Karmapa in Europe 2015 Newsletter

Bonn 27 – 30 August

On behalf of Kamalashila Institut® für Buddhistische Studien und Meditation and the Karma Kagyü Gemeinschaft Deutschland e. V., we are pleased to welcome all friends, students and interested guests to the events accompanying H.H. the XVII. Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje’s second visit to Europe in August and September 2015.

Love, Compassion, Rejoicing, Equanimity. Without Limit. 

The Main Message of Karmapa’s journey to Europe in 2015 is how to integrate spirituality in everyday life. Since we are living in a world that is becoming smaller while our lives become more and more interconnected, we have to find ways to take more responsibility for our surroundings and create better conditions in general for a peaceful and harmonious co-existence. This is a universal task which is based on the cultivation of a clear vision and a good heart.

Love, Compassion, Rejoicing and Equanimity. Without Limit. The motto of the journey manifests four positive mental attitudes, known as “The Four Immeasurables” within the Buddhist context. They are an essential Buddhist teaching and provide a common basis within all Buddhist traditions. From the Buddhist point of view, all living beings without exception are mutually dependent. Therefore, even in our own interest it makes sense to wish for the happiness and freedom from suffering of everybody living in this world – no matter how close or distant they seem to us from our own personal perspective.

Our Website is online now!

The official Website is www.karmapa-europe.eu There you have access to all important information, news and changes.

Additionally we will inform you via Newsletter and Facebook as well!

Information Office

We established an Information-Office for the Karmapa Visit.
Please use our official website as well to gather the information requested.


The ticket sales for the Events with H.H. Karmapa in Bonn will start on

Monday August 3rd at 10 pm CET
on our official website

Standard tickets are valid for all four days for the events of Kamalashila Institute at the Maritim Hotel. They include entry on all four days of the teachings and empowerments by His Holiness the Karmapa at the Maritim Bonn. The tickets cost € 150 to € 399 for all four days depending on the seat location.

All practical details you find here: www.karmapa-europe.eu/en/practical

Benefactor-Tickets | Karmapa in Europe 2015

Like any event of a non-profit association Karmapas journey is borne by supporters and their donations. Every kind of support of H.H.the XVII. Karmapas activities is heartfelt appreciated.
Thus the 2nd tour of the XVII. Karmapa to Europe can become as touching and inspiring as it was in 2014. For the well-being of the individual and for the well-being of all.

The benefactor tickets are available in 3 categories: More details about the Tickets and the services included you can find here:www.karmapa-europe.eu/tickets

You have questions or want to learn more about the options for donations?

Don`t hesitate to contact Simone Dorau-Schweika, she is our Sponsoring commissioner. She will be happy to hear from you and will gladly answer your questions about a sponsorship.

Telefon: +49 (0)176  845 10 300


As it is the case for many charitable events, the Karmapa’s visit is only possible througt the support of many volunteers actively engaged prior to the event as well as during the event. Your charitable contribution helps to maintain moderate admission prices and preserves the spiritual nature of this non-profit event.

If you are interested in volunteering, please consider the following information You can register as a volunteer by filling out our registration questionnaire.

Volunteer Accommodation - A call to the people of Bonn

The Volunteers of the Karmapa event in Maritim Hotel are looking for accommodation in Bonn - many of our volunteers come from far away in order to help realizing the event for all of us.

Time Period: Wednesday 26.08. (arrival) until Monday, 01.09. (departure)

If you want to offer accommodation for one or more volunteers, please contact our volunteer organiser for more info:

Anette Christl | Mobile +49 172  82 940 49 | Mail: volunteer@karmapa-europe.eu

Donate now!

The visit of H.H. 17th Karmapa brings along significant costs for transport, security, travel, accommodations, catering, technics and administration.

Ticket Sales alone don't cover the costs alone. Therefore we are dependent on donations. Please donate today and join us in supporting this visit of H.H. the XVII. Karmapa to Europe.
Any amount is gratefully received.
Donate now !


The Gyalwang Karmapa Talks with Tibetan Youth

July 27, 2015 – Sidhbari, India
From July 1 to August 7, 2015, the Tibetan Children’s Village (TCV) is providing a summer school program to enable Tibetan children living abroad to learn Tibetan language, culture, and history along with the basic principles of Buddhism. Through visits and interaction with TCV children, the program allows Tibetan youth from abroad to experience firsthand the Tibetan exile community in India. These five weeks enable the children to get a feel for the Tibetan spirit, and this helps them to maintain their identity in exile. They can also come to a better understanding and appreciation for the Tibetan cause and aspirations. On the morning of July 27, the students from the summer school came to Sidhbari where the Gyalwang Karmapa spoke with them.
“I am delighted that you, who belong to this new generation of Tibetans, have come to study in Dharamshala our Tibetan language in its spoken and written forms. I’m also very happy that along with your studies, you have come here to visit me, and I extend to you my heartfelt thanks.
“Recently I went to the United States and traveled there for some two months. During that time, I had the chance to meet with many Tibetans who are living in America. I advised them that the most important thing is to preserve the Tibetan language in both its written and spoken forms. This is especially important for Tibetans who were born in America and now live there. Why is that so? Our Tibetan identity relies mainly on our language, and therefore, it is extremely important to keep it alive. If we lose our language, there is no way to learn about Tibetan culture and no way to study the Buddhist teachings of Tibet. Without Tibetan it’s as if the Tibetan people have disappeared―that’s the danger.
“Further it’s important that parents take an interest in their children studying Tibetan. The local Welfare Committees are creating a good environment so that the younger generation of Tibetans take up the study of their own language. They can also pursue many interesting activities related to these studies.
“You now have come to stay in Dharamshala for many weeks, and during this time, you can learn about the Tibetan world here. Especially from the students born in Tibet, who live in the Tibetan Children’s Villages, you can learn about their situation and take an interest in their lives. You have a wonderful opportunity to study Tibetan and develop your ability to speak and read it.
“I would like to specially thank all those who are giving their support to these studies―your parents, the sponsors, and the teachers and staff of the Tibetan Children’s Village.
“It is key for you to remember that although you were born and grew up in a foreign country, your flesh and bones come from Tibetan parents. Likewise, in order to preserve the essence of who you are, which is so important, you need to know your Tibetan language; therefore, you should do all you can to preserve and sustain it. This is something you should keep in mind.
“Especially the Tibetans living in Tibet have sacrificed their precious lives and valuable resources for the sake of the truth about Tibet and its future. We should take as a role model their example of great efforts and inspired courage.” With this praise the Karmapa closed his talk.



KARMAPA • "All beings are BUDDHA by NATURE"

The nature of all sentient beings from ants on up is pure, in terms of the ground. In essence it is pure, but in appearance it is obscured or contaminated.

But the appernace of being obscured or contaminated does not harm the pure ground even the slightest. That, in any case, is present in a pure manner. Thus we can place our hopes in and believe in that.

What we can believe is that no matter how many wrongs and misdeeds we have done, at all times our nature is present in a stainless manner. It cannot ever be blackened or contaminated by our wrongs. Thus all the wrongs we have done and mistakes we have made in this life can be repaired, and we have at any moment the opportunity to become a good person. This is what I understand it to teach.

Therefore I would like to ask you to take this opportunity you have now and make the effort to become a good person and bring meaning to your life.


Karmapa, Pema Chödrön endorse Buddhist art “caretaking” project - Lion's Roar


“Time is running out. Earthquake, fire, flood, armed conflict, and political upheaval threaten Buddhist sacred art in monasteries,” says the new website of Treasure Caretaker Training, a registered non-profit is dedicated to saving endangered sacred art.
Launched in 2014 by Ann Shaftel, an art conservator, the project trains “treasure caretakers” such as monks and nuns in techniques such as digital documentation of precious objects, video interviews of elders, risk assessment and disaster management.
The project works with monasteries, museums, and universities in India, Bhutan, Nepal, Europe, and North America to help protect Buddhist art such as paintings, statuary, costumes, instruments, and other sacred objects. Participants are also trained to use smartphones and tablets to interview elders.
“Elders hold the history of the object in the oral history tradition. If an elder dies and their story is not recorded, then the history of that object can be lost to future generations,” says Ann Shaftel, the Project Director.
His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, one of the project’s advisors and mentors, along with Pema Chödrön, spoke of the need to preserve and protect sacred Buddhist art. “It is of great concern to me that over the last sixty years so much of the priceless heritage of Tibetan Buddhism has vanished, not just through theft and deterioration, but because of lack of knowledge and skill in preservation. Over the last twenty years alone far too many irreplaceable works of art such as thangkas, statues, dance costumes, texts, and other sacred artifacts have been lost to future generations.”

“At our monastery we monks take turns to look after our valuable things,” said Venerable Khenrab Senge, a Tibetan monk who took part in a training session in Sikkim, India in 2014. “Because of this training I learned that there are many modern and easy ways to protect our monasteries’ valuable treasures which can reduce the risk of damage, loss and theft, and keep our treasures protected and safe for many years.”


Tenth Traleg Rinpoche located, recognized - Lion's Roar


Right: Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche. Photo via maitripacenter.org. Left: The tenth Traleg Rinpoche. Photo via Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche on Facebook

Following the passing of Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche in July 2012, the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, this spring issued a letter received by Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche that indicated that Traleg Rinpoche’s successor had been born and would be found in Zama Village in Batong, Tibet.
That successor, Traleg Yangse Rinpoche, has now been officially recognized by Thrangu Monastery Tibet, under the guidance of the Karmapa and Thrangu Rinpoche.
According to a statement released today via E-Vam Institute, “On 13 July 2015, Lodro Nyima Rinpoche and Drupon Rinchen Tseling-la led the chief committee members of Thrangu Monastery Tibet to Zama Village in Batong where they found Traleg Yangse Rinpoche’s family waiting outside their home.”
Until the young Rinpoche’s enthronement takes place, Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, head of Thrangu Monastery, recommends students continue to recite swift return prayers for Traleg Rinpoche.
You can read the full announcement on E-Vam Institute’s Facebook page.


Indian Express: Karmapa back in the dock — what now?

shwani Sharma recalls 2011 case against Ogyen Trinley Dorje, in which HC wants him prosecuted. 

The Karmapa’s followers believe he can’t be prosecuted.
The Trust may appeal against the HC order. 

Written by Ashwani Sharma | Published on:July 13, 2015 2:37 am

What is the case against the Karmapa?

Ogyen Trinley Dorje, 30, the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa and head of the 900-year-old Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism, is accused in a case of alleged illegal purchase, in 2011, of 52 kanals of land by the Karma Garchen Trust, Sidhwari (Dharamshala), of which he is chairman. Under Section 118 of the HP Tenancy and Land Reforms Act, non-agriculturists and non-Himachalis cannot buy land in Himachal Pradesh without the government’s permission. The Trust allegedly struck the deal with Dharamshala businessman K P Bhardwaj, also accused in the case.

How did the deal come to light?

On January 26, 2011, the Una district police intercepted Bhardwaj’s Scorpio (HP36A 0444) during a routine check at the Mehatpur border with Punjab, and recovered Rs 1 crore in gunny bags stuffed under the seats. Two people, including the driver, were arrested and charged with cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy. Police investigations revealed that the cash was being brought from Majnu Ka Tila in Delhi, allegedly to pay Bhardwaj for the Rs 5 crore deal. The cash  allegedly belonged to the Karmapa’s Trust, and had been handed over to the couriers the previous day by Ragvay Chhosang, the Trust’s cashier, who had allegedly carried Rs 21 lakh himself.

What happened then?

The following day, the police searched the Gyuto Monastery at Sidhwari, the seat of the Karmapa, and recovered  unaccounted foreign currency. Subsequently, evidence emerged to suggest that foreign currency would be ferried to Majnu Ka Tila and to be illegally converted into Indian rupees, and that the Rs 1 crore seized at Mehatpur too had been ‘converted’. One Rinjhin Wangmo allegedly handled the transactions.

Was the Karmapa personally involved?

The police interrogated him, both on the Trust’s land deal with Bhardwaj and on the foreign cash in his monastery. He denied any role or knowledge of transactions by Trust officials, and said the foreign money was part of offerings and donations received at the monastery. In the chargesheet filed in an Una court, the police named him as the 10th accused in the case and charged him with conspiracy — arguing that the seized cash was hawala money, the land transaction was illegal, and that as chairman of the Trust, he had been in the know.

