Karmapa

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Karmapa
Karmapa16 3 gross.jpg
The 16th Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje (1924 - 1981)
Tibetan name
Tibetan རྒྱལ་དབང་ཀརྨ་པ་
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese 噶瑪巴
Simplified Chinese 噶玛巴

The Karmapa is the head of the Karma Kagyu, the largest sub-school of the Kagyu school, itself one of the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism.

The historical seat of the Karmapas is Tsurphu Monastery in the Tolung valley of Tibet. The Karmapa's principal seat in exile is the Dharma Chakra Centre at Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim, India.

The 16th Karmapa passed away in 1981, and there are are currently two incarnations who hold the title of 17th Karmapa:

  • Ogyen Trinley Dorje (b. 1985) and
  • Trinley Thaye Dorje (b. 1983).

Honorific forms of title

The following honorific forms of the Karmapa title are used:

  • Gyalwa (རྒྱལ་བ་, Victorious One) Karmapa,
  • Gyalwang (རྒྱལ་དབང་ཀརྨ་པ་, King of Victorious Ones) Karmapa

Origin of the lineage

Düsum Khyenpa, 1st Karmapa Lama (Wylie: Dus gsum Mkhyen pa, 1110–1193), was a disciple of the Tibetan master Gampopa. He is said to have attained enlightenment at the age of fifty while practicing dream yoga. He was henceforth regarded by the contemporary highly respected masters Shakya Śri and Lama Shang as the Karmapa, a manifestation of Avalokiteśvara, whose coming was predicted in the Samadhiraja Sutra[1] and the Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra.[2]

The source of the oral lineage, traditionally traced back to the Buddha Vajradhara, was transmitted to the Indian master of mahamudra and tantra called Tilopa (989-1069), through Naropa (1016–1100) to Marpa Lotsawa and Milarepa. These forefathers of the Kagyu (Bka' brGyud) lineage are collectively called the "Golden Rosary".

Karma Pakshi, 2nd Karmapa Lama (1204–1283), is often said to be the first person ever recognized and empowered as a tulku (Wylie: sprul sku), a reincarnated lama (bla ma).[3]

List of previous Karmapas

  1. Düsum Khyenpa (དུས་གསུམ་མཁྱེན་པ་) (1110–1193)
  2. Karma Pakshi (ཀརྨ་པཀྵི་) (1204–1283)
  3. Rangjung Dorje (རང་འབྱུང་རྡོ་རྗེ་) (1284–1339)
  4. Rolpe Dorje (རོལ་པའི་རྡོ་རྗེ་) (1340–1383)
  5. Deshin Shekpa (དེ་བཞིན་གཤེགས་པ་)(1384–1415)
  6. Thongwa Dönden (མཐོང་བ་དོན་ལྡན་) (1416–1453)
  7. Chödrak Gyatso (ཆོས་གྲགས་རྒྱ་མཚོ་) (1454–1506)
  8. Mikyö Dorje (མི་བསྐྱོད་རྡོ་རྗེ་) (1507–1554)
  9. Wangchuk Dorje (དབང་ཕྱུག་རྡོ་རྗེ་) (1556–1603)
  10. Chöying Dorje (ཆོས་དབྱིངས་རྡོ་རྗེ་) (1604–1674)
  11. Yeshe Dorje (ཡེ་ཤེས་རྡོ་རྗེ་) (1676–1702)
  12. Changchub Dorje (བྱང་ཆུབ་རྡོ་རྗེ་) (1703–1732)
  13. Dudul Dorje (བདུད་འདུལ་རྡོ་རྗེ་) (1733–1797)
  14. Thekchok Dorje (ཐེག་མཆོག་རྡོ་རྗེ་) (1798–1868)
  15. Khakyab Dorje (མཁའ་ཁྱབ་རྡོ་རྗེ་) (1871–1922)
  16. Rangjung Rigpe Dorje (རང་འབྱུང་རིག་པའི་རྡོ་རྗེ་) (1924–1981)
  17. Ogyen Trinley Dorje (ཨོ་རྒྱན་འཕྲིན་ལས་རྡོ་རྗེ།) (b. 1985) or Trinley Thaye Dorje (ཕྲིན་ལས་མཐའ་ཡས་རྡོ་རྗེ།)(b. 1983),

Notes


References

  • Official websites of His Holiness Karmapa www.karmapa.org or www.kagyuoffice.org
  • Thinley, Karma: The History of the Sixteen Karmapas of Tibet, Boulder, Prajna Press 1980.
  • Douglas, Nick; White, Meryl: Karmapa, the Black Hat Lama of Tibet, Milano 1975.
  • Ken Holmes, Karmapa, Altea Publishing 1995, ISBN 0-9524555-4-4. Author's website (While the book and web site favours one candidate for the 17th the information on 1st-16th is useful and was the original source for this article)

External links

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