H.E. Shamar Rinpoche asked to post his letter to Dalai Lama (together with the letter of Dalai Lama which goes first) all over the world.
From: Office His Holiness The Dalai Lama
To: Shamar Rinpoche, Holder of the Karma Kagyu Lineage.
I hereby send you our response to the points you raised at your meeting on the 3rd of January 1997 with H.H. the Dalai Lama. (List of the points you mentioned during the meeting:)
You expressed the desire that H.H. the Dalai Lama meets with and gives the novice-vows of monastic ordination to the young reincarnate of H. H. the XVIth Karmapa (who you have recognised) and that the young reincarnate's parents also meet with H. H. the Dalai Lama.
You said that Chobgye Tri Rinpoche also recognises the same reincarnate.
You also requested the Dalai Lama's permission that Ogyen Thinley be the Throne-Holder of the Karmapa's seat in Tibet Tsurphu Monastery and that the reincarnate that you have recognised be the Holder of the Karmapa's seat in India, Rumtek Monastery.
In the past you've repeatedly informed H. H. the Dalai Lama that the late Karmapa left instructions regarding the circumstances of his future reincarnation with a bhikshu who has adhered to the moral ethics of monastic tradition in a very pure manner and that when the time is right you would inform H. H. the Dalai Lama of the contents of these instructions. H. H. the Dalai Lama responded that if there is an authentic source regarding these instructions, a second Karmapa-reincarnation is a possibility. However, at His Holiness's recent meeting with you, when analysing the implications of what you said, it seems to us that the older bhikshu you have spoken of is Chobgye Tri Rinpoche.
We, on the 18th of January 1997, through our representative in New Delhi, gave you a copy of a letter from Chobgye Tri Rinpoche addressed to H. H. the Dalai Lama. In 1996 our representative in Nepal approached Chobgye Tri Rinpoche to ask how he had recognised the reincarnate that you have put forth. Chobgye Tri Rinpoche, in response, wrote to H. H. the Dalai Lama that he hadn't made the recognition. This letter made it clear that you don't have an authentic source for your claim. Thus, there is no possibility of a second Karmapa-reincarnation.
There can be just one head of the Tsurphu and Rumtek Monasteries. There is no possibility of two heads. H. H. the Dalai Lama has clearly & comprehensively recognised the Karmapa-reincarnation residing in Tibet. Regarding this there is no room for change. Also you, at a previous meeting with our representative of the Department of Religious Affairs and representatives of the various Tibetan Religious Lineages, said that you have no intention of creating disturbance regarding the position associated with the traditional seat of the Karmapas.
Regarding H. H. the Dalai Lama's meeting with and giving monastic ordination to the reincarnate, we said that it is very important to consult with and clarify all details with the Situ and Gyaltsab Rinpoches as well as their associates. Your response was that this can be done, that it can be done through the Department of Religious Affairs. Thus the Department of Religious Affairs has sent the minutes of your meeting with H. H. the Dalai Lama to you and the individuals associated with this issue.
On the 29th of January Gyaltsab Rinpoche, Trangu Rinpoche, a representative of Situ Rinpoche, two Kagyu-representatives, the treasurer of the Black Hat tradition, the president of the small Zung Drel Association, the president of the Sikkim Hla-De Association, the vice-president of the Himalaya Association, representatives of nineteen centers in eight countries, seventy-nine representatives of thirty-two monasteries in India and Nepal called on the Ministers of the Tibetan Government in exile on the 29th of January. They also called on H. H. the Dalai Lama on the 30th of January. In brief they discussed what is outlined below. The people meeting with H.H. the Dalai Lama told him that as to the history of the Karmapas and associated predictions there has, up till now, never been, at the same time, a number of reincarnations, such as reincarnations of body, speech and mind. Also, if His Holiness gives an audience and monastic vows to the young reincarnate, problems and arguments in the Kamtsang Kagyu Lineage will never come to an end. Therefore, the individuals present insisted, it isn't feasible to recognise the young reincarnate as a body, speech or mind incarnation of the Karmapa or to give an audience and monastic vows.
Therefore, for the sake of preventing further problems and for the sake of reconciliation, H. H. the Dalai Lama can not give an audience or monastic vows to the young reincarnate for the time being. Please keep this in mind.
