Abroad since May 2017, Karmapa unlikely to return to India

DHARAMSALA: The 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, who is out of the country and in the USA since May 2017, will skip the November deadline also for his return to India.

Abroad since May 2017, Karmapa unlikely to return to India

Lalit Mohan

Tribune News Service

Dharamsala, November 27

The 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, who is out of the country and in the USA since May 2017, will skip the November deadline also for his return to India.

He was expected to return to India to participate in 13th Religious Conference on Tibetan Buddhism that was to be organised at Dharamsala from November 29 to December 1.

However, the religious conference has now been postponed indefinitely due to passing away of Kathok Getse Rinpoche, the 7th head of Nyingmapa Tradition last week.

Secretary of the department of religion and culture of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) Tenzin Lungtok said that the conference had been postponed indefinitely. When asked if the Karmapa had confirmed participation in the conference, Tenzin said that they had sent the invite but there was no confirmation from the Karmapa office regarding his participation.

Sources told The Tribune that the Karmapa was unlikely to return to India in the near future. The failure of the Karmapa to return to India has left many in the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) concerned.

The recent move of the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorjee to meet his rival Trinley Thaye Dorje in France recently has taken many in the CTA by surprise. They said that since the Dalai Lama had recognized Ogyen Trinley Dorjee has the 17th Karmapa his meeting with rival might be good but has taken them by surprise.

President of the CTA Lobsang Sangay had also issued statements that Karmapa would return to India at the end of November as he was expecting him to participate in the religious conference. The India authorities were also lobbying to persuade the Karmapa to return to India. They were reports that the Indian government offered land in Dwarka in Delhi for establishment of monastery of the Karmapa.

Now that the religious conference has been postponed indefinitely uncertainty over return of the Karmapa to India persists.

In the religious conference that is organized after every two to three years all the heads of religious sects of Tibetan Buddhism participate and deliberate over the issues related to their religion. The conference is vital in view of the fact that the Dalai Lama, while interacting with the students of Goa Institute of Management recently, had said that the heads of Buddhist Traditions of Tibet would meet in November to discuss the future of the institution of the Dalai Lama. Since Karmapa was the head of the Kagyu sect of Tibetan Buddhism his presence in the meeting was vital.

As many as 155 religious heads of various Tibetan religious sects, including Karmapa, had been invited to participate in the conference to be held from November 29 to December 1. Most of them were expected to participate.

Karmapa in TV interviews had also stated that he would return to India in November. However, he had not yet confirmed the schedule of his return.

The 12 Religious Conference on Tibetan Buddhism was held in June 2015. There are four main schools of Tibetan Buddhism — Nyingma, the ancient ones are the oldest Buddhist school; Kagyu, the lineage of Buddha’s word; and Sakya and Gelug, the way of virtue, the school that was originally a reformist movement and is known for its emphasis on logic and debate. There are various sub sects of the schools and heads of these schools were to participate in 13th Religious Conference.

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