Karmapa's absence not behind postponement of Tibetan Conference

Last Updated: Mon, Dec 03, 2018 23:08 hrs

[India], Dec 3 (ANI): Amitabh Mathur, a former adviser on Tibetan Affairs, confirmed that Karmapa Lama's absence is not the reason behind the indefinite postponement of the 13th Tibetan Religious Leaders Conference in Dharamshala.

Mathur, who was, until recently, an adviser on Tibetan Affairs to the Government of India, said the conference has been postponed due to two reasons - the sudden death of Kathok Getse Rinpoche, head of the Nyingma School, and an upcoming annual aspirational prayer season called Monlam.

"There has been unnecessary speculation about his possibility of his (Karmapa Lama) not attending as one of the reasons for postponement of the conference, as reported by Tibetan newspapers about the postponement. But, that is not true at all. I don't think his attendance was an issue in the postponement but purely a mark of respect to the late Getse Rinpoche. However, given his very special place in Tibetan Buddhist hierarchy it would be good if he can attend and contribute to the discussions," he said.

The 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, is out of the country and in the USA since May 2017. He was expected to return to India to participate in 13th Religious Conference on Tibetan Buddhism that was to be organised at Dharamshala from November 29 to December 1.

Mathur added, "Now, from what I hear, he is very keen to return quickly and to preside over his school's Monlam in Bodh Gaya, which will start in Mid December till end January or early February. If it (conference) can be scheduled during that time perhaps, yes, he will attend, but on the issue of His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, the Karmapa has reaffirmed his loyalty to him time and again. And he also accepts the authority of the Central Tibetan Administration, as now the political theme of the Tibetans. He also has a great rapport with the Sikyong, Dr Sangay. Dr Sangay, in fact, has a great rapport with all Tibetan senior monks. So, on the issue of His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, Karmapa will certainly back whatever is decided by his holiness".

Over 150 invitations had been sent to all lineage holders and heads of monasteries in India and Nepal. Subjects to be discussed during the event included challenges before Tibetan Buddhism including the growing incidence of scandals and misconduct by Tibetan monks.

The issue of reincarnation of the 14th Dalai Lama was also part of the agenda.

Mathur believes that the agenda will not undergo any change with the postponement of the conference. He added, "The whole conference was very carefully planned by Dr Sangay in consultation with the monastic Heads and His Holiness Dalai Lama, who has great trust and confidence in Dr Sangay. So, I don't think it will undergo any change. I haven't heard of any discordant voice about the agenda. So, I think it should remain the same". (ANI)