NEW VIDEO: CHANTS FOR AVERTING OBSTACLES. Heart Sutra and 21 Taras chanted by 17th Karmapa for removing obstacles to his health, travel, activities and teaching

HH Gyalwang 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje

This month (April 2023) the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje cancelled several teachings at short notice due to sickness and cited there being obstacles to his health and activities. He mentioned how before teachings he could hardly breathe and that:

“Whenever I am about to teach, I don’t feel good. The other day I was feeling fine, yet yesterday not so good. So whenever I am about to start a teaching, all of sudden I do not feel well. There is some sort of an obstacle there. So before we start the teaching we should start with reciting Tara and the Heart Sutra.”

The 17th Karmapa has also now explained several times that he would like to return to India, and also travel to Nepal and Bhutan, but is still unable to do so. No reason has been given for this but he states he has applied for Indian permission several times. In addition, the 17th Karmapa is still not be allowed to visit Rumtek Monastery, Sikkim, the seat of the 16th Karmapa in India. Again, no reason has been given.

‘Black magic’ attacks and propitiating worldly beings for political purposes?

When I heard the 17th Karmpa’s latest statements about not feeling well and difficulty breathing before a teaching, I wondered if perhaps the 17th Karmapa is even being subjected to some kind of ritual or ‘black magic’ attacks by people intent on stopping him.  After all, Tibetan history is littered with such examples, right up to the present day. The most famous one being that of the yogi Milarepa who used it to kill and harm beings before he attained enlightenment. As I wrote in Murder plots, omens, black magic and Kālacakra: Tantric hero Jamgon Kongtrul’s dangerous first trip to Jonang monastery, the 1st Jamgon Kongtrul was also targeted by such attackes on his way to Jonang Monastery. Also, see the recent book: ‘Buddhist Magic: Divination, Healing and Enchantment Through the Ages‘ by Sam Van Schaik (2020), and the Rubin Museum of Art held an exhibition on War Magic: The Wizarding World of Tibetan Sorcery.  I (and some of my supporters) have also experienced several such psychic/tantric attacks over the last few years after exposing lama misconduct and so on. 

More recently, the centuries long propitiation of worldly beings/deities for political reasons, in particular, by the Gelug lineage since the 17th Century, have now led to the 14th Dalai Lama banning it and stating that this worldly god has turned malevolent.  For example, what could the possible karmic causes be for the violent takeover and suppression of the Dalai Lama and Tibetans in Tibet by the CCP in China? As Buddhists we all know that without a prior cause, there would be no result. Certainly some Tibetan scholars have stated that the situation pre-CCP was a feudal theocracy with no fundamental human rights or freedom of expression. The example of Gedun Chophel and how he was treated by the ruling government for his outspoken views is evidence enough of that.

As Garchen Rinpoche taught recently: If you use worldly god for political purposes or negative actions motivated by power, money, sex, gain etc. they will no longer be Dharma Protectors but ‘negative action’ protectors!

In any case, it certainly would not be without motive for someone like the 17th Karmapa to face such actions. A young, progressive, feminist and vegetarian handsome man, speaking on topics that the majority of other Buddhist leaders do not apply or even mention. For more on the 17th Karmapa’s teachings and activities on vegetarianism, see here and on female empowerment, see here.

New Video: Heart Sutra and 21 Taras chanted by 17th Karmapa 

In any case, whatever is the cause for these obstacles, the 17th Karmapa is facing several serious obstacles and has mentioned them several times recently in his teachings. Thus, I have compiled this video of the 17th Karmapa chanting the Heart Sutra, The Averting Ritual of the Heart Sutra and Praises to 21 Taras during his teaching on Day 7 of the Spring Teachings. Tibetan, phonetics and English are provided in the CC Subtitles.

The translations of both the Heart Sutra and 21 Taras in this video are both mine. The latter is based on a commentary on the Explicit and Hidden Aspects of the 21 Taras by Jetsun Taranatha, which I translated in 2018 and is available on request here, for those with the Kālacakra and Tārā empowerments.

May it be of benefit to the long life, good health and activities of the 17th Karmapa, the Karma Kagyu and the flourishing of Buddha Dharma!

Written and created by Adele Tomlin, 24th April 2023. 


Debreczeny, Karl:

War Magic: The Wizarding World of Tibetan Sorcery, Rubin Museum of Art

The Tenth Karmapa and Tibet’s Turbulent Seventeenth Century (SerIndia, 2016).

Van Schaik, Sam (2020): Buddhist Magic: Divination, Healing and Enchantment Through the Ages (Penguin)

Tomlin, Adele:

THE GREAT WISDOM MOTHER (YUM CHENMO) NEW ART, BOOK EDITION AND WEBSITE: TĀRANĀTHA’S COMMENTARY ON THE HEART SŪTRA. Second edition of book with original Tibetan calligraphy artwork and new project/website dedicated to Tāranātha’s Life and Works

NEW PUBLICATION: ‘The Explicit and Hidden Aspects of Tārā: A Commentary on the Twenty-One Tārās’ by Jetsun Tāranātha

MEAT IS MURDER: Tibetan Buddhist Vegetarianism: Ancient and Modern; compiled teachings by 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje

‘Actions Speak Louder than Words’: 17th Karmapa’ s outstanding activities for females

For six-session video teaching by 17th Karmapa on the Heart Sutra:…

5 thoughts on “NEW VIDEO: CHANTS FOR AVERTING OBSTACLES. Heart Sutra and 21 Taras chanted by 17th Karmapa for removing obstacles to his health, travel, activities and teaching

  1. Adele, the CCP invasion of Tibet being the result of the historical activities by the Sakya & Geluk traditions? Strikes me as a stretch—an interesting theory of association, but where’s the evidence that the karmic causes of the occupation are both known and known to be as you state? I say this in the interests of more Ri-mé and not less.
    – Paul

    1. I did not say that. I said that their propitiation of a worldly being for political and worldly purposes that has now turned malevolent, according to the 14th Dalai Lama, MAY have caused some of the horrific karma in Tibet. As well as the violent takeover of Tibet by the 5th Dalai Lama and Gelug and their suppression and theft of monasteries and texts from other lineages. What could be the possible causes for what China did in Tibet then? There has to be a karmic cause for it, or do you not believe in karma, cause and effect?

      1. My apologies for misrepresenting you. My mistake.

        Here’s the problem as I see it: banning those practitioners has created a massive and still growing schism in the Buddhist sangha, while the positive outcomes of it are not obvious to me.

        Moreover, the Kagyu has, as you point out in expressing the current Karmapa’s aspirations to travel, plenty of it own political shenanigans—power struggles strike me as the human condition!

        Lastly, your point about there having to be causes for anything, including the CCP invasion, is well taken. I agree. And if the collective Rinpoche-word-on-the-street is that the causes for the invasion etc were sewn back in and since the Great Fifth, then I can take that on board; this is the first I’ve heard of that and your certainty surprised me.

        Btw, love your work and I always look forward to reading whatever you come up with. Truly!

      2. Yes, it is complicated, I tend to agree with you about the forced banning of it though. Strange indeed to ban a worldly being that they have been propitiating for worldly purposes for hundreds of years! Not sure it would have a positive effect to do that, a serious schism was caused as you say. I really do not know though and it is something I do not want to be involved in at all.

        Regarding what I said about causes for the Chinese violent takeover of Tibet, well as they say, some results are very similar to their causes, multiplied. So if there were any cause similar to what the Chinese did and are doing in Tibet and their strong aversion to the Dalai Lama in particular, the most obvious cause to me would be what the Dalai Lamas/Gelug did in Tibet to Tibetans and other lineages since the 5th Dalai Lama onwards. It was a violent and forceful takeover and they took monasteries and texts and forcibly turned people/monasteries into Gelug ones, such as the one I mentioned recently that was that of Jetsun Tāranātha. That is not the ‘Rinpoche word on the street’ as you mention but my own kind of intuitive experience and reasoning based on the history but also the teachings on karma, cause and effect.

        Thanks, happy to hear you love the work and enjoy reading it! It is for people just like yourself that I write, research and do translations in fact 🙂

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