Rumtek Monastery Dharma Chakra Centre near Gangtok, Sikkim Credit: EastMojo image

Gangtok: The 34th birth anniversary of Ogyen Trinley Dorje, the 17th Karmapa Lama, was celebrated in a grand manner at Rumtek Monastery near Gangtok on Wednesday.

Sikkim chief minister PS Golay visited the monastery as the chief guest for the day and sought blessings from the grand living room of the 17th Karmapa. Goshir Gyaltsab Rinpoche, a leading incarnate lama (tulku) in the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, offered an auspicious Buddha statue as a good omen to Golay during the celebration.

“I am highly honoured to be a part of this auspicious occasion. When I visited the living room of His Holiness, I was overwhelmed and equally sad to see it empty. We will make sure to make proper arrangements of his visit to Sikkim soon. We would like to thank PM Narendra Modi and his team for making the long-pending demand of the Sikkimese come true by allowing His Holiness to visit Sikkim. We don’t discriminate on castes and religions and we assure to maintain the peace of the state,” said Golay.

Goshir Gyaltsab Rinpoche gave a brief description about the history of the monastery and commencement of the Kagyuk sect lineage in Sikkim. He thanked the Centre and the state government for looking after the spiritual leaders and taking good care of them. He sought similar support and assistance for the Karmapa Lama’s visit to Sikkim and make it a great success in days to come.

HRD minister Kunga Nima Lepcha highlighted the importance of Rumtek Monastery and assured to bring the Karmapa Lama to Sikkim soon. Minister Sonam Lama recalled the struggles they faced to place the demand of ‘Karmapa to Sikkim’, from the 707-day relay hunger strike at Gangtok to the peace protest at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi.

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The credit of passing the regulation of bringing the Karmapa Lama to Sikkim was successful due to the efforts of chief minister PS Golay and consent by PM Narendra Modi, he informed.

The celebration started with a prayer for the Karmapa’s long life, followed by prayer-flag hosting, cake-cutting ceremony and cultural shows. It was attended by dignitaries, monks and devotees across the state.

Rumtek Monastery Dharma Chakra Centre is the throne of the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje. Due to many legal and spiritual differences, he was not allowed to visit Sikkim, especially Rumtek. However due to constant pressure from the then opposition party SKM and the current government, the Centre gave their consent to visit Sikkim as per his convenience, but not Rumtek.

In between all this chaos, the Karmapa took citizenship of another country and now he is no longer an Indian citizen.

Monks lined up to offer prayers 

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