To the Editor in Chief of The Hindustan Times
We’ve been informed of the contents of your article of the 7th November 2001 about the Dalai Lama. We want you to know that we had an audience with the Dalai Lama in September of the year 2000.
I, Mipham Rinpoche, the father of Thinley Thaye Dorje, the 17th Karmapa, saught this audience out of respect for the Dalai Lama.
The Dalai Lama began our meeting by telling me that I need not worry, he said that he had heard that I and my family had left Tibet under difficult circumstances. I then told him that my older son was recognized in accordance with the religious traditions of the Karma Kagyu School as the 17th Karmapa by the present Shamarpa who is the second ranking religious dignitary of that school. I have therefore transferred the responsibility associated with his spiritual status to the 14th Shamarpa. My younger son is the reincarnation of a Gelugpa master and he had, in that capacity, been installed in his monastery. Therefore, I told the Dalai Lama, I have no worries.
Your newspaper reports something quite different, it is astounding that such errors are made. Your article created the impression that we have renounced the claim to the seat of the Karmapa which is not at all the case. Also, as I’ve transferred the responsibility to the Shamarpa why would I tell the Dalai Lama that I worry about these matters?
If the Dalai Lama has said what you have written he said how can the Tibetan people ever trust him as he evidently doesn’t keep to the truth; it may be a case of misreporting and you must rectify this error and let your readers know the truth.
H. E. Mipham Rinpoche
(Father of the 17th Karmapa Thinley Thaye Dorje)
Mayum Dechen Wongmo
(Mother of the 17th Karmapa Thinley Thaye Dorje)