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Karmapa the Blackhat Lama of Tibet

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THE BLACK HAT LAMA The eighth incarnation of Karmapa, Mikyo Dorje, the symbolic form of the Mahamudra teachings, shown holding a book and wearing the Black Hat. He is surrounded by past and future emanations of the Kargyudpa Lineage. A detail from a large banner depicting the complete Lineage 'tree' of the Karma·Kargyudpa sect, used for visualisation. It is at Rumtek monastery, Sikkim.







First published 1976 © N. Dougles and M. White

ISBN 0 71890 187 8

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publishers.

Printed in Great Britain by Lowe & Brydone (Printers) Ltd., Thetford, Norfolk





Part Two THE LINE OF KARMAPAS: From the Tibetan Pa~t







Appendices: (A)





















THE GURU-LAMA YOGA OF THE KARMAPAS: Karma Khechog Palmo and Karma Tinlay Rinpoche











233 Monasteries, Temples and Hermitages



Informal portrait of H. H. The Gyalwa Karmapa




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TRANSLATION OF THE MESSAGE With boundless wisdom and skillful means Lord Buddha taught us to cultivate virtue and avoid wrong actions, especially stressing the value of true compassion, in order that Liberation and Supreme Knowledge be effectively achieved.

In accordance with the prediction of my predecessor I was, as a child, recognised to be of the unbroken lineage of the Gyalwa Karmapa. It has been especially difficult for me to propagate the Noble Teachings as fully as my great predecessors, but I have most earnestly endeavoured to be truly beneficial and helpful to all beings, without distinction. If henceforth the true and pure Buddhist Teachings can penetrate throughout the world in every language then I believe that all worldly troubles and miseries will be assuaged.

This book, on the origin and tradition of the great Kargyudpa Lineage, will be most helpful for understanding the Buddhist Dharma and will be beneficial for all who long for Enlightenment. I am therefore most grateful to those who have worked with faith and devotion translating and compiling it.

At this time in the Dark Age, when there is disease, famine, war and people die before their time, I pray that the merit obtained from this work may benefit all beings and bring peace. I also pray that all may learn loving kindness for one another, that there may be a wealth of happiness and that all will achieve Enlightenment.

I, the Gyalwa Karmapa, holder of the unbroken Lineage, by my own hand have sealed this. The year 197 3. (Seal and Signature)


INTRODUCTION This remarkable document, scrupulously compiled from authentic Tibetan sources, tells of the transmission of mystic teachings from India to Tibet and their subsequent embodiment in the line of successive incarnate Lamas known as the Karmapa Black-Hats. For the first time the Teachers of the great Kargyudpa 'Oral Transmission' are shown as an interconnected Lineage and their truly extraordinary life-stories related in an historical context, right up to the present. The consciousness expressed shows a distinctly Eastern view of reality, in which the concept of rebirth and the acceptance of the all-pervading influence of action (Karma) in the formation of destiny is of particular importance. Karmapa means 'Man of Action', a Master of Karma. As an emanation of the compassionate Bodhisattva Avalokiteshwara he was the first incarnate Lama (Tulku) of the Tibetans and has been honoured as a Living Buddha for the last eight hundred years, in an unbroken succession. The present sixteenth incarnation of Karmapa, His Holiness Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, was recognised and brought up in the manner of his predecessors, but the Chinese invasion of his country forced him to take refuge in Sikkim, where he has founded a large monastic Centre for the promolgation of the Buddhist teachings. It was through his enthusiasm and generosity that this work came into being. The story is his, told in the traditional manner and under his scrutiny and guidance. In Tibet life-stories of eminent Lamas are believed to be excellent vehicles for an inner awakening and are read in the spirit of actual initiation. In this English rendering copious footnotes and references have been added where relevant, as a means to aiding the reader to una...:rstand the significance of the inciden~s. It is hoped that the extensive appendices and the lengthy glossary will make this a complete book. The first part concerns the ancient transmission, which began in India about one thousand years ago. The Yogi Tilopa receives the highest initiations, perfects the Tantric teachings and becomes 'a Master, a Siddha. He transmits the essence of his attainment to his disciple Naropa, who in turn becomes fully perfected. Siddha Naropa teaches Lama Marpa, a Tibetan, who later becomes Realized and undertakes the work of translating the esoteric teachings. Lama Marpa accepts Milarepa as his disciple and after many hard tests transmits the complete teachings to him. From the Hermit-Yogi Milarepa the teachings pass to Gampopa, who in turn initiates Dusum Khyenpa, the first Karmapa (1110-1193). Traditionally the coming of the first Karmapa fulfils a prophecy made by Lord Buddha some sixteen hundred years previously. As an emanation of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshwara he comes to the world in order to help alleviate the sufferings of humanity and immediately takes on the task. He builds monasteries, distributes alms, heals the sick and preaches to the people. In subsequent incar-


nations, travelling widely, he becomes the Teacher of great Emperors and Kings, using his influence to further peace and spirituality in Tibet, China, Mongolia, Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim and India. A Master of miracle and prophecy, Karmapa uses his powers to emphasise the relevance of his teachings. The sixteen life-stories of the Karmapas, compiled from Tibetan biographies and diaries, cover eight hundred years of events of great cultural and historical importance. Detailed accounts of the initiations, visions, miracles and prophecies give a great insight into the structure of Tibetan mysticism, pointing to parallels only recently being explored in the West. Throughout the life-stories the play of Karma is ever-dominant, transcending life-times, forming the course of history. It is in this respect that the teachings of the Karmapas have a relevance particularly suited to the present age. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy and clarity. Sometimes it has been valuable, in the footnotes, to give a full transliteration from the Tibetan, whereas in the text itself we have kept to a simpler and more easily readable form. Various Western terms such as Deity, Goddess, Saviour have been used to express Eastern concepts, which should be understood in their Buddhist sense. The manuscript was compiled under extremely difficult conditions, owing to the very limited time in which the original Tibetan reference works could be consulted in Sikkim. Final additions and corrections were made while accompanying His Holiness The Sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa on pilgrimage in India. The reader's indulgence is requested for any minor errors which may remain. Most grateful thanks are owed to H. H. The Gyalwa Karmapa and all those at the Rumtek monastery who gave their time to make this work possible. Further acknowledgements are due to the Ven. Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, the Ven. Akong Rinpoche and the Ven. Dorzong Rinpoche for their kind help in supplying valuable additional material, to the Government of India, Benares Hindu University, Benares Sanskrit University, the Bengal Asiatic Society Calcutta and the Tribhuvan University of Nepal for their assistance in making available all research facilities. Special credit to the work of G. C. C. Chang, Karma Khechog Palma, Karma Tinlay Rinpoche, H. E. Richardson and G. N. Roerich, as also to those who have contributed photographic material and services. Finally, particular credit to Meryl White, who has worked with me on this project and to Messrs Luzac & Co, who have brought it to completion. Nik Douglas



V AJRADHARA (Tib: Dorje Chang) This Tantric aspect of Lord Buddha, with hands crossed in the great Vajrabumkara Mudra, is of particular significance to the Kargyudpa sect. The statue was carved from a rhinoceros horn by the tenth Karmapa incarnation, Chos Ying Dorje (1604-1674 ), and is preserved in the new Rumtek monastery, Sikkim.



(The Celestial Buddha)


( 988-1069)


( 1016-1100)




(1052-113 5)


(1 07 9-11 5 3)


DUSUM KHYENPA (The First Karmapa incarnation)



SIDDHA TILOPA The statue was carved from a rhinoceros horn by the tenth Karmapa incarnation, Chos Ying Dorje (1604-1674) and is preserved in the new Rumtek monastery, Sikkim.



(Tib: Ti-lo-pa)

Tilopa was born into a Brahmin family of Eastern India, 1 in the male earth mouse year (988). Legend tells that as a boy he was put to a test by the great Siddha Nagarjuna, 2 who asked for his help across a river. Carrying the Teacher on his back the young Tilopa waded fearlessly through the raging waters, never doubting that he would reach the other side safely. Some years later Nagarjuna again appeared in the district and found T:tlopa playing at being a King, with two young girls as his Queens. The young man immediately prostrated himself before the Siddha, who asked him if he would really like to become the King. Laughing TUopa replied that indeed he would, but added that it was unlikely ever to happen. When the King of that region died, however, the State Elephant, guided by Nagarjuna's magical powers, placed the ritual vase of holy water on top of Tilopa's head, thus indicating the Divine choice for the new monarch. At the same time the great sage conjured up a mighty and invincible army which would only obey the commands of Tilopa. The young. man was crowned King and after reigning for several years began to weary of the life of luxury. Renouncing his kingdom he became a monk. He received formal initiations into the priesthood, being ordained by his uncle at the Tantric temple of Somapuri, in Bengal. One day, while engaged in his priestly duties, an ugly hag-like woman appeared before him and asked if he would like to attain true Enlightenment. Tilopa recognised her as a Dakini, a keeper of esoteric secrets, and begged for her instructions. She initiated him into the Chakrasamvara Tantra 3 and he was able to absorb the teachings fully. Tilopa stayed at Somapuri for twelve years, engaging himself in the revealed teachings. He was able to visit the realms of the Dakinis, surviving many ordeals and temptations, culminating in his meeting with the Dakini-Queen 4 herself, from whom he received the full and final transmission of the teachings. He united with a Yogini-ascetic, who was a pounder of sesame seeds, and on this account was driven out from the order of monks. He went to live in lonely cremation-grounds and was believed to be a madman. Tilopa travelled throughout India, meeting many fine teachers from whom he received initiations into many esoteric practices. Sometimes he pounded sesameseed (Skt: Til) to earn a living and it is said that his name derived from this. His main teacher was the Celestial Buddha Vajradhara, from whom he received the direct transmission of the teachings, without the need of any intermediary. The Mahamudra especially was revealed to him in this way. Of the Siddhas with whom he came into contact some of the better known were Luipa 5 , Krishnacharin6, Vajraghanta 7 , Matangi 8 , Vinapa9 and Darikapada 1 0 • From the Four Directions he received the Four Precious Doctrines, and the 5

three esoteric teachings of Norbu Korsem 11 were also revealed to him. He brought together the many schools of Indian Tantra, consolidating them into one system, expressible in seven parts. The teachings derive both directly from the Celestial Buddha Vajradhara 12 and from his numerous human teachers. Thus:

(NORTH) Luipa Drengipa Darikapada Sukhadari (WEST)

Dhobipa13 Vinapa Lawapa 14 Indrabhutil 5


Sukhasiddhi Tanglopa 17 Shinglopa1 8 Karnarepa


Nagarjuna Aryadeva 16 Chandrakirti Matangi (SOUTH)

He lived in deserted places and became recognised as a great Yogi by the heavenly light which continually surrounded him. Once he appeared seated on a lion and manifested the power of controlling both the sun and the moon, so putting to shame a non-Buddhist Yogi called Mati who had boasted that he possessed the most occult power. On another occasion Tilopa flew high in the air with his consort and could be seen from a crowded market-place. Tilopa had a number of fine disciples, the foremost of whom were Lalitavajra 19 and Naropa. His teaching was the expression of the highest realization of Yoga. He passed away in the female earth bird year (1069), at the age of eightyone and entered the subtle realms. "Do not imagine, think or deliberate, Meditate, act, but be at rest. 2 0 With an object do not be concerned." (Tilopa) 6


Lama Taranatha says he was born in the Eastern city of Catighavo, identified as Chittagong, E. Bengal.


The great Philosopher-Yogi and Alchemist, the founder of the Madbyamika school of Mahayana. He was from South India. Scholars are vety divided about the period of his life. He revealed the teachings of Pmjnaparamita. 3

A major Tantric esoteric teaching, a 'root-text' of the Kargyudpa sect in Tibet.


One highly symbolical story tells how he 'rapes' the Dakini-Queen and thus gets all the secrets.


A Bengali, who used to eat the entrails of fish.


From Orissa, this great Siddha was the disciple of jalandhari and the teacher of Tantipa.


Tib: Dorje Trilbupa.

8 A Nath Siddha. 9

Who played on the Vina, a stringed instrument.


A Bengali, the disciple of the Siddha Luipa and also of the great Yogini Lakshminkara. Siddha Darikapada wrote on the Kalacbakra Tantra. 11

Lit: "jewel-mind-cycle".


The Adi-Buddba, the original Buddha.

13 A washennan, w.ho lived in Saliputtranagar. He met a Yogi who initiated him into the mysteries of Cbakrasamvara. After some years of practice he attained perfection and became a Siddha. He then was able to clean dirty clothes by merely touching them. 14 Who wore only a wool blanket. This tradition is maintained by many Holy men (Sadbus) in India. l..awapa came from the country of Urgyen. Once a Dakini threw stones at him and in fury he turned all the women in the area into sheep. He sheared them and made himself a woolen blanket-robe from the fleeces; later he turned the sheep back in to women again. 1 5 A King who became a Siddha, the 'father' of Padmasambhava (who established the Red Hat Nyingmapa Tantric Buddhism in Tibet). He ruled the country of Uddiyana, the great centre of Tantrism in the early Vajrayana periods. Uddiyana or Urgyen, is either to be located in Orissa (Eastern India: many scholars hold this view in the light of convincing evidence) or in the Swat region of Northern Pakistan. King Indrabhuti's sister was called Lakshminkara, the great Yogini, expounder of the Sabajayana concept, and teacher of Siddha Lilavajra. The most famous work of Siddha Indrabhuti is the jnanasiddbi.


A great Siddha from the South. Author of the Cittasodbanaprakarana.


From Northern Assam.


A Siddha who dressed only in bark and leaves. In India nowadays this tradition is sometimes maintained by the Giri Sadbus. 19

Who introduced several new Tantras of importance, especially the Krisbnayamari Tantra.


These are the famous 'Six Topics' of Siddha Tilopa.


The main Siddhas of the Kargyudpa sect. A detail from the great Lineage Tree thangka at Rumtek monastery. At the top is Lotro Rinchen, with the Siddhas Saraha and Nagarjuna to the left and right. Underneath are Siddha Shavaripa and Siddha Maitripa and below them the Yogini-Siddha Yeshe Khandro (centre), with Siddha Matangi and Siddha Luipa to the left and right. Chandrakirti is below Yeshe Khandro, with Siddha Darikapada to the left and Siddha Sukhadari to the right. Under Chandrakirti is Siddha Drengipa with Siddha Vinapa and Siddha Lawapa to the left and right . Below is Siddha Dhobipa (centre) with Khandro Kalpa Zang to the left and Siddha Tanglopa to the right. Under Dhobipa is Siddha lndrabhuti with Siddha Karnarepa and Siddha Rolpa to the left and right. Finally at the bottom centre is Siddha Shinglopa with jnanagarbha to the left and Siddha Pentapa. The Lineage Tree continues with the Adi-Buddha, followed by the direct Kargyudpa transmission of Siddha Tilopa, Siddha Naropa, Marpa, Milarepa, Gampopa, and the Karmapas, Shamarpas, Situpas, Gyaltsapas and soon.


The statue was carved from a rhinoceros horn by the tenth Karmapa incarnation , Chos Ying Dorje (1604-1674) and is preserved in the new Rumtek monastery , Sikkim.



