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.
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 …
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…
གཟའ་འཁོར་འདིའི་ནང་བོད་ཕྱི་ནང་གཉིས་ཀར་ལོ་ཆུང་བྱིས་པ་རེ་རང་སྲེག་བཏང་འདུག །སེམས་ལ་ན་ཟུག་ཆེས་ཆེར་སློང་བའི་གནས་ཚུལ་འདི་དག་རྣ་བར་ཐོས་དུས། བཟོད་ཐབས་བྲལ་ཏེ་སླར་ཡང་གཞིས་བྱེས་བོད་མི་སྤུན་ཟླ་ཡོངས་ལ་འབོད་སྐུལ་ཞིག་ཞུ་འདོད་བྱུང་། This week, two young Tibetan children, one in Tibet and one in India, have burned themselves to death. These events pain me deeply. I could not bear to think of it when I heard the news, and for that reason I want to make a request of my fellow Tibetans at home and abroad.
༢༠༠༩ ལོ་ནས་ད་བར་བོད་ཕྱི་ནང་དུ་བོད་མི་བརྒྱ་ཕྲག་དང་ཕྱེད་ལ་ཉེ་བས་གཅེས་པའི་རང་ལུས་ཞུགས་སུ་ཕུལ་ཏེ་ཚད་མཐོའི་ལས་འགུལ་ཤུགས་ཆེར་སྤེལ་མོད། འོན་ཀྱང་མིག་སྔར་དེ་ལ་ཐོབ་འོས་པའི་སེམས་ཁུར་དང་། ཚེ་སྲོག་ལ་རིན་ཐང་དང་བརྩི་འཇོག །དེ་བཞིན་ཁོང་ཚོས་རང་སྲེག་གཏོང་བའི་རྒྱུ་རྐྱེན་དང་མངོན་འདོད་གང་ཡིན་ལ་དོ་ཁུར་བྱེད་མཁན་རྒྱལ་སྤྱི་དང་རྒྱལ་ཁབ་གང་ཡང་ཕལ་ཆེར་བྱུང་མེད་པའི་ཚོད་ཙམ་རེད། From 2009 to the present, nearly 150 Tibetans within Tibet and abroad have immolated their own precious bodies, maki…
The land of Sikkim, at the border of India and Tibet, was consecrated as a hidden sanctuary for the Buddha's teachings during the present epoch by the second Buddha, the great master Padmasambhava, who blessed it with the vajra wisdom of his body, speech, and mind. Through the infallible power of his aspiration and through our great effort, the monastery Shaydrup Kunkhyap Otong Khyilway Tsuklakhang (the Temple of Pervasive Teaching and Practice Blazing with a Thousand Lights), has been established for the preservation of the precious doctrine of the Buddha, which is the source of all benefit and happiness in existence and tranquility, and for the sake of all beings in the world.
Before the building's foundation was begun, I performed the customary removal of impediments and, using a sand mandala, the ritual of Chakrasamvara, blessing the location so that it is his wisdom mandala. In that and similar ways, the site has been consecrated m…
A group from Palpung Wales, which actually consisted of people from all over UK, traveled to join the His Holiness 17th Karmapa’s first teaching weekend in London, Battersea. It was an absolute privilege to be part of that weekend, in many ways. We received touching and inspiring teachings from His Holiness Karmapa on Geshe Langri Tangpa’s famous “Eight verses of Mind Training,” a key instruction on how to bring the Dharma into daily life. At the same time it was like a gesture of welcoming His Holiness Karmapa’s 17th incarnation to this country for the first time. Meeting with the many Dharma friends and coming together in His Holiness’s mandala was a very heart-warming experience. We were also very fortunate to have a group audience with His Holiness on Saturday afternoon. From original Palpung Wales group it slowly formed into a Palpung United group of about 60 people from Wales, Ireland and Slovenia, and some from Italy as well. It was a great chance, although only…
ONE EARLY MORNING [in 1980] His Holiness the Sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa generously granted an interview to the readers of Densal. What follows is the text of that interview, word for word, as translated by Ngodup Tsering Burkhar. In it, His Holiness touches on many important aspects of spiritual practice, the Kagyu lineage, and life in the world today for the Dharma practitioner. It is a timely and most valuable teaching for Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike.
Densal: This is your third tour to America. Do you have any observations you would like to share about it, and about the growth of the Dharma in the United States? H.H.: The responsibility of the teacher is to always give the teachings. It doesn't matter that only a short time has passed, or a long time has passed; what matters is that the teachings are continuously given. Sometimes it may seem to be more appropriate to teach because most people are at leisure and have a lot of time, and it appears to be a good time to give teach…
The Gyalwang Karmapa graced KTD, his monastery in North America, with a short private visit toward the close of his international tour in July of 2017. Please enjoy the video celebrating this joyful occasion, along with the photos of his arrival, the traditional Tea and Rice Welcome Ceremony, and consecration of the new Stupa Project site.
The Gyalwang Karmapa Consecrates the Eight Auspicious Stupa Project at KTD (July 2017)
On May 31, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje opened his first visit to Canada on our campus. Convocation Hall filled with 1500 people who wanted to hear the head of one of the largest schools of Tibetan Buddhism and the incarnation of the Bodhisattva of Compassion. Born in 1985 to a traditional nomadic family in the high mountains of western Kham in the southeastern part of historical Tibet, Ogyen Trinley Dorje was recognized at the age of seven as the next Karmapa. He was enthroned in the Karmapa’s traditional seat, where he resided until he escaped to India in 2000. In the last ten years, His Holiness has established groundbreaking initiatives in the Tibetan Buddhist world, promoting environmental sustainability, vegetarianism, and full monastic ordination for women.
His Holiness gave a teaching sponsored by the Ho Centre, titled “Mindfulness and Environmental Responsibility.” His Holiness opened by reflecting on the site of Toronto as a gather…
When we can no longer bear the suffering of sentient beings, says the Seventeenth Karmapa, we unleash our full potential to help others and ourselves.
Practices of loving-kindness and compassion are indispensable elements of all religious traditions. These are qualities everyone can practice, regardless of their religious affiliation or ancestry. In fact, training to develop loving-kindness and compassion provides a bridge between all religions and all the many parts of our global society.
I am a Buddhist, but I still have to live my life as a member of the larger world community and take full part in society, where Buddhism is not the only spiritual tradition. There are many different forms of religion and spirituality, and there are also many different types of people, including those who are inclined toward religious or spiritual approaches and those who are not.
Since our world community is so very vast and diverse, it is important for us to respect the…
The Adarsha Tibetan Buddhist Electronic Reader, a tool for reading and searching Tibetan Buddhist texts, is now available on Android. Created by the Dharma Treasure Corporation under the direction of Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje, Adarsha features many different ways to access the canonical texts of Tibetan Buddhism, including automated catalogs, simple searches, and advanced searches.
It allows users to quickly find and read the passages they need without writing anything down or making mistakes. In the past, the great texts were wrapped in cloths and worshipped on shrines; with Adarsha, anyone with a computer, phone, or a tablet can read, study, and research them.
Adarsha includes a broad and comprehensive collection of canonical texts. Not only will it include the canonical texts of the Indian tradition found in the Kangyur and Tengyur, there are also plans to include collected works of many great Tibetan masters of all lineages and all of the Tibetan editions of the Kangyur and Tengyu…