Appreciation Lunch Speech by Shangpa Rinpoche
This speech was delivered in Suntec, Singapore on September 27, 2014
HH the Gyalwa Karmapa supreme head of Karma Kagyu lineage, HE Beru Khyentse Rinpoche, HE Jamgon Rinpoche, all Rinpoches, Sangha members, distinguished guests and members of Karma Kagyud Buddhist Centre. Good afternoon to all of you. It is my great honour to be here with you and to express my thoughts.
The Karma Kagyud Buddhist Centre in Singapore is an important mission of HH the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa who had the great vision to establish and propagate the Dharma, especially the profound teachings of Karma Kagyud to the world. The golden rosary lineage of Karma Kagyud is the cause of happiness and peace for everyone who live on this earth or beyond.
His Holiness the 16th Karmapa had visited Singapore many years ago before his parinirvana. He had established this Singapore centre with the promise that he would send one Rinpoche to be in charge of the centre and to teach the dharma. Shortly after he passed away, HH Shamar Rinpoche carried on with his mission and sent me here. HH Shamar Rinpoche also visited our Singapore centre many times, especially when we really needed him.
With collective efforts, Karma Kagyud Buddhist Centre developed gradually over a period of 30 years. From the initial rented place to purchased premises to the now building under construction to cater all the need of its activities, we have certainly progressed slowly but steadliy. Ocassionally, we have experiences of hardships though we never really feel like giving up. The people of Singapore and especially the communities within the circle of Buddhism are very generous and are always accommodative whenever we are in need of assistance. The credit of Karma Kagyud Buddhist Centre’s survival and progression go to the people of Singapore, particularly the Buddhist community. It is needless for me to mention how wonderful our committee and members are, as it is obvious from activities for this week’s long programme and the entire project of building a new Karma Kagyud Buddhist Centre. Surrounded by all wonderful people, I am inspired to continue working for the flourishment of Singapore Karma Kagyud Buddhist Centre.
Today, in the presence of HH Karmapa and many high Rinpoches as well as important people, I wish to share my very first discussion with HH Karmapa during his maiden visit to Singapore. I was quite nervous to meet HH, let alone talk with him. Sensing my nervousness, HH started the conversation to make it easier for me to communicate. The first thing he said was that Singapore is very big country. I tried to explain to HH that Singapore is actually a very small country. HH nonetheless kept stating that Singapore is a big country and I harped on the fact that it is not. This went on for a while. Finally, I told HH that Singapore is small and our centre is very small. Then HH looked at me straight in the eye and said “The centre can be very big”. Dumbfounded by HH’s statement, I questioned him if the centre could really grow big. HH replied “I can feel it will become a big centre”. I was overjoyed when I heard this and thanked HH for sharing this wonderful prediction with me.
We have initiated the rebuilding project for the past 10 years but there were obstacles here and there so the project did not take off. Many diverse views and reasons as to why the project could not commence until now were given. I am very firm with the project and I know it will definitely be a resounding success. I am certain all our devotees and Karma Kagyud members will support constantly. I have utmost confidence with HH Karmapa’s blessings along with all our precious lineage gurus’ blessings.
Now, I can truly say The Time Is Ripe so surely and all our obstacles are cleared. At this stage, the project has commenced. The old building has been demolished and the construction for the new building is about to start. Within two years, we will definitely see the new building of Karma Kagyud in Singapore. To achieve this goal, we need your strong support and encouragement urgently. I know everyone will join forces to make this mission of HH 16th Karmapa a reality.
HH 17th Karmapa is very supportive of this milestone project and we are very blessed and grateful that today he is here physically with us to give his blessings too. Singapore is an ideal place for Karma Kagyud in terms superb infrastructure, modern facilities and technologies and efficient manpower. There are many supporters and well wishers who are always willing to assist all the needs of KKBC’s activities. There are also many Buddhist centres and Sangha communities who are always very supportive to our centre’s activities. With all these factors, I am earnestly requesting everyone to come forward to support and be a part of this glorious Karma Kagyud’s development. His Holiness presence itself is KKBC’s great merits and achievement and we all are very encouraged and assured that this project will definitely be a resounding success. Thank you very much.