Answer to Ms. Su Wong

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It is a complete disgrace that you are spending your energy and time in order to be dis-respectful towards some of the greatest living masters of the present day. In particular, Thrangu Rinpoche was one of your main teachers. You and your followers, such as Khenpo Choedrak, have completely slandered Rinpoche. It is stated very clearly that one should never even mentally have a wrong thought towards one’s guru, or the gurus of the same lineage. You have broken your samaya.

Furthermore, you have caused a division within the sangha, another major transgression. You have shown signs of anger towards your Vajrayana brothers and openly slander them. Do you honestly believe the Buddha would have went to Nepal and held a meeting purposely to come to the conclusion that, “The Dalai Lama is deceptive and wants to take over the lineage…We must fight for our indpendence from the Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama caused the division by teaming up with Situ Rinpoche and faking a Karmapa for political purposes.”??

Where did all your bodhisattva activity go to? Aren’t you familiar with The 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva by Thogme Rinpoche? All of His advise is to be kind and gentle, and even if someone chops off your head to only speak of their good qualities. No one chopped off your head. Tai Situ Rinpoche and the Dalai Lama have only been kind to you and never released the ridiculous statements that you have said. Instead, you condemn them. Chogyur Lingpa clearly said that the 17th Karmapa is to be “together with Kenting Tai Situ, their blinds blended together as one.” You seem to try to make an excuse for this prediction. That the 15th Karmapa isn’t Khyabdak Dorje, but a boy who didn’t even reach a few years old. That Rangjung Rigpe Dorje is then the 17th Karmapa and Khyabdak Dorje is the 16th Karmapa and this boy is the 15th Karmapa. Impossible! Chogyur Lingpa said the 15th Karmapa will become a great masters of the sutras and tantras, and his fame will be throughout Tibet. This boy didn’t fulfill this prophecy at all. It is clear that Chogyur Lingpa’s prediction refers to the Karmapa incarnations as they have been enthroned –not the excuses you have made.

Shamarpa, you know that Ugyen Trinley Dorje is the Karmapa. Why don’t you confess you are wrong and admit that you have broken your samaya? You are merely going to become a disgrace to the lineage if otherwise. You know that the 17th Karmapa Ugyen Trinley Dorje is the real Karmapa and he shall assume Rumtek monastery. Your imposter, even though Tenzin Khyentse is a bright young man, is not the Karmapa –you know it. He can never take the place of your guru, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje.

If you continue to reject the young Karmapa, Ugyen Trinley Dorje, everything you have worked will only be useful in Vajra Hell. Shamarpa, if you truly are a bodhisattva and wish to benefit beings, you would stop this non-sense and instead set up a website about peace and kindness –NOT a website about political garbage. The whole world is waiting and watching, and many people can see easily that a website like this one would only be run by those with evil ambitions. The whole world knows who the real Karmapa is, and that Tai Situ Rinpoche is indeed a great master of realization. Only yourself, your followers, your allies and your political connections doubt this. The Buddha and his dharma can never be destroyed.


Dear Su Wong,

Thank you for your letter addressed to Shamar Rimpoche dated 20 June, 2001. After considering the point of view from which this letter is written, the Khenpo’s Council has decided that it is inappropriate for the Shamar Rinpoche to reply personally. Hence, we shall reply to you.

You seem to feel we are wasting ‘your energy and time in order to be disrespectful to some of the greatest living masters….’ We would be wasteful indeed, if our words were baseless. But we speak the truth. Your perception is based on information from your teachers, which is erroneous, inaccurate and incomplete. It is not a waste of time to correct these misconceptions for you and the others who have likewise been deceived.

It is out of compassion for Dharma brothers like you, in strict accordance with the Dharma, and with no malice, that we must speak strongly, accurately and carefully about these issues, even if they may be judged to be political in nature. We hope this letter will clear up any misgivings or confusion you may have about what you call ‘political garbage’.

