A day with His Holiness the 14th Shamarpa

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It was 10 am when we came to know about the 900 years of Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism’s month long celebrations beginning in New Delhi. One more hour of frantic searching on the internet and a couple of calls to a friend Jigyasa and we got an appointment with none other than H. H. the Shamarpa at 4pm.

I didn’t expect in the beginning that we will have an appointment with H. H. Shamarpa at such a short notice. The Shamarpa lineage is the second oldest reincarnate lineage in Tibetan Buddhism and Karma Kagyu is the largest lineage within the Kagyu School, one of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. H. H. the 14th Shamarpa is himself one of the most respected figures of international repute.

Until 4 pm, I had a doubt; are we gonna get him? At sharp four we were at the Karmapa International Buddhist Institute (KIBI) in the Qutub Institutional Area, Delhi. Situated amid trees and hillocks, sharing boundaries with some of the best business schools, the KIBI is a peaceful spiritual place visited by faithful people of all religion, across the world.

The KIBI appears a majestic Tibetan style red-yellow-white modern set up with an innate spiritual temperament. The subtle shades and the delicate carvings on the walls with terrace farms like roof tops, the KIBI is a clean place where the men and the animals, the trees and stones, the sensibilities and the spiritualities co-exist.

Entering the main gate, I saw a young white lady sitting in salwar-kameez with a couple of goats on the doorstep of the main hall. I couldn’t talk to her but I had in my mind that the 14th Shamarpa has constantly enunciated his views on animal rights and their humane treatment.

We head towards the lift and then towards the big gallery leading towards the main hall where His Holiness is sitting in his red robe. A unique blend of smile, sense and spirituality, His Holiness welcomes me with folded hands. My whole self felt a bit embarrassed, a bit enthused but most of all grateful.

A spec of thought came, ‘Shouldn’t His Holiness have blessed us rather than wishing us?’ But as it goes, respect is commanded and not demanded and greatness lies in giving respect to the weakest and the most insignificant. We sat next to His Holiness and had some of the toughest answers and question which were far from the religiosity of the spiritual world.

Some of the answers would rattle many of us for the way we believe the world is. They were not necessary spiritual; rather they were all political for we had gone to do an interview on the Karmapa controversy. And came many controversial answers again which would need a separate column for a critical analysis.

But interaction with H.H Shamar Rinpoche was blissful. The aura was divine and by tying red ribbon across our neck, he blessed us with his divinity.



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