|Born||May 6, 1983
17th KarmapaCo-claimant along with Ogyen Trinley Dorje
|Predecessor||Rangjung Rigpe Dorje|
|Reincarnation||KarmapaCo-claimant along with Ogyen Trinley Dorje|
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Trinley Thaye Dorje is the son of Mipham Rinpoche, believed to be a reincarnation of an important lama of the Nyingmapa school, and Dechen Wangmo, the daughter of a noble family descended from King Gesar of Ling.  At the age of six months the boy is reported to have started telling people that he was the Karmapa.  (The identification of the 17th Karmapa is disputed. See Karmapa controversy)
In 1988 Shamar Rinpoche went on a secret visit to Lhasa to investigate whether Thaye Dorje was the reincarnation of the Karmapa, because, he said, the boy appeared to him in a dream.  In March 1994, Thaye Dorje and his family escaped from Tibet to Nepal and then to India, where Shamar Rinpoche formally recognized him as the 17th Karmapa. In 1994 Thaye Dorje was enthroned by the 14th Kunzig Shamarpa as the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa at the Karmapa International Buddhist Institute in New Delhi, India.
Thaye Dorje subsequently began an intense period of traditional monastic training. He has received training and transmissions in Buddhist philosophy and practice. His teachers have included the 14th Shamar Rinpoche, Professor Sempa Dorje and Khenpo Chödrak Tenphel. As a result of this, Thaye Dorje was enthroned as Vidhyadhara (Knowledge Holder) by the 14th Shamarpa in December 2003 at the Karmapa International Buddhist Institute. 
Alongside this traditional Buddhist training, Thaye Dorje has received a modern Western education from English and Australian tutors and an intensive introduction to Western philosophy from Professor Harrison Pemberton of Washington and Lee University in the USA. 
Thaye Dorje currently lives in Kalimpong, India where he continues the thorough traditional education required for a holder of the Karmapa title. On May 17, 2006 Thaye Dorje was officially appointed by the Karmapa Charitable Trust as the legal and administrative heir of the 16th Karmapa and can therefore, according to the Trust, live in Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim. However, because the group of monks currently in physical control of Rumtek oppose Thaye Dorje and the legal proceedings between the supporters of the two claimaints have not reached a final conclusion, Thaye Dorje's headquarters remain in Kalimpong for the time being.
After the death of H.H. the 16th Karmapa in 1981, the four most senior Karma Kagyu lamas held responsibilities in his absence: the Shamar Rinpoche, the Tai Situ Rinpoche, the Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche and the Goshir Gyaltsab Rinpoche. Differences between them led to a divide being formed, along with claims that two, different individuals are the sole, genuine reincarnation of the 16th Karmapa. Trinley Thaye Dorje and Ogyen Trinley Dorje have each undergone separate processes of recognition, carried out by different people, at different times, in addition to separate enthronement ceremonies. Both lay claim to the title of H.H. the 17th Karmapa.
Ogyen Trinley Dorje was recognized by Situ Rinpoche and Gyaltsab Rinpoche. On June 30, 1992, following meetings with senior Karma Kagyu leaders, H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama issued an official letter with his seal of confirmation. Ogyen Trinley Dorje's enthronement ceremony took place at Tsurphu Monastery on September 27, 1992. Trinley Thaye Dorje was recognized by Shamar Rinpoche. His enthronement ceremony took place at the Karmapa International Buddhist Institute on March 17, 1994. The 3rd Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche died in a car crash on April 26, 1992, prior to either recognition or enthronement ceremony.
Disagreement exists over the recognition of the reincarnated disciples of H.H. the 16th Karmapa.
Two individuals are claimed to be the sole, genuine reincarnation of H.E. the 3rd Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche: