Karmapa To Travel To Varanasi

Dharamshala : 17th Karmapa Uygen Trinley Dorjee Thursday left Dharamsala for the first time after the controversy regarding the recovery of foreign currency from his residential place. The Karmapa left for a month-long tour after permission from security agencies. He would visit Bodhgaya and Varanasi and hold teaching sessions for his followers.

The Karmapa’s office in a statement issued here today said they were deeply grateful to the Indian government for its confidence in His Holiness the Karmapa. Most specifically, we thank the government for kindly approving His Holiness’ travel plans to Varanasi, via Bodhgaya, for his winter retreat and spring teaching of 2011.

His Holiness the Karmapa also expressed his own personal gratitude. “Varanasi is the site of the very first Dharma teaching by Lord Buddha, and also an ancient cradle of Sanskrit culture and learning,” His Holiness said. “This makes it a particularly sacred place for Buddhists. As a follower of Buddha’s teachings and of the Kagyu lineage that springs directly from the sacred ground of India, I feel that such opportunities to visit these sites give great meaning to my life. I am very much looking forward to sharing the Dharma with Dharma friends in Varanasi.”

During his stay in Varanasi, His Holiness the Karmapa is scheduled to confer four days of Dharma teachings, which will be webcast live from March 9 – 12. He will also participate in several other religious ceremonies during his stay.

The annual spring teachings will be held at Vajra Vidya Institute in Sarnath, UP, and made available live over the Internet. After the controversy over currency haul, this is for the first time that Union Government had allowed Karmapa to move out of Dharamsala.

Munish Dixit writes from Baijnath, Kangra district.

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