Gyalwa Karmapa

From childhood in Tibet to a world Buddhist leader, from traditional texts to social media, the life story of Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, spans East and West, just as his activities bridge traditional values and contemporary issues.


His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa was born on 6 May 1983 in Central Tibet. His parents were the great Nyingma Lama Mipham Rinpoche and Dechen Wangmo from a noble Tibetan family.  As soon as the 17th Karmapa could speak, he told his parents that he was the Karmapa - the leader of the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. 

In early 1991, His Holiness the 14th Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche - Mipham Chokyi Lodro, publicly announced during an inauguration of a monastery in Nepal that the new Karmapa lived in Tibet and was to be named Thaye Dorje, meaning “Limitless Unchanging Buddha Activity”.  Trinley Thaye Dorje means Limitless Unchanging Buddha Activity. Karmapa resides in Delhi, India.


Thaye Dorje left Tibet in 1994, and was enthroned as the 17th Karmapa by Shamar Rinpoche on 17 March 1994 at the Karmapa International Buddhist Institute (KIBI), New Delhi, India. 

In 2003, the 17th Karmapa completed his formal education and received the title of Vidyadhara, or Knowledge Holder of the Sutras and Tantras. Today, Karmapa travels extensively, meeting students, young people, world leaders, and leading lights in the fields of spirituality, peace, conflict resolution, and education. He has the spiritual responsibility for over 900 monasteries and meditation centres around the world.

Karmapa defines education as “knowledge that offers compassion and wisdom”. Cultivating our innate values of compassion and wisdom – our Inner Wealth – enables us to experience peace. Read more about Karmapa’s views on education and literacy.

More than half of the world’s population is under the age of 30. For Karmapa, young people are therefore essential to engage with for peace in our world. Read more about Karmapa’s work with young people.

Karmapa’s activities include: empowering young people; meeting international leaders in the fields of spirituality, peace, conflict resolution, and education; and creating videos and articles to promote peace and prosperity in our world.


Karma Kagyud Buddhist Centre                                                                             

No. 38, Lorong 22 Geylang,                                                                                             

Singapore 398695


Phone: +65 6749 1103

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