Dharamsala: The 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje has begun his annual spring teachings at Sarnath, the birthplace of Buddhism, in Uttar Pradesh, a monastery official said on Thursday.
"The Karmapa inaugurated the four-day spring teachings at Vajra Vidya Institute in Sarnath on Wednesday," Karmapa`s office spokesperson Deki Chungyalpa told a news agency.
She said this is a special time when he receives private initiations and teachings from Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, a highly respected Karma Kagyu master who was appointed as the Karmapa`s senior tutor by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
This is the third consecutive year the Karmapa has given spring teachings to the audience at the institute.
"Nearly 600 people gathered on the first day to listen to the Karmapa and three high reincarnate lamas - Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche and Gyatso Rinpoche," Chungyalpa said.
Before reaching Sarnath near Varanasi, the Karmapa was in Tergar Monastery in Bodh Gaya in Bihar, where renowned Buddhist teacher and author Mingyur Rinpoche has also come out in his support.
This was the Karmapa`s first visit out of Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh after a controversy arose over the recovery of huge unaccounted money from the Gyuto Tantric University and Monastery, where he has been residing with his followers for the last few years.
Rinpoche, author of the bestselling book "The Joy of Living", has thanked the Indian government for giving a clean chit to the Tibetan religious leader.
"We are very grateful that His Holiness` name has been cleared," Rinpoche, who heads the Tergar Monastery, said.
Police recovered currency of 26 countries, including 120,197 Chinese yuan and around Rs 5.3 million from the monastery January 28.
The Karmapa`s aide Rubgi Chosang, also known as Shakti Lama, is still in police custody.
His top officials February 17 had said the central government, while signalling a clean chit to the Tibetan leader in the controversy, wanted him to register his trust and also apprise monastery functionaries on Indian laws.
The Karmapa had fled Tibet and sought refuge in India in Jan 2000. Ever since, he has mostly lived at the monastery in Sidhbari near Dharamsala.