(Tib: Na-ro-pa)

Naropa was born into a royal family of Bengal, in the male fire dragon year (10 16). There were many unusual and auspicious omens at the time of his birth. The child was named Samantabhadra and was carefully brought up with the idea that he would eventually become King after his father, however his interests moved towards the Buddhist Dharma. At the age of eight he demanded to be allowed to go to Kashmir for higher education, and after much dispute he was permitted to make the journey. He arrived there at the age of eleven and began to study the arts, the sciences, grammar, rhetoric and logic under the most eminent teachers. The young scholar remained in Kashmir for three years and then returned to his parents. He was forced into marriage with a Brahmin girl, Vimaladipi, and lived with her for eight years during which time she became his disciple. 2 1 Then he insisted that the marriage be dissolved, so enabling him to continue with his studies in Kashmir. There he was ordained as a novice and engaged himself in studies for three years. He became renowned for his remarkable scholarship and learning. At the age of twenty-eight Naropa returned from Kashmir and went to live at Pullahari. He joined the nearby Nalanda university which was presided over by four great Buddhist Masters. 22 Upon the death of one of them he was elected to the vacant place. Thus, taking the name of Abhayakirti, he became an Abbot of Nalanda. His fame spread far and he converted many to the way of Buddhism. For eight years he taught at Nalanda. One day, while studying his books, an old woman appeared before him, manifesting thirty-seven ugly features. 24 As an embodiment of the Vajra Dakini 23 she revealed to him the futility of book-knowledge and explained that her "brother" (Tilopa) could transmit real knowledge. Naropa left his exalted position at the ·University, gave up his books and set out in search of his destined teacher. Travelling towards the East, with only a robe, a staff, and a begging bowl, he encountered many strange manifestations in the search for his teacher. As he was about to commit suicide out of despair he suddenly met Tilopa, "a dark man dressed in cotton trousers, his hair knotted in a tuft, and with protruding blood-shot eyes." Tilopa revealed the Lineage 2 5 teachings to Naropa and then put him through twelve hard tests, each of which ultimately resulted in the transmission of an important esoteric teaching. Though Naropa suffered considerably he persevered and received all the higher initiations. For some years he frequented the cremationgrounds of Eastern India and was generally taken to be a madman. Having absorbed the full transmission of his teacher, Naropa travelled to a remote region and there engaged himself in meditation. 11


Some time passed and then Tilopa instructed other disciples to fetch Naropa, declaring that there was some work for him to do. Naropa returned to Pullahari, where in a vision he saw the arrival in India of the Tibetan pilgrim Marpa, who was soon brought to him. Marpa was accepted as a disciple, was initiated into the higher Tantras26 and taught the Mahamudra to perfection. On two other occasions Marpa travelled from Tibet to meet Naropa, thus enabling the Oral transmission to be preserved into the future. Naropa spent his last years in isolation, only occasionally appearing to his closest disciples in times of need. He passed on to the subtle realms in the male iron dragon year ( 1100), at the age of eighty-four. His foremost disciples were: (i) SIDDHA DOMBHI HERUKA (Dombhipa): He was a King of Magadha, in the East. From Siddha Virupa 2 9 he received preliminary initiations. He united with an outcaste girl ( Sahajayogini Cinta) 2 7 and kept her as his mistress. When his subjects showed disapproval the King went off to live with her in the jungles. There was a famine in the land, after which the King returned with his mistress, riding upon the back of a tigress and holding poisonous snakes. He survived an ordeal by fire, took over his Kingdom and spread the Dharma widely. Siddha Dombhipa was a teacher of Siddha Krishnacharin and also of Lama Drogmi(992-1072), 28 the founder of the Sakyapa sect in Tibet. (ii) SIDDHA SHANTIPA: He was born in Magadha, into a Brahmin family, and studied the Vedas as a young man. He became a monk and was admitted to the Vikramashila university where he received teachings from Jetari. He became an Abbot of Somapuri and taught there for several years. Then he accepted an invitation to Ceylon, travelling there in order to spread the Dharma further. After a stay of three years he returned to Eastern India, on the way meeting and initiating the future Siddha Kodalipa. 3 0 Upon his arrival at Vikramashila he was appointed Abbot of the Eastern quarter and quickly became famous for his erudite scholarship and supreme mastery of debate. He had many fine disciples, one of the foremost of whom was Lama Drogmi, 31 the founder of the Sakyapa sect in Tibet. Siddha Shantipa passed away at the age of one hundred and eight years. (iii) SIDDHA MAITRIPA: A great teacher of the Lineage of Siddha Saraha. He influenced many of the important new teachers, especially Dipamkara Atisha (982-1054) and Marpa. He was also the teacher of Bodhibhadra. (iv) SHANTIBHADRA: A great Tantric teacher of Eastern India. (v) PITOPA: Who developed and expounded the Kalachakra Tantra. 32 (vi) DIPAMKARA A TISHA: He was born as the second son of a Bengali King, in the year 982. As a young man he studied hard and soon became a master of debate. At the age of twenty-two he had a vision of Hevajra and shortly 12


afterwards he met the teacher Rahulagupta, who initiated him into the Vajra Dakini Tantra. He met a Dakini, who was wearing a necklace of bones and skulls and from her he received initiations and the mystic songs. The Siddha Avadhutipa bestowed further initiations on him. He also studied under the famous master Dharmakirti. At the age of twenty-nine Atisha received ordination as a monk, after which he spent his time studying the many Mahayana Sutras under the most illustrious teachers. He became Abbot of Vikramashila, which prospered greatly under his guidance and after some years accepted an invitation to visit Tibet, arriving there in 1042. He travelled all over the country, preaching and establishing religious centres. He passed away in the year 1054. His main disciple was the Lama Domtonpa.32 a (vii) MARPA: The Tibetan "Translator", who carried the teachings to Tibet, so forming the beginnings of the Kargyudpa sect. His life-story follows. (1012-1097). FOOTNOTES 21

She became a great Y ogini, known as Niguma, and taught the Tantras.

22 Who were called Shesrab Jungnes, Nagpopa (Krishnacharin), Jetari and Ratnakarashanti. 23 Tib: Dorje Pbagmo. 24 These thirty-seven ugly features are likened to 37 "Pathways" (Nadis), the subtle channels, as also to 37 different kinds of worldly dissatisfaction.

25 The line of direct transmission. 26 Especially the Hevajra Tantra, the Gubyasamaja Tantra and the Cbakrasamvara Tantra. 27

Sahajayogini Cinta was a great female ascetic, a disciple of Siddha Darikapada. She was a devotee of Vajrasatwa. 28 Lama Drogmi spent eight years at the famous Vikramashila Tantric university. He was also a disciple of Siddha Shantipa, who initiated him into the Hevajra Tantra. 29 Virupa, a disciple of Lakshminkara, taught Avadhutipa a great Siddha. 30 Siddha Kodalipa was a farmer in the South of India. Shantipa gave him a meditation for his work and soon he became perfected.


This Lama Drogmi taught Marpa Sanskrit.

32 Which was brought from Shambala country, which may be identified as the region of Sambalpur, in

Orissa. A wealth of evidence suggests that Pitopa came from Eastern India. See "Buddhism in Orissa" by N. K. Sahu, published by Utkal University, 1958, page 148. The location of Shambala has always been linked to that of Urgyen, once believed to be in the Swat region of N. W. India, but recently more positively identified with Orissa. 32 a (1005-1064), Tib: Brom-ston.

(For full details of Naropa's life-story, see "The Life of Naropa", translated by H. V. Guenther, Oxford University Press, 1963.) 13


The statue was carved from a rhinoceros horn by the tenth Karmapa incarnation, Chos Ying Dorje (1604-1674) and is preserved in the new Rumtek monastery, Sikkim.



(Tib: Mar-pa)

Marpa was born in the male water mouse year ( 1012) in Southern Tibet. His father prophesied that he had the potential for great spiritual attainments, provided that he chose the right path. At an early age he embraced Buddhism, taking the name of Dharmamati. He studied Sanskrit with the Sakyapa Lama Drogmi.3 3 Then he exchanged all his worldy possessions for gold and set out for India in the company of a friend. The journey took the two young men through Nepal, where they met two disciples of the Siddha Naropa who impressed them greatly with their practical knowledge. After a long and difficult journey Marpa was led directly to Naropa, who accepted him as a spiritual son and began to transmit the teachings to him. Marpa presented all the gold to his teacher as an offering. For sixteen years Marpa received initiations and teachings from Naropa. He received additional teachings from jnanagarbha34 in the West and from Siddha Kukuripa 3 5 in the South. Another of Naropa's disciples, Siddha Maitripa, taught him the Mahamudra to perfection. Marpa spent some time living in cremationgrounds and then returned to Tibet. Marpa spent many years translating the manuscript copies of the Tantric teachings brought with him from India. He established a community farm and monastery at Lhobrag, and married Dagmema who bore him several sons. He was known as a teacher by only a small exclusive group of disciples, amongst whom he dispersed the essence of his understanding. He became famous as a tra.nslator. The teacher Marpa made a second journey to India in order to bring back more teachings to Tibet. Upon his return he took Milarepa as a disciple, but submitted him to repeated trials and tests before finally bestowing the secret teachings on him. In answer to a query from Milarepa concerning the most secret Drong ]ug36 teachings Marpa searched through all of his manuscripts but found that he had not the explanatory treatises for this practice. Therefore he decided to return once again to India, in the hope of being able to receive those teachings as well. Despite his advanced age Marpa undertook the long journey to India, his disciples contributing gold for the expense of the journey and for presentation to Naropa. In India Marpa met up with Dipamkara Atisha, who informed him that Naropa was just about to leave the world. However on his arrival in Eastern India he was able to have a miraculous meeting with his teacher, who appeared in a vision and transmitted the required teaching to him. Marpa then returned to Tibet. Marpa always utilised dreams and omens for understanding the course of destiny. He was a hard teacher, famous for his raging tempers, yet equally noted



for sudden moments of great generosity and good humour. Amongst his four main disciples he distributed the esoteric teachings, along with various holy relics brought with him from India. In the female fire ox year ( 1097) he passed away at the age of eighty-six, having firmly established the beginnings of the Kargyudpa sect in Tibet. His foremost disciples were: (i) JETSUN MILAREPA: From Gungthang. Who received theteachingsofthe Mystic Heat, some clothes which had belonged to Naropa and a hat of Maitripa. 37 (1052-1135). (ii) NGOCHU DORJE (Ngogdun Chudor): From Zhung. Who received Tantric teachings, the Six Ornaments, 3 8 a sacrificial spoon and a ruby rosary which had belonged to Naropa. (iii) TSURTON WANGYE (Tsurton Wangne): Dor. Who received the Transference teachings, relics of Naropa's hair and nails, precious pills39 and a head-ornament of paintings of the five Dhyani-Buddhas. (iv) METON TSONPO: From Tsang. Who received the Clear Light teachings, a thunderbolt-sceptre (Dorje) and bell (Trilbu) which had belonged to Naropa, as well as a small double-drum (Damaru) and an oyster-shell libation cup.

FOOTNOTES 33 Lama Drogmi was a disciple of Siddha Shantipa and from Siddha Dombhi Heruka he received the initiation of Heuajra. 34

Who initiated Marpa into the Gubyasamaja Tantra.


Who received Enlightenment through his dog, an emanation of Avalokitesbwara. 36 The Drong jug teachings are for entering the bodies of others. Used for the animation of corpses. The Transformation Yoga. 37

The Siddha, a disciple of Naropa, teacher of Dipamkara Atisha.


Bone-apron, hat, arm-bands, necklace, bracelets and ear-rings. They are symbols of the constituents of the initiatory Mandala.

3 9 Precious pills are generally made of Five Elixirs (Skt: Pancbamrita), often mixed with relics. The present Gyalwa Karmapa distributes such pills, especially in connection with the Black Hat ceremony.



The statue was carved from a rhinoceros horn by the tenth Karmapa incarnation, Chos Ying Dorje (1604-1674) and is preserved in the new Rumtek monastery, Sikkim.



(Tib: Mi-la Ras-pa)

Milarepa 40 was born in the Gungthang provice of Western Tibet, close to the Nepalese border,41 on the twenty-fifth day of the seventh month of the male water dragon year (1052). His father died when he was only seven, and the family property was left in the care of greedy relatives who treated his mother and himself very badly. She became very bitter and as soon as her son was old enough she sent him off to learn the art of Black Magic in the hope that he would be able to avenge the wrongdoings. The young man quickly learned how to manoeuvre the powers of destruction. He brought havoc to his village and caused the death of many people. However his teacher repented for the misdeeds and sent him off to find someone who could help him counteract all the bad Karmas accumulated through his magical incantations. Thus he became a pupil of a Nyingmapa 43 Lama called Rongton, who soon directed him to Marpa-the-Translator, who was living in Lhobrag. At the age of thirty-eight Milarepa became a pupil of the great Lama Marpa, who had had a. vision of his coming. Marpa allowed him to remain at Lhobrag but refused to admit him to the inner circle of initiates and would not give him any teaching. For six years Milarepa was treated like a servant and was given extremely difficult physical work. After several frustrating attempts he finally built a nine-storied tower according to the specifications of Marpa. Dagmema, Marpa's wife, helped Milarepa in his moments of despair and pleaded with her husband to allow Milarepa the initiation which he sought. Finally the difficult trials were over, the bad Karma used up, 4 2 and quickly Milarepa was g,iven the full teachings and initiations. Marpa prepared him for a life of solitary meditation and imparted the secret teachings of Naropa, in particular the Yoga of the Mystic Heat. Clad only in cotton, Milarepa lived for many years in total isolation in high mountain caves. He engaged himself in the perfection of the teachings transmitted to him. The years passed and the cotton-clad Yogi became fully Enlightened. People got to hear about him and sought him out to listen intently to the mystic songs through which he expounded his teachings. After completing nine full years in isolation he began to accept disciples. He continued to live a very simple life, spreading his teachings through his mystic songs, many of which survive to this day. He became famous throughout Tibet. In the female wood hare year ( 113 5), at the age of eighty-four, Milarepa passed away, leaving eight 'greater' and thirteen 'lesser' disciples. Five of the eight disciples did not spread any teachings and went straight to the subtle realms. Three remained in the world, two of which received and transmitted the esoteric teachings of Siddha Naropa. These foremost disciples were: 19



J E GAMPOPA (Dvagspo Lharje): From Nyal. He received the complete

teachings. His attainment was compared to the Sun. The detailed life-story follows. (1079-115 3) (ii) RECHUNGPA (Rechung Dorje Trakpa): From Gungthang. He met Milarepa at the age of eleven. He contracted leprosy and at the age of fifteen he set out for India in search of a cure. There he met and was initiated by Siddha Balachandra, 44 who also cured his disease. Rechungpa returned to Tibet where he remet Milarepa and received instruction from him. Some years later he again visited India and was there initiated into further teachings of Naropa and Maitripa. These he passed on to Milarepa and Je Gampopa. His attainment was compared to the Moon. (1084-1161). The other foremost disciples were: (iii) SHIWA OD REPA: A young nobleman who met Milarepa at a river-crossing. He became very devoted to him after listening to his songs. He renounced the world and became a Yogi, receiving many of the teachings. (iv) SEWAN REPA: From Dota. (v) NGAN DZONG CHANGCHUB GYALPO: From Chimlung. (vi) KHYIRA REPA: From Nyishang. (vii) DRIGOM REPA: From Mus. (viii) SANGYE KY AB REPA: From Ragma.


At his birth he was called Thopaga, meaning 'Delightful-to-hear'.


At Kyanga Tsa, a few miles East of modern Kyirong.


Karmas (Actions) have a tendency to accumulate.


The older Red Hat sect.


An Indian Nath Siddha, of the Carpati·Gopichandra Line.

(For more details of Milarepa's life-story, see "Tibet's Great Yogi Milarepa", edited by W. Y. Evans-Wentz, Oxford University Press, 1928 and "One HundredThousand Songs of Milarepa", translated by G. C. C. Chang, New York, 1962). 20

JE GAMPOPA (Painting from Dolpo)



(Tib: sGam-po-pa)

Gampopa was born in Nyal, Eastern Tibet, in the female earth sheep year ( 1079). His father was an excellent physician and brought up his son with a thorough knowledge of the profession. By the time Gampopa was fifteen he was well versed in many of the Tantras and was also considered to be a competent doctor. At the age of twenty-two he married, producing a son and a daughter. There was an epidemic in the region and the two children died suddenly. The young man was very upset, especially when his wife also caught the disease. Try as he could there was no way to cure her and as she was dying she asked him to devote his life to the Buddhist Dharma. At the age of twenty-six Gampopa received ordination as a monk, taking the name Sonam Rinchen and following the doctrines of the Kadampas. 45 He studied under many illustrious teachers and quickly developed a good understanding of the Buddhist Dharma. At the age of thirty-two he overheard some beggars talking about J etsun Milarepa. Immediately he felt filled with devotion and realised that this Yogi must surely be his destined teacher. Gampopa set out in search of Milarepa and after many hardships he managed to find him. For a period of thirteen months he received teachings directly, the doctrines of Naropa, the Mystic Heat Yoga in particular and also the complete teachings of the Mahamudra. Then he travelled to Dvagspo, in the South Eastern part of the province of 'U', and there engaged himself in deep meditation. He spent many years in retreat there and founded a monastery which came to be called Dvagslha Gampo. 45 a He soon attracted many disciples. Je Gampopa blended the doctrines of the Kadampas with his own realizations of the Mahamudra, so producing the basis for the many aspects of the Kargyudpa. He was a fine writer, renowned for his clarity and deep analytical insight. He always stressed the importance of simplicity in matters of doctrine. Popularly he became known as Dvagspo Lharje, the Doctor of Dvagspo, though most of his later years were devoted to the healing of spiritual rather than physical sickness. There are Tibetan traditions declaring him to be the reincarnation of Chandraprabhakumara,46 whereas others declared him to be that of King Srong Tsen Gampo, 47 the first Buddhist Ruler of Tibet. Of the two main disciples of Jetsun Milarepa he was entrusted with the transmission of the complete teachings. The four main disciples of J e Gampopa formed the four 'larger' branches of the Kargyudpa. Eight 'smaller' divisions developed later, of which three were to become very important. There were two kinds of disciple: those who were taught theMahamudra exclusively (about five hundred in number) and those who received the complete transmission of the Vajrayana in addition (only five). In the female water bird year ( 115 3) J e Gampopa passed away, at the age of 23


seventy-five, having firmly established the Kargyudpa teachings. At this time there were many remarkable and auspicious omens. His foremost disciples were: (i) DUSUM KHYENPA: From Khams, Eastern Tibet. He was the earliest and most devoted of all the disciples. He received the complete transmission and founded the Khams-Tsang-Kargyud branch and the Line of successive incarnate Karmapas. His life-stories follow in detail. He was the first incarnate Lama (Tulku) of Tibet. (1110-1193) (ii) PHAGMO GRU DORJE GYALTSEN: From Talung, Eastern Tibet. At the age of nine he took the primary ordination and over a period of years he studied under sixteen different Lamas. At the age of twenty-five he took the final ordination from Lama Dunzin. He travelled to Sakya monastery where he received the higher initiations from Sakya Kunga Nyingpo4 8 (1092-115 8). Then he perfected the Subtle Breath Yoga. Later in his life he met J e Gampopa, who complimented him on his spiritual attainment and imparted the teachings of the Mahamudra. Lama Phagmo Gru founded the first great Kargyudpa monastery of Densa Thil (in 1158), which became better known as the Phagmo monastery. Thus he established the Phagmo Gru branch49 of the Kargyudpa and produced eight smaller divisions in it. He had about eight hundred disciples, five hundred of whom became skilled in the practice of meditation. At the age of sixty Lama Phagmo Gru passed away. 50 At this time there were many auspicious rainbow omens in the sky. Auspicious relics were recovered from his funeral pyre. ( 1110-1170). His foremost disciples were: (a) JIGTEN SUMGUN: From Khams. He spent twenty-eight months with his teacher and quickly attained perfection in higher meditation. He was a victim of leprosy, but, on account of his great compassion for all beings, the disease left him. At the age of thirty-five he took full ordination from Lama Shongsam Topa. In the year 1179 Lama Jigten Sumgun founded the great Drigung monastery, thus establishing the Drigungpa subdivision within the Kargyudpa. This monastery was soon to house more than eight hundred monks. Lama J igten Sumgun was believed to be an incarnation of the Siddha Nagarjuna. He produced an incarnate Line of successors, as well as many fine disciples. (114 3-1212) (b) LINGREPA PADMA DORJE: From Nangtod. At an early age he had visions of the Protector Mahakala, Yamantaka (The Lord of Death), and Chakrasamvara. He met Lama Phagmo Gru and received the teachings of Mahamudra from him. Within three days he had the full Realization of it. Lingrepa founded the important monastery of Ralung (c.1180) and 24


