DHARAMSALA, July 31: Amidst media speculation that the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje may not return to India from the US, the head of Tibetan Buddhism’s Kagyue tradition has said he has no qualms about returning to India.
In the clearest indication of returning to India after a prolonged stay in the US, the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje has said in a RFA interview that he doesn’t have any doubts and questions on returning to India.
The 17th Karmapa further said that he had initially planned to return to India at the end of June and had held talks with the Government of India over his return.
The Karmapa left India for the US in May last year and due to his prolonged stay for over a year in the US, media reports suggested that he may never return to India and instead, will go to China.
“To clear these, constructive talks are being held with the Indian Government and if it goes well, I am ready to return to India,” the Karmapa said in the interview.
Though the exact date of his return to India is unclear, the 17th Karmapa hopes that he can return to India by November so that he can attend an important meeting of the heads of the major Tibetan Buddhist traditions to be held in Dharamsala, India.
India’s intelligence agencies have been watchful of the 17th Karmapa since his arrival in India in 2000. He was under regular surveillance at his exile headquarter, the Gyuto Tantric Monastery in Dharamsala.
Referred to as Ugen Thinley Dorje or ‘UTD’ in secret files, Intelligence agencies believed that Beijing anointed him to serve its long-term ulterior motive of changing the mindset of Buddhist population in favour of China.
The spiritual head of the Kagyue tradition also said that he underwent thorough medical check-ups in America which have prolonged his stay in the US but he disclosed that they are no major complications on his health.
In India, a central government order passed by the (CCS) in the year 2000 had banned the Karmapa so far from traveling to Rumtek monastery in Sikkim and other areas of strategic importance like Lahaul and Spiti in Himachal Pradesh without permission but the CCS headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi allowed the Karmapa to visit Arunachal Pradesh in December 2016, much to the dismay of China as they call the region south Tibet and lays claim over it.
Karmapa, the head of Tibetan Buddhism’s Kagyue tradition was born in eastern Tibet. The 14-year-old Karmapa fled Tibet and escaped to India in 2000.