|Karma Kagyud Buddhist Center, Singapore
In 1979, His Eminence Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche visited Singapore and with his encouragement and advice, a protem committee headed by Mr. David Chee Kim Swee was formed in preparation for the founding of Karma Kagyud Buddhist Centre in Singapore. A detached house at 17, Jalan Lateh was rented for the Centre's administration.
On 17th April 1981, the Registrar of Societies approved the registration of our Centre. The first management committee was formed on 11th March, 1982.
In 1990, Rinpoche initiated the search for a new premises to cater for the expansion of the Centre's activities. With the encouragement from His Eminence Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche and strong support from the members and devotees, the present Centre was acquired.
On 29th December, 1991, the Centre was relocated to its present premises. The premise was renovated in 1993 and has since been used as the venue for most of the Centre's activities to serve the spiritual and welfare needs of its members and devotees.
In celebrating the opening ceremony cum 12th Anniversary of the Centre on 14th November, 1993, a commemorative magazine was published and a thousand people vegetarian dinner, attended by guests of honour, Venerable Shi Ming Yi, Venerable B. Dhammaratana and Mr. Peh Chin Hwa, MP for Jalan Besar GRC, was held at the Mandarin Hotel.
Currently, Karma Kagyud Buddhist Center has embarked on a new project to rebuild the center. We need all your help and support. Please see New Building Links for more details.
As Buddhism became popular and has tremendous potential to benefit society in countless ways, Rinpoche and the Centre's members wished to establish a Buddhist Institute with a conducive environment for all to develop their understanding and realisation of the Truth through meditation and the practice and study of Buddhism.
With this aspiration in mind, the Centre considered it crucial to appoint an abbot who would be empowered to play a more active role in the Centre's development; to bear the responsibilities associated with guiding members on their spiritual path; and to safeguard the continued progress of the Centre and to realise its goals and objectives, particularly the establishment of the Buddhist Institute.
Venerable Shangpa Rinpoche was the natural choice for the position of abbot. He is a worthy and qualified monk as certified by His Holiness, the late 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, who was the head of the Karma Kagyud Buddhist Lineage. His exemplary qualities and abilities can be observed in his many outstanding contributions to the Centre and in his mastery of the Buddha's teachings, which have been taught to many members and devotees.
In September 1997, during his 38th birthday celebration, Rinpoche launched the Buddhist Institute project with a personal contribution of S$21,000 and donated several pieces of priceless Buddhist artifacts for the fund raising. It demonstrated his unwavering commitment to the project. By his example and encouragement several supporters have also donated precious articles for the fund raising and contributed substantial amounts to the building fund. Constantly manifesting the compassionate and dynamic activities of the Bodhisattva, Venerable Shangpa Rinpoche has continuously made great efforts in extending his work over several countries in the region, thereby providing the opportunity for more people to benefit from the Buddha's teachings.
In recognition of his contributions to society, he was granted permanent resident status in Singapore in March 1996. At the request of the Centre's management committee and advisory council, Rinpoche kindly consented to be appointed abbot and agreed to undertake the very formidable task of developing the Buddhist Institute. Rule 11 of the Centre's Constitution was duly amended to provide for an abbot with the appointment of Venerable Shangpa Rinpoche as the first abbot. The Rule was passed in the General Meeting on 18.5.1997 and subsequently approved by the Registrar of Society and the Commissioner of Charity.
On 4th September 1998, he was enthroned as the abbot according to the traditional Tibetan Buddhist procedures in the morning and in the evening at the Singapore Futsing Association Hall, he was officially appointed as the abbot in a ceremony held in conjunction with his 39th birthday celebration. Mr. Chan Soo Sen, Parliamentary Secretary, Prime Minister's office & Ministry of Community Development was the Guest-of-Honour for that evening.
The committee representing many devotees, then invited His Holiness the Late 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, who was the Head of the Karma Kagyud Lineage to visit Singapore. On 27th December, 1980, His Holiness came with His entourage including His Eminence, the Late Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche and Venerable Ponlop Rinpoche.
The main event of His Holiness' visit was the performance of the very auspicious Black Crown Ceremony. About five thousand people attended the ceremony held in Puat Jit Temple. The presence of His Holiness at our Centre had greatly inspired and motivated the committee and devotees to work hard for the propagation of the Buddha Dharma as preserved through the Kagyud lineage.
Before leaving Singapore, His Holiness left a pair of shoes in the Centre signifying profundity, His ever presence and notably, His impending physical return. Since then, many Rinpoches and lamas from our Kagyud lineage have visited the Centre and arrangements were made for them to give teachings and blessings to members and devotees bringing great benefits to innumerable people.