Jnana-Pravaha Centre for Cultural Studies & Research, Varanasi, UP, India
Friday, November 6, 2015
The sounds of Karmapa Khyenno played through the white canopies set out on a sunny green lawn while the Ganges flowed nearby along its ancient course. This peaceful landscape of the Jnana-Pravaha Centre was the setting for a dialogue between spiritual teachers entitled, Awakening the Light of the Dharma: How to Uphold Dharma in the World Today. The Gyalwang Karmapa gave the keynote speech at this meeting focused on issues close to his heart.
The gathering brought together spiritual leaders from a variety of Buddhist and Hindu persuasions, Sufi, Jewish, and Theosophist teachers along with professors from Benares Hindu University joined by representatives from other academic and cultural institutions. The conference was mainly sponsored by the Jnana-Pravaha Centre and the Global Peace Initiative of Women (GPIW), based in New York. Its founder, Dena Merriam, introduced the conference speaking from her long-term commitment to inner development as an essential element in the positive transformation of the global community.
She spoke of the pervasive violence in the world today toward the women, the environment, and animals. To deal with this problem, she said, we have learn to think in terms of the whole web of life; we need a long-term vision, an understanding of the laws of cause and effect along with an increased respect and humility towards the earth’s community of life. For this to happen, an inner transformation has to come first before an external one.
Marianne Marstrand, Executive Director of GWIP, introduced the Gyalwang Karmapa as someone who expresses a deep concern for the earth and her living systems and one who shares his wisdom and insight with young people around the world so that they do not lose hope in these times.
After extending his greetings to all the Dharma friends who had gathered, the Karmapa remarked that he had come to the conference because it was focused on “developing mutual understanding between different spiritual traditions and inspiring their sacred perception of each other.” Sadly these days, there are many conflicts and misunderstandings based on the various religious traditions and we cannot postpone dealing with them. “We can see with our own eyes the difficulties in this world so even if we wanted to hold back and not do anything, we could not. If we can take small steps together, we can accomplish great things. This is critical for the peace of the world.” The Karmapa also emphasized that the importance of making good connections between individuals, “only then can we come together and do something great.” These relationships, he noted, are facilitated by a pure and spacious attitude.
“One of the most important things religious traditions can do,” the Karmapa remarked, “is to shift people’s attitudes. For example, science has given clear messages about the damage being to our environment, but this has not helped to change things. People’s attitudes and motivations have to transform, and religious leaders must show the way here. This means that all of us engaged in the religious traditions have a great responsibility.”
The Karmapa closed his talk by saying how delighted he was to see Dharma gurus and students at the conference and offered his best wishes and prayers that all be auspicious. Afterward, he took questions from two students.
The first one asked, “In this present time, how far are the teachings and beliefs of Buddha alive and relevant?”
The Karmapa responded, “In looking at Buddhist principles, we can see that there are some that stem from tradition and others that have turned into customs. We have to examine and see what is appropriate and helpful for the present time.
“If we look at the essence of Dharma,” he continued, “we can see many aspects that are very relevant–love and compassion, having few desires and being content, the understanding of interdependence, and mindfulness meditation.” In addition, the Karmapa said that the way Buddhism is taught is crucial: “Teachers must teach in tune with our contemporary world so that the Dharma matches the needs of the people who are living here and now.”
The next questioner asked: “What role can Buddhism play in insuring and promoting gender equality? The Karmapa replied: “When the Buddha was present on this earth, he gave both women and men the opportunity to practice in four different ways: through the vows of full ordination for both men and women as well as lay vows for women and men. These four types of vows for the lay and ordained sangha resemble the four pillars supporting a house.” However, the Karmapa noted, this situation has changed over time. For example, the tradition of full ordination for women disappeared in Tibet.
In general the Karmapa stated that exploring philosophical views on the subject of equality for women or passing numerous laws will not bring the changes needed to establish equality. The rights of women, he said, are part of the basic rights of human beings. All living beings have the right to be happy and to avoid suffering, so if we can truly cherish and sustain these basic rights, equality for women will come. On this positive note, the Karmapa closed his presentation.
Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, one of the Karmapa’s teachers, then spoke and emphasized the importance of pure motivation during interfaith dialogues and also the need to sustain the Dharma so that it is available over time. Human beings have the special faculty of discerning intelligence, which allows them to change what is negative and develop what is positive. In doing so they can benefit all forms of life. So it is essential to preserve our religious traditions and let them flourish for the benefit of all living beings.
During this first morning of the conference, the esteemed speakers also included Sri Jagadguru Dr. Chandrashethar Shivacharya Mahaswami from Varanasi, Radhanath Swami, a teacher of Bhakti-yoga, and the famous woman teacher Anandamurti Gurumaa. The conference will continue through November 8 with further presentations and discussions.
Karmapa Rinpoche, the head of Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism who is often regarded by international media as the third-highest Tibetan lama, said he will return to Tibet and "share the happiness and misery" with Tibetans when the situation allows him to be beneficial to them.
After 17-plus years in exile, Karmapa said publicly for first time that he had left a written message behind when he escaped for India in late 1999.
"In it, I wrote I have made many failed efforts to be able to go to abroad. Now, having no other option, I am doing this way as a final solution. However, in the future if I could be beneficial to Tibet, the Land of Snow, I will return soon.' That's what I wrote," he said Sunday, speaking in Tibetan to about 4,000 Tibetans and devotees in Toronto. He had previously said that Chinese authorities turned down his requests to travel to India before his escape.
When the then-14-year-old Karmapa met with the Dalai Lama in Dhar…
At 11 am on Friday 26th May 2017, His Holiness the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje was received by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales at his country home of Highgrove (pictured). Their conversation covered issues of mutual concern, such as global climate change. His Holiness gifted His Royal Highness a copy of his new book ‘Interconnected: Embracing Life in Our Global Society’. The meeting was followed by a tour of the grounds & gardens.
Following the historic meeting His Holiness traversed the beautiful English countryside, stopping in Chippenham, Avebury & Stonehenge.
In 2016, the Centre had lifted restrictions on 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, movement within India after five years. Following this, he visited Arunachal Pradesh, an area claimed by China.
Sujit Nath | News18.com Updated:July 26, 2017, 11:31 PM IST
Kolkata: Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling on Wednesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to grant permission to 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, to visit the state.
Any such visit to the by the Tibetan leader living in exile in India is likely to anger China. This comes at a time when the two countries are engaged in a standoff in Doklam plateau in the Sikkim sector.
In 2016, the Centre had lifted restrictions on Dorje’s movement within India after five years. Following this, he visited Arunachal Pradesh, an area claimed by China.
“I also invited the Prime Minister to visit Sikkim after the rainy season came to an end this year, which he agreed and promised to make a trip soon,” Chamling told the media after his mee…
Recently the Gyalwang Karmapa went through a medical examination in Germany, his doctor strongly advise him to stop all Dharma propagation activities so that he has more time and space to treat some of the medical conditions that he has. After much consideration, the Gyalwang Karmapa decided to cancel this year’s Asia Dharma Teaching, i.e. the Diamond Sutra Teaching.
When we heard about the Gyalwang Karmapa’s decision to cancel the teaching, our emotions evolved from unspeakable shock to calm contemplation. Eventually, we understand the difficulty and necessity to make such a decision. We will continue to pray that the Diamond Sutra Teaching to be held in future, yet we are unsure when and where the teaching will be held. Therefore, we will begin the refund process for those who had registered for the teaching after we had negotiated with the hotel for refund.
Even though we feel a sense of regret that the Diamond Sutra Teaching cannot be held, yet we understand and …
First the Gyalwang Karmapa spoke a few words related to the birthday of HH the Dalai Lama:
We Tibetans consider the birthday of HH the Dalai Lama to be extremely important. We are most fortunate that he lights our way like a blazing torch as we pass through these dark and difficult times. His birthday, therefore, is an important occasion for us. Born in the Land of Snow, His Holiness is the protector and refuge for all the Tibetan people. This enormous good fortune brings delight to all of us and also gives us great courage.
However we might celebrate his birthday, we can recall his life story and his worldwide activity to benefit others.
