Letter to The Hindustan Times by Khenpo Chodrag Tenphel Rinpoche

Posted on Posted in Arguments

To The Editor in Chief of The Hindustan Times

Concerning your article of the 7th November 2001 about the Dalai Lama we would like to call your attention to a number of errors.

The Dalai Lama, your article records, said, concerning the issue of the Karmapa reincarnation, that officially “only one can be allowed to claim the seat in a monastery ” To begin with, the word officially, in this case, denotes a political appointee as Ugyen Thinley Dorje was installed by Communist China in July 1992 and as the Tibetan Government in Exile choose to back that appointment. However, the proper tradition of the Karma Kagyu School, founded by the 1st Karmapa, is that the second ranking religious dignitary in this school, the Shamarpa, is to recognize and enthrone the Karmapa in accordance with the nine-hundred year old traditions of the school.

Thus, the official recognition rests with the Shamarpa and the present Shamarpa, the 14th, has recognized Thinley Thaye Dorje as the authentic reincarnation of the late Karmapa. Also, the present political circumstances of Urgyen Thinley Dorje’s appointment is a new phenomenon, neither China nor the Tibetan Government in Exile have any authority in this matter, the political schemes surrounding the appointment have never before occurred in the history of our school.

It should be clear that the religious lineage to which the reincarnation belongs has the authority to recognize the reincarnation not some political institutions.

We would see it fit that you inform your readers and we’re willing to assist you with further information if required.

Yours sincerely,
Khenpo Chodrag Tenphel Rinpoche
Chief Abbot of the Karma Kagyu School
on behalf of the International Karma Kagyu Organisation