established the Drukpa subdivision 54 within the Kargyudpa. Once, in a dream, he had the complete teachings of the Kanjur 5 1 revealed to him. He revealed many precious teachings and wrote a fine commentary on the great Tantra of Chakrasamvara. From Dusum Khyenpa, the first Karmapa, he received important initiations. Before his passing he transmitted everything to his disciple Tsangpa Gyare, the founder of the Tsangpa Kargyudpa. ( 1128-1188) (c) TANGPA TASHI PAL: He was born at Yungshu. Up until the age of eighteen he studied under many teachers. At the age of twenty-six he met Lama Phagmo Gru and received important teachings and initiations. As advised by his new teacher he perfected his meditation and then travelled to Taklung where he built a large monastery (between 11801185), to be known as Taklung. 53 Thus he founded the Taklungpa subdivisions within the Kargyudpa. He had many disciples and successors, 52 and passed away at the age of sixty-nine. ( 114 2-1210) (d) CHOSJE MARWA DRUPTOP: Also known as Martsang Sherab Senge. He founded the Martsang subdivision, passing the teachings to Yeshe Gyaltsen and Rinchen Lingpa. (e) DROGON GYALTSA: Founder of the Trophu subdivision. (f) YERPA YESHE TSEGPA: Founder of the Yerpa subdivision. He established the great Yerphug and Tarna monasteries. (g) ZHARAWA YESHE SENGE: Founder of the Yamzang subdivision, and the monastery of the same name (in 1206). (h) NYIPHU GYERGOM CHENPO: Founder of the Shugseb subdivision and the monastery of the same name (at Nyiphu). (iii) WEUNGOM TSULTRIM NYINGPO: He became a disciple of Je Gampopa and received many important teachings and initiations. He founded the Tsalpa branch of the Kargyudpa, through his famous disciple Lama Shang (1123-1193), who established the important monasteries of Tsal (in 1175) and Gungthang (in 1187). He was also known as Gomtsul. (iv) DHARMA WANGCHUK: From Bahram. He received many important teachings and initiations from Je Gampopa. He excelled in meditation. He founded the Bahrampa branch of the Kargyudpa and the monastery of the same name. Je Gampopa had a fifth disciple, SALTONG SHOGAM, from Khams, to whom he also transmitted the complete teachings. He remained in meditation and did not take any disciples. Thus it can be seen how the four main disciples of Je Gampopa formed the four 'larger' schools of the Kargyudpa sect, continuing the unbroken transmission of the precious teachings through their disciples and the future incarnations. 25


Founded by Lama Domtonpa (1008-1064).

45 a

Founded in 1121.


The son of a wealthy householder in Rajgir (Bihar), who had asked Lord Buddha to preach the Samadbirajasutra. 47

Who died c.649. He had two wives, one from Nepal and the other from China. They converted him to Buddhism.

48 A disciple of Kunchok Gyalpo, founder of Sakya monastery. 49

Not an incarnate Line.


According to the Deb-Ter·Mar-Po, "He accomplished so many deeds for the benefit of others that it cannot even be conceived." (p. 203). 51

Canonical literature, of 100 or 108 volumes ('Buddha's Words').


Not an incarnate Line until the first Matul Tulku. The present incarnation is in Dalhousie, India.

53 The Taklung monastery had three thousand monks. 54

The Drukpa subdivision developed especially in Bhutan and Ladakh.

(For more details of Gampopa and his teachings, see "Gampopa: The jewel Ornament of Liberation", translated by H. V. Guenther, Rider & Co, 1959).



THE LINE OF KARMAPAS (Life-stories from the Tibetan)


Incarnation 1st






































(17 33-1797)









( 1924-present)


THE LIFE-STORIES OF THE GYALWA KARMAPAS Compiled from The 'Dawa-Chu-Shel-Gyi-Treng-Wa', the 'Moon-Water-Crystal-Rosary', by the eighth Situ Tulku, Choskyi Jungnes (1700-1774). The 'Khe-Phi-Ga-Ton', the 'Exposition of Panditas', by the second Pawo Tulku, Tsuklak Trengwa (1504-1566). The 'Deb-Ter-Ngon-Po', the 'Blue Annals', by Go Lotsawa Zhonu Pal (1392-1481). The spoken commentary of H. H. The Sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, the present incarnation. Under the direction of: (i) H. H. The sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa. (ii) The Ven. Sharma Tulku, Choskyi Lodru, the thirteenth incarnation. (iii) The eighth Trangu Tulku, Khenpo Karma Lodru Ringluk Naseng. (iv) Damchos Yongdu, General Senior Secretary to the Gyalwa Karmapa. (v) Jamkar Gonpo Namgyal, Personal Secretary to the Gyalwa Karmapa. (vi) Ter1zin Namgyal, Secretary in the Tibetan department of Rumtek monastery. (vii) Dr. Urgyen Jigme Choswang (Chungde Tsering), Personal Physician and General Secretary (English Section) to the Gyalwa Karmapa. (viii) Lama Chotrak Tenphel, General Assistant. Compiled by: Karma Yonten Paljor (Nik Douglas)


Karma Dolma Chosphel (Meryl White)

At the new Rumtek monastery in Sikkim. In the water mouse and water ox years. (1972/3) MAY IT BE AUSPICIOUS!


DUSUM KHYENPA: THE FIRST GYALWA KARMAPA. This statue, made of mixed red, yellow ·and white precious metal, preserves the funerary relics of Dusum Khyenpa and is believed to be a good likeness of him. (The statue .is one of the most precious treasures kept at Rumtek, Sikkim).


(Tib: Dus-gSum-mKhyen-pa)

Dusum Khyenpa was born in the male iron tiger year ( 1110), in the village of Ratag, situated in the snow range of Treshod, Do Khams, Eastern Tibet. His father was a Yogi-devotee of Yamantaka, 55 called Gompa Dorje Gon and his mother, Gangcham Mingdren, a natural Yogini. He was a remarkable and gifted child and was given the name of Gephel. From his father he received the Mantra 56 of Ekajata, 51 the great secret Mother-Goddess and Protector and by his eleventh year he had propitiated and realized her fully. From Lama }agar Bhairo he learnt the rites of the great Protector Mahakala 58 and quickly perfected them. Obtaining miraculous powers 59 he made a clear imprint of his hand and foot on a rock. At the age of sixteen the unusual boy received ordination from Khenpo 6 0 Choskyi Lama and Chepa Choskyi Senge 60 a and was give-n the new name of Choskyi Trakpa. He studied the rites of Chakrasamvara 61 according to the method of Palden Atisha and soon became very adept at them. At the age of nineteen he travelled to To"d Lung where he met the famous Geshe62 Gya Marwa, became his disciple and learned the Doctrines of the Future Buddha Maitreya and the Prajnamula teachings. For one year he travelled from teacher to teacher, eventually meeting Geshe Zharawa, who introduced him to the Doctrines of the Kadampas. 6 3 Lama Patsap Nyima Trakpa, a great Translator, taught him the 'Six Treatises of Siddha Nagarjuna'64 and these he also quickly perfected. Through a vision of Maitreya, the Future Buddha, he was initiated into five important esoteric practices. In the presence of Khenpo Mal Duldzin and Lhelop 6 5 Yeshe Lodru he was, at the age of twenty, fully ordained as a monk and set himself the task of thoroughly studying the Vinaya 66 precepts. Dusum Khyenpa travelled to the Penyul Gyal 6 7 a monastery and there met the great teacher Pal Galopa and others, who gave him the teachings of the great Kalachakra 6 7 cycle, together with those of Mahakalakakamukha, the crow-headed form of Mahakala. At the age of thirty he decided to go to meet Je Gampopa and set off on the journey. Arriving at Dvagspo Tragkha he met the master Gomtsul and Shapa Lingpa, who were residing there. From Gomtsul he learnt the Mahayogini Tantra and at that time had a most auspicious vision of the white Tara Goddess. Then he proceeded to the Dvagslha Gampo monastery, where he met Je Gampopa, his destined Lama. Dusum Khyenpa presented a silk scarf and obtained precepts from J e Gampopa, who taught him the Lamrim 68 of the Kadampas and said, "I meditated on it! So should you!" Sometime later he begged for further teachings and was



initiated into the mysteries of Hevajra. During the empowerment rites Je Gampopa manifested before him in the form of Hevajra 69 himself. Within a period of nine days Dusum Khyenpa received the full transmission of the esoteric teachings. His Inner Heat was developed and he felt a strong feeling of well-being. Wearing only a single cotton-cloth he went into retreat for nine months, fasting and meditating under the guidance of his teacher. A great faculty for concentrated trance was born in him at this time and of the hundreds of disciples of Gam pop a it was realised that he had the greatest ability at meditation. Gampopa made a prophecy about him. Still continuing his meditation he travelled to the Til cave at Zangri, where he stayed for four months. Then he went to the Phagmo monastery where he remained for one month and five days. Attaining the power of fixing his mind on anything whatsoever he returned to his teacher and remained with him for three more years. From Rechungpa, a disciple of J etsun Milarepa, he learnt the teachings of Naropa and Maitripa, the 'Six Doctrines' and others. As indicated by Gampopa he stayed in a cave at Ri Wo Che and there, in a vision, a woman said to him "Don't stay here! My mother is coming back!" TaKing this as a good sign he spent fourteen months practising the meditation of compassion 69 a and as a result gained complete control of the Inner Heat. Many wonderful signs manifested, so he returned to Gampopa. Dusum Khyenpa explained his realizations to J e Gampopa, who told him to continue with his meditation for some months more. Six months passed, and, like the sun bursting through the clouds, he attained complete Enlightenment. Gampapa recognised the great attainment of his disciple and laying a hand on Dusum Khyenpa's- head he said, "My Son, you have severed your bond with the world of phenomenal existence," adding that it would henceforth be his duty to impart his realizations to others. According to an anci THE LINE OF KARMAPAS: FROM THE TIBETAN

fed by the Dakinis. He returned to his teacher once again and was told to visit Kampo Nesnang "as it would be of great benefit for living beings". Sometime passed and then Karmapa heard of the departure of his teacher. Immediately he returned to the Dvagslha Gampo monastery, where he met two of the disciples, who were in tears. He had a vision of J e Gampopa in the sky and then engaged himself in extensive rites for the propagation of the Kargyudpa Line. It was while he was there that he promised his disciples that he would live until his eighty-fourth year. The Protector Dorje Pal Tseg of Nesnang, in the Khams province, requested1 that Karmapa visit the area, which he did, establishing the large Kampo Nesnang monastery there in his fifty-sixth year ( 1165 ). This place is noted for the huge rock upon which the Tibetan letter 'Ka' appears whenever a new Karmapa incarnates into this world. 71 One day, while practising the Light Yoga ofSiddhaNaropa, fifteen heavenly Dakinis appeared before him, manifesting in the circle known as Dolma Yeshe Khorlo, the Mandala 72 of the Goddess Tara 73 • On another occasion Karmapa miraculously travelled to Singara, Ceylon, where he had an audience with Siddha Vajraghanta Heruka, 74 who gave him the greater initiation of Chakrasamvara. He next travelled to the heavenly realm of Gaden and again met the Future Buddha Maitreya, from whom he received many important teachings. It was at this time that the Nesnang monastery was completed. At the age of seventy-four Karmapa Dusum Khyenpa left Kampo Nesnang for a place called Tri-o, in Khams, situated on the banks of the Dri river. Reaching Dampa Choschug he stopped and preached to several thousand monks before continuing on through the province of Treshod, Do Khams, where he intervened to end hostilities between rival villagers. In the village of Leh he established a new monastery,. calling it Khams Mar. Then he travelled to Karma Gon, where he founded another monastery, which later became one of the largest and most important Kargyudpa centres. At this time Karmapa bestowed many blessings, teachings and initiations on the people, as well as miraculously healing those who were sick. He made the blind see again. One of Je Gampopa's disciples, Jigten Sumgun, sent a message asking Karmapa to visit the Dvagslha Gampo monastery, in accordance with Gam pop a's last wishes that his foremost disciple should reside there for some time. Karmapa undertook the long journey and upon his arrival began reconstructing his teacher's monastery. He bestowed blessings and initiations on the many monks and Lamas there. As soon as supervision of the alterations was completed he travelled to a place about fifty miles West of Lhasa, called Tsurphu, and there arranged for the building of a large new monastery 75 of that name, which became the principal seat of the Karmapa incarnates. 35


Karmapa sent seven large turquoises and seventy Yaks laden with tea to the Dvagslha Gampo monastery. He arranged for four copies of the greater Prajnaparamita to be written in gold and along with a further one hundred and eight volumes of religious scriptures, ten more large turquoises and fifty fine horses, he sent them all as an additional offering to the monastery of his teacher. He made a prediction containing all the details of the place where his next incarnation would be found and left it in the care of Drogon Rechen, one of his foremost disciples. He declared that there would be many future Karmapas, adding that there were already other incarnations of himself in existence: 76 one being in the region of Purang (near Ladakh), one on the Nepal-Tibet borderland, another in Eastern India as an emanation of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshwara 7 7 and a fourth in the Eastern world as a King named Trakpa Taye. During the last years of his life the letter 'Ka' appeared on the large rock at Kampo Nesnang. He told his senior attendant to distribute his accumulated wealth amongst the monastic communities. Then, in the female water ox year (119 3), at the age of eighty-four, he passed away and was received by numerous Dakinis. Many miraculous omens appeared at that time and auspicious relics were recovered from the funeral pyre. His foremost disciples were: (i) DECHUNG SANGYEPA: Renowned for his accurate predictions. (ii) BATSA TRAG DELWA: Renowned for his miraculous powers. (iii) DROGON RECHEN: A fine spiritual guide and teacher. (iv) CHOSPA JIGTEN SUMGUN: Founder of the Drigung subsect. (v) TANGPA CHENPO: Founder of the Taklung subsect. (vi) GYALWA LINGREPA: Founder of the Drukpa branch. (vii) DROGON TSANGPA GYARE: 78 Founder of the Tsangpa subsect. (1161-1211)

(viii) SANGYE YONTEN: From Ring Gong. (ix) KADAMPA DESHEG:

FOOTNOTES 55 Lord of Death. Tib: Sbin-r]e. 56 Mystic syllables. 57 Lit: 'One Hair', a secret Mother-Goddess, especially familiar to the Nyingmapa sect. A Tantric form of Mabakali, depicted with me eye, me tooth, me breast and one hair. 58 The Great Black One. 59 Siddbi. 6 Kbenpo means Abbot.



THE LINE OF KARMAPAS: FROM THE TIBETAN 60 a In the vicinity of Gaden monastery there are to be seen hand and foot prints of this Lama, embedded in the rock. (see "Geography of Tibet" by Wylie, p. 86). 61



Gesbe is a degree, similar to our 'Doctor of Philosophy'.


The Kadampa sect, founded through Palden Atisha.


The 'Rigs-tsbogs-drug', of the Madbyamika.


Lhelop is an Order, close to Abbot.


The Vinaya Sutras deal with vows of monkhood.


The 'Time-Cycle' teachings.

67 a

Penyul Gyal, a Kadampa monastery in the Penyul valley founded in 1012 by Dorje Wangchuk.


The meditation way.


Hevajra is a Tutelary Deity (Yidam). It is said in the Tantras that "Guru and Yidam are always One".



69 b

The Sutra in which this prediction occurs is the "mDo-Ting-'Cbin-rGyal-po".

6 9c

Lama Sakya Shribhadra, who was the last Abbot of the great Vikramashila Tantric college. He spent ten years in Tibet. (1127-1225) 70



The letter 'Ka' generally appears in a line, next to the previous one. For the present Karmapa it appeared larger, and above the others. 72 Mystic Circle, generally of initiation. 73

Tib: Dolma, the Buddhist Saviouress.


A Siddha of the Saraha Lineage.

75 Tsurphu founded c.1185. 76

Several incarnations can exist simultaneously: e.g. of Body, of Speech, of Mind, of Knowledge, etc.

77 The Compassionate One, whose Mantra is 'Om-mani-padme-hum, Hri!' 78

Drogon Tsangpa Gyare was born in Nangtod in the year 1161. At the age of twelve he was admitted to the Kulu monastery. At the age of twenty-three he met Gyalwa Lingrepa at Ralung, and became his disciple. He received the complete teachings, taking only seven days to perfect the Yoga of the Inner Heat. Ordained by Lama Shang he founded monasteries at Longdol and Namdruk. His best disciple was Go Tsangpa Gonpo Dorje, who took only eighteen days to attain perfection. Lama Go Tsangpa was the teacher of the Siddha Urgyenpa, who established the 'upper' division of the Drukpa branch.


The great monaste ry of Tsurphu , seat of the Karmapa incarnates.

KARMA GON MONASTERY Regarding Karma Gon (founded c.1185) there is a fascinating description of the monastery in Chogyam Trungpa's book 'Born in Tibet' (George Allen & Unwin, London 1966), page 86: "Special masons had been brought from Central Tibet to construct its outside walls, which were built of very small stones. Through the entrance porch, with its staircase at each side leading up to the gallery, we entered the great hall which is said to be the second largest in Tibet. This was used for all important services, for chanting the choral offices, and when addressing large gatherings. The high roof over the central part of the hall rested on one hundred pillars made from solid tree-trunks, some sixteen to twenty feet in circumference. These were lacquered vermilion with designs in yellow, blue, and gold, and their spreading capitals were of the type peculiar to Tibetan architecture. The hall was dimly lit from windows above the gallery which rested on four hundred shorter pillars, some of them made from sandal-wood brought from India. There were various rooms opening out of the gallery, some of which formed the Abbot's apartment. Twelve shrine sanctuaries off the central hall were used for devotions and in one of them were life-sized sculptures of all the incarnations of Gyalwa Karmapa, the Supreme Lama of the Order; up to the eighth incarnation of the line the workmanship was perfect, but with the remaining seven it showed some deterioration. One shrine room held the great library, the third largest in Tibet, containing a vast collection of manuscripts and also Sanskrit texts believed to date from the eighth century. Inside the great hall the walls were painted with wonderful scenes from the life of Lord Buddha, and with scenes from the history of the Karma Kargyudpa school. The lion throne placed in the centre of the hall was of sandal-wood brought from a Holy place in India; its back was of dark sandalwood painted with a gold design and with a piece of gold brocade in the centre hung round with a white scarf. The throne was carved with lion designs and the brocade on its cushions had been given by the Emperor Tohan Timur when the third Karmapa was invited to China. At the end of the hall, behind the throne, three entrances led into a tremendously lofty chamber, divided into three to hold the images of the past, present and future Buddhas; these were so gigantic that the measurement across the eyes was five feet. The central image was of Sakyamuni, the present Buddha, made of moulded brass heavily gilt; all the limbs and various parts of the body had been cast separately and put together, but the head was cast in one piece with a large diamond in 39


the centre of the forehead which, according to local stories, came from the mouth of the celestial hawk Garuda. The image had been designed by the eighth Gyalwa Karmapa (1507-15 54) and he himself had carved the sandalwood throne. The images of the past and future Buddhas were made of clay mixed with consecrated herbs; they were decorated with precious stones and each had a ruby on its forehead. A table for offerings was placed before each Image. Seen from the outside, the monastery was a grand sight with the fast flowing river below and the screen of mountains behind. It was built in three tiers; the uppermost roof over the high chamber of the three Buddha images was ~lt surmounted by a golden serto, a crest ornament denoting dignity, largely used in Tibet over monasteries. The cloisters contained eight Buddha images and four Stupas ten feet high, made of precious metals and placed under gilt canopies. All these had been brought from India in former times; three of the Stupas came from Nalanda. The monastery of Karma was a wonderful example of the artistry of the incarnation of Gyalwa Karmapa and especially of the seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth of the line; these Lamas were experts in carving, sculpture, painting and embroidery, and in smelting and casting precious metals. Karma was a unique example of the beauty of the traditional art of Tibet".



(Tib: Ka-rma Pak-shi)

Karma Pakshi was born in the male wood rat year (1204) in Drilung Wontod, as the son of a noble family from the race of the great Tibetan King, Tri Srong Detsen. 79 There were many auspicious signs at his birth and he was soon noticed to be quite an exceptional child. He was given the name of Chosdzin. By the age of six he was fully proficient in the art of writing, even though he had no teacher. At ten he had completed a study of the religious texts available to him and only needed to glance at a text or hear it once in order to know it fully. It was this power of natural knowledge which finally convinced his parents that he had a high spiritual birth. His first teacher was Lama Gyalsay Born Trakpa, a disciple of Dragon Rechen, whom the first Karmapa had entrusted with the prediction details of his future incarnation. The Lama said to him, "Today the Heroes 80 and Dakinis appeared in the sky like a mass of clouds. You will be blessed by Dakin is!" The same night the Tutelary Deities informed the teacher that the boy was the new Karmapa and there were many auspicious indications to confirm it. He told the boy "You are fortunate! All the Kargyudpa teachers, including Dusum Khyenpa, have appeared. Now you should practise the doctrines!" At the age of eleven Karma Pakshi received the primary ordination 81 from Khatog Champa Bum and was given the name of Choskyi Lama. He was taught the mystic Doha-songs 8 2 of Siddha Saraha and the Gampopa teachings of the Mahamudra. Whilst instructing him in the art of meditation his teacher found that the young Lama was already perfected in it. He was initiated into the mystic teachings of Siddha Tilopa and during this period had a vision of Avalokiteshwara, who manifested in the form with eleven heads and many arms. For ten years he practised meditation, perfected the Yoga of Inner Heat 83 and frequently received visions of the Goddess Tara while reciting her Mantras. Disturbances broke out in the region and the young Karmapa left for Tashi Porn Trag, Eastern Tibet, where he stayed in the Tsorong Gon monastery and engaged himself in deep meditation. There he had a vision of the Protector Dorje Pal Tseg of Nesnang, who asked him to visit his territory. Karmapa undertook the journey and on his arrival there seated himself upon a large rock close to the small Nesnang lake and once more practised his meditation. He had a most auspicious vision of Chakrasamvara, and used his powers to control many demons and demigods who were living in a nearby mountain. To the human eye the mountain appeared to dissolve in landslides. The Protector Dorje Pal Tseg then promised to protect all future disciples of the Karmapas. Once, while visiting a place of pilgrimage called Sharchog Pung Ri, Karmapa 41


saw many Dakinis dancing together and the Great Protector Mahakala 84 himself, apparently busy constructing a building. Feeling that the place must be extremely auspicious Karmapa decided to found a monastery there. The Dakinis informed him that the singing of Mantras during the building work would greatly help the progress. 85 As a result of this the monastery was completed in a remarkably short time. Karmapa resided at this place for eleven years and engaged himself in the practice of the Subtle-Breath 86 teachings. On many occasions rainbows were seen all around him and coloured light streamed out of his body. His fame spread far and wide and many pilgrims came to receive his blessings. In the South there was a place called Rong Tsen Ka wa Karpo, known to be inhabited by the Tutelary Chakrasamvara. No human had ever been able to find a way to reach the sacred spot but Karmapa had a vision of the route there and had soon opened it up for pilgrimage. He spread the teachings far and wide, and brought the doctrines of the Kargyudpas right to the regions on the Sino-Tibetan borders. He journeyed to Tuk, in central Tibet, to rebuild the monasteries of Dusum Khyenpa and also to revitalise the spread of the Buddhist Dharma in the provinces of Dri and Den. Then he visited eighteen regions of Southern Tibet and stayed for a while in the great monastery of Karma Gon. Hearing of excessive hunting in the country of jyang he sent a message prohibiting it. Karmapa travelled to the important Tsurphu monastery, badly damaged during local wars. 8 7 Completely rebuilding it he spent six years there and bestowed many teachings and initiations on the Lamas, monks and lay-people. He left for Tsang, in Western Tibet, passing by the Lam lake from which the great Lake-Goddess Lam Tso Lhamo appeared and presented him with a golden elixirjar. 88 At this time China was partially under Mongolian rule. The Emperor of Mongolia was called Mo~gkor Gen (Mongka) and his brother Kublai (Garbe La) was ruler of the Sino-Tibetan border regions on his behalf. From Kublai an envoy was sent bearing an invitation for Karmapa to visit China. At the age of fortyseven he set out on the loQg journey. Travelling for a period of three years he spread the Kargyudpa teachings widely and reached the great Wuk Tok palace in the female wood rabbit year (1255). 89 The Sakya Pandita, Kunga Gyaltsen, 90 had been staying in the palace for some years previously, but had passed away before the arrival of the Kargyudpa party. Karmapa was highly honoured and there were many fine celebrations, culminating in his blessings being bestowed on Kublai and his court. By this time the Sakya sect was firmly established in China, through the influence of the Sakya Pandita, who expounded the Buddhist teachings to the Mongolians. Unfortunately political factions resented the arrival of the Gyalwa Karmapa, and threatened inter-sectarian schisms. Karmapa decided to return to Tibet, despite repeated 42


requests from Kublai, who demanded that he must remain. He left the palace and travelled to the Mi Nya province, there establishing a large temple and many smaller ones. Thousands were converted to the way of Kargyudpa Buddhism. In the second month of the male fire dragon year ( 1256) he reached Amdo Tsang Kha region of North Eastern Tibet. In the meantime there had been disputes between the Mongolian rulers: Kublai had been ousted by Mongkor Gen, 91 who now ruled over Mongolia and a large part of China. Hearing of the wondrous deeds of the Karmapa the Emperor invited him back to China. The invitation was accepted and upon his return Karmapa was very royally received at the new Emperor's palace92 • He bestowed many teachings and initiations. On the nineteenth day of the eighth month of that year ( 1256) he visited Sen Shing, Tao Si and Er Kaow, where in a debate he defeated many non-Buddhist Sages and converted them all to Kargyudpa Buddhism. On the twelfth day of the ninth month he performed the miracle of stopping the snow and the wind, even though it was the middle of winter. He also arranged for all prisoners in the region to be set free. On another occasion Karmapa recited Mantras to drive away hordes of insect~ which had attacked the crops. Other pests were likewise dispelled by casting a single handful of soil at them. He then returned to Tibet, on the way establishing a new monastery at Tao Hu Chu Makha, where he stayed for several months. After four years Karmapa reached the Sino-Tibetan border region of Ila, where he was informed that the Emperor Mongkor had died, to be succeeded by his son Ariq Boga, who had subsequently lost a war with Kublai. Thus Kublai established himself as Supreme Khan and Emperor of both Mongolia and China (in 1260). Karmapa was much grieved to hear of all the fighting and bloodshed and spent seven days in the region, meditating and saying prayers for the future peace of China. On the last day of his meditation he had a vision of Lord Buddha standing before him. In this vision he was instructed to arrange for the building of a large statue of the Buddha, twenty-six arm-spans in height, in order to establish a lasting peace and for the salvation of the thousands killed in the war. The Emperor Kublai Khan, hearing that Karmapa was in Ila and remembering how seven years earlier he had refused Kublai's request to prolong his stay in the palace, sent thirty thousand soldiers to arrest him. When they confronted Karmapa they were immediately paralysed by his two-finger Mudra, 9 3 but feeling compassion for them he restored their movements and freely allowed them to seize him. They wrapped him in a cloth and tried to tie him up, but his body was like a rainbow, with no substance and they found the task impossible. Then they forced him to drink poison, but far from having any effect blinding rays of light began to stream from his body instead and the soldiers were very afraid. They took him to a high mountain and pushed him off, but he glided down, landed on a



lake and travelled across the surface like a duck. Unsuccessfully they tried to burn him, throwing him with two of his disciples 94 into a blazing fire. Streams of water came out of their bodies and soon put out the flames. The Emperor Kublai Khan heard of the events and ordered that Karmapa should be locked up without any provisions. For a period of seven days people could observe heavenly beings providing him with food and drink. The Emperor relented 9 5 and became his disciple. For some time he remained in the great palace96 and was highly honoured. Karmapa recalled the vision with the instruction for the building of a large statue of Lord Buddha. The task was soon to be undertaken, seven large loads of gold being sent to Tsurphu monastery, accompanied by a message that a smith from Tsang who was living there was one of Karmapa's manifestations and should be put in charge of the work. His disciple Den Gom, having been sent back from China to Tsurphu, supervised details of the construction of the great statue. Materials and funds were continually sent from China so that the work could be successfully undertaken. After three years it was completed, but the image curiously appeared to be leaning over to the left. Karmapa spent six years in China 97 giving teachings, blessings and initiations. He built many monasteries and temples. His grateful disciples honoured him with many gifts, which he threw into a spring near Shang Tu before leaving the country. Upon his return to the Tsurphu monastery, some two years later, the presents were all miraculously recovered from a pool nearby. The return journey passed along the borders of Mongolia, where Karmapa found a huge golden roof. It had been taken as booty when the Mongol army had attacked India, but left behind on their way home as so many soldiers were sick that they could no longer carry it. Karmapa took the roof to Kha Chu, on the Sino-Tibetan border, but a bad omen indicated it would be wisest to leave one half of it there. The other piece was taken with him to Tsurphu, where it was bent in half and placed on top of the monastery along with two golden peacocks and a golden pinnacle. At Tsurphu monastery Karmapa sat in meditation posture before the huge new statue of Lord Buddha, lining his body up with the tilt of the image. Slowly he straightened himself up into a vertical position and simultaneously the statue did likewise. The Siddha Urgyenpa, 98 a disciple of Rigdzin Go Tsangpa, visited the Karmapa and imparted several additional teachings of Siddha Tilopa to him. Karmapa told him that he would be the teacher of his next incarnation. A couple named Chosphel and Changden, from Tingri Langkor in Southern Tibet, came to Tsurphu on pilgrimage and had an audience with Karmapa. He told them that his next incarnation would be born as their son and that he had already transmitted part of himself into the womb of the woman.



Five months passed, and then, on the third day of the third month of the female water sheep year (1283) he passed away, having performed the rite of Consciousness-Transference. 99 There were many curious and auspicious omens and on the ninth day the cremation was performed. Numerous relics were recovered from the ashes, among them those of his heart, tongue and eyes, as well as dazzling conch-like forms twisted to the right and interconnected letters, symbolic signs and images. He was in his eightieth year. 1 00 His foremost disciples were: (i) DRUPTOP URGYENPA: The Siddha from Urgyen. (ii) NYENRES GEDUN BUM: A great Lama, who taught the next Karmapa incarnation. (iii) MACHAWA CHANGCHUB TSONTRU: A great scholar and teacher of the Madhyamika.


Who ruled wisely (c. 740·798), and constructed the great Samye monastery.



81 Tib: Rabjum Getsul. 82 Tib: Do·ba sKor-gSum. 8 3 Tib: gTum·mo. 84 Usually of wrathful appearance, coloured blue or black. 85 It was, traditionally, the first time that Mantras were sung in this way. 86 Tib: rTsa Lung, the subtle nerves and breath. A Yoga technique developed by the Siddhas. 87

Started by Bheri, a robber-chieftain.


Tib: Pum-ba.

89 According to H. Richardson, Karmapa joined Kublai at Rongyul Sertod, which he locates somewhere near Tachienlu. (in J.R.A.S., 1958). 90 The Sakya Pandita (1182-1251), a disciple of Sakya Shribhadra from Kashmir, received the following letter from Godan Khan in the year 1244: "1, the most powerful and prosperous Prince Godan, wish to inform the Sakya Pandita Kunga Gyaltsen that we need a Lama to advise my ignorant people on how to conduct themselves morally and spiritually. I need someone to pray for the welfare of my deceased parents... It would, of course, be easy for me to send a large body of troops to bring you here, but in doing so harm and unhappiness might be brought to the innocent. So come quickly!" 91 In c.124 7 the Sakya Pandita was appointed Mongolian Vice-Regent in Tibet by Godan Khan, grandson of Ghenghiz Khan and Governor of the North-Eastern regions bordering on Tibet. After various disputes as to who should be Supreme Khan the power passed from Godan's family to another branch of the Ghenghiz line, and the grandson Mongka became Grand Khan. The Sakya Pandita died just before this change and his nephew Phagpa (who died in 1280, having invented the Mongol script) diplomatically switched his loyalties to Kublai, Mongkas younger brother. Phagpa enthroned Kublai in 1260, and spent most of his remaining years in the court of the Emperor. It was likely that he was there during the stay of Karmapa in the palace.


KARMAPA: THE BLACK HAT LAMA OF TIBET 92 AccordingtoH.Richardson,hewent to the grand palace of Zi-Ra Ur-Do inOn-Ge'i Yul, South ofMongka's headquarters at Karakorum. 93

The Tantric 'paralysing' gesture (Mudra).


Rinchen Pal and Yeshe Wangchuk. Two of his foremost disciples.


Kublai Khan passed an edict, declaring: "In Tibet and other countries you may now practice your religion according to your desire, and let you offer prayers for me." 96 According to Marco Polo: "The palace is the largest that was ever seen. It has a very high roof. Inside, the walls of the halls and chambers are all covered with gold and silver and decorated with pictures of dragons and birds and horsemen and various breeds of beasts and scenes of battle. The ceiling is similarly adorned. The hall is so large that a meal might be served for six thousand people in it. The whole building is so immense and well-made that no improvement could be made. The roof is all ablaze with scarlet, green, blue and yellow". 97 In 'The Travels of Marco Polo' (Tr: Ronald Latham, Folio Society, London, 1968) there is the following interesting reference to the goings-on at Kublai Khan's court: " ... Here is another remarkable fact about these enchanters (Lamas), or Bakbsbi as they are called. I assure you that, when the Great Khan is seated in his high hall at his table, which is raised more than eight cubits above the floor, and the cups are on the table of the hall, a good ten paces distant from the table, and are full of wine and milk and other drinks, these Bakbsbi contrive by their enchantment and their art that the full cups rise up of their own accord from the floor on which they have been standing and come up to the Great Khan without anyone touching them. And this they do in the sight of ten thousand men. What I have told you is the plain truth, without a word of falsehood." The 'Bakbsbi' referred to seems to be the followers of Karma Paksbi, since he was the influential 'enchanter' of that time. In the memoirs of Lama Phagpa (the Sakyapa) he mentions that Kublai Khan was friendly with a stranger from a far-away land. Undoubtedly this refers to Marco Polo, who lived for many years in the court of Kublai. 98 Urgyenpa was born in Yermo Tang, Eastern Tibet, in the year 1230. He took ordinations from Bodong Ringtsepa and studied with Go Tsangpa Gonpo Dorje, the foremost disciple of Drogon Tsangpa Gyare (founder of the Tsangpa Kargyud subsect). He visited many Holy places and travelled on pilgrimage to the land of Urgyen (where Padmasambhava was born), where he saw the great Dakini Vajravarabi and thus became a Siddha. He travelled on pilgrimage all around India, visited Ceylon and together with the Ceylonese King contributed to the repair of the great Bodh Gaya temple. He visited Tsurphu monastery and then went to China, where he became a teacher of the Emperor. After his return to Tibet he passed away there at the age of seventy. He had many disciples, the foremost of whom was Gyalwa Yang Gonpa.


