Kagyu Samye Ling Celebrates Karmapa 900, Installs Dusum Khyenpa Thangka Commissioned by HH16

(August 12, 2011, Eskdalemuir, Scotland) Samye Ling in Scotland dedicated its annual Guru Rinpoche Drubcho to celebrating the 900th Anniversary of the birth of Dusum Khyenpa the First Karmapa.  With Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche, Drupon Rinpoche, Tulku Ogyen Nyima, Lama Kating and Lama Zangmo all in attendance, and led by the Venerable Gyamtso Tashi, over a hundred people including including monks, nuns and laypeople who had completed 4-year retreats all participated in the prayers.

Samye Ling’s celebration traces its history to the 1970s, when His Holiness the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa visited Samye Ling and commissioned our Master Artist, Sherab Palden Beru, to paint a thangka of the First Karmapa, Dusum Khyenpa.  Now, during this year commemorating Karmapa 900, the thangka has been placed in the very room used by the 16th Karmapa, which has been kept exactly as it was while he was here. On 12th August 2011, the final day of the Drubcho, this precious room was inaugurated as a dedicated Dusum Khyenpa Shrine Room.

As we finished the final session of the Drubcho, Akong Tulku Rinpoche explained the significance of this 900th Anniversary of the birth of Dusum Khyenpa and the Karma Kagyu Lineage. Then Ken Holmes read a translation of the heart-warming message we received from His Holiness the 17th Karmapa especially for this occasion. His Holiness sent his best wishes to everyone and spoke about the importance of celebrating and remembering the lives of enlightened beings such as Dusum Khyenpa, as this is itself a guiding instruction. It is their deeds and life-stories that inspire and show us the way, and following their example helps us discover peace of mind. 

Akong Rinpoche then gave everyone present a special blessing from a relic box containing a precious “just like me” Guru Rinpoche statue dating from Guru Rinpoche’s time in Tibet. Participants were also given long life dutsi and rilbu, and a photograph of the Guru Rinpoche thangka by Sherab Palden Beru. 

A statue of Dusum Khyenpa, newly completed in Samye Ling, was then filled with precious Karmapa relics while everyone looked on. When the statue was ready, our Abbot, Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche carried it out of the Temple.  Accompanied by gyaling players and everyone who participated in the Drubcho, Lama Rinpoche brought the statue to the new Dusum Khyenpa Shrine Room.  It took some time for the many people present to enter the Shrine to see both the newly installed statue and the beautiful thangka.

According to tradition, the celebrations ended with everyone enjoying the grand end-of-Drubcho tsok in the dining room.  It was a very happy and inspiring day.   His Holiness Karmapa's message was particularly uplifting and inspiring and everyone was very moved by it – it helped us appreciate the value and preciousness of the Lineage and of the need to remind ourselves and be aware of that preciousness. 

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