Will Germans be more willing to submit to the Karmapa’s authority than Americans?

 Picture of Ogyen Trinley Dorje from his 2014 visit to Germany

“You criticize the idea of Ogyen Trinley Dorje as Dharmaraja to China’s rulers of today,” Jonathan says, “but this is the traditional relationship between Tibet and China dating back to the Yuan Dynasty.”

“Notwithstanding the efforts of Diaspora Rinpoches to make a life for themselves in the West as our equals,” Jonathan continues, “Ogyen Trinley Dorje is without equal as Karmapa and it would be inappropriate for us to think of him as otherwise.”

“Ogyen Trinley Dorje may well be Dharmaraja to China’s rulers, as were his predecessors,” Japhy replies, “but as far as I’m concerned that’s a non-starter for me as a Westerner.”



Filed under Buddhism

5 responses to “Will Germans be more willing to submit to the Karmapa’s authority than Americans?

  1. Osel Karl

    There isn’t any problem with Karmapa taking his place as a dharmaraja. However, the dharmarajas never keep the lineage honed, they propagate and grow the numbers of people who practice the lineage teachings.

    Those who keep the lineage fresh are those who practice in the marginal areas- they are the ones who integrate the lineage teachings into their very ordinary, everyday lives.

    We’ve had many different types of Karmapas, some were effete dharmarajas, others vital yogis, while others still were proponents of monastic purity… …this Karmapa is still yet unformed.

    I know who I am, I wonder if he knows who he is.

  2. Just to come back to the question in the heading of your article: Contemporarily, there are about 190 Kagyu Buddhist centres and groups in Germany who consider Karmapa Thaye Dorje as their spiritual head. Several thousand people – most of them Germans – are taking part in a great course in the Germany Alps right now. The amount of groups and centres to whom Ogyen Trinley Dorje is both rightful Karmapa and their spiritual leader is less than 15.

    • Osel Karl

      So the battle for the hearts and minds of Central European karma kagyu is about to take place…

      • Not really. The issue was hot during the 1990ies, when even a kind of documentary on the Karmapa title issue appeared in german cinemas. The reigisseur, a former student of Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche, was very keen to present the child Orgyen Trinley Dorje as the Karmapa. However, both the way a ceratin Mr. Kuby was turning against his former teacher and how close he so-operated with communist Chinese authorities in order to promote Ogyen Trinley irritated many Kagyu insiders in Central Europe.

        The turning point was the very beginning of the year 2000: At exactly the same time when the one Karmapa claimant Thaye Dorje attracted 6000 visitors at his first public lecture to Germany, the other candidate Orgyen Trinley Dorje managed to leave Tibet – slipping direct Chinese influence.

        Today it is widely accepted by most German buddhists from both Karma Kagyu branches that it probably was neccessary to have two different Karmapas for different types of practitioners. Karmapa Thaye Dorje is stressing that he has a spiritual function, and thus is not availabe for political games. The fact that the other Karmapa title holder, Ogyen Trinley, is coming again to Germany is OK so far.

        Within the German Buddhist Union or at local Vesakh festivities Buddhists of both Karma Kagyu branches work together as collegues.

  3. Jane

    I imagine the German talks will teach deep truths like all people seek happiness and seek to avoid suffering.

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