Meeting of Faiths – H.H. 17th Karmapa’s first visit to the UK

Karmapa London 2005 interfaith Event (photo copyright Thule G. Jug)

Karmapa London 2005 interfaith Event (photo copyright Thule G. Jug)

In eager anticipation of the fourth visit to the UK of H.H. 17th Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje, we reflect on his first momentous visit in 2005. Here we reproduce a report from the press at the time, it can also be found here.

Meeting of Faiths Held

The Hindu Forum of Britain hosted an evening of Friendship and Trust with leaders from the World’s seven largest Faiths; Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Jainism and Sikhism this week.

Co-hosted by Diamond Way Buddhism, UK, the event was a celebration of friendship and trust between faith communities in the presence of His Holiness 17th Gyalwa Karmapa Trinlay Thaye Dorje, the spiritual head of the Karma Kagyu tradition of Buddhism, which pre-dates the Dalai Lama strand by 300 years.

The twenty two year old living Buddha, who is currently on his first visit to the UK, was guest of honour at the special inter faith celebration which was attended by the Bishop of London. And to mark the occasion at St Ethelburga’s church in Bishopsgate London, the Gyalwa and other Faith leaders unveiled a Japanese quilt entitled ‘Peoples of The World’.

Among the highlights of the evening were readings by two eight year olds, Neha Patel and Madoc Flynn, on Faith from a Hindu and Buddhist perspective, a classical dance by two sisters Chamu and Anna Kuppuswamy and a recitation of prayers by representatives from each of the faith groups in Sanskrit, Tibetan, Latin, Hebrew, Arabic, Punjabi and Prakrit. Amongst the people who chanted were Pujya Kalyana Gurukkal, Swami Nirliptananda from the Hindu Forum, Buddhist Lamas, Rabbi Jacqueline Tabbick, Rev William Taylor, Sheikh Salah al-Ansari, Satvinder Singh and Natubhai Shah.

Following the event Ramesh Kallidai, Secretary General of the Hindu Forum of Britain said: “In such times, when faiths seem at insurmountable loggerheads, events such as these all the more valuable, and needed. It was an unforgettable evening that showed great unity and understanding between the different communities and this shared experience did a great deal to forge closer bonds of understanding between the different faiths unforgettable.”

Karmapa Thaye Dorje, who has hundreds of thousands of followers across the world said, “I am always very excited to visit different parts of the world and this is my first visit to Great Britain. England is an important country to help increase people’s awareness around the world.”

Sruti Dharma Dasa, Vice President of Bhaktivedanta Manor ISKCON temple, who rendered the concluding prayers said, “Faith leaders have an important role to play in engaging their congregations to develop relationships of friendship and trust with other communities. We were delighted to be a part of this charming celebration that will hopefully inspire others to extend hands of friendship to other faith communities.”

A video of Karmapa Thaye Dorje’s speech is below:

Tags: , , , , , , ,

One Response to “Meeting of Faiths – H.H. 17th Karmapa’s first visit to the UK”

  1. Sarah, London says:

    Great interfaith work from HH 17th Karmapa – he is a true inspiration and a wonderful ambassador for Diamond Way Buddhism. Can’t wait to see him in July!

Leave a Reply