod) in Tibet, the white and the black. They are renowned as being
able to fly higher than any other bird. It is another metaphor for the
"The Lord of the Path" refers to the
astrological path or cycle of twelve years and the "king of birds" refers to the
year of the bird, when the XVIIth Karmapa will be back in his monastery,
beginning his activity again.
Here, "the king of birds" refers to the
vulture and, in particular, to the way it flies, soaring and gliding at ease in
These previous four lines refer to
meditation on the true nature of mind.
"Ki" points to one's courage and
intelligence; "so" is like a loud whistle, meaning "Wake up! Be aware! Pay
Wermas are dharmapalas (protectors of
the Dharma) with great dignity and courage.
December 28, 2016, in a historic letter sent to his Kagyu nunneries in India,
Nepal, and Bhutan, the Karmapa officially announced that the actual process of
establishing full ordination for nuns in the Karma Kamtsang tradition would
begin. He stated that at the site of the Buddha’s enlightenment in Bodh Gaya,
on the auspicious day of the full moon in the Month of Miracles, (the first
month in the Tibetan calendar, falling on March 12, 2107), the shramaneri (getsulma)
vows would be conferred on those nuns wishing to take full ordination. Following
much deliberation, a path to full ordination was established. It was decided
that the nuns would hold these shramaneri vows for a year, after which they
will take the shikshamana (gelopmaor training) vows from Dharmaguptaka
nuns and keep them for two winters or two summers. Finally, they will receive
the bhikshuni (gelongmaor full ordination) vows with the
participation of nuns from the Dharmaguptaka tra…
Monastery, Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India
many preparations are underway for the Getsulma (novice) ordination to be held
during this 4th Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering. The Karmapa plans to hold
the ordination on the auspicious full moon day of Chötrul Duchen, the historic
day that marks fifteen days after Losar and commemorates the time when the
Buddha performed a different miracle each day to instill devotion. As the
Karmapa mentioned during the first day of the Arya Kshema, this year initiates
the historic path to the process of full ordination, which will occur in stages
over several years. This is a well-thought process that grants nuns the
opportunity to practice the authentic vinaya path. They will take the Getsulma
vows in the tradition of a strictly observant tradition of Mahayana Vinaya
nuns, thus garnering respect for their sangha and demonstrating their life-long
commitment to their vows. Since there is no lineage for fully ordained nuns in
SE Report GANGTOK,
March 16: A delegation of monks from various monasteries
of Sikkim staged a sit-in protest outside the BJP national headquarters in New
Delhi today demanding the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje to be allowed to visit
and bless the people of Sikkim.
The delegation led by Denjong Lhadey chanted slogans
demanding and also submitted a memorandum with the demand to the Prime Minister’s
Office through senior officials.
The memorandum reiterates the Denjong Lhadey’s
demand to urgently send the Buddhist spiritual leader to Sikkim. The monks on
dharna outside the BJP office were also detained by Delhi police at Mandir Marg
police station and later released, informs a press release.
In November of 2015, during the 6th Khoryug Conference, His Holiness the 17th Karmapa set the aspiration that all Khoryug monasteries and nunneries should develop practical skills and knowledge for disaster preparedness and response. He later explained that “We were all affected greatly by the earthquake in Nepal and wanted to know how we could help so that in the future we are not just taken by fear but prepared to be useful and deal skillfully with the situation.…
Monastery, Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India
the second half of his teachings this morning, the Karmapa shared his research
into the history of nuns and their status. He began by explaining the
background of the name “Arya Kshema,” given to the Winter Dharma Gathering. He
noted that among the disciples of Shakyamuni Buddha, there were his eight
greatest male monastic disciples, known for their prajna (supreme wisdom) or
miracles and so forth. Likewise, there were female master disciples who were
greatest at miracles or known for their prajna and other outstanding qualities.
