What is your Karmapa’s position on the Kalachakra and Islam?

Picture of Thaye Dorje and Ole Nydhal the old man instagramed to illustrate this episode of Pulp Buddhism in which the Naropa Prairie Dog Players discuss what we know about where Thaye Dorje and Ogyen Trinley Dorje stand on the Kalachakra’s apparent call for a Buddhist holy war against Muslims…

Sally begins.

“Is this Kalachakra calling for a holy war against Muslims really a thing for either Karmapa Yangsi?”

Jonathan replies.

“Given Thaye Dorje’s relationship with Ole Nydhal if he disagreed with his position on Muslims I have to believe he would have said so.”

Sally continues.

“What about Ogyen Trinley Dorje?”

Virginia replies.

“I don’t see how it is any of our business what an enlightened being such as His Holiness thinks, as if he was just anyone with an opinion.”

Sally replies.

“Never mind, then. Not.”

Caroline replies.

“We have no reason to believe that if the Kalachakra’s holy war against Muslims is a thing for Ogyen Trinley Dorje’s Rinpoches it is for His Holiness.”

Caroline continues.

“So given the fundamentalism of his Rinpoches in matters of scripture we can assume that the Kalachakra’s call for a Buddhist holy war against Muslims is also a thing for Ogyen Trinley Dorje.”

Virginia replies.

“I disagree.”

Sally replies.

“I suspect Thaye Dorje’s followers would also disagree that he has a problem on this issue either.”

Jonathan replies.

“Under normal circumstances I would have to agree.”

Jonathan continues.

“In the aftermath of the Paris attacks though we have a right to know where they stand on this issue.”

Virginia replies.

“I disagree.”

Virginia pauses.

“The Karma Kagyu isn’t a democracy but a meritocracy.”

Jonathan replies.

“Ogyen Trinley Dorje’s Karma Kagyu sect isn’t a democracy.”

Allen replies.

“Either way it’s all the same to me.”

Allen continues.

“Whatever either believes, one way or the other, I’m going to bring how I feel about it to my practice.”

Allen replies.

“That’s just how I roll as a Buddhist.”

Caroline replies.

“Our guru’s apparent issues appear to us as blessings.”

Caroline replies.

“We welcome the opportunity to bring how we feel about our guru’s apparent faults to our practice.”

Sally replies.

“Why bother?”

“This is what guru yoga is all about.”

Virginia replies.

“I disagree.”

Jonathan replies.

“All of which brings us back to where Ogyen Trinley Dorje and Thaye Dorje stand on the Kalachakra’s call for holy war against Muslims.”

End scene. Fini.

Another episode of Pulp Buddhism brought to you by the Naropa Prairie Dog Players and by viewers like you, thank you for your support.



Filed under Buddhism

18 responses to “What is your Karmapa’s position on the Kalachakra and Islam?

  1. Bernie

    If he has issues with Nyingma dharma tainting the stoicism of Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye’ karma Kagyu sect (which led to the banishment if Bardor Tulku), it stands to reason that the kalachakra as antidote to the Muslim hoardes is also a thing for him.

  2. Wizzle

    I would imagine Thaye Dorje does not want to say anything that would upset his biggest donor.
    His teacher Shamarpa never dared criticize Nydahl’s stance on Islam for the same reasons. Indeed he publicly excused it. See the following:

    “It has been my observation that Lama Ole has been criticizing radical Islam already since the 70s and early 80s. Although he has been pubicly [sic] expressing his concern, he has not organized any political or anti-religious activity but instead has often requested prayers and wishes from us. After so many unnecessary killings, nowadays the world understands why. In general one shouldn’t discriminate, however if there is a danger of a radical religion or political ideology one should warn against it with a good heart. From a Buddhist perspective if someone sees danger, is purely motivated, and voluntarily points it out, it is not wrong conduct.”


    • Jackie

      Yes, Ole criticizes “radical Islam.” Who doesn’t these days? Are we supposed to seek friendship and dialogue with Isis? I met a Japanese journalist who tried to have meaningful dialogue with Isis. He went to Syria and got his head chopped off. Ole’s clearly not down on moderate Muslims like the good folks in Indonesia and Malaysia. And when I saw him discuss the dangers of radical Islam, he was not speaking from a place of anger but a calm wish to protect others from harm. He sees something he doesn’t like in the future and wants to do something to prevent horrors and losses of freedom from happening.

  3. Sara

    Bill, would you care to weigh in on this guy? I realize he has died. A friend wishes me to go to his center, and apparently he was recognized as a Tulku by 16th Karmapa. Do you have any advice?


    • Sara, I’m not familiar with this person or his students.

      His back story is plausible for someone born during the Great Depression.

      His students have the wrong end of the stick if they believe he was recognized as a Tulku by the 16th Karmapa though.

      I can understand why they might think so.

      For his generation, it was a thing.

      This isn’t how Tulkus are recognized in the Karma Kagyu tradition though.

      This claim by his students is problematic as such.

      I didn’t drill down into the web site.

      It feels dated, like something from a bygone era.

      A dharma center is an intentional community dedicated to the study and practice of the dharma which can take many forms.

      That this particular intentional community is still a thing so long after its teacher’s passing tells me that his students must be doing something right as an international community.

      If your friend thinks you are a good fit with these people, this is one thing.

      I defer to your friend’s judgement in this regard.

      When people I know tell me about this or that teacher they think has something to do with what I’m into I appreciate the thought.

      I as a rule leave it at that though.

      I suggest that you do the same.


      • Wizzle

        He was indeed recognized by the 16th Karmapa as a tulku. Apparently he was the original donor of the land to Chogyam Trungpa for the Samye Ling monastery in Scotland. So probably in recognition for that. He was enthroned by Karma Thinley Rinpoche on the instruction of Karmapa according to his wiki page.


        As far as I am aware though he had no training in the Kagyu tradition and seems to have ploughed his own independent furrow thereafter. I think his tulku recognition was kinda like that of Steven Seagal by Penor Rinpoche. We might not like it that but there it is.

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