His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa speaking on the abdication of His Eminence the 4th Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche

Question: I’m a disciple of the 4th Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche. In this current situation (of his having left the monastery), how should I continue my practice with faith?

The Karmapa answers: How should I put this, it is neither good or bad in the way some people are thinking about it. I was the most affected when this happened, as most of you know. After I observed everything, I was not too worried about it. To be honest, sometimes I feel that I see him in a different way than others, because I have sympathy for him. Since I have been there before as a human being, I understand and do sympathize.

But I don’t think we should lose our faith just because Rinpoche has made his choice. It’s not necessary to lose faith. Mainly I wish that he does not give up on living beings and the lineage, for with this everything will be all right. This is my main wish. It is up to Rinpoche to make the decision as to how is he will accomplish this.

Don’t pay too much attention to how you feel or think about things right now, imagining that they have to be one way or another. I do not do that and feel that you should not either. Especially since a bodhisattva has different ways to benefit living beings, and the most important thing is that he has the intention and will to be a bodhisattva and to benefit living beings. If he has this, then nothing else is of much concern. This is my personal thought and attitude toward Rinpoche.

On the other hand, he is a lineage master and an incarnation of Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche. For the lineage it’s a massive loss, though one cannot really say it is massive loss since we do not know what is going to happen in the future. In the short term, however, it is a huge loss especially to Rinpoche’s monastery, since they did not expect this at all. As you all know, the 3rd Jamgon Rinpoche passed away at a very young age, and now this 4th Jamgon Rinpoche has left them at a young age, too, so they are suffering greatly in their hearts.

We all should understand this. If you have the ability, please help them as much as you can. This is more important. I can see clearly that all the staff around him has tried to do their best; they could not have done better. That is why at times I blamed myself for not taking better care of Rinpoche, and if I blame myself, maybe it will be a bit better for them.

@ The Gyalwang Karmapa's Teaching: "How to practise in the 21st Century"
New Delhi, India, 11-13 November, 2016


  1. Oh such wise words as always. I too trust it is not a bad or good thing and helping as much as possible in doing it in his own way is right.


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