India allows Karmapa to visit US
Dharamsala: India has finally allowed the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, the third most respected Tibetan monk reincarnate, to go on a two-week religious tour to the US later this month, his aide said Wednesday.
This is the first visit of the Karmapa out of the country after controversy arose over the recovery of unaccounted money from the Gyuto Tantric University and monastery, where he has been residing with his followers for the last few years.
"The Karmapa's religious tour will begin July 8. During his stay in the US, he will take part in the Kalachakra ceremony (the Wheel of Time teachings) for world peace in which His Holiness the Dalai Lama is also participating," Karma Chugyalpa, Karmapa's deputy general secretary, told reporters.
He clarified that the visit of the Karmapa, who turned 26 on June 26, was only for religious purposes. "After the ceremony is over July 16, he will visit Karma Triyana Dharamchakra centre in Woodstock in New York for a few days."
The Karmapa was in the thick of controversy when police on Jan 28 recovered currencies of 26 countries, including 120,197 Chinese yuan and around Rs.5.3 million in Indian currency, from his monastery on the outskirts of this town, from where the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama heads his government-in-exile.
Seven people, including the Karmapa's aide Rubgi Chosang, also known as Shakti Lama, were arrested.
Indian authorities last year denied permission to the Karmapa to visit the US. At that time he was scheduled to attend prayer sessions in Woodstock in New York. He had earlier been denied permission to visit European countries.
He was allowed to visit the US in May 2008, his only visit abroad since he fled Tibet and sought refuge in India in January 2000.
The Karmapa is the spiritual head of the Karma Kagyu school, one of the four sects of Buddhism. He is considered the third most important Tibetan religious head after the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama.