The London centre was officially opened by His Holiness the twelfth Gangri Karma Rinpoche on June 19th 2016 which coincided with the 850th anniversary celebrating the founding of Martsang Kagyu. We believe the opening of this school in London is significant for the following three reasons.
Firstly, in the modern day of diluted Buddhism, here you have a truly authentic unbroken lineage based on the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha. Martsang Kagyu was founded 850 years ago by Choje Marpa, as a union of the scripture of Kadampa with the sutra and tantra of the Kagyu School, one of the four main schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Choje Marpa was not an ordinary practitioner; he was a disciple in an unbroken line from both Atisha, who is credited with bringing Buddhism from India to Tibet, and Gampopa, who was the founder of the Kagyu School. Choje Marpa brought these seminal teachings together to form a school that combined a strong foundational understanding of theory and philosophy, with the practical application of meditation.
Secondly why this is so special is that while Martsang Kagyu is based on traditional teachings, it includes a completely unique series of instructions and writings from its founder and subsequent lineage holders. While its teachings include established Kagyu practises such as the Six Yoga of Naropa, Deity Yoga and the Mahamudra, these teachings are enriched with direct oral instructions and commentaries that are distinctive to this lineage. H.H. Gangri Karma Rinpoche has dedicated his life, with much sacrifice, to painstakingly restoring these teachings. He has gone to extraordinary lengths to find and translate original Martsang Kagyu texts, which are often incomplete and written in outdated dialects. It is through his unflinching efforts that these teachings are now gradually available to the modern world.
Thirdly, not only is this school based on authentic and unique teachings, but the resident Master and patron is also the current lineage-holder, H.H. the twelfth Gangri Karma Rinpoche. Let us tell you a little bit about His Holiness. Born in Markham in Tibet, from an early age Rinpoche was recognised to be the reincarnation of Drogon Rinchen, the primary disciple of Choje Marpa. As such His Holiness was taught the Martsang Kagyu teaching in detail when His Holiness was just a boy.
His Holiness is an exceptional Buddhist scholar and Dharma practitioner while His Holiness has extensively studied the four major traditions of Tibetan Buddhism and has established Monastery & orphanages in Tibet, Buddhist school in Taiwan and the UK, where he now resides. His Holiness is recognized as the reincarnation of the eleventh Gangri Karma Rinpoche (1910-1960), by H.H. Fourteenth Dalai Lama and His Holiness Sakya Trizin.
The Martsang Kagyu organization involved the international beneficial work that was started by Rinpoche continues today in Tibet, India, Taiwan and UK.
The education of children continues to be very important, and in India where many orphaned Tibetan children now live, we offer school scholarships. In addition we are able to provide clothing and food to them and to disadvantaged families living in India.
In East Tibet, in addition to the supply of food and clothing to families in need, assistance with healthcare is also given. Financial aid is given towards medical treatment and for those living in isolated villages we can also help by paying their transport fees to see a doctor.
In Taiwan, the local orphanage helps many orphaned children who have lost their parents through tragic circumstances or have come from broken families. We are able to assist by donating and delivering various goods to their centre.
Another aid we provide regularly is the supply and delivery of provisions to those students of Rinpoche who have undertaken long-term retreat in the very remote isolated and mountainous areas of Tibet.