Love conquers all.
Thaye Dorje, the 33-year-old leader of Karma Kagyu, one of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism, has abandoned monkhood to marry his old friend.
While he will now have to renounce some of his duties, he will continue as the 17th Karmapa (leader) of his tribe, announced his office.
Dorje, who became Karmapa in 1994, tied the knot with Bhutan-born Rinchen Yangzom in a private ceremony in Delhi, where his wife currently resides.
"My role and activities as Karmapa will continue as before – with the single exception of conducting ordinations... As Karmapa, I will continue to protect and preserve our beloved lineage," Dorje was quoted as saying.
"I have a strong feeling, deep within my heart, that my decision to marry will have a positive impact not only for me, but also for the lineage," he added.
While leaders of Buddhist sects marrying is rare, Dorje is not the first. The 15th Karmapa was also married.
The monastic traditions will now be passed on.
Thaye Dorje was just one-and-a-half years old when he started telling people that he was the Karmapa, AFP reports.
Under Tibetan tradition, monks identify a young boy who shows signs that he is a reincarnation of a late leader. Dorje became Karmapa at the age of 11.
People have congratulated him on social media and hailed him for "sending out a positive message" to the Buddhist world.
@karmapaorg One can only imagine how my heart sings now! Unexpectedly greatest news, like a ray of light after gloom. Karmapa Chenno! ⚭ ? ⚭
— Alexander (@nichtbemerkt) March 30, 2017
@karmapaorg Dear Karmapa, I feel enormous joy! Best wishes for your wife, for you and for the precious lineage.
— Dennis van de Water (@Autisme_iQCoach) March 29, 2017
@karmapaorg Congratulations! May you both be happy, joyful, loving and healthy for the benefit of you and all sentient beings.
— Daniela Liebert (@Daniela_Liebert) March 29, 2017
@karmapaorg Congratulations and all the best to you and the beautiful Rinchen Yangzom. How wonderful! May this news bless all and inspire love & bliss ♥
— lörschibörschi (@loerschiboersch) March 29, 2017