How did the state government respond?

As several Tibetan leaders expressed unhappiness over the allegations against the Karmapa, the government used Section 321 of the CrPC (withdrawal from prosecution) to file an application before the Judicial Magistrate (Class I), Una, asking that proceedings be dropped because the evidence against the Karmapa was insufficient. The court accepted the plea on May 21, 2012. Trials of the other accused remain pending.

How did the Himachal Pradesh High Court come into picture?

Sikkim-based NGO Denzong Nang-Ten Sung-kyob Tsogpa, which is opposed to the Karmapa, challenged the legality of the state government’s plea, arguing that there was enough evidence to proceed against the chairman of the Trust involved in the land deal and illegal movement of cash. This week, High Court Justice Sureshwar Thakur set aside the Una court’s order and directed the government and state DGP to proceed against the Karmapa as per law. DGP Sanjay Kumar has said the police are studying the HC order. “The case is already in court, which had dropped charges against the Karmapa. The government will take a call as per the law and court orders,” he said.

How has the Karmapa’s Trust responded?

The was no immediate reaction. The Karmapa’s followers believe he can’t be prosecuted. The Trust may appeal against the HC order. The Enforcement Directorate, which had investigated the foreign currency case too had ultimately dropped proceedings.


- See more at: http://indianexpress.com/article/explained/karmapa-back-in-the-dock-what-now-3/#sthash.vof9Y3kz.dpuf


Support for beleaguered Karmapa pours in from all quarters - Hindustan Times

Naresh K Thakur, Hindustan Times, Dharamsala| Jul 12, 2015 

Days after the Himachal Pradesh high court ordered criminal proceedings against him in the 2011 foreign exchange violation case, support has starting pouring in for Ogyen Trinley Dorje, the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa who is the head of the Karma Kagyu school, one of the four main schools of Tibetan Buddhism, from all quarters, particularly the Buddhist community spread across the Himalayas.

A bit disappointed but optimistic, the followers of the 30-year-old leader feel he would "come out clean" and that it was time the Indian government took the initiative to resolve the issue to avoid alienating Buddhists residing in a "strategic border area."

They have categorically blamed a rival group owing allegiance to Trinley Thay Dorje, a claimant to the title of the Karmapa, for trying to implicate Ogyen and have alleged the NGO that filed the petition in the high court, Denzong Nang-Ten Sung-Kyob Tsogpa (DNST), was backed by the Thay camp.

"He is a highly revered religious leader for the Buddhist population residing in the Himalayas. We're disappointed but not broken as we know he's innocent and will come out clean," says Jambay Wangdue when reached over phone.

Wangdue hails from Tawang region and is chairman of the Karmik and Adhyatmik (Chos-Rig) department in the Arunachal Pradesh government.

"We've full faith in the Karmapa and the entire Buddhist population in the state stands in solidarity with him," he added. 
Devotees from another north-eastern state, Sikkim, which has a large Buddhist population, expressed similar views about their revered leader.

"We're very disappointed by the high court order. An atmosphere of despair and disappointment prevails in the entire state," said Sonam Lama, MLA from Sangha, India's only assembly constituency that has no territorial boundaries and is reserved for reserved for the Buddhist clergy with only monks and nuns as the electorate. "The monastic community in Sikkim," he said, "Is feeling disheartened ever since the news was heard and we're trying to keep them in high spirits. I will write to the Indian as well as the Himachal Pradesh government to resolve the issue.  DNST is part of a conspiracy hatched by the rival camp and they also try to instigate people in Sikkim against the Karmapa."

The Sikkim legislative assembly had adopted a resolution moved by Sonam to take Ogyen to the Rumtek monastery, the exiled seat of the Karmapa. Sikkim chief minister Pawan Chamling too has pledged to bring Karmapa and "install" him at the Rumtek monastery on many occasions.

The Indian government has banned both Ogyen and Thay from entering the Rumtek monastery. The Karmapa's followers in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, which is dominated by Buddhists, to whom this reporter talked on phone, said they too stood in solidarity with their leader and hoped it would all end soon.