Tib: Pbo-wa. One of the 'Six Yogas' of the Siddha Naropa.


In the 'Blue Annals' of Zhonu Pal (Translated by G. N. Roerich, Calcutta 1953) it clearly gives Karma Pakshi's birth date as the male wood rat year (1204) and his passing as the female water sheep year (1283), mentioning that he was in his eightieth year when he left his body. Other Tibetan sources disagree in the year of his birth, which is put two years later: the male fire tiger year (1206). All are in agreement with the year of his passing. It seems that the records of Zhonu Pal are most likely to be reliable.



(Tib: Rang-byung rDo-rje)

Rangjung Dorje was born on the eighth day of the first month of the male wood monkey year (1284), in the evening, just as the moon was rising, on the roof of a house in Tingri Langkor, Southern Tibet. After his birth he sat cross-legged and said, "The moon has risen!" His mother took this to be a bad omen and threw ashes into his mouth, but his father recalled the words of Karma Pakshi and restrained her from acting further. Consequently the boy did not speak again until he was three years of age. When he was three, while playing with some other children, he suddenly asked them to make him a throne out of cut squares of turf. He sat upon it, produced a black hat, which he put on his head and then declared that he was the Karmapa. He told his friends that they were indulging in Samsara, the cycle of births and deaths, but that he had already transcended it. The children went off and told their parents about the remarkable things that he had said. His parents took him on a pilgrimage to the image of Lord Buddha at Tingri and on perceiving it he experienced the sensation of a rainbow merging into him. He learnt some Buddhist precepts from his father and knew the alphabet without having it taught to him. In his dreams he had many pure visions. At the age of five he told his father that he would like to see the Siddha Urgyenpa, so they travelled together to the place where he was staying. The day before they reached there Urgyenpa had a dream in which Karma Pakshi appeared and told him that he would be coming to see him on the following day. Early in the morning Urgyenpa told his disciples of the likelihood of the auspicious event, a throne was set up and a large procession organised. The child arrived, accompanied by his father, went straight up to the high throne and sat upon it. "Who are you that you sit upon the throne of my Teacher?" asked the Siddha. "I am the famous Lama Karmapa!" replied the boy. Urgyenpa then asked him to relate how they had met before, to which the boy replied, "One great Siddha once came to me. He was you and told me about all the pilgrimages and travels made throughout that marvellous land of India". He then climbed down from his throne, prostrated before the Siddha and said that in the previous life he had been the teacher, but that in this life he would become Urgyenpa's disciple. The prediction details left by Karma Pakshi were consulted and it was established beyond any doubt that the child was the Karmapa. From Siddha Urgyenpa Karmapa received the empowerments of Chakrasamvara, Hevajra, Kalachakra and Vajrakila, 101 as well as the special teaching~ of Vajrapani. At the age of seven he received the primary ordination from Kunden Sherab at the Tor Phuwa monastery, and studied the teachings of Pratimoksha 47


under his guidance. During a higher initiation from Siddha Urgyenpa he saw his teacher in the form of Chakrasamvara. Sometime later the Great Protectors Mahakala and Ekajata appeared before him and told him to go to Tsurphu as quickly as possible. In the meantime Lama Nyenres Gedun Bum, 102 who was at Tsurphu had a vision of the compassionate Avalokiteshwara, who informed him that the new incarnation of Gyalwa Karmapa had appeared. Soon Karmapa Rangjung Dorje arrived and was greatly honoured by all at the great monastery founded in his first incarnation. Lama Nyenres imparted the Six Doctrines• 03 of Siddha Naropa to him, along with the detailed instructions for realizing the Mahamudra 104 and full initiation into the Mula Hevajra Tantra. Karmapa had a vision of his teacher surrounded by Lamas of the Kargyudpa Lineage. The Goddess Ekajata once more appeared and presented him with a dry sprig, which he planted and which later became a large tree. He learnt the 'Old' and the 'New' Tantras and also the rites of Chod! 05 At the age of eighteen Karmapa received the final ordination• 06 from Sakya Zhonu Changchub, studied the precepts of the Vinaya and the worship of the Goddess Tara. He travelled to the great Karma Gon monastery, founded in his first incarnation, and established the small temple and hermitage of Lha Ten about half a days journey from there. On one occasion this temple suddenly caught fire but the young Lama extinguished the blaze by throwing a handful of grain into the flames and uttering Mantras. He made a journey to Rong Tsen Kawa Karpo, the place sacred to the Tutelary Deity Chakrasamvara which he had made accessible to pilgrims in his previous incarnation. Then he visited the monasteries of Nesnang, where he found that owing to regional fighting the situation there was unsettled. Karmapa acted as mediator and put an end to all the hostilities. When peace was fully restored he returned once more to Central Tibet where he wrote a commentary on the Mula Hevajra teaching. He studied the doctrines of the Great Perfection, 1 0 7 the Kalachakra Tantra and other higher teachings of the Kargyudpas and also perfected his knowledge of general philosphy. From Lama Ba Re he learnt the basic texts of medical science, 1 0 8 from Tsultrim Rinchen the teachings of the Guhyasarnaja and from Rigdzin Kumararaja the Heart Drop doctrine 109 of Vimalamitra and the secret teachings of Niguma. 1 10 Karmapa returned to Tsurphu and stayed in the Perna Chung Tsong hermitage there, engaging himself in meditation. In a vision the Siddha Urgyenpa appeared before him, explained all the special teachings of Karma Pakshi 11 1 and initiated him into the inner esoteric doctrines of Siddha Tilopa. He also had a vision of Guru Padmasambhava and received his blessings. Continuing his meditation he saw the planets and stars of the inner and outer spheres resolve themselves, had a 48


great inspiration and composed a treatise on astrology, which later became established as a new system. 1 1 2 On a mountain range behind Tsurphu Karmapa Rangjung Dorje founded a large new monastery with many caves for meditation and called it Dechen Yangri. There he composed another treatise on astrology, called 'The Hidden Inner Meaning'. 1 13 He travelled to Southern Tibet and founded an hermitage at Nakphu. In the provinces of Kong, Lung and Ral he preached to the people, and established a large monastery at Trak Ru, near Bhutan. In the tiger year (1326) he visited Lhasa, preached there extensively and bestowed initiations and blessings. The Mongolian Emperor Tokh Temur, 1 14 who was ruling all China, invited Karmapa to visit him and this he accepted, travelling via Tsurphu. Continuing the journey he reached Dam Shung in the Khams province. There it suddenly started to thunder and snow in a most unseasonal way. Karmapa meditated on the portents of this strange occurrence and found that it indicated the imminent death of the Emperor, so he turned back to Tsurphu and passed the winter there. During this period he sent all the Chinese representatives, who had been with him to organise his journey, on pilgrimage to various parts of Tibet. On the first day of the second month of the water monkey year ( 13 32), at the beginning of spring, Karmapa again set out for China. When he reached Khams he decided to speed up the journey, in the hope of meeting Emperor Tokh Temur before his death. But on arriving at Chin Chow On, in China, sudden flashes in the sky informed him that he was too late, so he set up camp and perframed the death-rites. The journey was continued and the party arrived at the Tai-ya Tu 115 palace on the eighteenth day of the tenth month of the monkey year (1332), where it was confirmed that the Emperor had indeed died on the day of the sudden lightning flashes. Rinchen Pal, who was in charge of the palace, officially welcomed Karmapa, as did all the members of the Royal family, the Ministers and the monks and laymen. All honoured him highly and received his blessings. He made a prophecy about an accident which would befall Rinchen Pal. II 6 After one month Karmapa Rangjung Dorje performed great ceremonies and rites in memory of the deceased Emperor. His brother, Toghon Temur,l 17 was to succeed, but the astrologers had advised a six-month wait, and E-le Temur was temporarily acting as Regent. Then, on the fifteenth day of the first month of the female water bird year (1333) the new Emperor was ceremonially enthroned by Karmapa, who bestowed blessings and initiations on him and his family. In return the Emperor gave him the honorific title "All-knower of Religion, the Buddha Karmapa". Hundreds of thousands of people were witness to the highly auspicious events. On the fifteenth day of the fifth month of the male wood dog year (1334) 49


Karmapa returned to Tibet, establishing many new monasteries on the journey. He visited Riwo Tse Nga, the great mountain pilgrimage place of the Bodhisattva Manjusri, 11 8 in Western China, where he performed many rites and had an auspicious vision of the Bodhisattva himself. He reached Tsurphu in the ninth month of the female wood pig year (1335). Karmapa visited Mi Nya, travelling to all the Kargyudpa monasteries there in in order to revitalise the Dharma. While giving the empowerment of Avalokiteshwara to the people a rainbow appeared in the sky overhead and flowers fell down from it. Many of the Bonpos 119 and non-Buddhists in the region were thus quickly converted. In the same period a local war broke out between the provinces of Wang Jo and Mi Nya. A large group of merchants, accompanying herds of some three thousand Yaks, who were in the region of Mi Nya, were suddenly seized and threatened with death. Karmapa iQtervened and saved them. Then he helped to make a peaceful settlement between the waring parties, explaining to them the value of compassionate action in everyday life. He then returned to Karma Gon. All the Protectors of North Eastern Tibet, especially in the region of Mi Nya, asked Karmapa to remain and continue spreading the Dharma there. On the twenty-fifth day of the eighth month of the female 'Vood pig year (1335) he preached in the Dam province of Kha:;}S. In the ninth month of the same year he returned to Tsurphu and there received a new invitation to visit China. Instead he travelled to Lhasa, reaching there on the tenth day of the eleventh month of the same year, where he was met by another messenger from the Chinese Emperor, again inviting him to visit China. While in the vicinity of Lhasa Karmapa Rangjung Dorje visited the great Samye 120 monastery and the famous Chim Phu 121 temple, where he stayed in deep meditation for five months. During this period he had an auspicious vision of Guru Padmasambhava and the Mystic Circle of Dakinis. He arranged for the preparation of new copies of the Buddhist scriptures, the Kanjur and Tan jur. 1 2 2 In the eighth month of the male fire rat year (1336) Karmapa set out for China once more, visiting Tsurphu on the way. He performed many rites and ceremonies on the long journey and eventually arrived at the Tai-ya Tu palace. The Chinese Emperor was waiting for him at the gates and welcomed him warmly. There were great celebrations. Karmapa spent eleven days in each of the palaces of Tai-ya Tu, Tai-ya Tsi and Tai-ya Sri imparting teachings and bestowing initiations. In the great Tai-ya Tu palace he founded a new monastery especially for the Karmapa sect, in which the Mandala of red four-armed Avalokiteshwara 123 was constructed and painted; in addition several beautiful statues of the great Kargyudpa teachers were installed in the new monastery. The palace Mandala of Chakrasamvara was presented to Karmapa by the Emperor. 50


Some influential Ministers became anxious at the presence of Karmapa, feeling that the influence of his new Buddhism might interfere with their political ambitions. They arranged for some temples to be de'stroyed in China and Mongolia and demanded that there should be an immediate inquiry. This was duly arranged and both the Emperor and Karmapa were called to speak. In answer to charges that he was furthering his own political interests Karmapa replied that he had come to China at the request of the Supreme Emperor and that if there was any embarrassment about his presence then he would leave. He was much saddened by this turn of events, particularly since his sole motive for coming to China was that he hoped the Buddhist Dharma would be of help to the people; he had no political ambitions. The Chinese Emperor was very upset and begged Karmapa to remam. After performing ceremonies to put to an end a severe drought, which had for some time been affecting certain parts of China, Karmapa let it be known that the time was approaching when he would leave his body. The Emperor fervently requested that he remain alive longer and continue his work in China, but Karmapa told him that the moment had come for his departure, that he would be reborn in the- region of Kongpo and that he would return to China and see him again in his next incarnation. To his personal secretary, Kunchok Rinchen, he gave precise details of where and how to find his next incarnation, adding that he would declare himself at the appropriate time. Then, on the fourteenth day of the sixth month of the female earth rabbit year (1339), while in front of the great Chakrasamvara Mandala, having just completed the full rites and distributed the sacramental pills 1 2 4 to all the participants, he passed away. There was great lamentation. However, very early in the morning of the next day, the sentries of the palace looked up in the sky and there in the full moon they could clearly see Karmapa. Immediately the bells were rung to awaken the Emperor and Empress, who looked out of the palace window and saw their Precious Teacher clearly visible in the Mandala of the moon. The very next day a fine craftsman was summoned and instructed to carve carefully a likeness of the Gyalwa Karmapa as he had appeared in the moon. This image when completed was most beautiful and remained one of the most precious possessions of the Emperor. 1 25 At the time of his passing Rangjung Dorje, the third Karmapa, was in his fifty-six year. His foremost disciples were: (i) YAGDE PANCHEN: A fine Lama. He was also a disciple of Yungton Dorje (1284-1376), the Sakya leader who was also greatly influenced by Karmapa Rangjung Dorje. (ii) KUNCHEN DOLPOPA SHERAB GYALTSEN: From Dolpo, North-Western 51


Nepal. He founded the jonang sect. (1292-1361) (iii) SHAMAR TRAKPA SENGE: The first Shamar Tulku. Who received all the highest teachings and perfected them. (1283-1349) (iv) GYALWA YUNG TONPA (Yungton Dorje Pal): Who received the esoteric transmission. He was ~:me of the four principle disciples of Buton. (v) TAKLUNG KUNPANG RINPOCHE: Of the Taklung monastery.


These Tantric doctrines of the Vajrayana all originated in India.


A disciple of the second Karmapa, he became a Siddha.


The 'Na-ro Chos-drug' ('Six Doctrines'): (1) Inner Heat Yoga, (2) Illusory-Body Yoga, (3) Dream Yoga, (4) Light Yoga, (5) Intermediate-State Yoga, and (6) Consciousness-Transference Yoga.


Tib: 'Phyag-rGya Chen-po'.

10 5

The 'Non-ego' rites, as taught by Phadampa Sangye, a Nyingmapa Siddha.


Tib: Nyenzog.


Tib: rDzogs Chen, especially stressed by the Nyingmapas. It is the Tantra of Non-Duality.


The 'gSo-ba Rig-pa'.


Tib: rDzogs-Chen-sNying-thig (The Maha Ati doctrines), of Pandita Vimalamitra.


The 'Ni-gu Chos-drug'. Niguma was Siddha Naropa's wife who later became a Yogini and a Siddha. She is generally referred to as his 'sister'. 111

The Karma Pakshi initiations are still given today. 2 There are two main systems of astrology in Tibet: (i) Central Tibetan, and (ii) Tsurphu system, as conceived by Karmapa Rangjung Dorje. 11


The '7.ab-mo Nang-don'.


Emperor of China from 1329-1332.

1 15

The Tai-ya Tu palace was in Peking.


Rinchen Pal was Emperor very briefly, but died suddenly, shortly after the arrival of Karmapa.


Toghon Temur, Emperor from 13 3 3 to 1368.

1 18

This Bodhisattva embodies All-Knowledge. He is depicted with a sword and a book.


The Bonpo are the pre-Buddhist cult of Tibet, later assimilated. Their origins are likely to have been in Central Asia. The practices are very Shamanistic. 120

Samye was founded in the 8th Cenrury, by Santarakshita and Guru Padmasambhava.


Chim Phu temple dates from the eighth century.


The Buddhist canonical literature, of Sutras, Tantras and commentaries.


Tib: Gyalwa Gyamtso: a Tantric form of Avalokiteshwara. An initiation.


THE LINE OF KARMAPAS: FROM THE TIBETAN 124 Tib: 'Deutse', consecrated Holy pills, often of medicinal value, of the 'five Elixirs' (Skt. Pancbamrita). The base is often Myrobalans. 12 5 This statue was carved from a precious stone and was, untih:ccendy, known to be in Peking.

Wood-block print showing Karmapa Rangjung Dorje as he appeared in the moon after his passing.



