Welcoming The Karmapa
From May 28th to June 9th, 2014, His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, will make his first visit to Europe, travelling to Kamalashila, his European seat in Germany, and to Berlin. His followers and friends have long waited for this auspicious event and extend a joyful welcome to him. We hope that this will become an annual event with time enough to visit each and every corner of Europe, so that he can share his deep wisdom and immense compassion.
The Karmapa is one of the most revered spiritual masters and religious leaders of Tibet, whose lineage dates back to the twelfth century, the time of the first Karmapa, Dusum Khyenpa (Knower of the Three Times, 1110-1193). Since then, all the Karmapas have predicted their own rebirth, creating a tradition of reincarnate lamas that is unique to Tibet. Further, the Karmapas are not only leaders of a major school within Tibetan Buddhism, but also lineage holders in most of the wisdom traditions preserved in Tibet.
The Karmapas live their lives as authentic masters, embodying the activities of a buddha and benefitting all living beings. Historically, many Karmapas have had a huge following both inside and outside Tibet, but they have never assumed any political power even though their influence has been widespread. Some of the Karmapas became teachers to the emperors and kings of China, Mongolia, Bhutan, Nepal, and other areas throughout the Himalayan regions of India.
His Holiness the 16th Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, travelled to many parts of Europe and America, sharing the profound wisdom he embodied. Those who could meet him only once speak of this occasion as one of the most important moments of their lives. He left a strong impression on those who met him and on many who never saw him, becoming one of the main teachers who brought Buddhism to the West.
The 17th Karmapa is known for his courage, compassion, dedication, creativity and scholarship. Before and after his famous escape from Tibet, he has trained widely in all the lineages of ancient wisdom that came to Tibet over a thousand years ago; he has become a great master, eager to share and ever open to learning.
The visit of the Karmapa to Europe will encourage the increasing co-operation between the sacred wisdom of the East and the advanced science and technology of the West. Crucial for the 21st century, this exchange will continue to open up new perspectives for both sides, carrying forward the pioneering work begun by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
As we extend our heartfelt and enthusiastic welcome to His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, we would also like to thank all his teachers, and especially His Holiness the Dalai Lama for his fatherly kindness and constant guidance to the younger Karmapa. We wish to thank the Government and people of India who have welcomed the Karmapa as an honoured guest in their country and opened the doors for this visit. Further, the Central Tibetan Administration gave much appreciated assistance in making all the arrangements.
Finally, we would like to give our great thanks to the local and central governments of Germany whose assistance has made this visit possible.
Official Coordinator, Karmapa in Europe 2014