Shamar Rimpoche is acting in his capacity as the highest lineage-holder of the Karma Kagyu School. As such, he has the responsibility to protect the integrity of the Lineage from attack and abuse and to correct followers of the Lineage when they have wrong views about the Dharma. At the same time, we do understand why new and inexperienced Kagyupa followers, who put themselves under the guidance of Thrangu or Situ Rinpoche and others, would feel angry when we tell the truth about what has happened to our Lineage. We sincerely hope you will understand that for the benefit of the majority, we have to speak truthfully regardless of animosity directed towards us as a result of our unyielding efforts.

You say that Shamar Rinpoche is speaking and acting out of anger. You presume he is angry because he dares to speak the truth. In the past when the threats and attacks were personal, Shamar Rinpoche did not say a word. But when the opposition threatened the Karma Kagyu Lineage itself, he had to speak out. If his words seem sharp to you, it is only because there are no other word to use in exposing the treachery.

Shamar Rinpoche’s only intent is to save the Lineage from the danger of eventual extinction, even if he has to do it single-handedly. You should examine the facts and events rather than try to find fault with him on a personal level. This narrows your view to just one person at the expense of the larger picture.

Our observation that you are a new and innocent follower of the Karma Kagyu is based on your lack of clear knowledge about our Lineage, such as your saying, “In particular, Thrangu Rinpoche was one of your (Shamarpa’s) main teachers.” Thrangu Rinpoche was never one of Shamar Rinpoche’s main teachers. He was a class teacher who taught some philosophical subjects to him.

Even so, in that capacity Thrangu Rinpoche is worthy of respect from Shamar Rinpoche. But according to Buddhist doctrines, when a teacher makes serious mistakes against the Buddha Dharma and against the peace of sentient beings, the student has a duty to reveal and rectify these mistakes. This is important to remember particularly when these mistakes infringe upon the integrity of the Dharma and the integrity of our Lineage. Except for Shamar Rinpoche, who can protect Karma Kagyupa against corruption from within the Lineage itself? Who can protect it against the concerted efforts of the Tibetan Exiled Government to dismember the Karma Kagyu School?

Regarding your assertion that Thrangu Rinpoche is Shamar Rinpoche’s Vajra Master: You are evidently not conversant with the subjects of samaya, Dharma, and the history Karma Kagyupa Lineage. You do seem to have some minor knowledge of these matters. However, if your teachers really had your welfare as a Dharma student at heart, they would have explained these subjects thoroughly and in much more detail. Sadly, all they have done is use samaya to gain control over students to benefit of their own agendas.

In the Vajrayana, the Vajra Master is the teacher who gives you the highest and most secret Vajrayana initiations and instructions. One must choose these masters with extreme care. To be a qualified Vajra Master, the guru must have perfect qualities like Gampopa, who renounced the world, or Dujum Rinpoche (who passed away in the late 1980’s) who was full of great compassion, patience and had no worldly ambitions. Once you receive these initiations and instruction from such a teacher, that guru is then your Vajra Master.

Shamar Rinpoche has never allowed himself to receive initiations from Thrangu Rinpoche. In this matter, Shamar Rinpoche was fully aware of his action because he lived in the same monastery as Thrangu Rinpoche for nearly quarter of a century. Therefore, there is clearly no samaya here to break with Thrangu Rinpoche as a Vajra Master.

However, after taking many initiations together with Shamar Rinpoche, Situ Rinpoche, Thrangu Rinpoche and other Rinpoches by their words and actions have now knowingly broken all their samaya vows to their Vajra-Brother (see examples below). More importantly, all of the past Shamarpas are Lineage holders of the most sacred teachings of the Karma Kagyu, such as the Six Yogas of Naropa. When the present Situ Rinpoche condemns the activity of the 10th Shamarpa, he is breaking his own samaya with the Lineage.

This is not difficult to understand. But, for a learned teacher to instruct students by half-truths, you might want to ask what else is being hidden?

