By Phurbu Thinley
The 17th Karmapa giving inaugural talk on “Tourism in Peace” conference in TCV School, Dharamsala, in March 2008 (file Photo by Tenzin Dasel / Phayul.com)
Dharamsala, May 13: The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, left Dharamsala for New Delhi on Sunday to begin his first ever visit to the United States.
He was granted permission in February this year by the Ministry of the external affairs to visit US from May 15 to June 2, following many requests to the Indian government in the past few years.
This would also be Karmapa's maiden visit outside India since he fled Tibet and arrived in India in 2000.
During the visit, he is scheduled to travel to three U.S. cities – New York, Boulder and Seattle – primarily to give public teachings.
Karmapa will also visit the Karma Triyana Dharmachakra Monastery
, the North American Seat of Gyalwang Karmapa, on Meads Mountain Road in Woodstock, New York.
He will give his first public teachings in the United States on May 17 and 18, 2008, at two separate locations
in New York City, before entourage comes to Woodstock from May 19 to 22.
In a video clip posted on an official website
for his upcoming visit, Karmapa describes his US visit as to “fulfill the wishes” of many of his friends and acquaintances in the US who have been requesting and hoping for his visit for a long time.
Also he explains that the visit would enable him to reconnect with friends of previous Karmapa, whom he said had also traveled to the US many times during his life time and had made “numerous far-reaching connections of friendship” there.
“On a personal level, by visiting America, I hope to broaden my own horizons and bring new depth to my experience,” he says in the video, adding “By connecting with the powerful countries, such as the United States, I aspire that my own abilities to bring peace to the world in this new century will be enhanced”.
Karmapa further expresses his confidence that the visit would “provide strong conditions” for him “to help all sentient beings achieve outer and inner happiness” in the video.
The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa meets His Holiness the Dalai Lama for the first time upon his arrival in Dharamsala on January 5, 2000 (Photo – Kagyuoffice.org)
The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa is the head of the Karma Kagyu lineage of the Tibetan Buddhism and is the only major reincarnated monk recognised both by the Dalai Lama and the Chinese Communist government.
The young Karmapa, who turned 22 in June last year, is seen by many as one of the greatest Tibetan Buddhist spiritual masters in the making of this era.
He has been temporarily living on the top floor of the Gyuto Tantric Monastic University in Dharamsala, the exile seat of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government-in-Exile in northern India, since he made his daring escape to India from Tsurphu in Tibet in January 2000 when he was just 14.
For more information, visit: www.kagyuoffice.org