Karmapa may finally grace his rightful seat at Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim after 17 years
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The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje may finally grace his rightful seat at Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim for the first time in 17 years if an official circular issued by the state government is anything to go by.
A circular issued by the Sikkim Government under the order of the state Governor states that the state has appointed Acharya Tshering Lama of Simick Chandey as the Chairman of the Ecclesiastical Affairs Department for welcoming the spiritual leader in the state. The circular also mentions the young head of Karma Kagyu tradition be accorded a cabinet rank reception.
He is responsible for all the arrangements for the visit and also to make a smooth rightful seating of Karmapa at the monastery.
According to a source, the initiative from the State of Sikkim is a welcoming sign. However, the Karmapa office here has not yet received any confirmation letter from either the Central Tibetan Administration or New Delhi.
The source added that it is just the beginning of a process and it would depend on how and when the appointed official approaches the central government to initiate the process.
The announcement circulating in the social media was made on July 6, coinciding with the birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Sikkim government and especially Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling have repeatedly asked the central government to permit Gyalwang Karmapa to visit Rumtek Monastery stating the wish of his followers to see him take his seat there.
Originally built under the guidance of the 12th Karmapa Changchub Dorje in the mid-1700s, Rumtek was rebuilt by the pervious Karmapa after fleeing into exile in 1959. Since, it has been the seat of Karmapa lineage in India.
However, due to the controversy surrounding the real reincarnation of the 16th Karmapa Rangjung Rigpai Dorjee and the mysterious circumstances surrounding the current Karmapa’s escape from Tibet, India has so far prohibited him from visiting Rumtek.
In a recent interview with Times of India, the 31-year old said, “Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim holds special significance for me but I cannot go there due to a dispute. Sikkim is a part of India. It is an integral part of India. Rumtek is the seat of my predecessor. Unfortunately, I have not been able to go. But I do understand there is a court case.”
He also added that he does not understand the reason why he has been denied despite so many requests.