The Office of His Holiness The Dalai Lama
The 3rd of February 1997
LETTER OF REPLY FROM SHAMAR RINPOCHE
To The Private Office of the Dalai Lama. Dharamsala
Feb. 7, 1997
I have received your letter dated the 3rd of Feb. 1997, where you informed me of H. H. the Dalai Lama's decision concerning the topics I discussed with him on the 3rd of Jan. 1997. What was decided then has, according to your letter, changed. There are, in your letter of the 3rd of Feb., points you did not discuss at the meeting. It may be that you forgot to mention those points while we were talking face to face. It seems that you after our meeting remembered those points, points that are far removed from the truth, and that you then wanted to communicate them. I have stated my response to each of your points below.
Chobgye Tri Rinpoche is a Lama that I have respect for and faith in. Therefore, what he told me in private about the late Karmapa's reincarnation I regard as the auspicious words of a holy man. However, I took his indication to be one source among others and to be investigated. Fundamentally, it is on the basis of my own efforts that I have arrived at my decision. I have pursued many avenues, until there were absolutely no doubts in my mind. I have, in using traditional methods, supplicated enlightened deities in order to receive their indications. I have no need for requesting the assistance of Chobgye Tri Rinpoche or any other individual. H. H. the XVIth Karmapa Rigpa'i Dorje recognised me to be the Shamar reincarnation. It is over thirty years ago that he enthroned me and established this. In the Karma Kamtsang Lineage the Shamarpas are the authority adjoining that of the Karmapas. Thus there is no individual to succeed a Shamarpa in taking the decision who is the authentic reincarnation of a Karmapa. However, I do not insist upon tradition for the sake of forcing others to comply with my decision. It is up to the Karma Kamtsang follower whether or not he desires to respect tradition or chooses another approach.
During our recent meeting we just touched on the subject of Chobgye Tri Rinpoche and the associated issue. I have, during the Karma Kagyu Conference in New Delhi 1996, clearly explained each and every detail of my encounter with him and the tape-recordings of the Conference are available everywhere. I'm aware of that Chobgye Tri Rinpoche was approached by your representative in Nepal and that Chobgye Tri Rinpoche gave his response in a letter to H. H. the Dalai Lama. He wrote me too and I have enclosed a copy of his letter. Thus it is clear that the details I disclosed at the Karma Kagyu Conference ten months ago accord with the truth. As you mentioned in your letter, at my recent meeting with H. H. the Dalai Lama I did not go into these details. This is because I presumed that H. H. the Dalai Lama has knowledge of them as the resolutions of the same Conference are common knowledge. However, you pretend that I implied that Chobgye Tri Rinpoche is the person I have knowledge of as the individual who is in possession of H. H. the Karmapa Rigpa'i Dorje's instructions as to his reincarnation. In fact, I did not utter one word in this direction to H. H. the Dalai Lama. I also did not say that the person in question is a bhikshu upholding moral ethics in a very pure manner. What I did say was that this individual is a disciple of the late Karmapa, a disciple who has kept his relationship with the Karmapa pure and who the late Karmapa held in high esteem. In 1994 when I met with H. H. the Dalai Lama at the Centaur Hotel close to New Delhi's Airport he said, that the person in question would be a bhikshu upholding pure moral ethics. At the time I immediately responded that this is not the case. At our recent meeting H. H. the Dalai Lama stated the same thing again, but as I thought it quite unimportant I did not attempt to correct him which I now apologise for. However, your mention of a bhikshu's moral ethics also apply to the discipline of a bodhisattva, so in fact it is not necessary to correct your words.
It was for the sake of showing respect to H. H. the Dalai Lama that I requested an audience with His Holiness on behalf of the young reincarnate of the late Karmapa. It is common knowledge that during the later part of the late Karmapa's life, H. H. the Dalai Lama and H. H. the Karmapa were in constant opposition. For the sake of discontinuing this trend I did my best to establish an auspicious connection when requesting that H. H. the Dalai Lama gives monastic vows to the late Karmapa's reincarnation, who I have recognised. I never requested that His Holiness acknowledge the young reincarnate as a body, speech or mind incarnation. I have no need at all for such an acknowledgement because H. H. the Karmapa is not obliged to request permission to take rebirth in this world. The claim that he needs a visa to enter this world is laughable to each and every individual in the three realms that make up our universe. China's new political trend has allowed the recognitions of the Karmapa and the Panchen. In this situation the Private Office of the Dalai Lama's political response was inadequate. The Office made public that China's choice of the Karmapa's reincarnation is authentic but it rejected China's choice of the Panchen's reincarnation for its own gain. I, the Shamar reincarnation, have put an end to the attempts to drag the Lineage of the Karmapas in the dirt. This, to prevent politics from entering the ways of religion, is of benefit not just to the Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism, but to all schools that are based in a lineage of successive reincarnated masters. To prevent this is extremely beneficial in terms of remaining self-governing. The Private Office of the Dalai Lama stated, among other things, that it would merely consider to allow a body, speech or mind reincarnation of the late Karmapa on the basis of a reliable letter of instruction by the late Karmapa. This amounts to a medieval dictatorial command and I understand that this is the approach that you desire. But it is completely unacceptable to me. Our Karmapa Thinley Thaye Dorje is completely beyond the trap of such deceptive political schemes. As is known throughout the world he is fully established as one of the twenty-one Karmapas in accordance with the prophecy of the fifth Karmapa Deshin Shegpa. There is no need whatsoever to request a reconfirmation of this fact in the disguise of a body, speech or mind reincarnation. Such a reconfirmation has never before, from the time of the first Karmapa Düsum Khyenpa, been required. So why would it be necessary today?
Similarly, with respect to Rumtek Monastery, the then Dharma King of Sikkim offered that property to H. H. the Gyalwa Karmapa Rigpa'i Dorje who constructed his seat there. As H. H. the Dalai Lama, from the time of H. H. the Gyalwa Karmapa Rigpa'i Dorje, has never had any right of influence there, there is absolutely no need for his permission to allow or not to allow a Karmapa to take possession of his rightful seat. However, Situ bribed the previous Chief Minister of Sikkim Mr. Nar Bhadur Bhandari who, using the local armed forces, took over the Monastery by force. But Mr. Bhandari lost the election. Now, Rumtek Monastery is subject to litigation in the Indian courts. This legal dispute is the only circumstance that hinders the young reincarnate from going there. His going there does not depend on a permission from H. H. the Dalai Lama. All of us are the same in that we are refugees. Why bother to request permission to enter Sikkim from a fellow refugee? The fact that H. H. the Dalai Lama does not have the authority to prevent the supreme Karmapa Thaye Dorje to occupy his throne, to take possession of his monastery in New Delhi, clearly demonstrates that he also has no right of influence over Rumtek Monastery. Rumtek Monastery is situated in India, because of that and for many other reasons I, out of concern, insisted on requesting H. H. the Dalai Lama that this kind of immoderate course of action that can not achieve its aim be given up. I did say that we will not attempt to obtain influence over the Tsurphu seat of Karmapa Ugyen Thinley. Similarly, as Rumtek Monastery is situated in India, neither the Government of China nor Gyalwa Karmapa Ugyen Thinley have laid claim to Rumtek Monastery. All Monasteries and Institutions in India that belonged to the late Gyalwa Karmapa Rigpa'i Dorje, the Rumtek Monastery: the Karmapa Institute in New Delhi and other branches in India the late Karmapa, who was the legal possessor, transferred to the Karmapa Charitable Trust. Therefore, if the Private Office of the Dalai Lama makes a lot of inadmissible claims as to property that does not belong to it, the rumours that the Tibetan Government in Exile is up to placating the Government of China for its own purposes, that the Tibetan Government in Exile tries to make out that Sikkim is part of Tibet will be proven to be true. Thus, both the name of the Dalai Lama and his aims will be negatively affected.
Furthermore, regarding the great Gyalwa Karmapa obtaining an audience with H. H. the Dalai Lama, you spoke of difficulties, that you among other things, must request the permission of Situ Rinpoche. This is clearly stated in your letter. Just so, it is satisfactory for us if the present decision to not grant an audience is maintained for as long as the Karmapa is not yet an adult as our primary concern regards his education. Another reason for why an audience is not desirable at this point is that we have lost our country and we have taken refuge in India. Situ and Gyaltsab can not meet here in India because Situ is barred from entering the country and Gyaltsab is barred from leaving the country as both of them have transgressed the laws of India. It is simply because of the kindness of the Indian Government, the fact that this country's policies are peace-loving, that they at this point have not been imprisoned. Personally, I have not fallen into the abyss of having to ask for permission from two of the most discredited individuals among us refugees.
Our Karmapa, the supreme Thinley Thaye Dorje, resides in India where the government shows respect and veneration for him. India is a country of great consequence for Tibet and the Tibetans. It is the source of Tibetan Buddhism and it is the country that gave shelter and protection to the Tibetans who fled Tibet in 1959. India has showed us Tibetans great kindness. Two of the most powerful nations in Asia are India and China, and as I mentioned above, the Indian Government holds Karmapa Thaye Dorje in high esteem. To attempt to gain circumstances better than those would amount to discarding with a diamond in order to obtain a semi-precious stone. We are perfectly satisfied with the present state of affairs, our joy is comparable to the joy of samadhi (meditative absorption) at the highest level. As you know, all of us are dependent on the Government of India for our welfare, there are no other options. With respect to our Lineage it is up to us, who are part of that lineage, to achieve its aims. Right now, except for the situation at Rumtek Monastery, our aims have been accomplished. The Rumtek Monastery property, its land and its movable assets are protected as a result of my efforts. Regarding the difficulties of the monk-body, the Sikkim Police Force is charged with keeping order. These difficulties are to be resolved by the court, that is how law abiding individuals go about solving disputes. Therefore, we're simply waiting for the court's ruling.
H. H. the Dalai Lama, in terms of his responsibilities, has until now, again and again, advised the Tibetans in exile to be prepared to go back to Tibet, that they shouldn't set up their permanent homes outside Tibet, that they shouldn't even set up furniture in their homes. To make efforts toward going back to Tibet is His Holiness's responsibility, but the Rumtek Monastery is not. Therefore, my final request to the Private Office of the Dalai Lama is that it does not involve His Holiness's name in this problematic issue because Rumtek Monastery is a Sikkim Monastery and as such there is no possibility of bringing it with one to Tibet. In your letter of the 3rd of Feb. you clearly stated that if our young reincarnate is granted an audience with H. H. the Dalai Lama there would be endless problems. If this is your true view-point why did you then from the very beginning act as the very people who added fuel to this fire of problems. The consequence of this course of action is that the people of Sikkim have come to suffer the most. Would it be of any benefit if H. H. the Dalai Lama appears as the individual who has created disturbance in one of the states in India? I request you to apply a more far-seeing approach. You ought to be cautious in your undertakings! The blazing fire of political schemes ignited by Situ and Gyaltsab who used the Karmapa reincarnation as a pretext was, on the basis of peaceful means, put out by me before it had consumed everything. Documents relating to the course of events, from the beginning to the end, prove this. But is it not the case that H. H. the Dalai Lama, in that he has accepted the Nobel Peace Prize, should act on the basis of methods that bring about peace and happiness, methods that are a hundred times more peace-loving than my own. Recently, a group of people associated with Situ and Gyaltsab obtained an audience in Dharamsala with H. H. the Dalai Lama. They made out that they represent a large number of monasteries and Buddhist Centres in many countries. But we know very well who they are. Previously, Situ and his associates bribed the then Chief Minister of Sikkim, Mr. Nar Bhadur Bhandari who by then had become dictatorial. In consequence, they destroyed their root-Guru's seat, which is an extremely evil deed. At the time Mr. Kunzang Sherab, who, I was told, is in the present under investigation by CBI (the Central Bureau of Investigation), and his associates, among others a group of juvenile delinquents from Lal Bazaar, Gangtok, gave gifts of food and clothing to a number of crazed Sikkim subjects. Thus, they were able to bring these individuals to Rumtek. The resulting gathering they referred to as 'The International Kagyu Meeting'. At this 'Meeting' resolutions that are blatant distortions of the truth were made. The resolutions they then submitted to the Land Revenue Office of Gangtok. The Office came to know that the 'Meeting' had no legal authority to take the decisions it had taken, that it in fact was illegal. Therefore, the Office did not accept the resolutions. It is these very individuals who had an audience with H. H. the Dalai Lama. But as we are not children, we are far from being impressed either by these people or their number. If, hypothetically, these people were who they pretend to be, as I mentioned earlier, they are still associated with two of the most discredited people in our community, that is, they are followers of lawless individuals. Therefore, we are not at all impressed. Furthermore, I was told that H. H. the Karmapa's General Secretary was among this group of people during their audience with H. H. the Dalai Lama. Regarding this, the late Karmapa Rigpa'i Dorje appointed two General Secretaries. The older General Secretary passed away many years ago. The younger General Secretary, Tragpa Yongdu, nephew of the late Karmapa, is still alive and well. Therefore we enquired at the Embassy of China if the Tibetan Karmapa Ugyen Thinley had dispatched a General Secretary to H. H. the Dalai Lama's residence in Dharamsala. The answer was that this is not the case, that not a single person has been sent to Dharamsala. So, be aware of that the 'General Secretary' who came to His Holiness' residence is an impostor.
H. H. The Shamarpa Chokyi Lodrö The Karmapa Monastery New Delhi Feb. 7, 1997
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