(Tib: Rol-pa'i rDo-rje)

Rolpe Dorje was born on the eighth day of the third month of the male iron tiger year (1340), at sunrise, in A-la Rong of the Kongpo province. His father was called Sonam Dondrup, and his mother, Zobsa Tsondru, was a natural wisdomDakini. 126 While still in her womb he could be heard reciting the 'Mani' Mantra and his body frequently assumed strange postures, which caused her to shake. As soon as he was born he sat cross-legged and said, "Om mani Padme Hum, Hri! I am the Karmapa!" Then he recited the letters of the alphabet. His father was very sceptical but his mother told him not to doubt as she had had many highly auspicious dreams. At the age of three the child was taken to Nyangpo and there he said to his mother 'I am the reincarnation of Karma Pakshi. I shall have many disciples in this world, just you wait and see!" He assumed the meditation posture of Amitabha, the Buddha of Boundless Light, and then told his mother not to mention his conversations to anyone else. He then added that he would eventually go to Tsurphu and Karma Gon and that he already had many fine disciples in the Imperial palace of China. A search party, looking for the Karmapa incarnation in the Kongpo province, heard of the remarkable child. Led by the personal secretary of the previous Karmapa they were quickly convinced that the new incarnation had been found and he was taken to the Dvagslha monastery of Je Gampopa. Upon his arrival there he immediately pointed to the statues of past Karmapas, saying 'That is me!" to each of them. Once the ascetic Gon Gyal asked him about the Tushita heaven, explaining that one of the disciples of the previous Karmapa had had a vision of him living there. Karmapa Rolpe Dorje replied, "Yes, I went there in the form of a unicorn 127 and sometimes was a vulture. On the whole, Tushita is not far off!" On being pressed further he said "In Tushita all the waters are Elixir/ 28 the stones are jewels. The things of men have no value there." At the age of six Rolpe Dorje received the primary ordination 129 from Tokden Ye Gyalwa, a disciple of his previous incarnation. At nine he began a deep study of the Chakrasamvara Tantra, the Mahayoginitantraraja, 130 the 'Five Treatises' of Maitreya 131 and the 'Heart Drop' teachings of Vimalamitra. The full empowerment of the Kanjur was given to him, together with the transmission of the 'Six Doctrines' of Naropa. Then he travelled to Tsari, where he had many visions of Teachers of the Kargyudpa Lineage and received the secret rites of Kurukulla. 132 Many songs were sung by him at this time. Karmapa travelled to the great Tsurphu monastery and then to Phagmo133 54


monastery, where he explained his understanding of non-duality and had a vision of the Goddess Vajravarahi. At the age of thirteen he visited Lhasa, where he was greatly honoured by the Ruler, Tai Situ Changchub Gyaltsen. 134 He made offerings at all the main shrines in the city and had wonderful visions of the Tutelary Deities. Then he returned to Tsurphu for the continuation of his studies. From Kenchen Dodrup Pal he received the next ordination 135 at Tsurphu, and was given the name Dharmakirti. The teachings of the Vinayas, the Pratimoksha and the Karikas were passed to him and he recdved the initiation of red Manjughosa. He had visions of the Bodhisattva Vajrapani and other Deities. At the age of eighteen he received the final ordination 136 from Kenchen Dodrup Pal. For a while he studied philosophy and religious debate with the most learned Lamas of Tsurphu and then invited Gyalwa Yung Tonpa to come from Ri Wo Che 13 7 and impart the esoteric teachings of Tilopa to him. Once Yung Tonpa, a disciple of his previous incarnation, asked for evidence of his former lifetime. The young Lama told him stories of how he had converted the Mongols and the journeys that he had made. Karmapa Rolpe Dorje observed all the Vinaya precepts. He forbade anyone to bring even the smallest piece of meat into his presence. Always keeping many books around him it was said that he was able to read them in his dreams. He also knew more than sixty different kinds of scripts and always amazed his teachers with his vast knowledge. Once, at Dechen, he gave full description of the Imperial palace of Tai-ya Tu, in China, stating the number of inhabitants and the names of some of the officials there. He said "Keep it in mind, and later when we reach there you will find it to be true!" Shortly afterwards an invitation was received to visit China. On the twentieth day of the fifth month of the male earth dog year (1358), at the age of nineteen, the journey was started. Lightning suddenly struck at places on the way, without doing any harm at all, so Karmapa took this to be a favourable omen. Throughout the journey he preached and bestowed blessings on the people. At one place, near China, he met five Indian Holy Men 138 who presented him with three precious statues; one being of Lord Buddha in meditation, and two others made by Nagarjuna depicting miracles of Buddha's life. 139 Karmapa reached the Tai-ya Tu palace on the eighteenth day of the eleventh month of the male iron rat year (1360) and was warmly welcomed by Emperor Toghon Temur, who was especially delighted since he had been a devoted disciple of the previous Karmapa. He bestowed the initiations of Vajrayogini 140 and Chakrasamvara and preached extensively to the people. To the Emperor he gave the special teachings of Mahamudra and composed a number of treatises for his benefit. Karmapa spent several years in China and established many monasteries. 55

A statue of Lord Buddha, showing miraculous events of his life. This is one of two which were presented to Karmapa Rolpe Dorje by five Indian Holy Men, whom he met on the way to China. This statue was made by Siddha Nagarjuna, out of a metal-like material which was recovered from the magical lake of the serpent Kings (Nagas). It is preserved at the new Rumtek monastery, Sikkim.


Visiting Amdo Tsong Kha, in the North-East, he composed a treatise, 141 which was a great help to the community. Once he visited Kam Chu Ling, 14 2 and near the throne in the monastery there appeared a flower unseen previously in that region. It had one hundred stalks springing up from one root, each stalk having one hundred flowers and each flower having one thousand golden petals, with a red centre and a yellow stamen. Everyone was amazed. At this time there was a plague in the region, but he effectively subdued it. At another place in China he delivered a sermon before a great multitude of people, many of whom spoke different languages. On the right side of his throne stood Mongol and Uighur translators, and to the left were Mi Nya and Chinese translators. Thus his disciples were clearly able to understand his words. He set numerous district officials and important personalities of China, Mongolia, Uighuria, and Mi Nya on the path of highest Enlightenment. He pacified revolts, stopped famines and eased droughts. Karmapa foresaw a great change of events in China, and said "Harm will come to the Imperial throne. And soon I must myself leave for Tibet." Those Ministers who heard him say this were very upset and refused to allow him to leave. Then he said "Marvellous indeed is the play which comes to its end before a large audience. The duty of a monk is to go wherever a peaceful place is to be found and to help spread the doctrines through compassion to all beings." These words were written down by the officials and were preserved as a sacred relic. He was granted permission to leave. He proceeded Northwards and then on to Mi Nya, where he met Prince Ratna and Princess Punyadhari and preached to them. At Zor Gon Moche he established a large monastery and made a rule that those who had received his blessings on one day should not come again on the next. He used to dispense blessings without interruption from morning until sunset and once continued to do so for nineteen days without a break. A great epidemic spread in the province of Kam Chu, and Karmapa was asked to help drive it away. "Well don't wake me up!", he said, and then seemed to be asleep. Sometime passed and then a loud bump was heard on the roof of the monastery and he awoke saying, "Just now I assumed the shape of a huge Garuda 14 3 bird and devoured all the demons who had sent the epidemic. I came down on the roof of the house, which was why the loud bump was to be heard." The epidemic disappeared completely. One day a family brought a young boy to him for the primary ordination. Instead of giving the expected one he bestowed the fuller ordination and at the same time (13 61) made a prediction that the child would eventually become a great spiritual leader. This was Lobzang Trakpa, who later became the great 57


teacher Je Tsongkhapa, 144 founder of the Gelugpa sect. Karmapa was asked to remain in the region longer, but he decided he had to leave. Once Princess Punyadhari told Karmapa that she had had a dream in which she was told that if anyone made a Buddha image the size of the Yang Pen rock then it would be of great benefit to all. Karmapa told her "Make it! I shall also assist you." When the image-makers did not know how to do it he himself laid out the outlines of the image with white pebbles on the slopes of the mountain. Then the huge applique banner was prepared by seven hundred artists, who worked continuously for thirteen months. Karmapa spent a considerable fortune on the preparation of it and himself supervised all the details. When it was finished it was eleven full arm-spans between the right and left ears of the central Buddha figure. To the left and right were images of Manjusri and Maitreya and below the lotusthrone were embroidered many beautiful birds and animals. It was consecrated by Karmapa and hung over the huge rock on auspicious days. After the completion of the banner Princess Punyadhari presented it to the Karma-Kargyudpa sect and it was preserved at Nyangpo. She invited Karmapa to Liu-pin Shan and when he reached there strong rumours spread that troops were likely to invade. Karmapa said "If it is true that I have never harmed living beings, then let the soldiers not come!", and they did not. Then he returned to Tibet, to the Karma Gon monastery. In the male earth monkey year (1368) the Yuan dynasty of the Mongol Emperors fell and the 'first Chinese Emperor of the Ming dynasty, named Tai Tsung, sent messages to all the most highly revered Lamas of Tibet at that time, requesting them to visit him. Karmapa was among those who were invited, but being unable to go personally he sent an envoy of learned monks and Lamas to represent him. On the way to Karma Gon while crossing the Shamnam Dzung river, he met the incarnation of Shamar Trakpa Senge, recognised him and named him Kha Chod Wangpo. 145 After a period of extensive preaching he reached Karma Gon, where he indirectly predicted that he would soon be leaving his body. He said "I shall not die right now. Don't be afraid! But afterwards, if I should fall ill in a pure place where numerous stags are roaming about, then please don't scatter my books!" Before going to the Northern region of Chang he indicated that there would be a need for scented wood for the funeral pyre and said "I suspect there is a scarcity of firewood in the North, therefore cut a large quantity of Juniper wood and take it along." Karmapa Rolpe Dorje journeyed towards a solitary mountain in the far North, preaching extensively on the way. He set up camp on the barren mountainside and said "Should the remains of a good monk be cremated on the summit of this mountain, then Chinese troops will not invade Tibet!" There, at the age of forty58


four, beginning on the fourth day of the seventh month of the female water pig year (1383) he showed signs of being indisposed. On the night of the fifteenth of that month he performed a ceremony, packed up all his personal books and ritual items, explaining that they should be carefully preserved for his future incarnation who would be reborn in Nyang Dam, circumambulated the Holy Objects fifty-five times and passed away. His remains were cremated on the mountain, amidst numerous auspicious signs such as rainbows, glowing lights, tremors and showers of flowers. Disciples saw him in the sky, sitting inside a rainbow circle, riding on a lion and sitting on the sun, the moon and the stars. Many remarkable relics were recovered from the pyre. His foremost disciples were: (i) SHAMAR KHA CHOD WANGPO: The second Shamar Tulku. (1350-1405) (ii) DRIGUNG CHOSKYI GYALPO: (iii) DRIGUNG LOTSAWA: (iv) JE TSONGKHAPA: 146 Who established the Gelugpa sect. (1357-1419)


A ]nana-Dakini. A Wisdom-holding Goddess. Generally there are believed to be 108 at any one time.

12 7

Tib: Cang-sbes-Kyi-rta.

1 28

Skt: A mrita.

12 9

Tib: Genyen.


Tib: mKba'-'gro rGya-mtso.


Tib: Byams-cbos.


A Dakini who holds a bow and arrow made of flowers.

13 3

Densa Thi~ founded by Lama Phagmo Gru.




Tib: Getsul.


Tib: Nyenzog.

1 37

In Khams.




AU these statues are preserved at the new Rumtek monastery.


Tib: Dorje Naljorma.


The 'Tawa Nyentsel'.


Kan-chou, in Kansu province.


KARMAPA: THE BLACK HAT LAMA OF TIBET 143 A huge hawk-like bird, the devourer of snakes and poisons. In the Hindu pantheon Garuda is the vehicle of Vishnu. 144 Je Tsongkhapa (1357-1419) was about 3% years old at this time and received the name Kunga Nyingpo from Karmapa. An emanation of the Bodhisattva Manjusri he was greatly influenced by the Kargyudpas, the Kadampas, and the Sakyapas, before he established the 'reformed' Gelugpa sect. The Dalai Lama is the present Head of the Gelugpas. 145 Shamar Kha Chod Wangpo was seven years old at this time. He was taught the 'Six Yogas' of Naropa and the complete Mahamudra. 146 Je Tsongkhapa had two main disciples, who founded the huge Gelugpa monasteries of Drepung (in 1416) and Sera (in 1419).


DEBZHIN SHEGPA: THE FIFTH KARMAPA (Tib: De-bZhin gShegs-pa) (1384-1415) Debzhin Shegpa was born on the eighteenth day of the sixth month of the male wood rat year (1384), at sunrise, in the region of Nyang Dam in Southern Tibet. His father, Guru Rinchen, was a Tantric, and his mother was a Yogini called Lhamo Kyi. Even before his birth he could be heard reciting the 'Mani' Mantra and the alphabet inside his mothers womb. At the time of his birth his mother and numerous other people dreamed of the coming of Karmapa, of railings made from rainbows, showers of flowers and sweet fragrances. As soon as he was born auspicious rainbows appeared everywhere. The child wiped his face and said "I take refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma and the Order of monks. I am the Karmapa! Om Mani Padme Hum, Hri!" The Lamas at Tsurphu heard of the birth of the remarkable child. He was brought to the monastery, where he was immediately recognised by Shamar Kha Chod Wangpo,1 4 7 who had been his disciple in the previous incarnation. At the age of seven he received the primary ordination from Khenpo Nyaphu Sonam Zangpo and studied the Vinayas, the Pratimoksha and the Karikas. He was given the name Chospal Zangpo. For some years he engaged himself in intense studies. Visiting the Kongpo region, he stopped the fighting which had broken out there and then travelled to Karma Gon and Ri Wo Che, where he spread the Dharma widely. At the age of twenty, in the horse year (1402), he took the final ordination from Khenpo Sonam Zangpo and Yon Lowa, at the Namdruk Riwo monastery in Kongpo, along with eighty other monks. Under the guidance of the most learned scholars he studied the Prajnaparamita and other related teachings and the great Pandita Kazhipa Rinchen Pal taught him the essence of Buddhist philosophy. He spread the teachings continuously and many influential people from all over Tibet came to take refuge with him. By this time he was considered to be one of the greatest spiritual teachers. In the female wood bird year (1405), at the age of twenty-two, Karmapa Debzhin Shegpa received an invitation to visit China. The letter from the Emperor Tai Ming Chen148 was written in gold letters and it requested that he make the journey as it could be of great benefit to the Chinese people. Karmapa accepted the invitation and set out on the journey, travelling via the Karma Gon and Lha Ten Gon monasteries, accompanied by Situ Choskyi Gyaltsen and many monks and Lamas. On the twenty-first day of the first month of the fire pig year ( 1407) the party reached the outskirts of Nanking, where they were warmly welcomed and Karmapa was placed on an elephant. At the gates of the city the Emperor himself 14 9 received



Karmapa, who presented him with a golden 'Wheel of Dharma' and received an auspicious white conch-shell in return. Many thousands of monks gathered to pay their homage, and all received his blessings. Karmapa bestowed the empowerments and initiations of the red Avalokitesbwara and Hevajra. The sixteenth Arhat, the Protector of the Dharma in China, appeared before him whilst the Emperor was present. For the next hundred days Karmapa performed wonderful miracles, one for each day and the Emperor was so impressed that he referred to Karmapa as the Tathagata. On the first day there appeared an iridescent cloud of five colours of most beautiful hue, expanding and contracting in various ways and as brilliant as the Wish-granting Gem. Then a ray of light, like the full moon, shone out above and around a Stupa containing Holy relics and two bands of golden rays rose up above the place where Karmapa was staying. On the sixth day there were seen a large number of iridescent clouds shaped like begging bowls, which filled the whole sky and in the South-Western sky there appeared many figures of Arhats, each followed by a large retinue. On another occasion flowers fell from the sky, some fully open and others in bud; their.stems and upper parts were like crystal and they floated everywhere, both high and low. After that a five-coloured rainbow appeared above the temple where Karmapa had prepared the Mandala of initiation. Then more Heavenly Beings appeared, carrying begging-bowls and pilgrim staffs; some were Wfaring hats and others held Yak-tail whisks, and moved about among the clouds. On the eighteenth night there appeared two heavenly lamps of a very intense red colour, as well as other lights ('{ different kinds and they lit up the whole sky. In the distance Gods could be seen adorned with precious jewels, riding on blue lions and white elephants. 1 50 The Emperor instructed his finest artists to paint these events on a silk scroll, which was then sent to the Tsurphu monastery. 1 51 The Emperor presented Karmapa with seven hundred measures of silver objects, and bestowed upon him the honorific title 'Precious Religious King, Great Loving One of the West, Mighty Buddha of Peace'. He told Karmapa that there were too many different sects of Buddhism and that it would be much better if there was only one, the Karma-Kargyudpa, offering to bring this about by force. Karmapa explained to him that this was not his desire, nor could it be beneficial to humanity, since mankind requires varying methods of teaching and that in reality all sects are but one great family of Buddhism. Despite pressures from his Ministers the Emperor Ming Chen understood the advice Karmapa had given him and withdrew his forces from the borders of Tibet, even though they were in a great position of strength and could easily have overrun the country. The Emperor took teachings and initiations from Karmapa, eventually becoming a great Bodhisattva himself. 62

H. H. Gyalwa Karmapa displays the Black Dorje Hat (Vajra Mukut) during a special ceremony. It was presented to the fifth Karmapa by the Chinese Emperor Tai Ming Chen. The origin of the Vajra Hat goes back to very ancient times, when the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshwara was presented with it by the other Enlightened Ones. The Gyalwa Karmapa is an emanation of Avalokiteshwara, and is the custodian of this Black Crown, the mere sight of which is believed to ensure Liberation within one lifetime.