To fully understand the force opposing the Karma Kagyu, go back to the Karma Kagyu International Conference held at Kathmandu last April. This conference was held in response to a letter dated 14 July, 2000, from the Private Office of the Dalai Lama. This letter, addressed to Shamar Rinpoche, categorically stated that: 1) Now and in the future, all holders of the Karmapa throne must have the prior approval of, and recognition by, the Dalai Lama. 2) Regarding the 17th reincarnation of the Karmapa: even if the reincarnation was authenticated by the 16th Karmapa’s own letter of prediction, such a reincarnation shall not be permitted to hold the Karmapa’s throne, if the Dalai Lama himself chooses to appoint someone else.

The Dalai Lama’s Private Office was able to write such an absurd letter because of the collusion of Situ Rinpoche, Thrangu Rinpoche and a few others’. They gave away the rights of the Karma Kagyu School to the Dalai Lama on the one hand, and to the Chinese government on the other hand. In light of this, don’t you agree that as the spiritual leader of his Lineage, Shamar Rinpoche has the clear and urgent responsibility to speak out to protect his Lineage? How therefore, can you accuse Shamar Rinpoche of slandering and unjustly condemning these Rinpoches?

Regarding the assertion that Shamar Rinpoche is causing ‘a division within the sangha’, what you say is true, but at the same time, inaccurate. Because Situ Rinpoche, Thrangu Rinpoche and a few other Kagyu Rinpoches tried to deliver the entire lineage to the Exile Government and the Chinese Government, destroying the Karma Kagyu’s integrity and independence, Shamar Rinpoche had to try to prevent this. Nearly all of the late 16th Karmapa’s monks at Rumtek Monastery, and many other Lamas, Rinpoches and disciples around the world, agree with him. So, inevitably, there is a split in our Lineage.

Unfortunately, many people refuse to be impartial, but hear only what they want to hear from Situ Rinpoche, who no doubt convinces them that he has no negative feelings towards Shamar Rinpoche. However, the truth must be told, especially when the others are determined to lie. We have Situ Rinpoche on record as saying: 1) This Shamarpa is a fake. 2) The 16th Karmapa recognized him only because he was his nephew. 3) He had Jamgon Kongtruel Rinpoche killed with a bomb that exploded in Rinpoche’s car. 4) Shamar Rinpoche is the mara predicted by the 5th Karmapa. 5) The 10th Shamarpa Chodrub Gyatsho was also mara and therefore the ‘Dalai Lama had him buried alive’, which is a totally fabricated story.

These are examples of Situ Rinpoches’ verbal and written attacks on the name of Shamar Rinpoche, which we are not making up. We know that many dissatisfied but innocent people will research these matters for themselves, which we encourage.

The following references are based on historical events, which will stand up to any scrutiny. After some research you will be in a better position to evaluate whether Shamar Rinpoche is the villain or victim.

  1. In November 1993, a prominent Taiwanese disciple of Situ Rinpoche, Ting Nai Ju, confronted Shamar Rinpoche with the allegations just mentioned above. She said that Situ Rinpoche and Thrangu Rinpoche had told her all of these things. There were many witnesses at this meeting.
  2. All four Rinpoches received many initiations together from the 16th Karmapa during a period of many years when they lived together at Rumtek. So, why didn’t Situ Rinpoche or anyone else ever complain about the mara Shamarpa then?
  3. If the present Situ Rinpoche cares anything for principles, then he should follow the excellent example of his illustrious predecessors. The great 8th Situpa, Chokyi Jungne, recognized the 10thShamarpa, Chodrub Gyathso, and enthroned him as the second head of Karma Kagyu. Later, the 9thSitupa, Pema Nyingye, was a disciple of the 10thShamarpa and revered him highly. This was a time in the history of Tibet when the 10th Shamarpa was the primary source of the Karma Kagyupa resistance to the Gelugpa government’s quest for supremacy over all Tibet. Because of his opposition, the 10th Shamarpa was harassed, attacked and eventually banned from Tibet by the government. His monastery was sacked, disbanded, and converted under the sword of the Gelugpa government– the same practice suffered by the 10th Karmapa Choying Dorje. Perversely, today Situ Rinpoche and his cohorts are twisting the history of the then Tibetan Gelugpa government’s vendetta against the 10th Shamarpa, and using it to discredit and vilify the present Shamar Rinpoche. If that is not a blatant manipulation of the truth, what is it?

As a spiritual leader, Shamar Rinpoche stands by the principles of honesty. He accepts the duty that puts his life and well being at risk. He has defended the Lineage almost single-handedly against an entire government, which has the tremendous advantages of inside collaborators, as well as the indifference to truth of the world news media. He asks no more than to protect and preserve our Lineage. If that is not the conduct and the qualities of a Bodhisattva, then what do you call it?

Finally, regarding your complaints about the Karmapa Issue web page organized by European Karma Kagyu Buddhist, it is a direct response to Situpa party’s Nalandabodhi web page. It is an effort to correct the record from misinformation and false allegations.

We shall not comment on your reference to Chogyur Lingpa’s prophecies now, until we have the time do so in more detail. However, out of compassion, we think you should know that saying what you have said about Shamar Rinpoche, when he is only doing his best to protect our sacred Lineage, is to incur a lot of seriously bad karma. From the moment you started to practice the Dharma, you have learned to attack the Karma Kagyu lineage holders. This is a pity, a waste of your time as a practitioner, and can ultimately cause you to fall into your so-called Vajra hell. We appeal to you to use your common sense to see the relevant facts, and not to place yourself in the position of an expert of the sacred Dharma or Tibetan politics.


The Khenpo’s Council

India – 30 June, 2001


According to prophecy based on Chogyur Lingpa’s visions of the 17th Karmapa being together, side by side, with Khengting Tai Situ, it is said that the vision augured well for the spiritual bond between the 17th Karmapa and Khengting Tai Situ, and for their spiritual activities.

Due to some inferences made from this prophecy, Shamar Rinpoche has publicly announced on several occasions that he would not object to the present Situ Rinpoche’s being cast in the role of Khengting Tai Situ in Chogyur Lingpa’s vision. Nor would he object to Situ Rinpoche’s joining Karmapa Thaye Dorje (recognized by Shamar Rinpoche, himself) at the Karmapa’s seat at Rumtek or anywhere else they wish, that is appropriate to the vision. But, the question remains, does the conduct of the present Situ Rinpoche fit the wonderful and sacred vision of Chogyur Lingpa?

We think not for the following reasons:

  1. The ‘prediction’ letter that was in Situ Rinpoche’s safekeeping is an obvious forgery in Situ Rinpoche’s own handwriting. Situ Rinpoche never dared to give it for forensic test.
  2. Using his ‘prediction’ letter, Situ Rinpoche has completely flouted the good principles, precedents and practices established in the nine hundred years of our tradition.
  3. Situ Rinpoche and his group of lamas openly invited the interference of H.H. Dalai Lama’s Exile Government into the spiritual and internal affairs of the Karma Kagyu lineage. The result is the curious phenomenon of a Karmapa appointed by the Chinese Government who is also approved of by the Tibetan Exile Government.
  4. In 1993, the summer retreat of some 200 monks at Rumtek Monastery was violently interrupted. Situ Rinpoche (who had bribed many Sikkimese politicians and the police with money supplied by Chen Lu An of Taiwan) led a large group of his own monks and others who had once been ordered out of Rumtek by the late 16th Karmapa. Together they mounted a violent attack on Rumtek Monastery. In the ensuing battle, many of the 16th Karmapa’s monks were beaten up, evicted, forced to escape, or were arrested by the police.
  5. Later when his sponsors asked Situ Rinpoche why he had attacked the monks, he deceived them by saying that these monks were maras or devils. So therefore, it was part of his Dharma practice to get rid of them.

Is this the conduct of the Khengting Tai Situpa who is in the wondrous vision of Chogyur Lingpa? Obviously not.

So, there are only two other alternatives: either that Chogyur Lingpa’s vision has yet to be fulfilled by a Situpa not yet born; or that the vision has already been fulfilled in the past.

It is most likely that the vision has already come to pass. Long before the communist take-over of Tibet, the late 11th Situpa and the late 16th Karmapa Rangjung Dorje spent many years together at Palpung Monastery. At that time both the 16th Karmapa and Situpa, referring to this long stay together, confirmed that Chogyur Lingpa’s vision had thus been fulfilled.

Adding credence to this, in the early 1970’s in India, the late Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche once asked the 16thKarmapa about the meaning of one of Chogyur Lingpa’s visions. In this vision Chogyur Lingpa saw the 18thKarmapa traveling the wide expanse of Tibet on a horse – a horse which according to Chogyur Lingpa was his own reincarnation in the vision.

Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche asked the Karmapa if that meant that Tibet would be the land of Dharma again, and if riding of a horse meant that the new technology would then disappear?

To this question the 16th Karmapa replied that Chogyur Lingpa’s vision had already happened in the past. Then Karmapa added that after his own passing, his activities would take a completely different course – everything would start anew. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche’s elderly disciples were witnesses to this conversation, and a few of them are still alive today.

If however, the prophecy is yet to be fulfilled, then we must investigate further. Regardless of interpretation, the Karmapa is the main focus in the vision. Therefore, it is imperative that the genuine Karmapa first be born and recognized before the prophecy can come to pass. But, as early as 1992, Situ Rinpoche was using Chogyur Lingpa’s prophecy to substantiate his authority to confirm his choice for the reincarnation. Tibetans have a saying for this: Before the oracle goes into his trance, the scribe has already begun to write.

Prophecies should not be manipulated to make them happen.

Here, some further background is necessary: There are two kinds of sacred prophecies. The first consists of prophecies that refer to future events and persons, and how these events will unfold. The second consists of instructions given to one’s future disciples on specific actions that must be taken at a particular time – like Guru Padmasambhava’s prophecies for Tertons. Chokgyur Lingpa’s vision belongs to the first category. It is not a prophecy telling Situ Rinpoche what to do in the future.

If you manipulate a prophecy, anyone can use it to mean anything. For examples, we would like to relate two stories to show just how these matters can contradict one another and create confusion.

The first story is from the autobiography of the famous Nyingmapa yogi, Kathog Rigdzin Chenmo. According to his autobiography, the 13th Karmapa Dudul Dorje was visiting Lhasa with the 10th Shamarpa Chodrup Gyatsho when one day he called to his presence Kathog Rinpoche himself, Pawo Rinpoche and the general secretaries of both the Karmapa and Shamarpa.

With them all as his witness, the 13th Karmapa wrote a will to the effect that:

1) He would be the last Karmapa;

2) in the future, the Shamarpa-line of reincarnations would continue and be the head of Karma Kagyu School;

3) the subsequent Karmapa reincarnations would not be genuine Karmapa reincarnations.

Then he set both his seal and his handprint on the will.

The second story is from the biography of the 15thKarmapa Khachab Dorje, in which he said that, as the holder of the Karma Kagyupa throne he was indeed the Karmapa; but as for being a reincarnation of the Karmapa, he was less certain. However, he said, he was certain he was an emanation of Guru Padmasambhava.

If Shamar Rinpoche was as ambitious as you blame, he could easily have used these prophecies and collaborated with the Tibetan exile government or the China government to take the position of the head of the Karma Kagyu school in the early eighties. In addition, these examples also show that prophecies can and do contradict one another.

In conclusion, if spiritual leaders keep to the principles of the Buddha Dharma, maintaining perfect peace and gentleness… If they set aside personal ambitions and desire for money and power… If they renounce political maneuvering for personal gain… If they practice non-violence… If they focus on teaching the Buddha Dharma by word and example… In short, if our spiritual leaders behave as true Bodhisatvas, then more wondrous things will come to pass in the future, than anything ever imagined in Chogyur Lingpa’s vision.

The Khenpo’s Council


7 July, 2001