Karma Triyana Dharmachakra
352 Meads Mountain Road
Woodstock, New York 12498
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 25, 2000
Press Contact: Terry Sullivan, 323-222-3971; 323-225-2660 Fax
email@example.com (USA); firstname.lastname@example.org (India)
DHARAMSALA: Eight months after the Seventeenth Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje's astonishing escape from Tibet over wintry Himalayan passes, the evolving issue of his residence in India was addressed by the Third Karma Kagyu International Dharma Conference. Centuries ago the First Karmapa began the unique Tibetan Buddhist tradition of generations of reincarnate lamas. The Karmapa is the head of the Kagyu lineage, one of the four great schools of Tibetan Buddhism, and historically one of Tibet's greatest religious leaders. The Kagyu lineage has a worldwide membership.
The conference was convened at Gyuto Ramoche Monastery, ten kilometers from the Dalai Lama's residence in Dharamsala, India. For three days the leadership of the Kagyu lineage, represented by its highest lamas, and delegates from Kagyu centers in thirty-seven countries around the world discussed issues surrounding the Karmapa's refugee status in India and his residence at Rumtek Monastery, Sikkim, India which houses his headquarters-in-exile.
The final session of the conference included a meeting of almost two hours with the Dalai Lama, who expressed his admiration for the fifteen-year-old Karmapa's courage, and his support of the young lama's move to Rumtek. The issue of his residence at Rumtek is important because it is there that the Seventeenth Karmapa will receive the extensive and multifaceted religious education required for a lama of his stature.
A delegation from the conference is being sent to New Delhi to deliver letters in support of the Karmapa's move to Rumtek. They will be presented to Prime Minister of India Vajpayee, Minister of Home Affairs Advani, and Minister of External Affairs Singh. These letters outline the resolutions of the conference and express the deep appreciation felt by Tibetans-in-exile for the generosity and protection extended to the Karmapa since he joined the Dalai Lama in exile on January 5, 2000. The chief concern to be addressed with the government of India is the normalization of the Karmapa's resident status in India and his swift return to the traditional seat of the Karmapas at Rumtek Monastery.
Rumtek Monastery was the residence-in-exile of the previous Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, who left Tibet in 1959 and traveled the world extensively. He established Tibetan Buddhist monasteries and meditation centers in Asia, the United States, Canada, and Europe. Kagyu centers have also been founded in his name in South America, Africa, Australia, and New Zealand since his death in 1981.
Ogyen Trinley Dorje, now fifteen years old, was recognized as the reincarnation of the Sixteenth Karmapa on the basis of a letter written by his predecessor prior to his death. This letter described the time, place, and circumstances of his rebirth as Ugyen Trinley Dorje. He has had the support of the Dalai Lama since his recognition in June 1992.
- 30 -