Cops raid at the Karmapas office

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Re: Cops raid at the Karmapas office

Postby Mr. G » Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:53 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
mr. gordo wrote:Can you cite any references for your accusations or is this rumor based on some inference?
I sincerely hope you are being tongue in cheek otherwise I will have to seriously reccommend medication and counselling for paranoid disorders!


I'm not being tongue in cheek, as I'm merely questioning your slip-shod brand of gonzo propaganda.
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Re: Cops raid at the Karmapas office

Postby Mr. G » Tue Feb 08, 2011 7:05 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:I sincerely hope you are being tongue in cheek otherwise I will have to seriously reccommend medication and counselling for paranoid disorders!



You do realize that the analogy you made is completely blown out of proportion, yes?
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Re: Cops raid at the Karmapas office

Postby Blue Garuda » Tue Feb 08, 2011 8:13 pm

conebeckham wrote:Giving with good intention and devotion is the most important thing. We're not talking about dictators here, are we? We're talking about the Karmapa, and the Karma Kagyu lineage.

It's true that there are a variety of factors involved in Dana, but the main thing is devotion and aspiration. Recall the story of the Dog's Tooth.

Yeshe--As for the "amount" of money--It's not about that. Another Red Herring. The investigation/sting/raid/whatever-you-want-to-call-it occurred shortly after the Kagyu Monlam. If I were looking for cash at the Kagyu Administation's offices, that is certainly when I'd go and look for it.....anyone who's been to a big Tibetan Ceremony knows that the envelopes and cash left on the thrones, along with all those Katags, is going to be pretty sizable. People make offerings at big pujas. The monks collect it. The question is, what should they do with it once it's collected? If India won't let them deposit it in a bank, then what?

There was a pending land purchase---if you guys actually READ the reports, you'll see that this appears to be the "central issue" the local government is really addressing.......


Hi

I'm not jumping to conclusions to damn the Karmapa, but neither am I convinced by the defences:

Firstly, the cost of supporting monks in training is not great, and if the money was for that it could not simultaneously support them and accumulate in wads elsewhere.

Secondly, mention land deals, local government and lots of cash in India and everyone I know in that country would assume it was for bribes. Maybe it was for bribes or maybe no bribes were paid - hence the police may whip things up as they also like their slice of the action.

Best simply not to conclude guilt or innocence but await more factual evidence.
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Re: Cops raid at the Karmapas office

Postby conebeckham » Tue Feb 08, 2011 8:45 pm

What I find most interesting about the whole thing is not really What Happened, (though I'm curious to see how it all resolves...), but what subtexts and agendas come out of the woodwork, not only from Indian and State Officials, and the Media, but also the commentators, and even those here on Dharma Wheel. The contingent who are burning the books, those who feel the need to march, those who comment on-line on news stories with Anti-Tibetan or Anti-Dalai Lama rhetoric, those who comment on the corrupt nature of Indian politics, those who leverage this story to prove "Their Karmapa" is the right one, whether it's the so-called "Delhi Karmapa," the "Sherpa Karmapa"...everyone thinks they have a horse in this race, it seems. I think we need to let the facts speak for themselves, and allow the authorities to complete their investigations.....
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Re: Cops raid at the Karmapas office

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Feb 08, 2011 8:57 pm

Buffeted by the winds of attachment and aversion
with ignorance at the the helm,
the ship of mind
dashed against the rocks of emotions
quickly sinks to the depths
of the ocean of samsara!
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Cops raid at the Karmapas office

Postby Mr. G » Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:35 pm

His flow of thought untempered by faith and earnest endeavour,
He's fond of a fight. Though he stays in the lonely mountains,
His mind is always distracted by things of the senses.
This contemplative is a carnivore asleep in the mountains.
- Sakya Pandita

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Re: Cops raid at the Karmapas office

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:41 pm

:twothumbsup:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Cops raid at the Karmapas office

Postby heart » Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:46 pm

I don't get what is the big deal. A great Lama get a lot of offerings and want to buy a big piece of land to make a monastery, a three-year retreat a guest-house for his students and so on. His various secretaries and helpers do things "the indian way", what is that is so strange or suspicious?

And Greg, I find your posts extra strange, it must be 15 years ago or more I heard about Shamar Rinpoche and his fondness for little expensive red sport-cars. He also built a great Shedra pretty central in Delhi, you think that was for free?

My own master build shedras and monasteries and guesthouses and stupas and so on, it all cost money. A great amount of monks and nuns, khenpos and yogis, is also an expensive thing to have.

I must say I am happy they do this work because I am one of the people that benefit from it. The indulgence of spots-car or a girlfriend or an expensive watch is no problem for me.

/magnus
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Re: Cops raid at the Karmapas office

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:50 pm

There are more projections happening in this thread then at an internationally reknowned film festival!
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Cops raid at the Karmapas office

Postby Blue Garuda » Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:06 pm

conebeckham wrote:What I find most interesting about the whole thing is not really What Happened, (though I'm curious to see how it all resolves...), but what subtexts and agendas come out of the woodwork, not only from Indian and State Officials, and the Media, but also the commentators, and even those here on Dharma Wheel. The contingent who are burning the books, those who feel the need to march, those who comment on-line on news stories with Anti-Tibetan or Anti-Dalai Lama rhetoric, those who comment on the corrupt nature of Indian politics, those who leverage this story to prove "Their Karmapa" is the right one, whether it's the so-called "Delhi Karmapa," the "Sherpa Karmapa"...everyone thinks they have a horse in this race, it seems. I think we need to let the facts speak for themselves, and allow the authorities to complete their investigations.....


Absolutely.

I think we should all await the evidence.

You list a lot of people who are commenting negatively, yet others publish pro-Karmapa posts when we simply don't have enough information. There is a balance here - nobody is right or wrong.......yet.

Yes, I do comment on corruption in India , and I have a feeling that because of this corruption we may never find out the facts we need in order to examine this issue.

maitri

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Re: Cops raid at the Karmapas office

Postby tamdrin » Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:15 pm

Indulgence in sports cars, girlfriends, and expensive watches no problem. LOL that is funny because although I may want those things myself when Tibetan Lama's do such things and then teach renunciation to their students they lose some of their credibility and become more like Osho or some other such teacher...
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Re: Cops raid at the Karmapas office

Postby Mr. G » Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:22 pm

heart wrote:My own master build shedras and monasteries and guesthouses and stupas and so on, it all cost money. A great amount of monks and nuns, khenpos and yogis, is also an expensive thing to have.


Yes, and in addition, retreat houses, hospitals and orphanages cost money. The Sakya lineage is involved in these interests as I'm sure the Kagyu's are.

In my short time in India, yes, bribes are a de-facto standard from what I've witnessed. However, this takes nothing away from the lineages or the lineage holders. Just my perspective though. Bribes to politicians in America from corporate lobbyists are a def-facto standard too. ;)
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Re: Cops raid at the Karmapas office

Postby conebeckham » Tue Feb 08, 2011 11:06 pm

yet others publish pro-Karmapa posts when we simply don't have enough information.


I thought to include the explicitly Pro-Karmapa "faction" in those that march.....

In any case, here in USA at least you're innocent until proven guilty. Frankly, I prefer to think the best of my teachers, and of Lamas in general, unless I have cause to believe otherwise. I am sure mistakes were made, but the magnitude of the response seems so far out of scale compared to the facts thus far presented, that I can't help but think the truth has currently taken a back seat. I fully support HHDL's position that an investigation be done. And I think we would all benefit from greater transparency in Tibetan Accounting, in the long run.

I'm pretty sure HHGK Orgyen Tinley Dorje is not interested in driving around in red sports cars and 5 star hotels. I'd bet he focuses his energies more on establishing some sort of Independence for himself, and his lineage, and in benefiting the lineage and beings. Again, these are my thoughts, and others may think whatever they wish.
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Re: Cops raid at the Karmapas office

Postby ground » Wed Feb 09, 2011 2:38 am

tamdrin wrote:Havn't these Lama's heard of banks. I mean who keeps hundreds of thousands of dollars of cash in boxes lying around in their homes. That is a little silly IMHO, as the Dalai Lama has said the Karmapa should then keep his money in a sort of Trust which will be dispersed for his projects.


Banks are not reliable. Bank accounts are accessible to political execution.

Whatever ... this is just another thread about attachments to ideals/fabrications in the context of persons.

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Re: Cops raid at the Karmapas office

Postby heart » Wed Feb 09, 2011 5:58 am

tamdrin wrote:Indulgence in sports cars, girlfriends, and expensive watches no problem. LOL that is funny because although I may want those things myself when Tibetan Lama's do such things and then teach renunciation to their students they lose some of their credibility and become more like Osho or some other such teacher...