One day, during a ceremony, the Emperor saw a mystic Vajra-hat, 152 made from the hairs of one hundred thousand Dakinis, hovering over his Teacher's head. Realising that it was visible only on account of his own advanced spiritual attainments, he decided to make a hat that would be visible to all. When it was finished he presented it to Karmapa and this same Black Hat has been worn by successive Karmapa incarnations since that time. It is said that this Hat has the power of conferring deliverance-on-sight to all living beings who behold it. Karmapa travelled far and wide, through China, Mongolia, Yunnan and Mi Nya, bestowing teachings and initiations and converting many thousands of people to Kargyudpa Buddhism. After some years spent in China he reached the Karma Gon monastery in the female earth ox year (1409), having given teachings and bestowed blessings throughout the long return journey. From Karma Gon he went on to Tsurphu, and was warmly welcomed along the way by many leaders of the different sects; Sakya Dripon, Drigung Rinpoche and the Rinpoche of the Densa Thil monastery. At one village a messenger arrived from Je Tsongkhapa, the Gelugpa leader, bearing a statue of Lord Buddha and a letter saying that though he could not come in person he hoped that they might have further contact with each other in the future. The place where Karmapa received the auspicious statue is called Nakchu Kha, in North Eastern Tibet, where the river flows towards Burma. From Tsurpnu he travelled to Lhasa and offered a precious yellow robe, 154 covered with pearls, to the statue of Lord Buddha in the great Jo Khang temple. The local Ruler, Wang Trakpa Gyaltsen, invited Karmapa to the Nyi'u Tsong palace, situated on the banks of a river, and there he was highly honoured. The ruling family and all the Ministers received initiations and became patrons of the Karmapa. He then returned to Tsurphu, rebuilt many shrines and Stupas, and completely renovated all the living accommodation there. At the invitation of Li-u Pa, the Ruler of Central Tibet, Karmapa revisited Lhasa in the male water dragon year (1412), staying for several years in the great Potala palace. He preached and gave many initiations. Meeting the young incarnation of. Shamar Tulku, Chospal Yeshe, he supervised his ordination and bestowed many initiations on him. Karmapa became afflicted by a serious disease and it seemed that he was ready to leave the world. His disciples held a propitiation ceremony for the prolongation of life, but Karmapa said, "Following an omen I have projected myself to a place in the vicinity of Karma Gon. You should address your prayers in that direction and I shall protect you." To the head servant he said "Do not scatter the books and images, for an owner will soon be coming." Then he handed over all his ritual implements, precious relics and personal books, predicted that he would be reborn at She Kyong and told his disciples that he would meet them again in future incarnations. 64


On the first day of the eighth month of the female wood sheep year (1415), in the Potala palace, he passed away, at the age of thirty-two. At the time of his cremation many rainbows, haloes and showers of flowers were observed. Images of Avalokiteshwara, Chakrasamvara and Hevajra were recovered from the ashes. His foremost disciples were: (i) SHAMAR CHOSPAL YESHE: The third Shamar Tulku. (c.l406-1452) (ii) SITU CHOSKYI GYALTSEN: The first Situ Tulku (c.1377-1448) (iii) TRUNG MASE TOKDEN: 15 5 The first Trungpa Tulku. (iv) TSURPHU JAMBYANG CHENPO: Trakpa Gyaltsen, an incarnation of the Bodhisattva Manjusri. ( 1374-c.l431) (v) RINCHEN ZANGPO: (vi) NGOMPA CHA GYALWA: (vii) KHACHOP A: 1 56


The second Shamar Tulku who enthroned him and transmitted the higher teachings to him.


The Emperor Vung·lo (1403-1425), also known as Ch'eng Tsu.


According to Tsuklak Trengwa, the historian: "The Chinese monks and officials burned incense, blew on conch shells, and sprinkled flowers on the road. Some three thousand of the highest officials, wearing exquisite garments and standing in respectful silence, lined the road from the gate to the three palace doors. The Emperor stood at the centre door and accompanied Karmapa through it. The Emperor and Karmapa occupied two thrones at the centre of the hall ... " 150 This description is taken from the translation of the scroll at Tsurphu. See H. Richardson 'The Karmapa sect' (J.R.A.S. 1959). 151 H. E. Richardson saw, in Tsurphu monastery in 1949, "a silk-backed scroll measuring SOft by 2~ft, beautifully illustrated and recounting in five languages - Chinese, Tibetan, Arabic, Mongol and Uighur miracles performed by the Karmapa Lama on twenty-two days during his stay in the Cheng Tsu' Emperor's court". 152

Vajra Mukut (Tib: 7.hva-nag: the 'Black Hat').

1 53

This hat is with the present Gyalwa Karmapa and is used on ceremonial occasions, by special request.


It was called 'Cbogo Namgyal'.


Trung Mase was born as the son of a Ruler of Mi Nya, Eastern Tibet. He met Karmapa at the Tsurphu monastery and received the precepts from him. Later, when Karmapa visited his country he made large offerings to him and received additional teachings. In Lhasa he received the Oral teachings from Karmapa, including some which were never given to others (these are known as the Oral Precepts of Surmangpa). For ten years he remained in retreat and ultimately attained the perfection of a Siddha. He founded the great Surmang monastery and originated the Sacred Dance of the Kargyudpas. He was also known as Kunga Gyaltsen. 156 Who was also known as Namkha. He was an adept at deep meditation and later became known as mKha '-spyod-pa (Heaven-gone), as he left no bodily relics behind, only his nails and his hair.



(Tib: mThong-ba Don-/dan)

In accordance with the prediction Tongwa Donden was born on the eighth day of the second month of the male fire monkey year ( 1416), at Ngamtod She Kyong, near Karma Gon. Whilst in his mother's womb both his parents had highly auspicious dreams. As soon as he was born he sat upright, looked at his mother and laughed. When the umbilical cord was cut the smell of beautiful incense pervaded the whole region. On the twelfth day of the third month his parents took him on a begging round and on this occasion he met Ngompa Cha Gyalwa, a disciple of the previous Karmapa. The small baby became very excited at the sight of him and began to recite the alphabet. 1 57 Ngompa then took him to a solitary place and asked him who he was. The small baby grasped his finger and said, "I am unborn, free from all names, place-less and the glory of all living beings! I shall lead many to liberation!" Later he told the Lama that he was the new Karmapa, but asked him not to disclose this yet. At the age of seven months he made a throne, stood on it and recited the names of Lord Buddha and the 'Mani' Mantra. He also bestowed blessings on the people around him. At the age of one year he was taken towards Lha Chim and on being asked why he had come there he pointed to the monastery and said "For this!" Upon reaching the main building he pointed out the Stupa of Karmapa Dusum Khyenpa and then grasped hold of a black hat, saying "Its mine!" For three days there was a great shower of flowers from the sky and afterwards he was proclaimed to be the new Karmapa. The third Shamar Tulku, a disciple of his previous incarnation, came and recognised him officially and performed his enthronement ceremony, later taking him to his own monastery. He recognised all the precious possessions of the past Karmapa incarnations and made a number of prophecies. Karmapa Tongwa Donden received the initiations of Vajrayogini, Hevajra and the Mahamudra from the great Pandita Sowon Kazhipa and also studied the Vinayapuspamalla, 158 the Chakrasamvara Tantra and other Sutras and Tantras. From Shamar Chospal Yeshe he received all the esoteric doctrines of Siddha Tilopa, as well as the complete Kargyudpa Lineage teachings. Once, while performing the consecration ceremony of a painting, seven of the barley grains thrown by him remained suspended in the air and on another occasion during a drought he played with water and it suddenly began to rain. In the male wood dragon year (1424), at the age of nine, Karmapa took the primary ordination from Nakphu Sonam Zangpo at the Olka Tashi Tang monastery in Central Tibet. He took the vows of a Bodhisattva and received 66


initiation into the Kalachakra. During this time he composed a treatise on the Dance of Mahakala 1 5 9 and had a significant vision of the Goddess Saraswati. 16 0 Later he travelled to Kongpo where he also had visions of Siddha Tilopa and Vimalamitra. For a number of years Karmapa practised deep meditation and received numerous VISions of A valokiteshwara, Tara, Bodhisattvas and the sixteen Arhats. 1 61 Then he spent some time rebuilding the monasteries of Nakphu and Saphu and on their completion journeyed to Lhasa where he gave teachings and initiations to Kunchen Rongton and ten thousand monks. Then he returned to Saphu monastery where he restored the ruined statues, changed their ceremonial robes and resealed all the precious relic boxes. He travelled to Khams and Kongpo, bestowing his blessings freely and preaching the Buddhist Dharma to many thousands of people. In the male water monkey year ( 1452), while staying at Tse Lha Gang, it appeared that his passing was imminent, so Lama Sangye Senge began to offer prayers for the prolongation of his life. Karmapa said "This year nothing will happen to me. For nine more months I shall take responsibility for my life." Then he travelled to Saphu monastery and went into retreat. At the age of thirty-seven he imparted all the Vajradhara 162 teachings to Gyaltsap Goshi Paljor and entrusted to his care a sealed letter giving all the details of his next incarnation. Many unusual signs were observed, such as earth tremors, sudden darkness and showers of flowers and all knew that soon he would be leaving the world. One day he said "I also belong to the Lineage of the Kargyudpas!" Karmapa Tongwa Donden collected together his books, images, garments and Black Hat and gave them into the care of his chief attendant. He made some secret prophecies• 6 3 and then, in the female water bird year (14 53) he passed away. The body was cremated and many extremely auspicious relics were recovered from the region of the heart, the tongue and the eyes. These were like small conch-shells, dazzling like crystal. They were carefully preserved by his followers. His foremost disciples were: (i) GYALTSAP GOSHI PALJOR DONDRUP: The first Gyaltsap Tulku. (c.1427-1489) (ii) SITU TASHI NAMGYAL: The second Situ Tulku. (1450-1497) (iii) PENKAR JAMPAL ZANGPO: (iv) KUNCHEN RONGTON KHENPO: From Rong province. A great scholar. (v) TAKLUNG SHABDRUNG: FOOTNOTES 157 'Aii-Kali': the vowels and consonants. The esoteric significance is the relationship with the left and right subtle nerves (NIIdis). It has been said that "the whole universe is only Ali-Kali".


KARMAPA: THE BLACK HAT LAMA OF TIBET 158 Tib: 'Dul-wa'iTen'. 159 Tib: Gonpo Nakpo Chen. 160 Tib: Yang Cbenma. 161 Who spread the Buddhist teachings. 162 The Adi·Buddba, the root-teacher of the Kargyudpa sect. 163 The 'Lung-bstan bKa '-rGya'.


CHOS TRAG GYAMTSO: THE SEVENTH KARMAPA (Tib: Chos-grags rGya-mTso) (1454-1506) Chos Trag Gyamtso was born on the fifth day of the first month of the male wood dog year (1454), at Kyi Lha, Northern Tibet. As he was born he wiped his face and said, "Ama-La!" ("Mother!"). At the age of five months he said, "Ah Hung! There is nothing in the world but voidness. People may think there is something, but they are really quite wrong. For me there is neither birth nor death!" At the age of nine months he met the first Gyaltsap Tulku, who immediately recognised him and arranged for his enthronement. All the details of the prediction letter were found to correspond exactly with the facts of his birth. Many people came to pay their respects and the young child astounded them all by reciting the alphabet correctly. On the first day of the third month of the male earth tiger year ( 1458), at the age of five, he received the empowerment of the Buddha of Boundless Life, Amitayus, 164 and later, the initiations of Chakrasamvara and Mahamaya. 16 5 When news reached him that the provinces of Lo andMon 166 had begun hostilities, he went there and made a lasting peace. Acquiring many new disciples in this way he asked them to undertake ten million repetitions of the 'Mani' Mantra, saying that it was undoubtedly the cure for all ills. Later both Jetsun Milarepa and Hevajra appeared to him in a vision and in accordance with details revealed to him Karmapa Chos Trag Gyamtso told his disciples to construct an iron bridge over the Tsog Chu river. The young Lama visited the monastery of Tsen Den and then went on to Karma Gon. On the eighth day of the ninth month of the male water horse year (1462), when he was nine years old, he received the primary ordination from Gyaltsap Goshi Paljor. The young Lama made the vow to fulfil his obligations with the greatest compassion for humanity. Flowers rained down from the sky as he took the vows of a Bodhisattva. At the age of twelve he received the next ordination from Penkar Jampal Zangpo, who had been a disciple of his last incarnation. From Gyaltsap Tulku he received all the teachings of the Vinaya Sutras and at the age of thirteen he received the esoteric transmission. One of his closest advisors at this time was the second Situ Tulku, Tashi Namgyal, who also imparted the Oral teachings Karmapa was invited to visit the borderlands of Chang Mo, Tri-o, Dar Tse Do and Mi Nya. On the fourteenth day of the eleventh month of the female wood bird year ( 1465) he travelled from Karma Gon to these areas, giving teachings and initiations to many thousands of people. Prior to his arrival there had been fighting in the area and a number of people had been imprisoned. Karmapa arranged for their release, with the result that tension was lessened and peace was restored. In



the Mi Nya monastery of Rva Wa Gang he engaged the five most senior Lamas 167 in religious debate and was able to correct any mistakes which had crept into their doctrines. Karmapa travelled to Li Thang, where again he was able to resolve local disputes. He visited the hermitage of Karma Pakshi, arriving there in the third month of the female iron rabbit year (1471) and also visited the Khaka Riphug temple. While he was there he performed a special ceremony and the grains of consecrated rice thrown by him were stuck permanently onto the rocks. He also left his footprint permanently embedded in a hard stone. Then he travelled to Ron Tsen Kawa Karpo, the pilgrimage-place of Chakrasamvara, where he founded a small monastic meditation centre! 68 For several years he practised meditation there. Karmapa returned to Karma Gon, bestowing initiations and preaching to the people along the way. Upon his arrival he built several large statues of Lord Buddha for the monastery and after a short time left for Southern Tibet where he rebuilt many of the Kargyudpa monasteries. Reaching Tsurphu he found that the gigantic statue of Lord Buddha, built by Karma Pakshi, had been damaged by an earthquake, so he restored it. He founded a large theological college, which became well-known throughout Tibet. He then went to Nyi-o Dong Tser, where he met the fourth Shamar Tulku, Choskyi Trakpa, to whom he taught the 'Six Doctrines' of Naropa and imparted the Lineage teachings. On this occasion the Black Hat ceremony was performed for the young Shamar Tulku. Karmapa travelled to Choskhor Lunpo, a very large monastic college where he he appointed Karma Tinfay 169 as Abbot and founded a new school of philosophy,170 thus greatly increasing the number of his disciples. He travelled to Lhasa, where he had a vision of the Future Buddha Maitreya, who advised him that a monastery should be built around the large statue of Lord Buddha 1 71 there. The local Ruler/ 72 Nuipa, did not agree with the project, however a small monastery was built just outside of Lhasa. As soon as the work was completed five hundred soldiers destroyed the whole building. 1 73 The Supreme Ruler of Tibet at that time was the fourth Shamar Tulku, Choskyi Trakpa, who had been elected by the Ministers in his forty-sixth year (1498). Hearing of the great insult to the Gyalwa Karmapa and the Kargyudpa sect he decided to punish the local Ruler. Karmapa would not hear of this and told him that the matter was already well into the past. He left Lhasa and went to the Ting region of Kongpo, where he founded an hermitage. Karmapa Chos Trag Gyamtso sent a messenger to Bodh Gaya 174 in India with an offering of gold to be painted on the statue of Lord Buddha there, together with many prayers written out in Sanskrit, to be distributed freely. The King of Rajgir in India and the great Pandita Yigkyi Shingta, sent the messenger back to Tibet bearing leaves from the Bodhi-tree and earth from many pilgrimage places. 70


Shamar Tulku founded the monastery of Gaden Mamo, 175 which Karmapa consecrated before journeying to Lhasa where he held a great religious meeting. At Rinpung, in the province of Tsang, he taught Pandita Sakya Choskyi Langpo and a thousand monks all about the Five Doctrines 176 of Maitreya and also gave them a full explanation of an extensive treatise that he had written. 1 7 7 Thus he spread the Dharma widely. Karmapa returned to Lhasa, where he built a temple and spread the Kargyudpa teachings. He met the second Gyaltsap Tulku, Tashi Namgyal and presented him with an Orange Hat in recognition of his high attainments. All over the Tsang region he attracted many new disciples through the power of his preaching. Later in Tse Lha Gang, he gave his last teachings, advising his closest disciples of his imminent passing. All the prediction details of his next incarnation were left in the care of the third Situ Tulku, Tashi Paljor. On the fifteenth day of the first month of the male fire tiger year (1506), having sent a letter to Bodh Gaya, he passed away. He was in his fifty-third year. There were many auspicious signs at this time. His foremost disciples were: (i) SHAMAR CHOSKYI TRAKPA: The fourth Shamar Tulku. (1453-1524) (ii) SITUTASHI PALJOR: The third Situ Tulku. (1498-1541) (iii) GYALTSAP TASHI NAMGYAL: The second Gyaltsap Tulku. (c.l490-1518) (iv) SANGYE NYENPA DRUPTOP: The first Sangye Nyenpa Tulku. He was a Siddha. (v) KARMA TINLAYPA: The first Karma Tinlay Tulku. Who received all the teachings from Situ Tulku. (vi) PANDIT SAKYA CHOSKYI LANGPO: From Tsang. ( 1439-1505) (vii) DRIGUNG KUNGA RINCHEN: (viii) TORMO T ASHI OSEL: (ix) T ANAG CHOS J EPA: A Pandita of the Sakya sect. (x) YUGLA PANCHEN:


Tib: Tsepamed.


Tib: Mahamaya.

166 Lo

and Mon are regions of Southern Tibet.


Three of whom were Ozalinda, Kazhipa, and Masewa.


Tib: 'Drup De'.




Karma Tinlaypa was famous for his commentary on the Doha Korsum, the Mystic Songs of Siddha Saraha.


The 'Shes Da'.


The Jowo Rinpoche statue.

1 72

At this time Tibet was much divided.


According to W. D. Shakabpa in "Tibet: a Political History" (p. 87): "Donyo Dorje, the son of Rinpung Norzang, wanted to build a monastery in Lhasa on behalf of the Karmapa sect; but the Lhasa administrator, who supported the Gelugpa sect, refused him permission. The monastery was then built outside of Lhasa. Monks from the neighbouring Gelugpa monasteries descended on it one night and razed it. A Karmapa Lama, Chostrag Gyamtso, narrowly escaped being killed. He took refuge in Lhasa." 1 74 The place of Lord Buddha's Enlightenment. 175

Completed in 1490.


The 'mDo-sDe-rGyen', the 'Chos-Nyid-rNam-'byed', the 'rGyud-bLa-ma' etc.


The '1'sed-ma Rig-gZhung rGya-mTso'.



