Karmapa thanks Centre for approving Varanasi visit

Shimla/Dharamsala, Feb 24 (PTI) Tibetan spiritualleader Karmapa Ugyen Trinely Dorji has thanked the Centralgovernment for approving his trip to Varanasi and Sarnath forhis ''winter retreat'' and annual ''spring teachings''.

"We are deeply grateful to the Indian government forits confidence in the Karmapa, and thank them for approvinghis travel plans to Varanasi for ''winter retreat'' and ''springteachings'' of 2011," spokespersons of the Karmapa''s officeKarma Topden and Deki Chungyalpa said in a statement.

The Tibetan spiritual leader, who is recently in newsrelating to a huge foreign currency haul from his monastery,said Varanasi is the site of the very first Dharma teachingsby Gautam Buddha, and also an ancient cradle of Sanskritculture and learning.

"Varanasi is a sacred place for Buddhists. And as afollower of Buddha�s teachings and being of the Kagyu lineagethat springs directly from the sacred land of India, I feelsuch opportunities to visit these sites give great meaning tomy life. I am very much looking forward to sharing the dharmateachings with my friends there," Karmapa, who will bevisiting Varanasi via Bodh Gaya in early March, said.

During his stay in Varanasi, he is scheduled todeliver a string of discourses on dharma teachings. He wouldalso participate in numerous religious ceremonies during hisstay there. The annual ''spring teachings'' lectures would beheld at Vajra Vidya Institute in Sarnath.

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