Meanwhile, Tibetan activist and writer Tenzin Tsundue, who was first to come out in open support of the Karmapa when the controversy erupted in 2011, says the Indian government's move to prosecute the latter would alienate the country's "strategic border population," many of whom are followers of the Karmapa, who is also a potential successor of the Dalai Lama.

About the foreign currency haul controversy, he said: "The first incident in Una district was the aftermath of a fallout between two businessmen. As far as seizure of foreign currency in the Gyuto monastery (residence of the Karmapa in Dharamsala) is concerned, every monastery, like Hindu temples, receives donations. Dragging the Karmapa into the controversy is something we can't comprehend."


17th Karmapa’s brush with controversies continues - The Tribune

Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service
Dharamsala, July 12

Ogyen Trinley Dorjee, the 17th Karmapa, has been running into controversies since his recognition as the head of the Kagyu Sect and his mysterious escape from Chinese controlled Tibet to India.
Row over recognition

Ogyen Trinley Dorjee was born on June 26, 1985, in a nomad community of Bakor in Eastern Tibet. He was recognised as reincarnation of the 16th Karmapa by Dalai Lama in June 1992.
However, one of the prominent teachers of Kagyu, Shamar Rinpoche, refused to recognise Ogyen Trinley Dorjee as the 17th Karmapa. He instead claimed that Thaye Trinley Dorjee was the real 17th Karmapa.
In May 2012, the Himachal government issued directions against referring Ogyen \Trinley Dorjee as Karmapa in an official communcation. The directions were issued in response to a communication by the Una administration in which it had referred to Ogyen Trinley Dorjee as the 17th Karmapa. Shamar Rinpoche had also raised objections.
Later, a third candidate, Dava Sangpo Dorjee, also claimed for the office and title. At present, he is in Nepal. The situation has split up Kagyu followers all over the world.
However, despite repeated pleas from Shamar Rinpoche, Dalai Lama and the Central Tibetan Administration recognised Ogyen Trinley Dorjee as the 17th Karmapa.
Controversy surrounding escape from China
Ogyen Trinley Dorjee escaped Tsurphu monastery in Tibet on December 28,1999. He arrived at Dharamsala on January 5, 2000, after trekking about 1,100 kilometres escaping the Chinese Army. Tai Situ Rinpoche, one of the teachers of Kagyu school, reportedly managed the escape of Ogyen Trinley Dorjee from China. He wanted to take him to Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim that is the traditional seat of Karmapas or the Black Hat Lamas in India. The assets of monastery are pegged at Rs 1,500 crore. However, the Union government did not allow Ogyen Trinley Dorjee to move to Rumtek allegedly under the influence of Shamar Rinpoche.
At Dharamsala, Ogyen Trinley Dorjee was kept in Gyoto Tantric Monastery under the vigil of intelligence and security agencies. He was not allowed to move to other parts of the country and foreign countries for many years.
Many doubted that Ogyen Trinley Dorjee could escape from Tibet with the knowledge of the authorities who were keeping an eye on him.
It was only in the last few years that the Indian government allowed Ogyen Trinley Dorjee to travel to other parts of the country and abroad. He still can’t visit Rumtek Monastery.
The cash controversy

In January 2011, the Una police caught the driver of a Dharamsala-based businessman with Rs 1 crore. The cash pertained to a land deal between the Karma Garchen Trust headed by Ogyen Trinley Dorjee and the businessman. Following the seizure, the Una police raided the Gyoto Tantric Monastery where the 17th Karmapa had been staying since his escape from China in 1999.
During the raids, the police recovered Rs 6 crore in 26 currencies and Rs 53 lakh in Indian currency from the Gyoto Tantric monastery.



Tibetan monk Karmapa Urgyen Trinley faces money-laundering case in India - ANI News

Shimla/ Dharamsala, July 10 (ANI): A court dismissed a ruling to drop charges against Karmapa Urgyen Trinley, a top Tibetan monk who is seen as a potential successor to the Dalai Lama, and is to be prosecuted for money-laundering charges, said a government lawyer. The Himachal Pradesh high court directed authorities to open criminal proceedings against Trinley over the recovery of around $1.4 million in foreign currency during a raid on his Buddhist monastery in Dharamsala four years ago. The police had filed charges against 10 people including the Karmapa, but a district court had dismissed the case in 2012 in a verdict. Advocate general of Himachal Pradesh, Shrawan Dogra, said the district court's decision was overturned. His office denies wrongdoing and says the money comes from the thousands of often wealthy followers who have visited the Karmapa every year since he arrived in India. A member of Tibetan parliament-in-exile, Karma Chophel, said they might appeal against the verdict in the Supreme Court.