In relation to any advice he might give us, it is essential that we consider how we can assist him and implement his counsel in its true sense. Not only has His Holiness devoted himself to improving our material welfare externally, he has also encouraged the growth of our spiritual welfare internally. In response, from our…
THE PRACTICE OF DHARMA involves certain possibilities. How these potentials evolve into actual situations for the practitioner, and how much is possible within these situations depends on the capacity of individual beings. It depends upon the level of teachings that one is able to relate to, such as Mahayana or Hinayana. At this particular time in our lives, the practice of the Mahayana teaching is possible. It is absolutely precious and absolutely rare. Our concern for development and our sense of responsibility has placed us in a position to integrate the preciousness and rarity of the Mahayana teaching with our lives. Through it there is the possibility of the experience of no-returning back into Samsara and the experience of ultimate bliss that is self knowing and in which there are no doubts. In the midst of the wanderings of our minds we might sometimes fall into thinking that whether one practices or not, the Dharma will always be available. If you have tha…
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Because apathy can become an epidemic.
The 17th Karmapa of Tibet, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, has been called the future “shepherd of the Tibetan people,” a Buddhist leader-in-waiting who will one day replace the Dalai Lama as the most important crimson-clad chieftain for many Tibetans. Though his claim to the throne of the Karma Kagyu lineage has been contested, most Tibetans — and even the Chinese government — agree that Ogyen Trinley Dorje is the real deal. Last month, the Karmapa was in the U.K. for his first-ever visit as he released a new book, Interconnected: Embracing Life in Our Global Society. OZY sat down with the 31-year-old philosopher monk to discuss his book and the roots of suffering, Chinese politics and why some leaders might need to have their heads examined. This interview has been condensed and edited.
THE OPPOSITE OF EMPATHY IS APATHY. THERE IS A TREND IN ENCOURAGING PEOPLE TO ONLY THINK OF THEIR OWN GOOD AND NOT TO WORRY ABOUT T…
TIBETAN DHARMA IS BASED ON Mahayana Buddhism and in Tibet there is a special Mahayana tradition. Centuries ago, Indian Mahasiddhas collected the essence of the Buddha's teachings which were subsequently brought to Tibet. Down to this present day, it is still possible to study these same teachings at an educational institution. In addition, you can actually come to experience the effect of what you have learned and enjoy the fruit of what you have practiced. I have confidence that you all are capable of experiencing this fruition of Buddhahood. The heart of Mahayana teaching is the practice of experiencing bodhicitta, or the enlightened mind. Bodhicitta can be seen from two aspects--the aspiration to benefit oneself and to benefit others--but when you are truly doing the practice then you generate bodhicitta that includes both yourself and all other beings. As you are working in the world or accomplishing some task, if you do it with the intention of benefiting…
Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju visited Phodong Monastery in North Sikkim on Wednesday where he was given a grand welcome by the monks. Rijiju expressed his happiness on the opportunity of visiting such a holy monastery of Sikkim. The Minister offered khada and lit the butter lamps at the monastery for the well being of all sentient beings.
While addressing a large gathering of monks, local public and students at the monastery, he informed that recently restrictions on the travel of the Karmapa to any place apart from Sikkim were lifted by the Government of India. His Holiness had earlier visited Arunachal Pradesh and the people of the state accorded a grand reception to him thus showing their faith in him. He said that the lifting of the restrictions on the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa in visiting Sikkim is currently under process and meetings are being held to resolve various issues. He was tirelessly pursuing the matter in his Ministry, owing t…
The 17th Karmapa, Tibetan religious leader Ogyen Trinley Dorje, was in Parkdale Wednesday, May 31, to consecrate the newly relocated Karma Sonam Dargye Ling temple. It was the first time the 32-year-old protege of the Dalai Lama has visited Canada.
His inaugural visit to his temple was a pretty big deal, and local Tibetans observed all manner of traditional practices and rituals to mark this auspicious occasion. On the morning of his arrival, the space inside and around the temple was a colourful blur of bodies, dresses and flags.
Police officers, volunteers, temple staff and devotees gathered outside, some as early as 6 am, to await the Karmapa’s appearance, scheduled for 9:30 am.
The diverse crowd included Charlotte, 73, who’d driven from Peterb…