So if you have a girlfriend you can't have renunciation? I think renunciation have very little to do with those things.

/magnus
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Re: Cops raid at the Karmapas office

Postby heart » Wed Feb 09, 2011 6:02 am

gregkavarnos wrote:There are more projections happening in this thread then at an internationally reknowned film festival!


Sorry Greg, I was pretty sure you sided with Shamar Rinpoches Karmapa and it sure looked like like you were enjoying yourself a little to much in this thread. Please accept my excuses if this isn't so.

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Re: Cops raid at the Karmapas office

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Feb 09, 2011 7:55 am

Sided? What is this a football match? Should I crack out my team scarf and call over a few hooligan mates of mine to beat the crap out of opposing supporters?
Is there something in my posts which specifically accuses any individual of anything?
Is there something in my posts which specifically supports one individual over another?

NO!

Are there plenty of hysterical over reactions in this thread? Ohhhh many more than one could possibly count!
And since when has enjoying oneself in an interesting discussion been a negative trait?

Chill out people, this too will blow over.
:namaste:
PS For clarities sake, and to be polite, the correct title for the "other" Karmapa is His Holiness the Gyalwa Karmapa Thaye Tinley Dorje. Actually to each "side" either Karmapa, may they both have long lives and benefit countless beings through their teachings and actions, is the "other" Karmapa :shock: . There is no "Sharmapas" Karmapa and there is no "Chinese" Karmapa, they both have names and titles. Best to use them.
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Re: Cops raid at the Karmapas office

Postby Mr. G » Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:55 pm

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/08/world ... .html?_r=1

By JIM YARDLEY

DHARAMSALA, India — His daring escape from Tibet seemed out of a movie. Then only 14, Ogyen Trinley Dorje was one of Tibetan Buddhism’s most revered incarnate lamas, and his journey through the icy passes of the Himalayas was viewed as a major embarrassment for China. The youth arrived in India in early 2000 to a euphoric greeting from Tibetan exiles.

India, though, was less certain about what to do with him. Intelligence agencies, suspicious of his loyalties and skeptical of his miraculous escape, interrogated him and tightly restricted his travel. He remains mostly confined to the mountainside monastery of a Tibetan sect different from his own. And that spurred an idea: He wanted his own monastery. Eventually, his aides struck a deal to buy land.

Now, the 17th Karmapa, as he is known, has seen his quest for a monastery unexpectedly set off a national furor, fanned by Indian media that have tapped into growing public anxiety about Chinese intentions on their disputed border.

The Indian police are investigating the Karmapa after discovering about $1 million in foreign currency at his residence, including more than $166,000 in Chinese currency. Flimsily sourced media accounts have questioned whether he is a Chinese spy plotting a monastic empire along the border.

“Monk or Chinese Plant?” asked an editorial in The Tribune, a national English-language newspaper.

Many Tibetans scoff at the spying allegations. But the episode starkly exposes the precarious position of the Dalai Lama and the exiled movement of Tibetan Buddhism he has led since he fled China in 1959. The Tibetan cause depends heavily on Indian good will, particularly as China has intensified efforts to discredit and infiltrate their exile organization.

Tensions are rising between India and China over a variety of issues, including Tibet. Sophisticated hackers, traced to China, have penetrated computer systems in Dharamsala and at Indian government ministries. China has long blamed Tibetan exiles in India for fueling instability across the border in Tibet. But now India, too, seems more wary of Tibetan activities; the Indian police are investigating new Tibetan monasteries near the border for possible ties to China, a police official said.

Meanwhile, Chinese leaders are betting that the Tibetan movement will fracture after the eventual death of the Dalai Lama, who is 74; they have even declared their intent to name his successor.

Indian suspicions about the Karmapa are a particular problem. He has a global following and, at 25 years old, he is viewed as a potential future leader of the movement — a possibility deeply compromised if Indian authorities consider him a foreign agent.

“What Tibetans must address is the idea that Tibetans could be considered a security threat to India and not an asset,” said Tsering Shakya, a leading Tibet specialist. “But the idea that a boy at the age of 14 was selected as a covert agent by a foreign government to destabilize India — and the assumption the boy will assume leadership of the Tibetan movement and eventually work against India — is worthy of a cheap spy novel.”

