By Tenzin Monlam
Karmapa Thinlay Thaye Dorje posted this picture on his official website/March 25, 2017
DHARAMSHALA, MARCH 31: The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje, recognized by the Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama, has requested followers of Kamtsang Kagyu to refrain from speaking ill about each other in the wake of “recent events”, which has caused a stir in the Buddhist community.
Without making any direct reference to the recent news of his rival Karmapa Thinlay Thaye Dorje’s wedding, the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje wrote, “Recent events in the Kamtsang Kagyu may cause a lot of discussion both inside the lineage and out, and I am slightly worried about the possibility of people trading barbed words over it,” Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje wrote on his official Facebook page, without specifically referring to any particular incident.
Addressed as ‘a request to all my friends’, the Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje urged everyone to consider all the different sides of the situation before making any criticism. The 31-year old spiritual leader said, “Be spacious, patient, and forgiving so as not to lose control of yourself. Please be sympathetic and understanding so as not to disturb anyone else’s mind.”
The 17th Karmapa Thinlay Thaye Dorje, chosen by late Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche Mipham Chokyi Lodro, announced his marriage to a ‘close childhood friend’ in a private ceremony in Delhi on March 25, sending shockwaves through the Buddhist community, especially within the Karmapa Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.
Karmapa Thinlay Thaye Dorje however wrote that his role and activities as Karmapa would continue as before with single exception of conducting ordinations.
“I have a strong feeling, deep within my heart, that my decision to marry will have a positive impact not only for me, but also for the lineage,” the 33-year-old claimant to the Rumtek Monastery, seat of the previous Karmapa Rangjung Rigpai Dorje, said. “I have chosen a different path. At the same time, my commitment to protect and preserve the monastic sangha, and the lineage, remains paramount in my life, and my continued role as Karmapa.”
The late 14th Shamar Rinpoche, one of the three main disciples of the 16th Karmapa, recognized Thaye Dorje as 17th Karmapa. However, Tai Situpa Rinpoche, another of the three main disciples, chose Ogyen Trinley Dorje as the 17th Karmapa, who was also approved by the Dalai Lama.
The Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the CTA recognize Ogyen Trinley Dorje as the 17th Karmapa. However, the Indian government has not yet lifted the restriction it imposed on the young Lama to visit Rumtek, which is guarded by Indian paramilitary force (BSF).
A circular issued on July 6, by the Sikkim Government appointed Acharya Tshering Lama of Simick Chandey as the Chairman of the Ecclesiastical Affairs Department sparking a new hope for his long awaited visit to Rumtek. However, the visit has not taken place yet.