Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Urgyen Trinley Dorje
Born in Eastern Tibet (now China) to largely nomadic parents, Urgyen Trinley Dorje is said to have identified himself to family members as the Karmapa early in childhood. He was seven years old before he was recognized by a search party headed by the Tai Situpa, following instructions left by the previous Karmapa in a prophetic letter and hidden in a locket. Urgyen Trinley Dorje was installed at Tsurphu monastery, the traditional seat of the Karmapa in Tibet, where he lived for another seven years.
Over the 2000 Millennium he escaped to Nepal and then India, arriving in the Dalai Lama's exile headquarters of Dharamsala on January 5, 2000. Urgyen Trinley Dorje had complained to Chinese authorities that he was unable to obtain in China the specialized instruction he needed to complete his studies and to realize his full spiritual authority.
A controversy exists over the identity of the true 17th Karmapa: the Shamarpa, arguably the second highest Karma Kagyu lama, does not recognize Urgyen Trinley Dorje and instead has proclaimed another boy, Thaye Dorje, whom he identified a few years earlier, as the true Karmapa. Urgyen Trinley Dorje, however, is supported by many important Kagyu lamas, including two of those charged with finding the new Karmapa: Tai Situpa and Gyaltsapba . (A fourth such lama, Jamgon Kongtrul , died shortly before the controversy arose.) Urgyen Trinley Dorje is also recognized as Karmapa by the current Dalai Lama.
Music in the Sky: The Life, Art & Teachings of the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje, by Michele Martin . Ithaca, New York: Snow Lion Press, 2003. ISBN 1559391952.
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