According to Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche there are no stories of Milarepa being a monk and studying Tibetan Buddhist scriptures 

མདོ་རྒྱུད་ལུང་དང་རྒྱ་བོད་མཁས་གྲུབ་གསུང་། །

བྱིན་རླབས་ཆེ་ཡང་ཕལ་པས་གོ་བ་དཀའ། །

Tibetan text from Karma Chakme’s The Quintessence of the Union of Mahamudra and Dzokchen

“The sutra and tantra scriptures and the writings of scholars and siddhas of India and Tibet

Have great blessing, but it is difficult for ordinary beings to understand them.”

English translation Yeshe Gyamtso

“The Buddha’s teaching bear great blessing and the commentaries on them written by great masters of India and Tibet, such as the eighty-four Mahasiddhas, embody great blessings because they are authentic presentations of the definitive meaning of the Buddha’s teachings. Of course they are worthwhile and valuable, but it is difficult for most people to understand them. It is also not necessary. We can see many historical examples of people who emphasized the practice of the specific instructions of their teachers and attained complete liberation. One example is Jetsun Milarepa’s intense use of the instructions he received from his guru. There is no story that Milarepa went into a monastic college to study Buddhist philosophy.”

From Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche’s commentary on the above noted text published by KTD Publications

According to China’s 17th Karmapa narrative His Holiness is in India to retrieve his Black Crown from Rumtek monastery in Sikkim and return it to Tsurphu Monastery in occupied Tibet. Apparently the Chinese authorities have a letter in which the 17th Karmapa said this was his purpose in leaving Tsurphu in the first place.

To that end the 17th Karmapa’s monks in Sikkim in July of this year went on a 90 day hunger strike to force the Indian Government to allow the 17th Karmapa to visit Sikkim. They took turns not eating between meals for 90 days and called it a hunger strike. India’s government wasn’t impressed.

The government of India will no doubt someday negotiate an agreement with China in which India gets to keep Sikkim and the 17th Karmapa returns the Black Crown to Tsurphu Monastery in occupied Tibet but the Indian Government isn’t there yet. All of which brings us to today’s discussion, that of monks and what monks in Tibetan Buddhism become monks as children to do, which is to memorize and study scriptures, the sutras, and the tantras if they excel in their studies.

Obviously the 17th Karmapa has no such monks in Sikkim if these knuckleheads thought the Indian Government, the people whom invented the hunger strike, would be pressured into allowing the 17th Karmapa to visit Rumtek monastery in Sikkim by their publicity stunt of a hunger strike, but ideally at least in Tibetan Buddhism you have to be a monk since childhood to study these scriptures, and here’s the rub in this discussion, the study of said scriptures is not a path to liberation. As Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche notes in his above cited commentary there are no stories which have Milarepa being a monk and studying Tibetan Buddhist scriptures.



Filed under Buddhism

2 responses to “According to Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche there are no stories of Milarepa being a monk and studying Tibetan Buddhist scriptures 

  1. It is remarkable in this context that Karmapa title claimant Orgyen Trinley Dorje Rinpoche was recently allowed to visit the Tawang area. ( Tawang, situated east of Bhutan in the Indian border state Arunachal Pradesh, has traditionally close ties to Tibet and was contemporarily occupied by the Chinese during the border war with India in 1962. Because China still claims the territory, there was some diplomatic tension some weeks ago when it became known that the Dalai Lama plans to visit the Tawang region next year. (

    The sudden, surprising visit of Ven. Orgyen Trinley Rinpoche in Tawang can be seen as a “test case”: How does China react when the young Lama appears here? Protest rituals against the Dalai Lama on the one hand, but content on the other hand when – as Beijing sees it – the “Chinese citizen” Orgyen Trinley visits Tawang? That could be indeed a suspicious signal to New Delhi.

    I cannot imagine that India will ever allow Orgyen Trinley to take the Black Crown to chinese-occupied Tibet. Due to the fact that there exists another Karmapa, H. H. Trinley Thaye Dorje, it is most comfortable for India to keep the Rumtek stalemate.

  2. By the way: “Karmapa status claimant visits Tawang for 1st time” – as the “Times of India” reports about the visit:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s