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Karmapa call to claim Rumtek - Spiritual leader on Mirik visit asks Sikkim people to help him enter state

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By VIVEK CHHETRI in Mirik
  • Published 5.10.04
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Mirik, Oct. 5: The 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, Orgyen Trinley Dorje, today maintained that the Sikkimese people must make an effort so that he could reach the highest seat of the Kagyupa sect?the Rumtek monastery in Sikkim.

Nineteen-year-old Dorje, who has been recognised both by Dalai Lama and the Chinese government as the reincarnation of the 16th Karmapa, had fled the Tsurphu monastery in Tibet in December 1999 evading Chinese soldiers, to enter India in January 2000.

Since then the Centre had restricted the Karmapa?s movement within the country and had imposed a ban on his entry into Sikkim.

The Rumtek monastery ? built along the lines of the Tsurphu monastery ? by the 16th Karmapa is now recognised as the highest seat of the Kagyupa sect.

Addressing a huge gathering of around 15,000 people at Bokar Ngedon Chokar Ling Monastery in Mirik, 43 km from Darjeeling, the leader, who spoke in Tibetan, said his visit should be an ?inspiration? for the Sikkimese people.

?Sikkim is very near to this place (Mirik), though I have not been there. I know a lot of Sikkimese people have come here today and I hope to meet you in Sikkim someday. The Sikkimese people should be inspired by my visit,? said the spiritual leader, whose speech was translated simultaneously into Nepali.

The Karmapa, who also thanked the Indian government for allowing him to visit Mirik, ended his address saying his trip to the Himalayan state ?would depend on your (Sikkimese people) efforts?.

This is perhaps the first time that the spiritual leader has given a call to his followers to help him enter Sikkim to reach the highest seat of the Kagyupa sect.

Earlier, he reminded the students of Sambota Tibetan School, on the monastery premises, of the situation in Tibet.

The Karmapa has a large following not only in Sikkim but also in the Darjeeling hills. ?In the past, there have been many requests from the residents here to visit this place. But I could not come. However, since Bokar Rimpoche was my guru, I felt the need to visit the monastery,? the spiritual leader added.

Dorje will preside over the 49th day of the funeral ceremony of Bokar Rimpoche, the senior-most spiritual master of the Karma Kagyupa sect who passed away in August. He is said to have personally requested the government to grant him permission for the trip.

The Karmapa is scheduled to fly to Delhi after conducting the final round of prayers tomorrow.

Dorje, who has been performing the Gong Zok ceremonies (passing away of a great soul), started his day at 5 in the morning. Though thousands had gathered at the venue, the devotees could get his blessings only at noon. This is because the new monastery, currently under construction, did not have place for so many people.

Entry was also restricted for security reasons.

During his short address to the public, the Karmapa stressed on the ?purity of the heart, which was the main aspect of Buddhist faith?.