By Tenzin Dharpo
Arunachal CM Pema Khandu with Karmapa in Tawang on Nov.29, 2016. Source- fb
DHARAMSHALA, Dec. 2: The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje yesterday concluded his historic maiden visit to the bordering state of Arunachal Pradesh after an eventful and rousing reception from the people there as well as the state government.
Sources say that the schedule was enabled after the Cabinet Committee on Security chaired by PM Modi reviewed the directive on his movement within India. The CCS is a core committee on National Security with the MoD and the MEA among other significant panels.
The four day schedule saw the Karmapa visit Sera Je Jamyang Choekorling monastery, the Sangyeling monastery and the famous Tawang monastery in Tawang, an area China claims to be of their own as part of southern Tibet. The 31 year old Karmapa also visited West Kameng District, Bomdilla and Dirang where he paid his tribute to Indian soldiers’ war memorial at Nyukmadung.
The Karmapa told ANI that he is happy to rekindle the connection between his lineage and the native here, also thanking the state leadership as well as central government for facilitating his first visit to the region.
Arunachal CM Pema Khandu who received the Karmapa and accompanied him during some of his schedule earlier this week said the Karmapa and His Holiness the Dalai Lama are “honored guests” of India which makes their freedom of movement an Indian affair and that China should not intervene in India’s “internal matter”.
Kiren Rijiju, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs who met the Karmapa in Bomdilla tweeted, “Massive reception to His Holiness the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje who is on a visit to Arunachal Pradesh to spread love & compassion,” also adding in another tweet, “After 900 years, HH The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa could again visit Mon region in Arunachal Pradesh. The last visit was by The 3rd Karmapa.”
Secretary to the Office of Karmapa Karma Dorjee Namgyal Khortsa told Phayul, “Although the trip is just for a few days, the Karmapa was happy to have met all those people and visit even the smallest of temples and shrines in the area. CM Pema Khandu was a gracious host accompanying us for a day from 6 o’clock in the morning till evening. Minister Kiren Rijiju, MHA advisor Amitabh Mathur and other dignitaries made the visit worthwhile and fruitful.”
The Karmapa is the third most prominent figure after Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama in Tibetan Buddhism. Gyalwang Karmapa is the head of the age-old Karma Kagyu lineage and was recognized by the Dalai Lama as the 17th Karmapa.
Rumtek monastery, also called Dharmachakra centre in Sikkim, is considered as main seat of Karma Kagyu lineage in India and is also the focal point of this sectarian tension between the two organizations, Tsurphu Labrang (supporting Ogyen Trinley Dorje) and Karmapa Charitable trust (supporting Thaye Dorje). The Karmapa controversy is played out in the Indian court as the two rival parties supporting the two candidacies has reached an impasse.
Many say that the Indian government has become much lenient in matters related to the Karmapa controversy following the demise of Shamarpa Rinpoche, who brought forward the other claimant Trinley Thaye Dorjee. Followers of the Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje sat on hunger strike and carried out processions in Gangtok demanding the Indian government to allow Ogyen Trinley Dorje to Rumtek, the seat of the 16th Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje. The Indian government has stationed permanent sentries guarded by military personnel at Rumtek monastery. However, the optimism in people's heart that the Indian government will allow Ogyen Trinley Dorje to visit Sikkim and Rumtek has got a huge boost after this historic visit accompanied by a Union Minister and the Chief minister of a border state. This visit, many say, is not an ordinary visit but a political message to China and also some sort of an approval from the Indian government's side of Ogyen Trinley Dorje as being the rightful 17th Gyalwang Karmapa.