Senior Tibetan Lama marries childhood friend in New Delhi, abandons monkhood

Thaye Dorje, who claimed to be reincarnation of the Karmapa Lama, surprised everyone after he announced that he had married in a private affair and abandoned the monhood.

Dorje, 33, was involved in a row over one of Buddhism's most important titles. Karmapa Lama is the leader of one of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism.

Dorje said he got married in a private ceremony in New Delhi on March 25.


"I have a strong feeling, deep within my heart, that my decision to marry will have a positive impact not only for me, but also for the lineage. Something beautiful, something beneficial will emerge, for all of us,” the AFP reported.

Dorje’s claim to be Karmapa Lama since childhood had caused rifts among Tibetan Buddhists.

But many adherents of the Karma Kagyu school of Buddhism follow another monk with a rival claim to the title, Urgyen Trinley, who is also recognised by the Dalai Lama.


AFP wrote Dorje’s new wife, 36-year-old Rinchen Yangzom, was born in Bhutan and educated in India and Europe.

Thaye Dorje was born in Tibet and his own father was a high lama, while his mother was descended from Tibetan nobility.

According to his official biography, he was just one-and-a-half years old when he started telling people that he was the Karmapa. Under Tibetan tradition, monks identify a young boy who shows signs he is a reincarnation of a late leader.


In a 2012 interview he told AFP the disagreement over the Karmapa title "tests one's courage in terms of devotion".