When you unwind the sequence of incidents as they unfolded 09 years ago, it was so very mystifying as to how a 14-year old, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, till then in virtual captivity in the Tsurpu Monastery in Tibet, managed to undertake a perilous journey that slithered over from a jeep to a mule to a helicopter and finally a trek to reach the Indian side of the border. How was it that the belligerent Chinese armymen were caught unawares for almost 48 hours, even as the disappearing act was being staged? In a chaos of myriad possibilities, it was felt that China had stage-managed the entire episode, which was proved to be incorrect by the subsequent turn of events. Apparently, His Holiness himself explained that he had planned his escape to the minutest detail at Tsurpu, where he had announced that he would be entering into a penance and would not come out of it for some days. This ruse worked, for when he made good his escape, it prevented him and his entourage to be pursued right away. By 2002, he had taken over as the de-facto leader of the Kagyu Sect or the Order of Black Hats.
The Karmapa initially was lodged at a monastery near Dharmsala. Yet even then it was speculated that he would cross over to Sikkim, which houses the Rumtek monastery, established by the 16th Karmapa in 1966 (now the possible headquarters of the Order of Black Hats). 08 years have gone by since then and His Holiness still awaits the permission of the Indian authorities to cross over to Rumtek and take over the reins, even as the followers at the monastery await his arrival with bated breath. The Dalai Lama’s Order of Yellow Hats on its part, recognizes him now as the ‘Boddhisatva’ or the ‘Enlightened One’ and also as ‘Gyalwang Karmapa’ or the ‘Victorious One’.
Things might be peaceful, as of now yet there is no indication to the future course of events. Incidentally, this also happens to be the 50th year of the Dalai Lama’s Government-in exile at Dharmsala. In this scenario, if India grants religious asylum to Ogyen Trinley Dorje, it is likely to further imperil Indo-China relations, especially when internecine strife has afflicted the entire Mahayana cult of Buddhism in S-E Asia.
Even as India’s Tibetan Policy continues to traverse a wearisome terrain of contradictory obligations, its spirit of magnanimity is there to be seen in providing a safe haven to such Holy figureheads from across the border. The Order of the Yellow and Black Hats have both found abundant shelter beneath the spread of a nation’s opulent wings; very much in keeping with the Buddhist spirit of universal love & compassion - that did originate from India after all!