Reactions from Tibet experts on Karmapa meeting

Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje and Trinley Thaye Dorje pose for a photo during their meeting in France, on 9 October 2018.

Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje and Trinley Thaye Dorje pose for a photo during their meeting in France, on 9 October 2018. Kagyu Office

Tibet Sun Newsroom

McLEOD GANJ, India, 11 October 2018

Following the unexpected meeting of Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje and Trinley Thaye Dorje over the past few days in France, commentators on Tibetan issues gave their reactions.

Tibetologist Vijay Kranti from Delhi said:

The meeting between HH Ogyen Trinley Dorje and HH Trinley Thaye Dorje in France over the past few days, and their joint statement today, is a big welcome development on the Tibetan and Mahayana Buddhist front.

This development becomes more important because supporters of both religious gurus have been exchanging rival claims for the past many years. This had, unfortunately, done more harm to the Tibetan cause and image of Mahayana Buddhism in general, and the unity and image of Karma Kagyu school and its great lineage in particular. Non-Tibetan friends of Tibet, especially Indian well-wishers like myself, see it as a great positive sign.

Their joint statement today reflects admirable maturity and wisdom on the part of both spiritual masters. Let us hope that both these teachers will take the image of Kagyu lineage to new heights of glory with the blessings of their Gurus like HH the Dalai Lama and HE Tai Situ Pa. The world can now look forward to the return of the same glory and joy in the campus of Rumtek monastery in Sikkim as it was known for in the days of the previous HH Karmapa.

From Tibetologist Thierry Dodin, from France:

It is still too early to make really qualified comments. But some points can be made already now to highlight the situation.

First of all, this happens at a time when both find themselves in a phase of orientation in their personal lives, with decisions to take that will have a lasting impact.

Second, so far this was only a meeting to ”establish a personal relationship” between the only two individuals who can repair the schism.

But, third, at the same time, however good a relationship may develop between them, the way ahead is going to be stony. Persons and institutions who lived from the schism a quarter of a century long are not going to simply disappear. Besides, there can be only one Karmapa really, and the facts which have been established in this time cannot be undone.


Updated with Thierry Dodin's comment on 14 November 2018.

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