Excerpt from The Miracle Month’s Full Moon: Offerings to the Gurus and to Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche at kagyuoffice.org
After a break for lunch on this day dedicated to remembering and appreciating teachers, the setting of the stage has been shifted again. Below the great Buddha is the statue of 1st Karmapa, Dusum Khyenpa, and beneath him is the 17th Karmapa’s throne, in front of which sits an elegant wood chair. It is for Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche from Karma Triyana Dharmachakra in New York, to whom the Karmapa will give a long life blessing.
When the Karmapa returned to his throne, Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche and his many students made an extensive mandala offering to him.
The Karmapa gave a warm welcome to those who had come from Karma Triyana Dharmachakra (the Karmapa’s seat or Dharma center in the United States) to participate in the commemoration of the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa, and in conjunction with this, to attend the celebration of Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche. The Karmapa spoke warmly of Khenpo Rinpoche’s long life, pervaded with service to the Dharma and living beings:
“Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche fulfilled the 16th Karmapa’s wishes by moving to the United States; setting a peerless example, he spent decades taking on great responsibilities and making tireless efforts for the sake of others. Today I’d like to take the opportunity to express from the depths of my heart my gratitude to him and also to rejoice in all his activity.
“Khenpo Rinpoche is now in his 90s and, from a Tibetan perspective, this is considered the age of a fulfilled life, so it feels a bit uncomfortable to make long life offerings to him. It is true, however, that those who have donned the armor of powerful aspiration prayers and bodhichitta for the sake of the teachings and living beings, even if they remain for only a few hours, create an immense benefit for the world. I make the aspiration prayer that for the universal glory of the teachings and living beings, that all of Khenpo Rinpoche’s aspirations without exception be naturally accomplished.
“For Khenpo Rinpoche’s long life, I have spontaneously composed a verse, which we can all chant together seven times.
Through his pure intentions to bring benefit and happiness to beings
And to the teachings, he has shown the example of being learned,
Venerable, and good, and accomplished the wishes of the Karmapa.
May this incomparable master live long.
“Actually there is nothing that would truly suffice to offer Rinpoche in commemoration, or as a way of showing our gratitude for his compassionate activity, so I would like to simply offer him a ceremonial Gampopa Hat and a full set of Dharma robes which he can wear all the time. Finally, through the blessings of the compassion of an ocean of the Three Roots and the Three Jewels, I pray that Rinpoche will always be with us, and that in all his lifetimes, he will accomplish great benefits for the teachings and living beings.”
Khenpo Rinpoche came up to the Karmapa’s throne and His Holiness bestowed on him the Gampopa hat and three robes with a graceful and powerful gesture, and concluded by blessing three times the top of Khenpo Rinpoche’s head with his hand, perhaps the best gift of all.
Those who would like to know more about the wonderful life of Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche, can find his life story in the Amrita of Excellence, published by KTD Publications and available from www.namsebangdzo.com. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
—Reprinted in part from Kagyuoffice.org; photos, Kagyuoffice.org