A top Tibetan monk, 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje, who is seen as a potential successor to the Dalai Lama is to be prosecuted for money-laundering after Himachal Pradesh High Court overturned a decision to drop charges against him. Around $1.4 million in foreign currency was recovered during a raid on his Buddhist monastery in Dharamsala four years ago.
Posted by Indiatimes News on 2015年7月9日


Tibetans- in-exile in Dharamsala disappointed by high court order against spiritual leader - ANI News

Dharamsala, July 10 (ANI): Tibetans living in exile in hill town of Dharamsala were left disappointed after a court on Thursday refused to drop charges against 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje in the 2011 foreign currency haul case. The 30-year old who is the current embodiment of Karmapa Lama, a sacred role in Tibetan Buddhism, was implicated by the Indian police in December 2011 following a seizure of $1.4 million from his monastery in Himachal Pradesh. However, the high court reopened the case and refused to drop charges against the Tibetan spiritual leader. Meanwhile, another Tibetan-in-exile, Lobsang Wangya expressed shock at the court's ruling. The Karmapa is close to the Dalai Lama, Tibet's exiled spiritual leader.

Why Karmapa is no stranger to controversy - Hindustan Times

Naresh K Thakur, Hindustan Times, DHARAMSALA | Jul 10, 2015 

The time around his birth was said to be marked by auspicious omens — three white cranes offering bowl of yoghurt to his mother in dream, birds singing songs, a rainbow appearing on the family tent, sound of a conch shell resonating across the valley and tonnes of various musical instruments reverberating in the hills.

Born on June 26, 1985, in Lhatok of East Tibet, this not so ordinary boy was initially called “Apo Gaga” (Happy brother), until he was at the age of seven discovered to be Ogyen Trinley Dorje, 17th in the Karmapa lineage, the head of the powerful Karma Kagyu school, one of the four main schools of Tibetan Buddhism, and enthroned on September 27, 1992, to the seat.

Now aged 30, he lives in his exiled home, the peaceful hill town Dharamsala, revered by lakhs of followers but always overshadowed by controversies.
While his recognition as the 17th Karmapa has been a subject of controversy, the spiritual leader’s dramatic escape to India still remains a mystery for many, eventually brining him under the scanner of Indian intelligence agencies.

The Karmapa controversy 
Since the death of the 16th Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, in 1981, three claimants to the office and title of the Karmapa have come to the fore. Besides Ogyen, the second is Trinley Thaye Dorje, who lives in Kalingpong in West Bengal.

Both have already been enthroned as the 17th Karmapa, and have been independently performing ceremonial duties in the role. Later a third candidate named Dava Sangpo Dorjee, presently living Nepal, also laid claim for the office and title.

Controversy erupted when two members of the search team, out to look for the 17th Karmapa, separately identified both Ogyen and Dorje as claimants to the title, resulting in a split in the Kagyu sect.

Escape to India

At the age of 14, Ogyen escaped to India through Nepal and appeared at Dharamsala, the headquarters of the Tibetan government-in-exile and Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, in January 2000. For 15 years now he lives in a temporary residence in Gyuto Monastery, under the watchful eye of the Indian intelligence with restrictions on his movement.

The cash haul

On January 28, 2011, another controversy erupted for Ogyen when the Himachal Pradesh police raided the office of the Karmapa-backed Karma Garchen trust and seized unaccounted money valued over `6 crore in currencies of 25 countries, including Chinese Yuan.

The raids were made following seizure of `1 crore from a jeep by Una Police on the interstate border that was allegedly meant for purchase of land by the trust.
Though, Karmapa refuted all allegations stating that the seized money came via donations from his followers, the police made him, among nine others, an accused in the chargesheet filed in the foreign exchange case. His name was dropped later on May 21, 2012.

