Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche, the second in the hierarchy of
the Karma Kagyu Lineage, has warned that if major
articles of faith are missing from the Rumtek Dharma
Chakra Centre (DCC), a theft case will be filed
against whoever was in charge of the properties of the
DCC after 1993, when a majority of the monks had been
thrown out by force by the State Police with the help
of some senior Rinpoches.
His statement has come in the wake of completion of
the inventorisation of DCC properties. Shamar did not
specify if he knows about the things that are missing.
“I am not speaking on that before the Commissioner, VK
Sharma, files his report with the court,” he told this
correspondent, “but if things are missing, we shall
take a serious course of action.” But it seemed almost
certain from his manners that he has heard of some
important items not being found.
The Rinpoche also said that on 13 July, there had been
‘a last ditch attempt by the Tibetan
Government-in-Exile (TGI),’ resident at Dharamsala,
‘to split the Sikkimese Buddhist monks and take over
Rumtek’. “When the issue came up of the sealing of the
new locks, this man, who was the former secretary to
the previous Karmapa, said that they should use the
seal of the TGI. They said that this should be done to
unite the Buddhists under one umbrella. But this has
never been done, not even in Tibet. It is clear to us
now, in hindsight that the TGI has been operating for
a long time to split us,” he said.
It has been earlier reported that after
inventorisation was over on 13 July, the Tsurphu
Labrang-in-Exile had wanted their seal to be used.
“These people (Tai Situ Rinpoche and Goshir Gyaltshab
Rinpoche )are now trying to dump their misdeeds on
Urgyen Thrinlay Dorji, because what they call as the
Tsurphu Labrang today is now headed by Dorji, and if
things are found missing, these people will simply
wash their hands off and only Dorji will be left to
wear their dirty hats,” Shamar Rinpoche told WR.
Shamar also said that he or his people would do
nothing to soil the image of Urgyen Thrinlay Dorji.
The Rinpoche, who happens to be the previous Karmapa’s
brother’s son as well, and was reportedly the closest
among all the monks who had accompanied the 16th
Karmapa to India, has expressed serious doubts that
the letter that had been used by Tai Situ Rinpoche to
recognize Urgyen Thrinlay Dorji as the next Karmapa,
might be missing. He has said this in the past as well
– even before the inventorisation started – and
reiterated this again during the course of this
Shamar has also revealed that some people representing
Goshir Gyaltsab Rinpoche, had visited one of the very
senior trustees at least twice, the second time as
recently as just a few days before the actual
inventorisation began, and pleaded with him to somehow
stop the inventorisation. “Eight of them had gone to
meet this trustee of the Karmapa Charitable Trust
(KCT), and pleaded with folded hands, saying, ‘you are
the only one who can save us now.’ According to the
Rinpoche, the trustee refused and said that because
the matter is in the court, nothing at all could be
He also said that the KCT – which is the Plaintiff in
the case – would not ask Urgyen Thrinlay Dorji to
return the precious Vajra and Bell that has been given
to him by the Goshir Gyaltsab Camp. According to him,
the KCT will not make a fuss if minor things are
missing, but there are some major items of religious
significance. If any them are missing, they shall file
the theft case.
Asked what he had to say if the opposite camp insists
that he had ‘stolen’ the items, Shamar Rinpoche said,
“Well, it is all documented. Goshir Rinpoche and I
were both there when we opened the boxes in 1992. The
seals were put again by all of us. So how could we
have stolen anything?” he asked.
COMMISSIONER’S WORK DRAWS FLAK
-by A STAFF REPORTER.
Gangtok: Many senior and responsible officers in the
district administration here are very unhappy with the
manner in which Commissioner VK Sharma, Regional
Director, Reserve Bank of India, had conducted the
inventory of the properties of Rumtek Dharma Chakra
Centre (DCC). The inventorisation process, which was
dragging on with little progress till the afternoon of
13 July, was suddenly over by early evening, and the
Commissioner left town the next day.
What is irking officials, who wanted a final and
definitive solution to the lingering problem, is that
the Commissioner did not break open the seals of any
of the almirah in the main treasure room, despite the
fact that none of them were the seal of the Karmapa.
“He brought so many of his people from Kolkata, kept
them in Gangtok in style, and in the end nothing came
out!” said a senior official.
The three parties involved, the state government, the
plaintiff (Karmapa Charitable Trust) and defendant
No.3, Goshir Gyaltsab Rinpoche, had chipped in equal
amounts of money to share the Rs. two lakh expense
account that the Commissioner had been given.
The court had directed the Commissioner that only
visual verifications of certain items, which includes
the Vajra Mukut (the famous Black Hat, which is the
virtual symbol of the Karmapa) if the box had been
sealed by the previous Karmapa.
Sources confirmed that none of the seals on any box or
cupboard was that of the Karmapa. The original seals
of the Karmapa, which the 16th Karmapa had instructed
his juniors to put while he was being treated in the
US for cancer (of which he died in 1981), had been
broken open in 1992, in the presence of Goshir
Gyaltsab Rinpoche as well as Shamar Rinpoche, now the
two contending parties in the case for inventorisation
of DCC properties.
“Why did he need to panic?” asked a very senior monk.
“No one out there in the main treasure room would have
objected had he broken the lock, because that was all
within the orders of the court. Since the seals were
not that of the Karmapa, there would be no question of
people’s religious sentiments being hurt either,” he
It is learnt that the Commissioner will seek the
advice of the court once again to break the seals. But
this is precisely what has surprised most senior
officials. Till then, the warring factions are waiting
with bated breath for one of the most important thing
that can settle the entire Karmapa issue: the