Karma Kagyu Dharma Society, Kuala Lumpur (KKDS-KL) was officially registered as a society on 9th October 1977 – the first Karma Kagyu Centre in Malaysia.
The Beginning – 1975
The centre’s establishment began in Nepal in 1975. A group of Malaysian devotees were visiting Nepal at the time for a Buddhist event. The late Holiness 16th Gyalwa Karmapa accepted an invitation from them to visit Malaysia. It was not until 1976, when His Holiness was en route to America, that he was able to plan a brief visit to Malaysia.
A welcoming committee was set up and the first meeting was held at an old temple in Jalan Birch. His Holiness arrived on 22nd Oct 1976 and spent He two days at the Kong Chee Name Cave in Ipoh. He returned to Kuala Lumpur on 24th October and stayed at the Kwan Yin Kok Temple in Ipoh Road. Here, for the first time, the sacred ceremony of the Black Crown (Vajra Mukut) was performed with more than a thousand people participating.
On 25th Oct 1976, just before His departure, His Holiness invited the committee to His room. There, He handed a letter of authority to the committee, together with a generous donation of RM 7,000, directing them to start a centre in Kuala Lumpur. Thus the seed of Vajrayana Buddhism was planted in Malaysian soil.
HH16 Karmapa visits Jalan Jugra – 1977
The registration of the centre was approved by the Registrar of Societies on 9th Oct 1977, the first Vajrayana Buddhist Society to be established in Malaysia. Thus, the seed that was planted a year ago began to bear its first fruit. A bungalow house at 22 Jalan Jugra, off Jalan Klang Lama was rented to carry out some Dharma activities for members, as well as friends.
HH16 Karmapa’s Second Visit – 1980
KKDS-KL organized the second visit of His Holiness to Malaysia in 1980. He toured the whole of Malaysia, visiting all the Karma Kagyu Centres to give teachings, empowerments and to perform the sacred Vajra Mukut Ceremony in order to benefit innumerable people in Malaysia.
In 1986 when the bungalow lease expired, KKDS-KL had to move to their current location at No.2, Lorong Jubilee, off Jalan Loke Yew. This site used to be an old Kuan-Yin Temple.
10th Anniversary – 1986
KKDS-KL celebrated its 10th Anniversary on 25th October 1986. The ceremonies were officiated by the then Minister of Labour, Y.B. Dato’ Lee Kim Sai. In attendance were other distinguished guests like Y.B. Dr Goh Cheng Teik, Chief High Priest of Malaysia and Singapore – Reverend Dr. K. Sri Dhammananda Dayaka Thera, Venerable Paik Wan, His Eminence Kunzig Shamarpa Rinpoche, Venerable Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche, His Eminence Beru Khyentze Rinpoche, Venerable Shangpa Rinpoche and others.
25th Anniversary – 1997
In 1997 the Society celebrated its 21st anniversary. Lamas from Rumtek Monastery, India were specially invited to perform a 3 day Guru Rinpoche Puja in the Centre. Other activities, including a 3-day Vajrayana exhibition, blood donation, etc. were organized to augment this occasion.
Since it’s inception in 1977, the Centre has become a place of spiritual interaction for many Rinpoches and Lamas with the Society’s members and devotees. Many of the members and volunteers have helped to build the Society to its present strength. Besides propagating the Buddha’s teachings, the Society is actively involved with welfare work to help the aged, the needy and the poor. For example, KKDS-KL organizes yearly welfare visits to Old Folks Homes and Orphanages, Handicapped Centre, Homes of the Blind, etc. The Society has also donated to the Bosnian Fund and the recent Tsunami Fund, amongst others national callings.
The New Centre – 2003
After occupying the present premises for 20 years, the Society felt that a rebuilding of the Centre was most necessary to accommodate the more demanding needs of the Society. In 2003, the Centre was temporarily relocated to the ground floor of a 3-storey building, within walking distance of the present site. On 5th June 2003, after prayers and veneration led by Venerable Chinchok Rinpoche, the symbolic demolition took place. This began with the removal of the plaque which indicated the establishment of the Centre on 25th October 1986, and the demolition of parts of the building front, led by Rinpoche and some Committee Members. A blessing ceremony and Puja subsequently took place at the temporary Centre indicating that KKDS-KL’s spiritual activities will be conducted there.
The rebuilding was completed after 10 months, at a cost of RM1.8million. On 13th April 2005 the official shifting back into the rebuilt premises took place. This was marked by a Puja and special blessing prayers led by Venerable Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche in the new shrine hall, followed by the relocation the existing Buddha Sakyamuni statue and other shrine materials to the new centre.
The shrine hall is presently being furnished with new statues and other shrine materials. It is anticipated that the refurnishing will cost about RM1.2million.