Dalai Lama never opposed my recognition of Karmapa: Shamar Rinpoche

Posted on by iSikkim | Category: Arts/Culture/History Featured Post Interviews Latest News Religion | 8,416 views | 45 Comments

South Asia Buddhist Association (SABA) recently commemorated the 900 years of the Karma Kagyu Lineage at the holy monastery of Karmapa International Buddhist Institute in Qutub Institutional Area. This year marks the 900th year since the birth of the first Karmapa Dusum Khyenpa (1110-1193), who founded the lineage of Kagyu in 1139 C.E.

iSikkim.com team had an interaction with His Holiness Shamar Rinpoche, who is a lineage holder of the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism and the mind manifestation of Amitabha Buddha.

What this Ceremony is all about?

It is the anniversary of the first Karmapa, Dusum Khyenpa who was born in 1110. He was the master of Buddhism. He organised the Karma Kagyu School. Karma Kagyu lineage is one of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. It all started 900 years back and is running till date maintaining the unbroken transmissions of knowledge between the master and the disciple.

The Indian Buddhist yogis Tilopa and Naropa were the first lineage masters of the Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism. Naropa was very famous Pandit of Nalanda University. It was Naropa’s disciple Marpa who studied Buddhism with him for 18 years at Nalanda and brought Buddhism to Tibet. Marpa translated many books on Buddhism in Tibetan language from Pali and organised his school Kagyu. Later Marpa’s disciple Milarepa, a very famous figure of Tibetan Buddhism made thousands of poems in caves and became one of the most enlightened yogis of Tibet.

From Milarepa, the dharma transmissions passed to Gampopa. Gampopa’s primary disciples then branched out into four main Kagyu schools and Kagyu subsets. One of the four main schools is the Karma Kagyu and it was founded first by the 1st Karmapa. So that’s how the lineage is going on till now and will continue till 21 Karmapas would reincarnate. After that there will be no reincarnations of Karmapa.

Why recognition of the present 17th Karmapa has become a controversy?

Chinese government changed their policy. Formally Mao tried to vanish all the religious school and leaders not only from Tibet but from China too. But he couldn’t get much success. After Mao’s death, Deng Xiaoping changed policy and restored Buddhism in Tibet and China. At the same time he wanted Communist party in China to control Buddhist leaders in Tibet to avoid any rebellion from Tibet. They want leaders of the religion to be appointed by them. So they need collaborator Lamas.

Karmapa is very famous and influential in Tibet. So China government collaborated with Situ Rinpoche. They approached me also but I didn’t go with them. But Situ Rinpoche went to China in 1984 and had an agreement with the Chinese government. In 1990 China government managed to nominate Ogyen Trinley Dorje as the Karmapa with the help of Situ Rinpoche. And we the real Karmapas administration did not agree.

But H.H The Dalai Lama endorsed the Ogyen Dorje as the 17th Karmapa?

The things evolved so rapidly. I think he made wrong estimation at that time and made mistake in identifying the right candidate. He recently said to me which he never mentioned earlier that he thought all the monasteries were in favor of Trinley Dorje. If he had not agreed with them, all would have gone against him. He was also not aware with the fact that the Karmapa’s administration did not agree with the selection of Karmapa. This way the things went out of his hand.

Is it the indications that HH Dalai Lama is also accepting your candidate as the real Karmapa?

Dalai Lama never opposed my recognition of Thay Dorje as Karmapa. Now a days he is changing his stand getting more cooperative with us. There are indication of reconciliation and hope we will reach a cordial solution. We also understand that he cannot withdraw the recognition that he has granted to Ogyen Trinley.

Are we heading to a position where we will have two reincarnations of Karmapa?

Yeah that is what should happen. This is my position.

But in that case who will be seated at the Rumtek monastery?

Rumtek Monastery issue entirely depends on the resolution by the court. If the court decision is in favour of Karmapa Charitable trust then Thay Dorje will be the seat holder of Rumtek monastery.

And if court decision goes against?

