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Ogyen Trinley Dorje
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Ogyen Trinley Dorje (Tibetan: ཨོ་རྒྱན་འཕྲིན་ལས་རྡོ་རྗེ།, Wylie: O-rgyan 'Phrin-las Rdo-rje; born June 26, 1985), also written Urgyen Trinley Dorje (Wylie: U-rgyan 'Phrin-las Rdo-rje; or Orgyen Trinley Dorje or Ugyen Trinley Dorje), is a claimant to the title of 17th Karmapa.
Born in Lhatok Township, Qamdo County, Tibet Autonomous Region, to primarily nomadic parents, Ogyen Trinley Dorje is said to have identified himself to family members as the Karmapa early in childhood.
Known as Apo Gaga, 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 entrusted to Tai Situpa.
Ogyen Trinley Dorje was installed at Tsurphu Monastery (Wylie: Mtshur-phu, ZYPY: Curpu), the traditional seat of the Karmapa in Tibet, with the official sanction of the Central People's Government who declared him to be a "living Buddha", the first time a communist Chinese government has recognised a tulku.
At the age of 14, he escaped to India through Nepal, arriving at the Tibetan exile quarters at McLeod Ganj on January 5, 2000. Ogyen Trinley Dorje had felt that he was unable to obtain in China the specialized instruction he needed to complete his studies and to realize his full spiritual authority.
From May 15 - June 2, 2008, he made his first trip to the West, visiting several cities in the United States (notably New York City, Boulder, Colorado, and Seattle, Washington) and was formally enthroned in the North American seat of the Karmapas at Karma Triyana Dharmachakra monastery in Woodstock, NY.
All across the country, he gave multiple teachings on compassion and the environment, gave the reading transmission for a new form of Ngondro, and bestowed several empowerments, including Avalokiteshvara and Guru Rinpoche.
It was speculated that the reason might have been that these areas are close to the China border and that the Beijing Olympics were approaching, even though he had made it clear that he does not promote Tibetan independence and has no political stance on China.
From 09 - 17 July, he participated in the Kalachakra initiation bestowed by HH the XIV Dalai Lama in Washington, DC, then traveled by train to his seat at Karma Triyana Dharmachakra and also visited both his center in New Jersey and Hunter College in New York City, returning to India on 4 August.
He also granted an interview with Laurie Goodstein of the New York Times, which was published on 28 July 2011.
On 3 January 2007, Ogyen Trinley Dorje mandated a purely vegetarian diet in all his monasteries, nunneries, and centers, and strongly urged vegetarianism among all his students, saying that generally, in his view, it was very important in the Mahayana not to eat meat and that, even in Vajrayana, it is preferable for students and practitioners not to eat meat.
At the second conference on environmental protection (3 to 8 October 2009 at Gyuto Monastery), he stated that "For too long, people have behaved thoughtlessly and ignored the damage to the environment that they are creating and, if this continued there was a great danger that it would be too late to do anything."
- See also: Karmapa controversy
Traditionally, Karmapas leave a letter stating the details of their rebirth (this is an aspect of the special self-recognizing siddhi of the Karmapas) to assist in the recognition of their future incarnation,
Other high Kagyu lamas who support Ogyen Trinley Dorje include the Ninth Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche; the Ninth Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche; the Seventh Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche and his Nalandabodhi organization;
the Venerable Bokar Rinpoche; the Venerable Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche (abbot of Karma Triyana Dharmachakra); Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche and his organization, Shambhala International; the Venerable Drupon Rinpoche, and Lama Norlha Rinpoche, among others. He is also recognized as Karmapa by the current Dalai Lama and the government of the People's Republic of China.
Also sided with Orgyen Trinley Dorje are tulkus he has identified, such as H.E. the Eleventh Pawo Rinpoche, and those identified by Tai Situ Rinpoche such as the Third Kalu Rinpoche. There are now two recognitions of H.E. the Fourth Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche, one sided with each Karmapa.
2011 police raid on Karmapa offices
In January 2011, the Himachal Pradesh Police seized money in currencies of 25 countries including China, valued at over INR 60 million, during raids on the offices of a trust backed by Ogyen Trinley Dorje.
They also seized several traveler's cheques and land deal documents, suspecting a hawala scam.
Initially, the police suspected that the money was being used to spread Chinese influence in India, and that the Karmapa was a Chinese agent helping the Chinese government control Buddhist monasteries in India.