By Jamyang Dorjee
March 26 - The 25-day tour starting from 1st March 2005, being organized by the South Zone Kagyudpa Buddhist Council successfully concluded today. HH Gyalwang Karmapa visited Mundgod, Kollegal, Hunsur, Bylakuppee and Chowker Tibetan settlements and the monasteries.
At Kollegal Gyalwang Karmapa inaugurated the newly constructed temple of Rewar Bharma Samdupling Choekorling and Tana Monastery and visited all the other monasteries. On request by Ven. Bakyoe Rinpoche, His Holiness composed a special prayer for timely rainfall. The people of Kollegal settlement both monks and layman were amazed to see rain actually falling at the time of the mandala offering. As requested by the Settlement Officer, Gyalwang Karmapa visited all the 22 camps and blessed them individually.
HH Gyalwang Karmapa visited the Zokchen monastery and conferred Konchok Chidu empowerment of Kongtrul tradition.
At Hunsur Rapgyaling Tibetan settlement, HH Gyalwang Karmapa visited three monasteries besides Tibetan camps and schools.
The final visit of the settlements was at Bylakuppe where His Holiness began the program by inauguration of the Nalanda International Institute. Gyalwang Karmapa praised the efforts of the founder Ven Kalsang Rinpoche and said that the great teachings of Buddha should now come out of the holy books to cater to the practical needs of the society.
The highlight of the visit at Bylakuppe was an empowerment of Avaloketsehwari for the public. According to the settlement officer, an estimated 9000 people have gathered who remained there from 9 a.m till 5.30 p.m. The empowerment was followed by a speech and then culture program.
His Holiness concluded the empowerment by saying " No matter how many times one recites the Chenresik mantra or how many months one meditates, if one does not obey the precious advice of the very embodiment of Chenresik in human form, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, then the whole effort is useless." HH Gyalwang Karmapa advised the gathering to strictly read and follow the advice of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, which is available in many volumes.
HH Drupwang Penor Rimpoche and the two highly incarnate Rinpoches received HH Gyalwang Karmapa very warmly at Namdroling Monastery in the main Hall of Zangthok Palri. Especially composed recitation in praise of HH Gyalwang Karmapa was read by the abbot of the Namdroling monastery before the offering of the mandala.
Sera Jey and Mey, one of the largest monasteries of Gelukpa school of Buddhism also accorded a grand reception in the Sera Lachi main Hall, where all the monks' were present to hear His Holiness speak.
On 23rd March, a grand long life prayer lead by Choeje Ayang Rinpoche and other Rinpoches of seven Kagyudpa monasteries was offered at the Kamtsang Kagyu Lungtok Tengyeling Monastery as a token of gratitude for this visit.
The concluding program in the settlement was at Drikung Kagyuling monastery, where a grand ritual dance called Lingdro by the professional performers especially invited for the occasion from Orissa Tibetan Settlement performed.
On his way to Delhi, His Holiness stopped at Bangalore for three days at Leela Palace Hotel. His Holiness visited the Tibetan Youth Hostel, were an unexpected crowd of about 1000 Tibetans have gathered outside the Hall which was jam packed. His Holiness advised them the importance of Tibetan religion and culture and gave them individual blessings.
On the 24th, His Holiness attended a prayer for world peace at the St. John's auditorium and spoke on the subject " Buddhist Philosophy and the art of Happiness" His Holiness returned to Delhi on the 25th March 2005,
To sum up;
HH Gyalwang Karmapa expressed his happiness for fulfilling the wish of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to visit the largest community of Tibetans in South India and that he was very impressed with the work done by the previous generation of Tibetans for preservation of the rich cultural heritage of Tibet in exile. At the Senior citizen's Home, he told them with folded hands that the younger generation of Tibetans, including himself, will always remain grateful to them for working so hard in building these infrastructures and preserving Tibetan religion and culture under very difficult circumstances.
He impressed all the monks to promote non-sectarian and work hard towards equal respect and unification of all schools of Tibetan Buddhism. He advised them to work more towards promotion of practical Buddhism, helping the society.
HH Gyalwang Karmapa advised each and every Tibetan to obey the advice of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
To those many old and infirm this visit gave them much needed mental peace and comfort. To the younger generation of Tibetans, His Holiness proved to be a source of inspiration and the face of modern Buddhism.
His Holiness's down to earth teachings, his clear directions to the younger generation, his deep commitment to the preservation of Tibetan religion and culture and above all his unquestionable respect and reverence to the Leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama has won the hearts and minds of the largest gathering of the Tibetans in exile both monks and layman.
This historic visit by HH Gyalwang Karmapa to the South India Tibetan settlements, five years after he escaped from Tibet, will no doubt leave a deep and lasting impression in the hearts of the people.