Then the Rumtek monestary case will linger on and no Karmapa will be seated there for I don’t know how long. Ogyen Trinley Drojee is not favoured by Government of India. Not because of religious reasons but because of political reasons. So India government does not want him to be seat holder of Rumtek.

There was a huge procession and march in Gangtok to allow Trinley Dorje to enter in Rumtek Monastery? This clearly shows people’s intentions.

I heard that big amount of money was thrown to organise that march. Not many Buddhist people were involved in it and lot many were hired from roadside. There is an organisation called Joint Action Committee. This organisation is under the payroll of ROPA association which was formed by the Situ Rinpoche in Zurich. This organisation collected lot of money in the name of Tibetan refugees. This money now they are using for such activities. Even in Rumtek community there are almost 100 people who are their beneficiary.

Did Karmapa issue affect your relation with Dalai Lama?

My relation with the Dalai Lama has always been good. Only on 17th Karmapa there are disagreements. Otherwise if you see, Shamarpa institution was banned in Tibet for almost 150 years. The present Dalai Lama is the one who again established it. So, I was recognised by them.

(To be completed on Wednesday: HH Shamarpa on Tibetan homeland issue)

Related News:
Who will wear the Black Crown?
SABA Celebrates 900 years of Karma Kagyu



  • Karma Tharpa

    I would just like to clarify the line quoted above, as I was there during the interview process and, with all due respect, I feel that this is a misquote.

    “He recently said to me which he never mentioned earlier that all the monasteries were in favor of Trinley Dorjee. If he had not agreed with them, all would have gone against him. He was also not aware with the fact that the Karmapa�s administration did not agree with the selection of Karmapa. This way the things went out of his hand.”


    “He recently said to me, which he never mentioned earlier, HE WAS UNDER THE IMPRESSION that all the monasteries were in favor of Trinley Dorjee…”

    The way it was quoted in the article gives the wrong information that ALL Karma Kagyu monasteries support the Chinese Karmapa. This is not true and it is not exactly what Rinpoche said in the interview when asked about His recent meeting with H.H. Dalai Lama.
    Thank you.

  • iSikkim

    Dear Karma Tharpa,

    We appreciate your concern about the text and the context but it was an exclusive interview concluded at KIBI in Delhi and you weren’t there or you are getting confused with some other interview of His Holiness Shamar Rinpoche.

    We do not intend to bring His Holiness under any unwanted controversy. What we wrote were the original words of H.H. Shamar Rinpoche. Nothing has been edited and mentioned out of context. Yes one can see it in different perspectives.


  • Karma Tharpa

    Dear isikkim.com,

    Of course I wouldn’t lie and say I was there if I were not. I changed my name on this post to protect my anonymity. As I recall the two of you sat on the couch to the left of Rinpoche and there were two other individuals in the room, one male across from you and one female to your left. I was one of those other individuals present during this interview. In any case, it is a fact that not ALL monasteries were in support of the Chinese Karmapa and I would wager to bet that if you checked the recording again you might hear a missing word such as “thought” somewhere in the midst of that sentence. Nevertheless, I do not presume that you would intend to bring His Holiness under any unwanted controversy and I respect your journalistic integrity. My comment was not to put you or your organization under any scrutiny or express any disapproval of your article, which I find to be quite wonderful (as well as many others written by your organization). I just felt compelled to suggest this correction that may seem small but the implications that lie there are quite immense. The statement given here would imply that there was literally no support from the Tibetan monastic community for Trinley Thaye Dorje and all were in favor of the Chinese Karmapa. This is clearly not the case and in the context of the article it would seem as though Shamar Rinpoche was agreeing to this erroneous statement. The proof of my correction earlier is in your very article. How could the Karmapa’s administration disapprove of the Chinese Karmapa (which Rinpoche quotes His Holiness Dalai Lama as saying He was not aware of) and yet all monasteries approve the Chinese Karmapa? In other words, how can the administration be separated from the statement “all the monasteries”? I’ll close with my apologies for any hard feelings as I mean no ill will and am ever grateful, as are all of us here at KIBI and all Karma Kagyu students around the world, for taking the time to interview Rinpoche and to discuss these issues so openly and balanced. I wish you both all the very best and cannot thank you enough for your efforts.

