Under scanner over seizure of foreign currency from Gyuto Tantric monastery, 17 Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje on Thursday left for month long winter retreat to Bodhgaya - the main center for Buddhism.
During his retreat the 17th Karmapa would visit Sarnath and Bodhgaya and would return back to Dharamsala after in the end of next The Karmapa would be visiting visit Vajra Vidya Institute in Sarnath from March 9 to 12 in connection with spring teachings.
Karmapa transit home in Gyuto Tantric monastery had hit the headlines when the sleuths recovered more than Rs 6.5 crore from the office of Karmae Garchen Trust on January 27. During the raids that continued for two days the sleuths had recovered 13 lakh Chinese yuans and 6 lakh American dollars. Police had questioned Karmapa over the huge haul of foreign currency.
After the controversy over currency haul, this is for the first time that Union Government had allowed Karmapa to move out of Dharamsala. Permission to Karmapa have raised hackles as investigations into the case are still in progress. Una police had arrested seven persons associated with transaction of money for the land in question that was being purchased by Karmae Garchen Trust to built a monastery for Karmapa.
Karmapa Office of Administration expressed gratitude to the Indian government for approving his travel plans to Varanasi, via Bodhgaya, for his winter retreat and spring teaching of 2011. “This makes it a particularly sacred place for Buddhists. As a follower of Buddha’s teachings and of the Kagyu lineage that springs directly from the sacred ground of India, I feel that such opportunities to visit these sites give great meaning to my life. I am very much looking forward to sharing the Dharma with Dharma friends in Varanasi.” The Karmapa said in statement that was posted on his official website.
During his stay in Varanasi, His Holiness the Karmapa is scheduled to confer four days of Dharma teachings, which will be webcast live from March 9 – 12. He will also participate in several other religious ceremonies during his stay.
The annual spring teachings will be held at Vajra Vidya Institute in Sarnath, UP, and made available live on the Internet.