Under scanner by investigating agencies for foriegn currency recovered from his monastery, the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje, heading the powerful Kagyu sect of Tibetan Buddhism, has now asked the Indian Government to allow him to visit United States.
The Karmapa’s private administration in Dharamsala has sought permission from the ministry of home affairs to allow the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje to visit the United States capital, Washington, along with Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader – the Dalai Lama.
“ Karmapas office has sent us request that the spiritual leader was keen to visit United States”, Tsering Phuntsok, Kalon ( Minister)for religion in Tibetan government–in-exile told Hindustan Times, while he confirmed that the request had been forwarded to the MHA.
"We have yet not recived any communique from the home ministry on the Karmapa’s request“, said Phuntsok.
Karmapas office has apprised the Tibetan government-in-exile about the leaders' request to visit Washington to attend a Kalachakra ( Tibetan religious ceremony) being held for world peace in Washington on July. During the first three days of the Kalachakra, from July 6 through 8, the Dalai Lama, along with the monks of Namgyal Monastery and senior lamas, will conduct rituals which prepare and consecrate the venue.
According to Buddhist belifs, the Kalachakra was first given by Shakyamuni Buddha, in ancient India. The Kalchakra in Washington will last for 11 days.
Since the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje dramatic escape from his seat, Tsurphu, in Tibet in 1999 to reach Dharamsala, the Indian government has clamped restrictions on his movements.
Ogyen Trinley Dorjes escape had made world headlines, taking intelligence agencies by surprise. Dorje along with his attendants and elder sister Nodup Palzom had travelled 1450 km on horseback, train and helicopter to reach Dharamsala.
Ogyen Trinley Dorje currently resides in the back side of the Gyuoto Tantric monastry under the watchful eyes of intelligence agiences.
The monastery made headlines in January, when the sleuths recovered more than Rs 6.5 crore in foreign currency, which included 12 lakh Chinese yuan. The cash recovered during raids belonged to the Karmae Garchen trust headed by the Karmapa. Police arrested a cashier of the Trust, Rabgay Chosang.
It was not sure whether police would object to Karmapas travel plans to United States . "So far we have no intimation about Karmapa’s foreign tour" said suprintenednt of police, Una, Sumedha Diwedi.
Karmapas aides in Dharamsala fear that the spiritual leader may not be allowed to go abroad. "It is for the Indian government to give permission, but ouur gurujee is very keen to attend the Kalchakra,” says Gompo Tsering, a close aide of the Karmapa in Dharamsala.
The Karmapa's scheduled trip to Europe, last May, was cancelled when the Indian government declined him permission. The Karmapa was slated to visit Germany, Denmark, Poland, France, England, Belgium, Spain, Netherlands and Scotland.
It was in the 2008 that Ogyen Trinley Dorje made his maiden visit to woodstock – which had been the seat of his predecessor – the 16th Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje.
The 16th Karmapa is credited with introducing Buddhism in western countries. Rigpe Dorje had escaped to Bhutan in 1959 along with 150 of his students.