Historic Visit of His Holiness the 17th Karmapa to Sakya Monastery

By Laura Ellis

On May 9th, 2015, Sakya Monastery had the honor of welcoming His Holiness the 17th Karmapa who, out of his great kindness, had accepted the Monastery’s invitation to bestow a Green Tara blessing for members and friends of the Monastery.

H.H. Gyalwa Karmapa first met with His Holiness Sakya Dagchen Rinpoche in a private audience.  It was the first time that the two great masters had met in person.   H.H. Gyalwa Karmapa then entered the shrine room where a devoted audience awaited his arrival.  H.H. Gyalwa Karmapa addressed the audience before bestowing the Green Tara lung (oral transmission).

Speaking in Tibetan through his translator, H.H. Gyalwa Karmapa expressed how wonderful and fortunate an opportunity it was for him to visit Sakya Monastery of Seattle and how delighted he was to meet the “great master, the Sakya Dagchen and all of his family.”  He said how happy he was to come back here the “glorious Sakya Monastery of Seattle and connect in this way with the Phuntsok Phodrang.”

H.H. Gyalwa Karmapa briefly stated the historical significance of the strong connection between the Sakyapa and Karmapa; “the dharma and personal connections between the two masters”.  He said that the 16th Karmapa had a strong relationship with Dagchen Rinpoche and Dezhung Rinpoche.  They shared the “unified spirit of their activities and spiritual bonds merging together as one.”

He again said how very joyful he was to have this opportunity to visit Sakya Monastery in person.  “It boosts my spirits to see you all.”  He expressed his profound wish that “this pure samaya we share can last from generation to generation and lifetime to lifetime.”

Then H.H. Gyalwa Karmapa acknowledged the importance that the Monastery has played in the founding of Tibetan Buddhism in the United States.  When the Sakyas first arrived in America there were not many people at all who understood Buddhism.  The founding masters of this Monastery went through many hardships to establish the Monastery.  Now the Monastery is a strong bastion of Tibetan Buddhism that can benefit many.  He said it is, “An example for us to look at and admire.  I am especially delighted to be here today.”

In conclusion, H.H. Gyalwa Karmapa once again expressed his appreciation for the activities of Sakya Dagchen Rinpoche, “Even though he is advanced in years, he is still exerting effort.”  As H.H. Karmapa Rinpoche began chanting the melodious Praises of the 21 Taras, he asked everyone to dedicate merit to the long life of His H.H. Sakya Dagchen Rinpoche and all of the Sakya family.

Long Life Prayer for His Holiness the 17th Karmapa:

   Karmapa, embodiment of the compassion of all the Buddhas;
   Karmapa, union of the awakened activity of all the Buddhas;
   Karmapa, empowered as regent of all the Buddhas,
   Orgyen Drodul Trinley, may your life be long.

   Composed by Bokar Rinpoche



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