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Posted at: Oct 12, 2018, 2:07 AM; last updated: Oct 12, 2018, 2:01 PM (IST)TRIBUNE EXCLUSIVE

Karmapa holds quiet meetings with rival Thaye Dorje in a first

Karmapa holds quiet meetings with rival Thaye Dorje in a first
Trinley Thaye Dorje and Ogyen Trinley Dorje during a meeting.

Smita Sharma
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, October 11

In a significant development with possible far-reaching impact for the Tibetan movement and future of Tibetan Buddhism in the post Dalai Lama scenario, Ogyen Trinley Dorje and Trinley Thaye Dorje have held quiet meetings over the last few days.

Ogyen Trinley Dorje is recognised by the Dalai Lama and vast majority of Tibetans as Karmapa, and Trinley Thaye Dorje is claimant to the seat of the 17th Karmapa .The two met for the first time ever at a rural location in France this week 'to get to know each other personally'. 

Indian official sources say the meeting comes as a big surprise to them. According to Tibetan officials involved in the meeting, the two spiritual leaders discussed how they might work together to preserve and strengthen the 900-year-old Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism.

"We are both very pleased to have had this opportunity to meet and get to know each other in a peaceful and relaxed environment. We both had this wish for many years, and we are gratified that this wish has now been fulfilled,"said a joint statement today. 

Signed by both leaders the statement further reads, "We were able to talk together freely and to learn about each other for the first time. We were thus able to begin what we expect will develop into a strong connection.While we were together we also talked about ways that we could work to heal the divisions that have unfortunately developed within our precious Karma Kagyu lineage in recent years. We view it as our duty and responsibility to do whatever we can to bring the lineage together."

The news of the meeting comes amid speculations of return to India of the 33-year-old Karmapa Ogyen Dorje for which grounds are being prepared. The Indian government has been negotiating terms of his return through interlocutors and envoys. The Karmapa has been in the United States on grounds of medical treatment but has made it clear in recent interviews that he has been deeply hurt and suffocated with Indian agencies suspecting him as a Chinese spy. 

"We therefore ask everyone within the Karma Kagyu community to join us in our efforts to strengthen and preserve our lineage. We view it as our collective responsibility to restore harmony to our tradition which is a lineage of wisdom and compassion," added the statement which incidentally mentions neither of the signatories as Karmapa.

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