Q A The In­car­nate

Ogyen Trin­ley Dorji 17th Karmapa

India Today - - LEISURE - —with Jabir

Q: De­spite China’s en­dorse­ment, you fled Ti­bet in 2000…. A:

If I had re­mained in Ti­bet, I might have been used as a po­lit­i­cal tool by China. I don’t have much connection to the po­lit­i­cal path. But as a Ti­betan, I think the Dalai Lama’s ‘mid­dle way’ is our big­gest hope, per­haps our only hope.

Q: Is it awk­ward, what with your large Chi­nese fol­low­ing and your role among the Ti­betans? A:

The connection be­tween the Karmapa and the Chi­nese peo­ple dates back 600-700 years. As a re­li­gious leader, my re­spon­si­bil­ity is to all sen­tient be­ings, be they Chi­nese or Ti­betan.

Q: How do you deal with the chal­lenge of a ‘ri­val’ Karmapa (Thaye Dorji) who claims your lin­eage? A:

It is an un­com­fort­able sit­u­a­tion and it can be a lit­tle de­press­ing. But it con­cerns the lin­eage. It’s not a per­sonal is­sue—so I try to keep as vast a view of this as I can.

Q: What are your in­ter­ests out­side of re­li­gion?

A: I some­times watch foot­ball and I play the acous­tic gui­tar and sing, but I’m very lazy. If I was more dili­gent, maybe I could be an artist or mu­si­cian. My in­tel­li­gence is not too bad. The prob­lem is lazi­ness!

BANDEEP SINGH

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