“I have had an unshakable faith and respect towards Rinpoche from the time I was young," Karmapa Rinpoche said in a statement issued on Thursday, 12 June, 2014.
"I had the good fortune of meeting Rinpoche once, with the hope of benefiting the Buddha dharma in general and the lineage in particular, and with the expectation that I may be able to offer some service towards his Dharma activities," he said, adding: "Unfortunately, my aspirations have not, as yet, been fulfilled."
Karmapa Rinpoche said that Sharmapa Rinpoche's "sudden passing away is a matter of great sadness."
He urged his followers to offer prayers: "As soon as I came to know of this hard to believe news, I instructed Rumtek Monastery,(the main seat of our lineage) and other monasteries to make offerings and perform pujas as grand as possible for 49 days. As Rinpoche had taken rest from the degenerate age of strife into the expanse of peace for a while."
Karmapa Rinpoche said, Sharmapa was a great master: "Until the 10th Shamarpa, the omniscient Shamarpas have been great masters respected throughout Tibet, especially within the Karma Kamtsang Lineage. Here he was known as the Victorious Lord of Dance an embodiment of wisdom, compassion and power. Evidence of the lineage’s strength.
"Despite a ban on the Shamarpas’ enthronement since 1792 (almost one hundred and seventy years)," he added.
The letter said that "In consideration of the historical significance and for the benefit of Buddha dharma and all beings,His Holiness the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa, sought consent from His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. Upon receiving consent, he enthroned his nephew as the Shamarpa, taking him under his wing for the guidance of his body, speech and mind."
However, as the folk saying goes, “one may be fortunate to have a cow but not enough to get its milk”.
"Similarly, after the Parinirvana of the16th Gyalwang Karmapa, due to a wavering of commitment amongst his followers, a great schism occurred within the lineage. It was an unprecedented disharmony that is unimaginable even in a dream," Karmapa Rinpoche further added.
He said that "Shamar Rinpoche’s activities have also, in various forms, beenboth favourable and unfavourable; these many past circumstances are similar to endless ripples across water."
"These unfortunate situations are, I think, simply due to us not being aware of the omnipresence of our root guru and not being able to generate farsightedness for the benefit of Buddha dharma and all sentient beings."
"I live with great hope and strong aspirations that Shamar Rinpoche’s reincarnation will embody the life stories of his predecessors, and that good fortune and harmony within the lineage will arise soon," he concluded the statement.