Dharamsala, Ending speculations of seeking asylum in the US, Tibetan religious head and 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje said he will return to India, most likely in November, as he has undergone medical examinations in the US.
“On the issue of whether I would go back to India or not, personally, I have no special doubts or confusion,” the Karmapa, who escaped as a refugee from China to India in 1999, said in an interview with RFA’s Tibetan Service.
“That’s why, earlier it was planned to go back by the end of June. Prior to going back to India and that too pretty soon, I thought of having talks with the government of India and issue clarifications. It is important because there were a lot of rumours being spread about my stay here.”
“There were even some spreading rumours of me going to China. Therefore, these were matters requiring clarifications and it was imperative to talk and clear the air with the government of India,” the 32-year-old spiritual leader, who heads a 900-year-old lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, said.
“Once, these talks are over and the outcomes are fruitful, I am all set to go to India….I cannot confirm the exact dates. There is a conference of Tibetan religious heads being planned in November in Dharamsala. I consider it important to participate in it. That’s when I am hoping I can go back,” he said.
One reason was to have detailed health checkup and secondly, in these 18 years in India, haven’t had any vacation, said the Karmapa — whose literal meaning is “the one who carries out Buddha activity”.
“And also because of facing all kinds of challenges both inside and outside, had some problems with both body and mind. Therefore, took this opportunity to have a vacation and also to give both body and mind some rest. That’s why stayed here for this long,” he clarified.
The Karmapa fled Tibet and sought refuge in India in January 2000. Ever since, he has mostly lived at the monastery in Sidhbari near Dharamsala.
He is considered the third most important Tibetan religious head after the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama.