Cry for Rumtek succession tests

The Telegraph

Kalimpong, Sept. 23: Dawa Sangpo Dorjee today iterated his claim of being the genuine 17th Gyalwang Karmapa and challenged the other two claimants to the seat to undergo “scientific tests” to establish the truth and settle the matter once and for all.

Addressing a news conference at Deolo Hill, about 5km from here, Sangpo Dorjee accused the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, of being instrumental in creating a controversy around the Karmapa. “The biggest game is being played by the Dalai Lama…I have made several attempts to meet him to clear the air, but on every occasion he has refused to meet me.”

“I am willing to travel anywhere to undergo the scientific tests in front of the media,” Sangpo Dorjee added.

Gyalwang Karmapa is the head of the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism. While the historical seat of the Karmapas is the Tsurphu Monastery in the Tolung valley of Tibet, its principal seat in exile is the Rumtek Monastery near Gangtok.

While Dawa Sangpo is the lesser known claimant to the seat, Urgen Thinley Dorjee enjoys the blessings of the Dalai Lama. The third claimant, Thai Thinlay Dorjee, also has a significant following. All of them lay claim to the seat after it fell vacant after the death of the 16th Karmapa in 1981.

The followers of the 31-year-old Sangpo Dorjee, who was born in Mangan in North Sikkim, said the Dalai Lama was unnecessarily getting himself involved. “Our endeavour is to enthrone the genuine Karmapa in keeping with Buddha’s teachings. Buddha tells us to examine and analyse even the words of gurus, parents and elders before accepting them,” said Tulkhu Jamyang, a supporter.

Urgen Thinley Dorjee is expected in Kalimpong next month and observers said the news conference was held keeping that in view.

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