Historic Washington Meeting Brings Together His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche 2000

Posted on Posted in Arguments


Statement of Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche
Concerning His Meeting with H.H. the Dalai Lama
On June 20, 2000

I had the privilege of meeting with H.H. the Dalai Lama in Washington, D.C. I feel fortunate to have enjoyed a frank, cordial and thorough exchange of views with him about the issues surrounding the Karmapa problem.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche

H.H. the Dalai Lama informed me that he will insure that Ugyen Trinley is not emeshed in the controversy between Situ Rinpoche and me. I greatly respect him for taking this position, and I wholeheartedly support it.

Regarding the disagreement between Situ Rinpoche and me, H.H. the Dalai Lama requested that we try to settle our differences and develop an amicable relationship. In deference to His Holiness and for the sake of harmony within the Kagyu community, I am open to this possibility. Since the start of our discord, I have only reacted passively and defensively to Situ Rinpoche’s claims, accusations and overtly hostile actions. If his coalition stops its aggressive maneuvering, the problem will naturally dissolve.

In spite of inadequate evidence and proper religious procedure, I concurred that Ugyen Trinley Dorje be a Karmapa and the seat holder of Tsurphu monastery in Tibet. I fully appreciate the reasons behind His Holiness’s initial consent to naming Ugyen Trinley as a Karmapa: the government of China, in collusion with some Kagyu lamas, had already recognized him as Karmapa. If the Karmapa Ugyen Trinley’s flight from China in late 1999 was indeed for the genuine purpose of gaining religious freedom, I congratulate H.H. the Dalai Lama and our Tibetan Government in Exile over this development.

During my discussion with H.H. the Dalai Lama, I clearly reiterated my unwavering position that the Karmapas and Shamarpas always have shared equal authority within the Karma Kagyu Lineage. Throughout the disagreement with Situ Rinpoche and his followers, my primary concern has been to protect the spiritual integrity and pure lineage of the Karma Kagyu. As historically is the role of the Shamarpa and according to accepted Karma Kagyu practices, I managed to find the genuime reincarnation of the late 16th Karmapa Rigpe Dorje. The 17th Karmapa Thaye Dorje alone is, and always will be, the spiritual Karmapa of the Karma Kagyu.

Karmapa Thaye Dorje is proving himself an exceptional religious leader by manifesting many spiritual qualities. From an early age, he has steadfastly displayed a compassionate and gentle nature. In the past year as he has traveled throughout the world and offered blessings and teachings to countless people, they have experienced him as a Boddhisattva and accepted his authenticity. ; I am very grateful that H.H. the Dalai Lama was willing to meet the Karmapa Thaye Dorje in 1997. Although this could not occur due to a threat of violence from Situ Rinpoche’s party, I deeply appreciate His Holiness’s kind intentions. I am also pleased to have had the fruitful meeting with H.H. the Dalai Lama last month in Washington, and I look forward to a continuing, cordial dialogue with him.”

[ July 10, 2000 ]