By Tenzin Sangmo
DHARAMSHALA, Jan. 23: In his video address to the 36th Kagyu Monlam, the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorjee took the opportunity to tell the devotees that he couldn’t come to India as his request for a visa on his new passport was turned down by the Indian embassy in New York.
This contradicts several Indian newspapers’ reports that he hasn’t applied for a visa at all.
Karmapa’s Identity Certificate (IC) became invalidated after he had acquired the passport of the Commonwealth of Dominica. He said he went to the Indian embassy in New York immediately afterwards to turn in the IC. “I further requested them to grant me a visa on my new passport but the people in that office said that they were not authorized to do so and they needed to ask their offices in Delhi about it.”
He said he had a great wish to attend the 13th Tibetan Religious Leaders Conference organized for the end of the November. “I thought before going to Canada; I will have a quick trip to Dharamshala to see His Holiness the Dalai Lama as I haven’t seen him for a long time and to meet Indian authorities.”
In the end, this meeting was postponed due to the passing of the head of Nyingma lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, Kathok Getse Rinpoche.
When the work around the passport wasn’t clearing up, he said he thought of taking it easy for a while as he wasn’t feeling well physically. “I thought it would be good to not rush things around the passport but to work on it carefully.”
Expressing his inability to return so far as the conversation is still underway with the Indian government, he said, “I hope to return just as quickly as I can to see you all.”
The Young Buddhist leader had been supervising the Kagyu Monlam since 2004 and managed to bring about many changes. He said he considered the most important adaptation to be concerning the behavior and the conduct of the monastics.
Calling the Kagyu Monlam one of the most important events of Kagyu calendar, he apologized for not having been able to attend it twice.