Karmapa thanks Centre for approving Varanasi visit



Shimla/Dharamsala: Tibetan spiritual leader Karmapa Ugyen Trinely Dorji has thanked the Central government for approving his trip to Varanasi and Sarnath for his 'winter retreat' and annual 'spring teachings'.

"We are deeply grateful to the Indian government for its confidence in the Karmapa, and thank them for approving his travel plans to Varanasi for 'winter retreat' and 'spring teachings' of 2011," spokespersons of the Karmapa's office Karma Topden and Deki Chungyalpa said in a statement.

The Tibetan spiritual leader, who is recently in news relating to a huge foreign currency haul from his monastery, said Varanasi is the site of the very first Dharma teachings by Gautam Buddha, and also an ancient cradle of Sanskrit culture and learning.

"Varanasi is a sacred place for Buddhists. And as a follower of Buddha’s teachings and being of the Kagyu lineage that springs directly from the sacred land of India, I feel such opportunities to visit these sites give great meaning to my life. I am very much looking forward to sharing the dharma teachings with my friends there," Karmapa, who will be visiting Varanasi via Bodh Gaya in early March, said.

During his stay in Varanasi, he is scheduled to deliver a string of discourses on dharma teachings. He would also participate in numerous religious ceremonies during his stay there. The annual 'spring teachings' lectures would be held at Vajra Vidya Institute in Sarnath.

PTI