December 22, 2023
First pictures of His Holiness Karmapa’s son
Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, and Sangyumla Rinchen Yangzom, are delighted to introduce their newborn son Thugsey to you all today.
The photos were taken during a private visit to Dhagpo Kagyu Ling in France, where Karmapa and his family were welcomed by Jigme Rinpoche, Karmapa’s General Secretary; Gendun Rinchen, Yangsi of Gendun Rinpoche; as well as representatives and sangha members of Dhagpo Kagyu Ling.
More photos from the visit, which started on 14 September, are published below.
In the announcement of Thugsey’s birth on the new moon of 11 August 2018, Karmapa says:
Sangyumla and I are overjoyed to announce the birth of our first child.
We wish to offer our heartfelt gratitude to our dear parents, our family, and you, our dharma friends, for your loving kindness, prayers and aspirations.
I have spoken often of the unconditional love of a mother as one of the best examples of courage and compassion. Being present for the birth of our first child, I was deeply honoured to witness the dignity, courage and spiritual strength of Sangyumla – qualities that are present in all mothers around the world. Therefore, just as a mother’s love for her children knows no bounds, may there be no limits to our love for our mothers.
Now, as a father, I will seek to follow the great example of my own father, His Eminence Mipham Rinpoche, and my predecessors, Choying Dorje, His Holiness the 10th Karmapa, and Khakyab Dorje, His Holiness the 15th Karmapa, who were also parents. The 15th Karmapa fathered three sons, two of whom were recognised as His Eminence 2nd Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche and His Holiness the 12th Shamarpa.
According to tradition, following the birth, there is a period of privacy for the immediate family, sometimes up to three months, before any announcement is made. We are so happy to share this news with you all now.
The experience of becoming a father has further strengthened my inspiration and aspirations as Karmapa. In some ways, I have always been in a parental role, as head of the Karma Kagyu family. Now this spiritual role and title of Karmapa, and the responsibilities that come with it, are clearer than ever before. I will continue to try and preserve our precious lineage, a lineage of wisdom and compassion, with all my heart.
I am delighted that the birth took place in France, the location of my main European seat. The medical team in France displayed great care and service for Sangyumla during the birth, and we offer our heartfelt thanks to them.
I look forward to leading prayers at the Kagyu Monlam in Bodh Gaya, India, later this year, the public meditation course in December, and my other continued activities. And of course, I look forward to introducing you to our son when the time is right.
Once again, Sangyumla and I would like to thank you for your prayers. As ever, I ask that you continue to practice.
Let us all share in this happy news, and may it bring tremendous benefit to each and every one of us.
His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa
Here are more photos from Karmapa’s private visit to Dhagpo Kagyu Ling: