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... So Karmapa is an adult!


IIIIIIIII Date: 10.10.01

Hindi Newspaper: Amar Ujala (Immortal Shine) At Chandigarh,
April 14, 2000, by DR. UPENDRA

Hindi Newspaper clipping
In fact, the 17th Karmapa Ugyen Thinley Dorji is an adult, not a 14 year-old boy as have been said by the China Government or the Tibetan Government in Exile. Ugyen Thinley Dorji
The other canditate

2001 Orgen Thinley was invited to visit Ladak by the original Himalayan Buddhist Association Pro Tibet Campaign. The Venerable Lama Lobzang, an officer of the Minority Committee of India, under the instruction of the Tibetan Government in Exile, was in charge of his visit. Ladak is a Buddhist kingdom of the Drukpa Kagyupa School, headed by Heme Taktsang Monastery. Currently, the leader of that monastery is H. H. Drukchen Rinpoche.

The second largest Buddhist school is Dri Gung Kagyupa School. The third largest is the Gyalupa School of the Dalai Lama. The Karma Kagyu School is small but people in Ladak are very devoted to the Karmapa. Previous ShaMarpas have had influence over the Dri Gung Monasteries in Ladak, and the 10th ShaMarpa Chodrub Gyathso's mother was a princess of Ladak. On August 29, 2001, Orgen Thinley came to New Delhi from Gyuto Monastery in Dharamsala to begin this trip. For weeks in advance, the Ladak office of the Tibetan Government in Exile and the Himalayan Buddhist Association jointly prepared for his arrival, arranging for him to stay at the Dalai Lama's house in Leh, the capital of Ladak In Ladak there are only two Karma Kagyu monasteries.

Lama Chimye Rinpoche developed the Karma Kagyu monastery near the Dalai Lama's house in Leh in the early 1960's under the instruction of His Holiness the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa. This monastery was approached by the Tibetan Government in Exile and asked to participate officially in the visit. The monastery officials refused, saying that Orgen Thinley had not been recognized in the traditional manner. In the Karma Kagyu tradition, the Karmapa recognizes the ShaMarpa, and then the ShaMarpa recognizes the Karmapa. ShaMarpa never recognized Orgen Thinley. In addition they said that because there has been so much underhanded politics involved in the recognition process of Orgen Thinley, they wished to remain neutral.

They would not welcome Orgen Thinley, but they would not protest either. The second Karma Kagyu Monastery is Mahe Monastery, newly built by Situ Rinpoche in the Northern part of Ladak. This monastery joined in the preparations to enthusiastically welcome Orgen Thinley. There is also Karma Kagyu School in Leh, under the guidance of Reverend Chonyi Dorje, which was asked to join in the preparations. They too, refused. The Tibetan Government in Exile was very upset that the local Karma Kagyu institutions refused to participate, saying that Orgen Thinley was not recognized in the traditional manner by the proper authorities.

This greatly affected his prestige to the Ladaki people. September 2, when Orgen Thinley arrived from Delhi, thousands of Ladaki people and Tibetan refugees, Gyalupa Monastery and Mahe Monastery monks, and several Ladaki Government Officials, including the queen of Ladak, gathered at the airport to receive him. The next day many people came to for his blessing at the house where he was saying. On September 4, over seven thousand people came to a public initiation given by Orgen Thinley on the ground where the Dalai Lama usually conducts his teaching ceremonies. At 11:30 that morning, Orgen Thinley came to the grounds and ascended the throne in and elaborate procession with costumes, musical instruments, yellow silk umbrellas, etc. Monks lead the public in the mandala offering, after which Orgen Thinley started the initiation. As he was conducting the initiation, a very unusual strong blue whirlwind blew from the south and greatly disturbed the area. The public covered their heads and remained.

Then a stronger wind with red dust blew in. As the wind continued the dust turned black and everyone including the Karmapa ran away. There was a panic, and the police had to shoot their guns in the air to disperse the crowd. The wind blew for the entire day and Orgen Thinley could not continue the initiation. The failure of the initiation was a great disappointment for the supporters of Orgen Thinley. Afterwards people said that the wind came because the Protector Dieties of Ladak did not welcome Orgen Thinley because he is not the authentic Karmapa. These rumors revived stories of previous bad omens connected with Orgen Thinley. People began to talk about the day of his escape from Tibet, when concurrently the Dalai Lama was in a very bad accident in Varainassi, which killed his driver.

Another bad omen was that with the very first step that Orgen Thinley made on the holy ground of BodGaya, through his pride he kept his shoes on and was fined 100 rupees by the authorities. The third bad omen was this terrible wind, which interrupted the biggest ceremony he had ever begun. Talk of these bad omens has badly affected Orgen Thinley's reputation. The next few days of his visit, Orgen Thinley was to tour the monasteries of Leh. He tried to visit Heme Monastery, but they did not wish to welcome him. He went there anyway, and a few people did open the shrine room to let him see the Buddhas. Then he visited other Dri Gung Monasteries, and was not welcomed there either.

At one he was offered a cup of tea, but there were no official ceremonies showing respect. The cool reception by the Kagupa monasteries also affected his reputation badly. Then Orgen Thinley visited the Gyalupa Monasteries, which arranged everything for him in a very elaborate way. Again, another bad omen occurred. During the monk's procession at Trektse Monastery, the largest Gyalupa Monastery, another great wind came and disturbed the procession. The ceremonial umbrella, which was held over Orgen Thinley's head, was destroyed and the golden jewel on the top of it fell off and rolled across the ground. According to Buddhists, this is a very bad omen. The organizers also tried to invite him to Situ's monastery in the North, but the Indian Government did not allow him to visit there.

On the 12th of September he returned to the Gyuto Monastery in Dharamsala. Afterwards, many officials of the Tibetan Government in Exile in Ladak tried to put a good face on the disaster of the trip maintaining that it had been successful. However, they were very disappointed, and talk circulated privately that the visit was a disaster, like food without salt.

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