H.H. 17th Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje

Karmapa with the Black Crown

17th Karmapa wearing the Black Hat

H.H. the 17th Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje was born in Tibet on May 6th 1983. He is the first son of the 3rd Mipham Rinpoche, a great Nyingma Lama, and Dechen Wangmo, the daughter of a noble family descending from King Gesar of Ling. At the age of one and a half the boy started telling people that he was the Karmapa. In 1994, he and his family managed to escape from Tibet to Nepal and then to India. They arrived in New Delhi in March of the same year, where during a welcoming ceremony Shamar Rinpoche formally recognized the boy as the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa. He was given the name of Trinley (meaning Buddha activity) Thaye (limitless) Dorje (unchanging).

In 1997, he was officially invited to Bhutan for the cremation ceremony of Topga Rinpoche where he was received with full honors. A three-hour drive from the Bhutanese border to the capital Thimpu took seven hours as thousands of well-wishers greeted him along the road. On October 17th 1997, three thousand people came for his blessing and the whole royal family including the king and four queens received him.

Karmapa in London

17th Karmapa in London

In October 1999, Karmapa Thaye Dorje embarked on his first international teaching tour and gave initiations to several thousand people in Singapore and Taiwan. The beginning of the new millennium was marked by his first historic visit to the West. In Dusseldorf, Germany, he was enthusiastically received by 6,000 students from several hundred Diamond Way Buddhist centers from over 30 countries.

In December 2003, after completing his formal education, he was declared “Great Tantric Master” (in Sanskrit “Vajracharya“). He currently resides in at the Karmapa International Buddhist Institute (KIBI) in New Delhi, India.

Throughout the 2000s, Karmapa Thaye Dorje travelled extensively in the Europe and the West, including the USA for the first time in 2003. He has visited the UK three times to date:

In 2005 he was the guest of honour at an interfaith reception, hosted by St Ethelburga’s Centre for Peace and Reconciliation, in the presence of the Bishop of London and spiritual leaders from the Hindu, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh and Jain faiths, where he delivered this keynote speech:

This is a video of Karmapa Thaye Dorje in London in 2009, introducing the empowerment of Marpa.

H.H. 17th Karmapa will visit London again in July 2012, giving teachings and an empowerment. For more information, see the website of Karmapa in London.

Here you can find out all about the events with Karmapa in London, the teaching programme, and more information about his UK tour.