New Delhi: Karmapa Ugyen Thinley Dorje, head
of the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism, on Monday rubbished
allegations that he was a Chinese spy and expressed readiness
to make clarification to any government official in this
"I am not a Chinese spy, agent or a plant in India," he
said, adding he was deeply hurt by such insinuations in his
"second home" which would be "difficult to forget in this
Describing China as a "totalitarian regime", he said,
"Unlike democratic India, there is no religious freedom
The Karmapa Lama is the spiritual leader of one of the
four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism, ranking only behind
the Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama in the Tibetan spiritual
On his reasons for fleeing Tibet in 1999, he said his
spiritual education as the 17th Karmapa would not have been
completed if he had stayed in Tibet.
"I had to receive the oral teachings of the Karmapa
lineage which have been passed down in an unbroken chain from
India since the time of Lord Buddha," he told a rare press
The spiritual leader said had he stayed in Tibet he would
have had to denounce the Dalai Lama, whom he described as the
force behind the Tibetan cause.
In the hour-long interaction, the Karmapa fielded a
volley questions on allegations of being a Chinese spy and was
asked whether the Indian government had conveyed its regret on
"I am not aware of what has been said or what has appeared
in the media. But what I can say is that I have made it
abundantly clear that there is not a speck of reason to
believe that I am a Chinese agent," the Karmapa said.
An official in the Karmapa`s administration said the
government has given a clean chit to the spiritual leader.
On the issue of seizure of huge amount of cash in foreign
currency, the official said it was received as offerings from
the followers of the Karmapa.
He said the spiritual leader had received offerings worth
Rs five crore in foreign currency from his followers from
across the world. Another Rs one crore in cash in Indian
currency that was recovered was meant for purchase of land,
the official said.
He said the office of the Karmapa was in talks with the
Government of India for seeking permission under the Foreign
Currency Regulation Act to receive donations in foreign
The Karmapa had fled Tibet and sought refuge in India in
December 1999. Ever since, he has mostly lived in the Gyuto
Tantric monastery in Sidhbari near Dharamsala - the seat of
the Tibetan government-in-exile.