For the past week, Tibetans have rallied behind the Karmapa, with thousands of monks holding candlelight vigils at his residence. Tibet’s political leaders, including the Dalai Lama, have called on the Karmapa’s aides to correct any financial irregularities but have dismissed any suspicions about the Karmapa’s being a Chinese agent.

“Baseless, all baseless,” said Samdhong Rinpoche, the prime minister of the Tibetan government in exile. “Not a fraction of anything that has a base of truth.”

Many Indian intelligence agents have distrusted the Karmapa from the start. He was a unique case, since both the Dalai Lama and the Chinese government had endorsed him. He would explain his escape as an act of principle; he was being pressured to denounce the Dalai Lama, and Chinese officials also were forbidding him to study with high lamas outside China. Many investigators were unconvinced, wondering how such an important figure could slip so easily over the border.

On Wednesday, when the procession of monks arrived to offer support, the Karmapa described the current controversy as a “misunderstanding” and expressed confidence in the fairness of Indian authorities.

“We all have taken refuge and settled here,” he said. “India, in contrast to Communist China, is a democratic country that is based on the rule of law. Therefore, I trust that things will improve and the truth will become clear in time.”

Within Tibetan Buddhism, the Karmapa ranks third after the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama, with each man believed to be reincarnated through the centuries. After the death of the previous Karmapa, a bitter feud broke out between the high lamas charged with identifying his successor: at least two other people now claim to be the Karmapa, though a majority of Tibetans, including the Dalai Lama, recognize Ogyen Trinley Dorje.

But this dispute has complicated efforts by the Karmapa to claim the monastery built by his predecessor in the Indian border region of Sikkim. Indian officials have blocked him from taking ownership until claims from rival Tibetan factions are resolved — which is why, given the uncertainty over the duration of the legal fight, the Karmapa sought land for a new monastery, his aides say.

The land deal led to the current controversy. On Jan. 26, India’s Republic Day, police officers apprehended two men at a highway checkpoint after discovering about $219,000 in Indian rupees inside their car — money they said had come from the Karmapa. The next day, the police raided the Gyuto Monastery and found boxes of cash from more than 20 countries, including China; officers arrested the financial officer overseeing the Karmapa’s charitable trust and continue to investigate the Karmapa himself.

“He ran from China,” said P. L. Thakur, the police inspector general in Dharamsala. “Tibet is under China. Why and how has this currency come here? For what purpose? Why was it being kept there?”

Naresh Mathur, one of the Karmapa’s lawyers, said the money was from the devotees who for the past decade had come from around the world for the Karmapa’s blessing. By custom, they leave an offering, usually envelopes of cash; the Chinese renminbi, he said, are from Tibetans or other Chinese who have made a pilgrimage to Dharamsala.

Mr. Mathur said the Karmapa’s aides were unable to deposit the money because they were awaiting a decision on their application — made several years ago — for government approval to accept foreign currency. In the interim, they say, the money is stored where the officers found it — in boxes kept in a dorm room shared by monks.

Mr. Mathur also denied any suggestion that the land deal was secretive or illegal, and he said that it was the seller who demanded cash.

On Friday, the Karmapa offered blessings to devotees who lined up to meet him in his fourth-floor reception room. Among them was a group of Chinese followers from the manufacturing hub of Shenzhen. Aides say that bookkeeping mistakes may have been made in recording the donations, but that the intent is to handle the money the right way.

“We will be making changes,” said Deki Chungyalpa, a spokeswoman for the Karmapa. “Like hiring a professional accountant who is not a monk.”

For many Tibetans, the broader concern is about the future of the Tibetan movement itself. Tenzin Tsundue is a Tibetan activist who once unfurled a “Free Tibet” banner at an appearance by President Hu Jintao of China. He says India has always been a steadfast friend of Tibetans, providing a home for as many as 120,000 Tibetan refugees, yet now he worries its support may be wavering.

“This country that we are so grateful to is alleging the Karmapa is a spy for China,” he said. “And we can’t understand that at all.”
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Re: Cops raid at the Karmapas office

Postby Mr. G » Wed Feb 09, 2011 1:17 pm

Slandering Karmapa

By Sunanda K Datta-Ray

Karmapa’s office may be guilty of financial mishandling, but to accuse him of being China’s agent is unethical.


What intrigues me about the controversy over the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, is whether home ministry officials suspect him of being a Chinese agent or of financial improprieties. It would be dishonest and dangerous if they are using the latter to imply the former so that he can be replaced by their favourite who is a rival candidate for the title. That trivialises national security to serve a private purpose.