  • iSikkim

    Dear Mr. Karma Thapa

    We accept our mistake and put our deepest apology. It was mistake on our part and we agree that H.H Shamar Rinpoche did use a word “THOUGHT”. Corrections have been made in the article.

    Hope this would clarify all the issues. Once again we are extremely sorry for it.

    Thanks and Regards

  • Karma Tharpa

    Dear isikkim,
    No apologies necessary. I really appreciate your kind reconsideration and thank you once again for all your efforts.
    With regards,

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    Excellent read Dalai Lama never opposed my recognition of Karmapa: Shamar Rinpoche. I just wanna tell u “Thanks”

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    I like your post Dalai Lama never opposed my recognition of Karmapa: Shamar Rinpoche. Thanks for such informative article

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  • Yap Kushyo

    I would again say that the i rendition of the Gyalwang Shamarpa in upholding the sacedness and sanctity of the Karmapa tradition is simply awesome. Moreover, his extrovertness in expressing his position and convictions are worth respecting.
    Please keep up Kyabje Rinpoche, we, the Sikkimese people are still with You as before and looking towards You for further directions and enlightenment in having our Karmapa, the Saviour of mankind and the precious guests of our Denjong Chogyals, again back at Rumtek.

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  • raju lama

    This is what Shamar Rinpoche says.
    He is saying Dalai Lama said this and that, but Where are the prove/evidence? I have never heard from Dalai Lama as such.

    Sikkim people movement to support Karmapa back to Rumtek is genuine. I was there myself, but I am not part of any organisation, so are thousands others. Shamar Rinpoche saying we are payed by Situ Rinpoche’s fund is false, as far as I am concerned. Sharmar Rinpoche should give solid evidence of the money link, otherwise he is spreading rumours and lier, which is what a Rinpoche should not do.

    So, basically, whatever you are saying, please be honest, and provide facts, evidence and nothing else.

  • Tenzin

    I am appalled to see the controversy surounding Gyalwang Karmapa and i genuinely feel the right candidate should hold the throne…..like every other buddhist in general and Tibetan in Particular. There can be two karmapas as it had happened in past in many other sects of Tibetan Buddhism as well……….since Orgen Thinley Dorje has been widely accepted by many Karma Kagyu lamas and other schools as well it is unanimous for ordinary people to recognize it rest wait till the Real karmapa turns himself on the scene………..may gyalwang karmapa gives us blessing

  • Bod kyi Ngo wo

    I have a respect for Shamar Rinpoche. But he should not forget that He cannot be opposition to the one who gave him is establishment. This is what we call, you spit on your own plate.

    Sorry guys…

  • Bod kyi Ngo wo

    I have a respect for Shamar Rinpoche. But he should not forget that He cannot be opposition to the one who gave him his establishment. This is what we call, you spit on your own plate.

    Sorry guys…

  • CJustice

    sharmapa be careful, people in glass houses should not cast rocks, one of these days it all comes tumbling down….anything that can divide Buddhism or KArma Kagyu is evil. Clearly the majority of Tibetan Buddhists see HH Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje as the only Karmapa… but hey money or rather the lure of it is strong eh…going to HK to collect more $$$ is great huh? What is said here is hardly what should come out of a Rinpoche’s mouth so I can say for certain now more than ever the real Karmapa really shines. In this dire circumstances HH Karmapa has said good things about India and its justice system, and asked disciples not to incite hatred or division. Meanwhile you have sharmapa open his mouth to further add fuel to the fire at this critical time….this cannot be good for Tibetan Buddhism and being a Rinpoche od such standing I fear for the future of the Karma Kagyud. Indian goverment: for the fairness and impartiality which is what we believe in I think investigate BOTH HH Karmapa and the thaye claimant. Bank accounts, travel documents, property, etc,etc may yield surprising (or not) results. You may all be misdirected to look at the WRONG PERSON! I dread to think this has been DELIBERATELY ignored, but let’s be positive…

  • CJustice

    Eh…..so what sharmapa is in essence saying is if thaye is determined by the court as the rightful claimant to Rumtek then all is good under the Sun but if HH Karmapa Trinley Dorje is determined by the court to be the rightful claimand then he cannot ascend to the seat at Rumtek because Indian government does not wish for HHK Trinley Dorje to be at Rumtek for whatever reasons sorry but I must be frank sounds moronic to me, how will the court decide against the policies of India??!! Clearly sharmapa is saying either 1) He knows how the Indian government thinks/acts 2) Government and court decisions may be different 3) only thaye can ascend to Rumtek not HHK Trinley Dorje. Sorry, but I do not see the logic here. Logically the one which the court decides should ascend to Rumtek, although as Buddhists we understand that not always the rightful person will be seating in the seat, but thats another matter altogether. What sharmapa is implying is there is more sinister forces at play here and he is talking all about politics which a Rinpoche shouldnt be involved in. I think it will be wise for India goverment to investigate sharmapa and it will lay to rest an underlying fear in many that the government and he are in cahoots. His tone reflects his deep understanding of Indian politicians and how they think. Dangerous and precarious position a Rinpoche should put himself in. INDIAN GOVERNMENT: WHatever rightful people still left, INVESTIGATE SHARMAPA PLEASE! STOP FURTHER DAMAGE TO INTEGRITY OF GOVERNMENT! RISE TO THE OCCASION AND SHOW THE WHOLE WORLD INDIA IS TRUE & RIGHTEOUS COUNTRY!

  • CJustice

    Just read the article more carefully as the last time I read it totally cracked me up, loads of rubbish there …

    So in essence sharmapa is saying HH Dalai Lama has made the wrong choice due to being misled, and that HH had not meditated on the issue which was I thought what HH did. From what I read HH Dalai Lama came to the conclusion after much thought and meditation.

    Funny how sharmapa can think and speak on behalf of HH Dalai Lama and the indian government.

    Read this article again people and you see an opiniated, money grubbing power hungry monk. It has to be degenerate times….

  • Ordinary Tibetan

    Look at shamar, how he talks clearly shows his greeds and thirst for power & money with pro chinese communist party attitude. Earlier i got some respect for shamar but if his action, behavior and motives remain like this, you definitely loose little support that you got in our community.

  • Ordinary Tibetan

    What does shamar is trying to say? With lots of false allegation against Karmapa supporters & disciples and speaking on behalf of HH The Dalai Lama without any proof. Thanks for iSikkim for publishing this very informative article as it opened my eyes. My little respect for shamar was vanished with such his action and motives.

  • nawang chouni

    fed up with his intention.guysssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss this person is really crazyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy..extra burden for occupied tibet

  • Dawa

    Thank you, H.H. Shamarpa. You speak calmly and kindly even though you are attacked by angry Buddhists. It is sad that one can get slimed for having one difference of opinion with the Tibetan pope.

  • Dawa

    Shamar Rinpoche always speaks the truth even if some people don’t want to hear it. Thank you very much! Namaste.

  • Nyima Bhutia

    petition filed in Una district court by so called NGO from Gangtok, is a mouse feeds by shamar party, for the specific purpose to defame HH Karmapa UTD.

  • Dorjee

    Hallo Everbody,
    The prediction letter of H.E. Tai Situ Rinpoche should be under forensic examination . I think it’s a good idea.
    We need that in modern world inorder to come after the truth.
    It’s pitty that H.E. Shamar Rinpoche gave up this forensic examination when his Guru Orgyen Tulku requested him not go through this. Because he received many Rinchen Ter dzo initiation from his Guru. If Tibetans cases all the time depending on this kind of situation. I think there is no solution for coming after the truth when High lama’s use their relgion for the politic purposes. Then we don’t know who is deceiving and what is their truth.

    Yours sincerely,


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