Somebody is employing political means to obstruct the Karmapa's compassionate intentions toward the West.
It is tempting to blame India -- after all, they are the ones who denied his exit visa for Europe a while back, and his exit visa for the United States just yesterday, so no Karmapa at the First North American Kagyu Monlam.
"The Karmapa was scheduled to attend prayer sessions being organised by Karma Triyana Dharamchakra centre in Woodstock in New York, but Indian authorities refused to grant him permission to visit there," said the Karmapa's secretary Gompo Tsering. "We fail to understand why restrictions were imposed on his movement as the tour was purely a religious one."
It is tempting to blame Indians, as they have been known to shoot themselves while cleaning their diplomatic pistols, but I am not one who jumps so quickly at shiny bait. How does it serve Indian interests to upset those quietly powerful Tibetan Buddhists who are strategically employed all over official Washington?
Likewise, it is tempting to blame the Chinese, but the Chinese are the smartest politicians on the face of the planet. They have absolutely no reason to pressure India to block the Karmapa's travel. People who think that the Karmapa is somehow the Dalai Lama's "successor" don't understand the playing field, or how to dissect purely journalistic notions.
Now, I used to work in politics, so I have a dirty mind. I spend about an hour each day saying sorry to the dakinis for all the wicked things I did in political service. I figure at this rate, I should have a complete confession in their hands by about the third future lifetime -- the first time I'll be able to enjoy the salad bar while walking on two legs, with no wings or a tail, or having to watch out for a swatter.
Cock-eyed optimism aside, because I used to work in politics and have a dirty mind, I am sitting here making a list of all those individuals and factions who profit from Karmapa's inability to travel freely. I am putting checkmarks next to every name on that list. Do they have the motive to obstruct? Do they have the opportunity to obstruct? Do they have the means? There are a few other factors, but you get the idea.
The list is short and not so sweet.
If I was still in the rackets, I would spin up a witch hunt and start examining the bank accounts of those individuals directly responsible for the Karmapa's troubles. Their bank accounts, those of their relations, and the purses where their wives keep nail money. While this was in progress, I would start looking at the out-linkages to little issues like the hair of one hundred thousand dakinis, and all the rest of those dusty corners where light hardly ever shines.
If that didn't work?
All things being equal, it doesn't take all that much to keep a Gulfstream G550 in the air. I been in 'em. Not like it takes a government or anything, if you get my meaning.
Unless they want to put the Karmapa under house arrest like Aung San Suu Kyi, somebody in India better think this thing all the way through, because the Karmapa's real bodyguards are not a loss for heads and hands.
Now, you can change destiny -- I know because I have done it -- but, you cannot oppose forces of nature: what I like to call historical imperatives, or the primordial writ large. The ages are littered with the corpses of men who opposed the Will of Heaven. The Indians know that. The Chinese know that. Their ambitions almost always take this into account.
It is a historical imperative that the dharma take firm root in the West. It is a historical imperative that the Karmapa have fluent, frequent, safe, and unrestricted contact with the West. His predecessor died in Illinois, and since he never did anything without the pure intention to benefit beings, that sends me a strong message.
It was Horace who mentioned carpe diem, usually translated as "seize the day," and those who use the phrase usually forget the context in which said mention was made.
"Don't ask (it's forbidden to know) what end the gods will grant to me or you, Leuconoe. Don't play with Babylonian fortune-telling either. It is better to endure whatever will be. Whether Jupiter has allotted to you many more winters or this final one, which even now wears out the Tyrrhenian sea on the rocks placed opposite -- be wise, strain the wine, and scale back your long hopes to a short period. While we speak, envious time will have already fled. Seize the day, trusting as little as possible in the next."
Well, anyway, that's just one more rendition.