India Lifts Travel Ban On 17th Karmapa





India Lifts Travel Ban On 17th KarmapaAmidst hectic lobbying by his followers in the corridors of power, the Indian government has finally given clearance for Ogyen Trinley Dorje- the17th Karmapa, who is parallel head of powerful Kagyu karma sect of Tibetan Buddhist to travel to United States to attend Kalchakra. Under scanner of investigating agencies for huge stacks of foreign currency recovered from his monastery, Ogyen Trinley Dorje had earlier expressed his desire to visit United States along with Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader the – Dalai Lama for Kalchakra which commences from July 6th in Washington D.C.

According to Buddhist beliefs, the Kalachakra was first given by Shakyamuni Buddha, in ancient India. The Kalchakra in Washington will last for 11 days. During the first three days of the Kalachakra, from July 6 through 8, the Dalai Lama, along with the monks of Namgyal Monastery and senior lamas, will conduct rituals, which prepare and consecrate the venue. Karmapa’s administration- Tsurphu Labrang in Dharamsala had written to the ministry of home affairs seeking permission to travel abroad.  It was late in the afternoon on Tuesday that Karmapa’s administration received intimation about the clearance given by home ministry. “ We have got clearance from the Indian government. We are extremely grateful to the Indian authorities” said Sonam, a Karmapa aide in Delhi.

The twenty-six year–old monk- 17th Karmapa himself  had been camping in Delhi since the past one week.  Karmapa’s high profile followers hectically lobbied in New Delhi to ensure that the spiritual leader is allowed to go abroad. This will be Karmapa’s second visit abroad ever since he escaped from Tsurphu in   China-controlled Tibet a decade ago. Karmapa is likely to stay in United States for over two weeks and would return back to Dharamsala on July 25. Viewed with suspicion, Karmapa lives under the watchful eyes of the Indian agencies in the backside of  Gyuto Tantric monastery in Dharamsala. His movements within the country remains restricted his travel schedule is cleared by the home ministry. Karmapa made his maiden trip to United States in the 2008. He had visited the seat of his predecessor – the 16th Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, who is largely credited for introducing Tibetan Buddhism in western countries. Rigpe Dorje had escaped to Bhutan in 1959 along with 150 of his students. Later he set up a monastery in Rumtek in Sikkim. Rigpe Dorje who lived in United States died of cancer in Chicago in 1981. He was cremated at the Rumtek monastery, that remains forbidden for the two claimants-  Ogyen Trinley Dorje and Shamar Rinpoche enthrone parallel Karmapa- Thaye Dorje.

Ogyen Trinley Dorje had made headlines in India in January, since police during the raid in the monastery had recovered Rs 6.5 crore from the possession of   Rabjey Choesang treasurer of Karmapa headed Karmae Garchen Trust.  What surprised the investigating agencies was the recovery of 12 lakh Chinese Yuan. Karmapa’s followers denied the spiritual leader had anything to do with the money, which they claimed was donated by devotees.




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