Arya Kshema is one of these and she is described in theSutra of the Wise and
greatest in wisdom and confidence, so the Winter Dharma Gathering is named
after her. “In
giving this name,” the Karmapa explained, “we are also following the saying,
‘Later disciples should practice the example of past masters.’ Previously,
during the time of the Buddha Shakyamuni, there were woman arhats, bhikshu…
the third year in succession, the Taiwan Health Corps has been working with
Kagyu nuns during the Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering. Twenty-one
nuns from eight nunneries—Ralang, Tilokpur and Palpung Yeshe Rabgye Ling in
India, Karma Leksheyling, Tara Abbey, Osel Karma Thekchöling and Samten
Ling in Nepal, and Drubde Palmo Chökyi Dingkhang in Bhutan– have
successfully completed a nine-day training in basic health care. Dr
Jeffrey Chen, CEO of the Taiwanese based NGO Taiwan Health Corps, first
responded to a request from the Gyalwang Karmapa to develop initiatives to
improve the health and healthcare of nuns more than three years ago. This year
he has returned for a third time with a team of six health professionals to
provide basic training for a new batch of nuns. The team comprises Professor
Kuo Su Chen, a specialist in Women’s Health, Dr Chin Min Yi, a doctor of
traditional Chinese medicine, Dr Wei Cheng Chou, urologist and surgeon, Hsin-Yu
afternoon of the 34th Kagyu Mönlam started slightly earlier than usual with a
Medicine Buddha tsok practice according to the Concise Ritual of
Offering to the Seven Tathagatas, compiled by the 6th Sharmapa. Tsok, in
the form of small bags of fruit, was distributed to each and every participant,
sangha and lay followers alike, and money offerings traditionally known in
Tibet as 'kunki' were also given to the sangha.
At the end of
the afternoon break, His Holiness Karmapa came onto the stage and the session
on the Appreciation of the Sponsors opened with the procession for the mandala
offering, led by the sponsors who then sat on the stage for the blessings that
would follow. Appreciation of the Sponsors is an opportunity to share and
dedicate virtue, and His Holiness spoke at some length on the importance of
generosity as a means for generating virtue, and on the equal indispensability
of the dedication of the virtue generated.
For the Gyalwang Karmapa, the Tibetan New Year began in the
first hours of the day, as he met in the Tergar Monastery shrine hall with
tulkus, khenpos, and masters from various monasteries and received their
khatas. In return he gave them his blessing and a traditional bright red cord.
The monks recited prayers for peace in the world and the flourishing of the
teachings as well as the very long life of the Karmapa. Afterward the entire
monastic and lay Sangha gathered at 4:30 am in the Monlam Pavilion for a
special long-life practice based on theThree
Roots Combined, calledA
Life-Force Indestructible like a Vajra. The practice was led by the
Karmapa’s heart son, Gyaltsap Rinpoche, who had bestowed this empowerment the
previous day. In February of 2016 the Karmapa had also given this empowerment,
and at the time commented on its importance for his Kamtsang Kagyu lineage. The
short lineage is traced back to a text based on the pure visions of th…
Pavilion — Bodh Gaya, Bihar
break, after the smoke offering Massing Clouds of Amrita had
ended on Sunday morning, the stage needed to be cleared and rearranged in order
for Gyaltsab Rinpoche to bestow the Red Crown ceremony and the Long
Life Empowerment of the Three Roots Combined. His Holiness the 17th Karmapa
personally took charge of arranging Gyaltsab Rinpoche’s throne with great
respect and care; he had received the Empowerment of the Three Roots
Combined from Gyaltsab Rinpoche when he bestowed the Treasury
of Precious Terma, or Rinchen Terdzo empowerments some
throne was placed directly in front of the Gyalwang Karmapa’s high throne. To
the right, on an elegant golden table covered with brocade, sat a delicately
wrought silver pavilion.
At last the
stage was set, the gyalings blew, and the sangha returned from the break to
take their seats. After several minutes, the Gyalwang Karmapa led an elderly