Category: Tai Situ Rinpoche
Intelligence agencies in Himachal Pradesh are piqued at the blatant violation of a circular order of the Central ministry of home affairs by a Tibetan refugee having the status of an ordained Lama in his sect of Buddhists.
The question doing the rounds in intelligence circles is, whether the Tibetan refugee, because of his ordained lama status in his Buddhist sect, had the right to literally rebutt the directives of the ministry of home, more so as his status in India is that of a Tibetan refugee.
No, it is not the 17th Karmapa Ugyen Trinley Dorje, currently staying at the Gyuto Ramoche temple near Dharamshala, but the man purportedly masterminding all his moves, Tai Setu Rinpoche of the Sherabling monastery near Baijnath, in Kangra district.
It may be mentioned here that Tai Setu was barred from entering India, allegedly for his links with the powers that be in China. However, on August 4, 1998, the ministry of home affairs, deleted his name figuring in the suspect index, vide their circular.
But the deletion was subject to certain considerations. To quote it: ``The cancellation is subject to Tai Setu Rimpoche alias Situ Rimpoche alias Tai Situ Rimpoche alias Tai Situ, Tibetan refugee/Bhutanese national not indulging in affairs of the Rumtek monastery in Sikkim and in the issue of succession of Karmapa. Any breach of this proviso will render the nullification of the cancellation order."
Recently, a three-day International Karma Kagyu conference was held at Dharamshala, which, reports said, was with the apparent purpose to pressurise New Delhi to shift the 17th Karmapa Ugyen Trinley Dorje to the Rumtek monastery in Sikkim.
Apparently, Tai Situ Rimpoche, the man who produced the "letter of prediction" on the basis of which Ugyen Trinley Dorje was installed as the 17th Karmapa at Tibet's Tsurphu monastery in the summer of 1992, finally broke the silence that he had been maintaining eversince the boy crossed over into India to Dharamshala on January 5 this year, under mysterious circumstances.
According to reports, Tai Situ asked the Karmapa's disciples spread all over the world to assist him in fulfilling his spiritual wishes for which he had come to India. Tai Situ made it clear that the Karmapa should reside in Rumtek monastery, his supreme seat in India.
He is further reported to have said, "I am unhappy, yet not hopelessly disappointed with the inordinate delay. One day, the Karmapa will go to Rumtek and all other monasteries of the Karma Kagyu sect". Interestingly the conference then passed a resolution asking New Delhi to allow Karmapa to go to Rumtek within three months.
The moot point, however, is that when the resolution had been adopted a day earlier, it had been decided that alongwith the permission to go to Rumtek, the Karmapa also been given the nod to visit Tai Situ's Sherabling monastery near Baijnath. Tai Situ, however, intervened and got the portion deleted, the report said.
But that he does not fall foul with the ministry of home affairs he is also reported to have said, "I am not interested in politics. Sikkim is also a state of India. Therefore, he can reside in Rumtek as the people of Sikkim also want him there," adding "we have no hidden agenda, we are here to practice religion. The Indian government and people have been very kind to us for the past 42 years. Because of the kindness of India, we have been able to preserve our culture."
Apparently from day one, since the Karmapa landed at Dharamshala, all eyes have been on Tai Situ Rinpoche. There have also been reports that he has allegedly been the brain behind the 15-year-old Ugyen Trinley Dorje crossing over to India.
Seeds of discord have already started. Yeshey Jungney of the International Karma Kagyu Forum recently told newspersons that several Karma Kagyu centres from India and the world have sent representations to Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, urging him not to permit the "Chinese-sponsored Karmapa" to visit Sikkim which is the headquarters of the Kagyu lineage.
Likewise Yaypo S Yongdak, chairman of a Sikkim-based Buddhist organisation Denzong Nang-Ten Sung- Kyob Tsogpa said that any attempt to extend legitimacy to Ugyen Trinley Dorje as the 17th Karmapa would not be tolerated by Kagyus all over the world and recalled that in 1992, Tai Situ Rinpoche and his friends had made unsuccessful attempts to grab the Karmapa Charitable Trust, founded by the 16th Karmapa.