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The Karmapa, Rhino Horn Artifacts And Arunachal

The Karmapa, Rhino Horn Artifacts And Arunachal

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Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje

China wants to capture Arunachal Pradesh for its spiritual command over Tibet, to demolish Arunachalis’ allegiance to the Black Hat Karmapa sect

That was the time when I was in Sikkim,say between 2000 and 2005.

And there was a raging dispute on the issue of who the 17th Karmapa was:  The Black Hat Karmapa sect, historically the second in Tibetan Buddhism.

The Dalai Lama claimed the 17th Karmapa was Ugyen Trinley Dorjee, his nominee.

The Shamarpa camp, traditionally the rightful hereditary Second to the Karmapa system, said that Ugyen Trinley was an ‘imposter’ foisted by China to claim the Black Hat from the Rumtek monastery, where it is being guarded by the Central Industrial Security Force.

Most people do not realise the essence of the critically important international dispute India has with China in Arunachal Pradesh. That is, the non-military one.

It is the Karmapa issue, and this is linked with the Dalai Lama issue, which is linked with China’s desperate attempt to find a spiritual handle to break the backs of the restless Tibetan youth trying to wrest control of Tibet.

Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche told me the story of the Fourth Karmapa’s escape into Arunachal to protect his sect from Chinese destruction. And there it is that the Fourth Karmapa created these rhino artifacts, which he carried back when he returned to Tibet later

It is one of the most intriguing ecclesiastical battles in the world today. It is a battle of mammoth proportions involving India, China and Tibet, with stray players like the US jutting in their noses at moments opportune to them.

Take the story we did last week on why an Arunachali youth of Tibetan extract was taken hostage by China’s People’s Liberation Army, and why the Indian army brass jumped into the fray to get him released.

The name of the young man was Togley Singkam, 21, a resident of Taksing in Upper Subansiri district of Arunachal Pradesh.

He was tortured in China-controlled areas (we do not where) for days, as my colleague Prasanta Paul analysed brilliantly last week.


Now Togley Singkam is of Tibetan extract.

He is a descendant of those few families who had been blessed by the Fourth Karmapa, who had sought refuge in this area eons ago, when he and his followers escaped from Tibet because China was trying to maraud the Karmapa sect.

It was during the time of the Fourth Karmapa that Chinese troops attacked the residence of the Karmapa, who was then playing the Saraswati Veena. (Source: Kunzing Shamarpa personal interview with this author).

Playing the Veena was the Fourth Karmapa’s deep form of meditation.

When the Fourth Karmapa was woken up from his meditation by his devotees, he told them: “I was meditating to stop this invasion. But you people woke me up. So now we have to go.”

And traversing across the Himalaya, he reached the area which we now call Arunachal.

While he was still traversing the difficult terrain, the people of the land recognised him and informed the king of the land.

The king took him with great honour to his palace, showered him with gifts and he stayed there for a few years. Among the gifts were rhino horns, then abundantly found in the Arunachal area.

Now, why I know this is that, as I have said, there was a huge dispute between Dalai Lama’s Karmapa nominee, Ugyen Trinley Dorje and the Shamarpa camp about the heredity of Dorje.

At that time, the Government of India ordered an inventory of the treasures (spiritual) of the Rumtek monastery.

I was there in Gangtok when the inventory was taken by the Calcutta head of the Reserve Bank of India.

I have the full document of the inventory with me till date.

But in that I found that there was mention of many artistic artifacts created out of rhino horns by the Fourth Karmapa.

My question to Shamar Rinpoche was how come Karmapa had rhino horn artifacts, when he lived in Tibet, where there were no rhinos?

Kunzing Shamar Rinpoche told me the story of the Fourth Karmapa’s escape into Arunachal to protect his sect from Chinese aggression and destruction.

And there it is that the Fourth Karmapa created these artifacts, which he carried back when he returned to Tibet later. Eventually, they all came back to India with the 16thGyalwa Karmapa in 1951 or there abouts.

Now this is so interesting: see the connection of the past stretching into the present.

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China has lost spiritual legitimacy over Tibet, essentially a highly spiritual people, because it hounded out the Dalai Lama.

So how do they control a spiritual Tibet? They needed another figurehead, and the choice fell on reviving the Karmapa sect.

They needed the second largest Tibetan Buddhist sect, the Black Hat Karmapa.

But unless the claimant to the throne of the Karmapa sect wears the magical Black Hat created by Yoginis, he cannot claim to be the Karmapa.

The last known devout to wear this hat was the much revered 16thGyalwa Karmapa, Ranjung Rigpe Dorje, who left us on November 5, 1981.

This is why, apart from military reasons, China wants to capture the last semblance of the Gyalwa Karmapa in India: Arunachal Pradesh.

As I said, this is the spiritual-ideological reason that China wants to subjugate Arunachal Pradesh.

The people of Tibetan stock in Arunachal Pradesh owe a deep allegiance to Dalai Lama, but even more to the Karmapa sect and His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, who the now demised Shamar Rinpoche, who alone is entitled to ‘identify’ the reincarnation of the earlier Karmapa.

He says that incarnation is Trinley Thae Dorje.

This is an international thriller, and most of what I have written is from personal experience and studies from the tonnes of documents I have still in possession.

It is a story said in brief here.

There is much more!.


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