The Crestone Eagle • August, 2021

New stupa honoring Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche at Tashi Gomang Stupa

by  Zoe de Bray 

Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche was in a hospital bed in Sikkim dying of tuberculosis. The 16th Karmapa walked over to Rinpoche’s bed and told him that the medicine in the United States was his only hope for recovery. The Karmapa told Rinpoche he would then remain in the US to accomplish several tasks:  establishing the North American seat of the Karmapas, spread the Vajrayana Dharma in the west, build a traditional Tibetan temple and a 3-year retreat facility, translate classical Tibetan treasures into Eng-lish . . . and more. He accomplished this and much more.

For those of us who were fortunate to be close to him, we knew him as a truly different order of being—he was an enlightened Master; he was a Bodhisattva who exuded a fragrance not of this world (literally) at times.  When he left his body in 2019, he remained in meditative absorption for 8 days (“tukdam”).  A very much reduced (in size) Rinpoche was then put into the shrine room without protective glass (though there was a cloth over his face).  He displayed no decomposition, none of the degenerative signs or smells accompanying death as we know it.

The 17th Karmapa has given his blessings to a group of devoted KTTG students to build a stupa to the right of the Tashi Gomang Stupa.  On June 26th, the birthday of the 17th Karmapa, Khenpo Lobzang of Vajra Vidya held a fire/feast ceremony (Sa Lhong) asking the deities residing there for permission to build this new stupa. Thus begins Rinpoche’s stupa.

If you would like to follow progress and later participate please contact Zoe de Bray, Project Manager at: zoedebray@gmail.com.  For donations, please go to KTTG.org do-nation page and choose:  “KKR Stupa” to donate by paypal or send a check made out to “KKR Stupa Fund,” Lama Zoe, PO Box 39, Crestone, CO 81131.