The trip is especially significant because of controversy in the past. "During his stay in the US, he will take part in the Kalachakra ceremony (the Wheel of Time teachings) for world peace in which His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama is also participating," Karma Chugyalpa, Dharamshala based Kagyu Administration general secretary, told IANS. He clarified that the visit of His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, who turned 26 on June 26, was only for religious purposes. "After the ceremony is over July 16, he will visit Karma Triyana Dharamchakra centre in Woodstock in New York for a few days."
The controversy subsided when it was discovered that the money was from devotees who donated it for the purchase of land for a new monastery. That the Indian government issued him a travel permit indicates that they no longer harbor suspicions against him.
The Karampa administration in Dharamshala had written to the Ministry of Home Affairs in Delhi requesting his permission to travel to the US. The permission was granted on Tuesday, July 5. "We have got clearance from the Indian government. We are extremely grateful to the Indian authorities," one of the Karmapa aides in Delhi told Hindustan Times.
The visit will be his second to the US, as he also traveled to New York in 2008. The Karmapa Rinpoche plans to stay in Washington DC for two weeks before returning to Dharamshala on July 25.
In an interview with The Telegraph, Robert Therman, Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies at Columbia University in New York said, "I am very happy His Holiness the 17th Karmapa is coming. It is a great happening that the Indian government is realising he deserves free travel permissions."
Therman said 17th the Karampa was joining the "worldwide network of spiritual leaders turning spirituality toward peace and not letting religion serve as a source of division within humanity in this time of the world crisis, environmental, economic, political."