Buddha's Not Smiling: Uncovering Corruption at the Heart of Tibetan Buddhism Today

Buddha's Not Smiling is an examination of the Karmapa controversy. Following the death of the 16th Karmapa, leader of the Karma Kagyu sect of Tibetan Buddhism, two candidates were put forth, Ogyen Trinley Dorje and Trinley Thaye Dorje, who each have been enthroned and have been independently serving as the Karmapa.

At issue are the methods used to select these candidates (political and/or traditional), and it has caused division and controversy amongst Buddhist leaders. Ogyen Trinley Dorje, who was recognized by Tai Situ, the third ranking spiritual leader of the Karma Kagyu school, and who has the support of the Dalai Lama and the Chinese government, and Trinley Thaye Dorje, who was recognized by the 14th Shamar Rinpopche, one of the second-ranking spiritual leaders in the Karma Kagyu school, and the support of Khenpo Chodrak Tnephel Rinposhe, the abbot of the Rumtek monastery until it was taken over by followers of Ogyen Trinley. He is now based in New Delhi. There are numerous other supporters of both, too many to list here.

This book examines the conflict between the Karma Kagyu school and the Dalai Lama's exiled government. Historically, the Karmapa has never been chosen by the Dalai Lama, as its lineage dates two centuries earlier than that of the Dalai Lama. This book presents the Karma Kagyu as resenting the interference of the Chinese government and the Dalai Lama in their affairs. The author, Eric D. Curren, expresses his desire to be objective, but it should be noted he is a student of Shamar Rinpoche, and therefore, some bias may exist in his writing.

In February 2011, a gathering of 5,000 people attended an event in Sikkim state in India where they burned copies of this book. Sikkim is a landlocked Indian state in the Himalayas, where it borders Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan, and West Bengal.
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