Nar Bahadur Bhandari, Sikkim’s former chief minister and present head of the pradesh Congress committee, who is neither Tibetan nor Buddhist but has had considerable experience of smear tactics, strong-arm methods and judicial persecution, says he can ‘sniff a conspiracy.’ He is not the only one.

There is a contradiction between what officials are supposed to be investigating in Sidhbari where the Karmapa lives and their attempts through anonymously leaked comments to demonise him as China’s ‘strategic asset’ in ‘constant touch with the Chinese authorities.’ In deploring the resultant ‘fiction masquerading as journalism,’ the Karmapa’s office refrains from saying that journalistic slander follows official thinking.
First, the background. Dorje was a Tibetan child of eight when he was recognised as the incarnation of the 16th Karmapa who had died in 1981. The Chinese authorities accepted his status, and he was crowned at Tsurphu monastery near Lhasa, seat of the Karma Kagyu school of Buddhism.

By the time he was 14, Dorje was disillusioned with the Chinese and fled to India in a dramatic escape that captured the world’s imagination. The reasons he gave included pressure to attack the Dalai Lama and cozy up to Beijing’s anointed Panchen Lama, regain Rumtek monastery in Sikkim where his predecessor had established a second seat, receive the teachings of gurus who had received them orally from the 16th Karmapa, receive the Dalai Lama’s blessings, and spread the Karma Kagyu message abroad like his predecessor.

He could not do that from Tibet. “India, in contrast to communist China, is a free country, a democratic country that is based on the rule of law” he told his followers last week, advising patience because “the truth will become clear in time... There is no need to worry.”

The controversy arose when a crore of rupees was found in the possession of two agents of a landlord from whom the Karmapa’s office was buying a plot of land for a monastery and residence. The seller wanted cash payment which is legal, and all government departments cleared the purchase. Nevertheless, the discovery prompted several searches of the Sidhbari monastery where the equivalent of about Rs 8 crore was found in some 20 different currencies, including Chinese yuan.

Red-tape

The explanation is that all unsolicited cash donations would have been paid into the Karmapa’s Saraswati Charitable Trust if permission to do so had not been withdrawn after the first $1,00,000. His Holiness then registered the Karma Garchen Trust but the application to receive foreign donations under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act has been pending since 2002.

Forced to retain donations as they come, the monastery ensures that every penny, cent or yuan (under 10 per cent of the total despite the hullabaloo over Chinese currency) is ‘diligently recorded.’ It would have been wiser to refuse donations until receiving FCRA sanction but that would have meant waiting forever while the Sidhbari community starved.

It would have made bureaucratic sense if the authorities had invoked the law and prosecuted the Karmapa and his office for this offence. Instead, our shadowy officials embarked on a campaign of slander claiming without a shred of evidence that Chinese SIM cards had been seized and that the Enforcement Directorate held records of conversations between His Holiness and Chinese officials. The media was fed with tales of Beijing financing the Karmapa to buy up land in the sensitive border region to set up a string of ‘China study centres’ to influence public opinion in favour of China.

Indian Intelligence claims to have always known of this devious long-term stratagem. They also claim to have played along, expecting reciprocal concessions. Instead, China hardened its stand on Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh, provoking an intelligence officer’s outburst, “We have kept quiet for too long!”

India should decide whether it is accusing the Karmapa of financial violations or of being ‘a security threat.’ The former is a household offence. Atal Behari Vajpayee’s famous comment about every parliamentarian starting his legislative career with the lie of a false election return can be repeated every time someone buys or sells a flat or consults a lawyer or even doctor, since both demand cash and neither usually issues receipts.

His office — not the Karmapa himself for he has nothing to do with business matters — may be guilty in that sense but to use that evidence to accuse him of being China’s agent is exploiting security concerns for some other purpose.

Judging from media clues, that purpose is to replace him with a rival candidate with an influential and persuasive sponsor. If so, it wastes public money, belittles the national interest and persecutes an innocent youth to serve a private lobby.


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Re: Cops raid at the Karmapas office

Postby heart » Wed Feb 09, 2011 4:06 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:Sided? What is this a football match? Should I crack out my team scarf and call over a few hooligan mates of mine to beat the crap out of opposing supporters?


Well the Karmapa issue do bring out the hooligans in the best of us, so why not in you?

/magnus
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