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karmapa-rinpocheDharamshala: - The Heart is Noble: Changing the World from the Inside Out (Shambhala Publications), His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorjee's new book, was released today in India at the Habitat Centre in Delhi, by Ms. Aruna Roy, renowned social activist, with Mr. Rajiv Mehrotra, trustee/secretary of the Foundation for Universal Responsibility of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Shri Pavan K Varma, distinguished author and diplomat, and Ms. Vandana Shiva, a noted philosopher, environmental activist, author and eco-feminist, as discussants.

One of the youngest thought leaders of our age, the 17th Karmapa talks about issues of conflict and concern today like food justice, gender issues and conflict resolution.

The book, which emerged as a culmination of the exchange between the Karmapa and agroup of American University students in May 2011not only focuses on Buddhist teachings but presents ideas on the universal concept of interdependence. The book also exhibits a forward written by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso who hails the book as a demonstration of "the contribution Buddhist ideas can make to contemporary conversation."

In The Heart Is Noble, the Karmapa argues that we each bear an ethical responsibility to care for the society and planet on which we depend, and explains how to tap into our basic human capacity for compassion as a sustainable source of motivation in working for environmental and social justice.

The 17th Karmapa, head of a 900-year-old reincarnation lineage, states, "I may have certain responsibilities because I received the name and position of 'Karmapa,' but we all have responsibilities based on what we receive from the world. An awareness of our interdependence on others and on the planet should be a cause for our love and compassion for them to increase. It can keep us aware of the impact our actions have on others and on the planet. If we connect to others and to the planet with love and affection, our responsibility to bring about change does not have to weigh heavily on us at all. We will carry it gladly."

Aruna Roy, present at the lunch of the book, said that "In the world of today marred by aggression and conflict, the spiritual teachings of this book hold great relevance. The 21st century world will be led by youngsters with a great responsibility to take positive action and protect our natural environment. By looking inwards and recognizing our positive qualities, we can restore balance to the world."

The 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorjee, is the spiritual head of one of the major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. His far-reaching vision for a more compassionate future speaks directly to the needs of 21st-century global society, and has inspired millions of followers worldwide.

In 2000, the Karmapa Rinpoche escaped to India from Chinese-ruled Tibet at the age of 14 propelled him onto the world stage. The Karmapa has been dubbed the "new face of Tibetan Buddhism," and many Tibetans look to the Karmapa for inspiration in their struggle to preserve their embattled culture. In 2008, he made his historic first visit to America.

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