In soup again

The recent Himachal Pradesh high court order setting aside the trial court order and directing the state government to start criminal proceedings against the spiritual leader has come as a setback to not only him but lakhs of his followers.

“We are a disappointed by the high court order. Since the state government is party in the case, it should take appropriate step to amicably resolve the issue,” said Karma Chophel, a Tibetan lawmaker who represents Kagyu sect in the exiled Parliament.

“Our legal cell met on Thursday and decided to wait for government’s initiative, and move the Supreme Court in case it doesn’t come,” he added.

Who is Karmapa?

The Karmapa lineage is one of the most ancient Tulku lineage in Tibetan Buddhism predating the Dalai Lama lineage by more than two centuries.
The Karmapa heads the Karma Kagyu or “Black Hats”- one of the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Other three schools are Nyingma, Gelug and Sakya.
Though Kagyu is the second oldest school in Tibetan Buddhism, the Karmapas had a lesser role in political history of Tibet and remained confined to spiritual activities only.

The Dalai Lamas, who belong to the newest school “Gelug” or Yellow Hats, for centuries have remained the temporal as well as spiritual head of Tibet, until four years ago when the 14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso devolved his political powers to the elected leadership.

If the institution of Dalai Lama ceases to continue, which current Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso hints often, the Karmapa would become the next religious head of the Tibetans. This is because the 11th Panchen Lama Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, the second most revered spiritual leader in Tibetan Buddhism, is in alleged illegal detention of China and replaced by Gyaincain Norbu, whom the Tibetans don’t recognise.



Top Tibetan monk faces India money-laundering charges - The Guardian

By AFP on July 9, 2015   

  • A top Tibetan monk who is seen as a potential successor to the Dalai Lama is to be prosecuted for money-laundering after an Indian court overturned a decision to drop charges, police said Thursday.

    At a hearing on Wednesday at the Himachal Pradesh High Court, a judge issued an order for authorities to open criminal proceedings against Karmapa Urgyen Trinley over the recovery of around $1 million in foreign currency during a raid on his Buddhist monastery four years ago.

    Although criminal conspiracy charges were filed in the aftermath of the raid, a district court had dismissed the case in 2012 in a verdict that was later appealed and the subject of Wednesday’s hearing.

    “The impugned order of May 21, 2012, passed by the judicial magistrate of Una is quashed and dismissed,” Judge Sureshwar Thakur said in his judgement, a copy which has been obtained by AFP.

    Local police chief Anupam Sharma confirmed that the first step in bringing a prosecution had begun.

    “We have already filed a chargesheet in the court against him,” Sharma told AFP, meaning that police have filed an outline of the evidence against the accused with the court.

    The case dates back to a raid in January 2011 on a monastery in the Himalayan town of Dharamshala in which investigators say stacks of bank notes from 26 different currencies were recovered, including more than $100,000 worth of Chinese yuan.

    The raid came after two people were pulled over by police in a car containing large amounts of cash. During interrogations, the pair said the money was meant for a land deal involving a trust headed by Trinley.

    The 30-year-old Trinley has denied any wrongdoing, saying the bank notes found in the monastery were donations from devotees which had accumulated over the years and that he had no involvement in the land deal.

    The monk is revered by followers as the 17th incarnation of the head of the Karma Kagyu lineage, one of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism.

    He fled Tibet at the turn of the century at the age of 14, reaching India after an eight-day journey by foot and horseback over the Himalayas.

    Since fleeing, he has mainly lived at the Gyuto Monastery in Dharamshala, the northern Indian hill station that is the seat of the Tibetan government in exile.

    Trinley is recognised by both China and the Dalai Lama as the reincarnation of the Karmapa Lama, head of the Karma Kagyu lineage, one of Tibetan Buddhism’s four major schools.

    He is seen as as having the highest profile of a cast of young lamas who could succeed the Dalai Lama who has just turned 80.

    His appearances with the Dalai Lama have fuelled speculation he is being groomed as the Nobel peace laureate’s spiritual successor.

    His spokesman Kunzang Chungyalpa said Trinley has great faith in India’s judicial system.

    “He strongly believes truth will prevail at the end,” he told AFP.