(Tib: Mi-bsKyod rDo-rje)

Mikyo Dorje was born early in the morning of the fourth day of the eleventh month of the female fire rabbit year (1507), in the province of Dam Chu, Eastern Tibet. There were many auspicious signs and a strong smell of incense pervaded the region. A rainbow pillar formed over the house of his birth and many flowers fell down from the sky. The newly born baby wiped his mouth and declared, "I am Karmapa! I am Karmapa!" Situ Tulku 1 7 8 heard of the birth of a very unusual child, in the province indicated in the prediction letter. He sent a messenger to determine if it could be the new Karmapa. Soon he was called to the place himself, where he asked the following questions: "What are the names of the mother and father? Are there any palm-trees near the house? Which direction does the doorway face? Is there a stream nearby, and if so in which direction does it flow?" He was told that An Jam was the father's name and Ama Drum the mother's. Yes, there were palm-trees, the doorway faced East and a nearby stream also flowed towards the East. All the answers accorded with the details given in the letter of prediction, so it was established that the child must indeed be the new Karmapa. When he was only one and a half months old he declared, "Eh-Ma-Ho! 179 Don't doubt me, for I am the Karma pal" At the age of three months Situ Tulku took him to the Karma Gon monastery, where he was regally received. At the age of four months Karmapa Mikyo Dorje met the Gomchen 180 Ser Phuwa, who had been his disciple during his last incarnation and who presented him with a ritual bell 1 81 and a double-drum. 1 8 2 Immediately the small boy became very happy and played them both with great delight. When asked by the Gomchen which teachings he had transmitted to him in his past life the boy replied, "I gave you the Mahamudra and the Six Yogas of Naropa." When he was five he was invited to the house of Lhorongpa, a nobleman from Ri Wo Che, in Eastern Khams. One day, while staying there he was asked by Lama Sonam Rinchen to say who he really was. Immediately the small boy laughed and said, "Sometimes I am Padmasambhava, sometimes Saraha and at other times I am the Karma pal" At about the same time the mother of a child born in the Amdo region declared that her son appeared to be the new Karmapa. The news of this boy spread rapidly. Gyaltsap Tulku Tashi Namgyal and Lama Yang Ripa travelled toRi Wo Che in order to settle the matter, and vowed not to show any distinction between the two little boys until it was determined beyond doubt which of them was the true incarnation. However when they were presented before Mikyo Dorje they 73


found themselves automatically doing full prostrations to him and thus realised that he must undoubtedly be the real Karmapa. Immediately, on the fourteenth day of the second month of the female water bird year (1513), at Ri Wo Che, the full enthronement ceremony was performed by Gyaltsap Tulku, 183 who had been a close disciple of the previous Karmapa. At the age of eight Karmapa Mikyo Dorje went to the Surmang monastery, where he had a series of visions which revealed the details of his past incarnations to him. Sangye Nyenpa Druptop1 84 invited him to visit Denkhok and upon his arrival there he was honoured by thousands of monks. While staying at the Changchub Ling monastery he had a vision of Lord Buddha, and on the following day Dharmakirtil 85 and Dhinaga186 appeared before him and imparted the teachings of the Madhyamika school of philosophy. At the age of eleven he visited Kongpo Kam Ra and Gyalten, where he explained the nature of Karmic causes and effects, and how the cycle of rebirths can be transcended. Many people took his words to heart and became his disciples. In Leh, Ladakh, a hug python entered the palace assembly-hall and refused to be driven out. Several meetings were held to find the way to get rid of it, but no solution could be found. Finally one of the Lamas suggested that Karmapa should be contacted for advice. A delegation was sent to Kongpo laden with gifts of dried plums, apricots and grain. Karmapa sent a letter back, with a message, saying, "Oh python, it is my personal order that you return to your own place in the lake, without any more bother", and the instructions that the letter should be read out loudly from the window of the hall. This advice was followed and upon hearing the contents of the letter the great snake started shaking so violently that even the palace walls seemed to tremble. Slowly it unwound itself and leaving the assembly hall went straight to a nearby lake and disappeared into the water. 1 8 7 The King of )yang, in the Yunnan region, heard of the teachings of the young Karmapa Lama and sent an invitation for him to visit his country, despatching four Generals and ten thousand soldiers to accompany Karmapa on the long journey. On the third day of the fourth month of the male fire rat year (1516) Karmapa reached the borders of Tibet. There he was met by the King of )yang, riding in a palanquin, with his brother and uncle both on elephants and escorted by many coloured horses in a magnificent procession. The King prostrated before the young Lama and as he did so the elephants broke away from their tethers and also bowed down three times before him, raising their trunks to the sky. At the same moment great claps of thunder were to be heard overhead. Karmapa was led to the palace amidst great rejoicing. A huge drum dragged along by sixteen people was sounded in his honour. He entered the palace, scattering grains of consecrated rice which were much sought after by the people. Seated on a high throne next to the King and the Royal Family, he was most


MIKYO DORJE: THE EIGHTH KARMAPA A detail from the Lineage 'tree', a banner in the Rumtek monastery, Sikkim. Mikyo Dorje occupies the prominent central position, being renowned for his preachings and writings on the Mahamudra. Above his head is the figure of Karma Pakshi, the second Karmapa, usually shown with a beard.


highly honoured according to the customs of the country. The King, who had formerly been opposed to Buddhism, now took the Buddhist refuge and received teachings and initiations. He promised to send five hundred boys to Tibet annually to be trained as Buddhist monks at his expense, and also made a vow to keep the peace with the neighbouring territories for the next thirteen years. Arrangements were made for the construction of a hundred monasteries and temples throughout the land. Karmapa Mikyo Dorje spent seven days in the palace of the King, converting many to the ways of Buddhism, and before leaving he made a promise to return within seven years. Passing through Li Thang, where many miracles had been performed in the past, he met a crowd of people and pointed out all those who had connections with him in previous lives. While in the region of Nyeu he heard of the passing of the second Gyaltsap Tulku and sent a message that the relics should be collected and preserved in a Stupa. Karmapa travelled to Tsalin Dari, where he performed a special rite for Je Tsongkhapa 'Father-and-two-sons', 188 and then went to Rinchen Ling in Tog Go. Wishing to receive further initiations himself, Karmapa wrote to the third Situ Tulku, asking that Sangye Nyenpa Druptop be sent in order to impart them. In the eleventh month of that year Karmapa Mikyo Dorje received the preliminary ordination from Sangye Nyenpa Druptop. 1 8 9 The 'Puspamalla', the Karikas, the Vinaya Sutras and the Bodhisattva vows were all fully explained to him, together with the complete transmission of the Tilopa and Naropa higher doctrines. He also studied all aspects of the Kalachakra Tantra in great detail. He then made visits to Biyu Phug, Phugnes, Kokh Mote, Cham Sar and Gaden Ling. Though he received an invitation to visit Sokpo in Mongolia he did not have enough time to make the long journey. He returned to the Changchub Ling monastery, visiting all the pilgrimage places on the way there, after which he proceeded to Karma Gon. The Emperor Wu Tsung190 of China sent five hundred senior army officers to Karmapa bearing presents of gold, silver, pearls, sacred images and monastic robes, with a request that he visit China. At this time Karmapa had a vision of two suns in the sky, one of which he saw suddenly fall to the earth. He took this as a sign that the Emperor had just died and sent the envoy of officers back to China, where they found that Karmapa had indeed been correct in his divination. For the next three years Karmapa received all the remaining teachings from Sangye Nyenpa Druptop, who passed away in the Karma Gon monastery when his work instructing the young Karmapa was completed. In the first month of the female earth rabbit year (1519) a memorial ceremony was performed for him, during which he miraculously reappeared and gave teachings specific for the



occasion. Some years later Shamar Tulku passed away also ( c.1524 ), at the age of seventy-two. At the age of twenty-two Karmapa Mikyo Dorje received the final ordination from Kenchen Chostrup Senge and took further teachings from the Abbot Karma Tinlay, including those of the Five Doctrines of Maitreya, seven volumes of Dharmakirti's philosophy 191 and the Abhidharma in two volumes. Altogether he studied twenty-five different teachings and thoroughly assimilated them all. Then he went to the Dvagspo Shedrup Ling college where he instructed the foremost pupils in advanced doctrinal matters. While travelling to the pilgrimage-place of Tsari, where there is a natural image of Chakrasamvara, Karmapa was met by a group of pilgrims who rushed to prostrate before him. Among them was a small boy whom he recognised to be the new incarnation of Shamar Tulku, so he took him along to see the wonderful image of Chakrasamvara. Together they returned to Central Tibet and when, in 1529, the boy was five years old Karmapa enthroned him as the fifth Shamar Tulku, Kunchok Yenlak. Once, when staying at Tsurphu monastery, Karmapa had a vision of the Sakya Pandita, 192 who appeared to him surrounded by many Bodhisattvas, from whom he received important teachings. At this time he made a small marble statue of himself1 9 3 and with a piece of left-over marble he made an impression of his palm by squeezing it. When the statue was consecrated, in the presence of many Lamas, Karmapa addressed it, asking if it was a good likeness of himself. The statue replied, "Yes, of course!" much to the amazement of all those present. Karmapa recognised the new incarnation of the fourth Situ Tulku, Choskyi Gocha, enthroned him and took him as a disciple. Later he also recognised the fourth Gyaltsap Tulku, Trakpa Dodrup. He composed a commentary on the Vinaya Sutra, 194 another on the Prajnaparamita, 195 one on the Abhidharma, 1 9 6 one on the Madhyamika, 197 as well as many works on the Mahamudra 198 and related doctrines. Karmapa Mikyo Dnrje passed on all the higher teachings to Shamar Tulku, appointed him as his acting successor and entrusted him with all his personal books, relics and ritual items, as well as the letter containing the prediction of his next birth. Then he prepared to leave the world. At midday on the twenty-third of the eighth month of the male wood tiger year (1554), while staying at the Dvagspo Shedrup Ling monastic college of Shamar Tulku, he passed away in his forty-eighth year. At the time of his passing there were many auspicious signs in the sky and precious relics 199 were found among the ashes of the funeral pyre. His foremost disciples were: (i) SHAMAR KUNCHOK YENLAK: The fifth Shamar Tulku. (1525-1583) (ii) SITU CHOSKYI GOCHA: The fourth Situ Tulku. ( 1542-15 85) 77


(iii) GYALTSAP TRAKPA DODRUP: The fourth Gyaltsap Tulku. (155G-1617) (iv) PAWO TSUKLAK TRENGWA: The second Pawo Tulku. A scholar, historian and visionary, whose works included a book on the Karma-Kargyudpa ~ct and its history. (1504-1566)


Situ Tashi Paljor.

1 79

The seed-sounds· of Kuntu Zangpo, the BodbisatttJa Samantabbadra.

1 80

Hermit Lama.


Tib: Trilbu.


Tib: Damaru.


The second, Tashi Namgyal.

1 84

A Siddha-disciple of the previous Karmapa.


The great Acbarya and translator.


The logician from South India. (Tib: Dignaga) I 8 7 This story is still told in Ladakh. 1 88 This rite was called 'je Y ab Se Sum'. The two 'sons' were his disciples, Gyaltsap Dharma Rinchen and Khedrup Je. 189

Who had been a disciple of his previous incarnation.


AlsocalledChengTe (1506-1522).

1 91

The 'Tsed-ma sDe-bDun' of Dharmakirti.


Founder of the Sakya sect, Kunga Gyaltsen (see F.N. 91).


This statue is now preserved at the new Rumtek monastery, Sikkim (see illustration).

194 The 'Nyi-ma'i-sKyil-aKor' of 1500 leaves (in Rumtek). 195 The 'r]e-bTsun Ngal-bSo' of 1800 leaves.


The 'Grub-sDe'i gCbe~a]o' of 3000 leaves.


The 'DtJags-brGyud Grub-pa'i Sbing-rTa' of 1000 leaves (in Rumtek).


The 'Pbyag-cben sKor-la' of 2000 leaves (in Rumtek). The 'Pbyag-cben Grid-Tbung' (Concise Mabamudra) in 800 leaves.


'Rinsbel', relics, usually like crystal.



(Tib: dBang-phyug rDo-rje)

Wangchuk Dorje was born on the seventh day of the seventh month of the male fire dragon year (15 56), in the region of Treshod in Eastern Tibet. Before his birth his mother dreamed that she was blowing on a white conch-shell and that many people were rushing towards her. While still inside his mother's womb the baby could be heard reciting Mantras. When he was born he sat cross-legged, wiped his face and said, "I am the Karma pal" He remained sitting in that position for three days and his father was so overawed that he started prostrating before him. At this the child stood up, said "Om-Ah-Hum!", and started to laugh. His mother untied her apron strings and tried to wrap up the child in it, but he threw it off saying "Oh No No!" Then he was wrapped up in a sheepskin, which he accepted. People in the neighbourhood told his father that the child must surely be the Karmapa, but he doubted them. However, on returning to the house he found the baby sitting in the lotus-posture of a Buddha, gazing up at the sky, with a bright light moving around his head. By the time he was eighteen days old he could walk very easily and was totally independent. The fame of the child spread far, reaching the ears of Shamar Tulku, Kunchok Yenlak, who sent Lama Gyaltsen to investigate. It was found that the letter of prediction correctly indicated the place of his birth, for it read, "My next incarnation will be born in a place called Treshod Horkok, close by a rock bearing a naturally-formed statue of Avalokiteshwara, near to a river coming out from the Himalaya mountain." As soon as Lama Gyaltsen reached the place the baby boy looked very pleased and started to call out "Shamarpa! Shamarpa! ", 200 and told those near him that soon Shamar Tulku would meet him. At the age of six months he was taken towards Tsurphu monastery, and on the way there he started saying "Situpa! Situpa!"201 Everyone was very surprised when a messenger from Situ Tulku arrived the very next morning. Some days later the fourth Situ Tulku himself appeared, recognised the child as the incarnation of Karmapa, and bestowed on him the empowerment of Amitayus, the Buddha of Boundless Life. During the ceremony the young Karmapa saw his teacher in this form. A few days before reaching Tsurphu monastery Karmapa Wangchuk Dorje joked with his attendants, saying that it was time Shamar Tulku had come to see him in person. Upon reaching Lung Tse the party met up with the fifth Shamar Tulku, who immediately took a great liking for the little boy. Together they proceeded to Tsurphu, reaching there on the twelfth day of the second month of the female iron bird year (1561), which was considered most auspicious. Many cere79


monies were performed and presents were received from the King of }yang, who had been a devoted disciple of the previous Karrnapa. On the seventh day of the fourth month of the same year he received the primary ordination and the hair-cutting ceremony, in front of the large statue of Lord Buddha at the Tsurphu monastery. Then Sharnar Tulku formally enthroned him as the ninth Gyalwa Karrnapa. In the company of Sharnar Tulku he travelled to Yang Chen and from there to Central Kharns, preaching and teaching wherever they stopped. Altogether some thirty thousand monks were ordained on the journey between Tsurphu and the Chinese border. Monasteries were rebuilt and the Buddhist Dharma was revived everywhere. They took three years to reach Tri-o Dar Tse Do, on the extreme North East borders of Tibet. On the third day of the eleventh month of the male wood rat year (1564) Karrnapa and Sharnar Tulku turned back towards Central Tibet, eventually arriving at Karma Gon monastery. On this journey they passed through the region of Karrnapa's birth, giving teachings to many and travelling via the great Changchub Ling monastery of Sangye Nyenpa Druptop. They continued the journey to Charndo, where thousands were initiated into the religious doctrines. One day a man brought along a scroll painting202 picturing both Karrnapa and Sharnar Tulku and asked for it to be blessed. When Karrnapa threw the consecrated grains onto the picture they miraculously stuck, like jewels, onto the hats and remained permanently fixed there. Karrnapa and Sharnar Tulku visited Chang, where they were very well received, ordained many thousands of monks and imparted teachings and initiations to the people. Then they finally returned to the great Tsurphu monastery. At the age of twenty-four Karrnapa Wangchuk Dorje received the final ordination from Sharnar Tulku and under his guidance studied the 'Vinaya Sutra Tika' and all the commentaries. Sharnar Tulku returned to the Densa Thil monastery, 2 03 while Karrnapa visited Tsang, 204 Tashi Lhunpo, 205 Sungrab Ling, Chosde Tak Mar, and Sangsen Dop Chen. At Tashi Lhunpo he performed a special rite in front of the 'Je Tsongkhapa, Father-and-two-sons' 206 there. He went to the large Sakya monastery of Thubden Narngyal Ling and there performed a special rite in front of the large statue of Sakya Panchen, the leader of the Sakyapas. He gave teachings and initiations to Lamas, monks and laymen. Then he returned to Tsurphu where he arranged to have a large applique silk banner of Lord Buddha made. On the day of its completion it was hung over a huge rock and a very bright light was seen corning out of the Buddha's forehead, producing great illumination everywhere. No-one could look directly at it, because of the intense brightness. Shortly after this event Sharnar Tulku visited the monastery and transmitted the remainder of the Oral teachings 207 to Karrnapa. The Ruler of Chang, Depa Rinpungpa, invited Karrnapa to visit him, and since



this was only one of many repeated requests he decided to accept. He imparted teachings all over the land, restored many monasteries and gathered new disciples. He travelled to the Nakphu province of Kongpo, where he rebuilt many monasteries, and on to Tsari, in South-Eastern Tibet, where he gave details of the correct approach to a new pilgrimage-place of Chakrasamvara. This place came to be known as Tsari Namgyal. Karmapa founded a monastery there and called it Tsari Tso Kar. On the return journey Karmapa Wangchuk Dorje visited Tsari Cho Sam, Lho Tong and many other places, bestowing teachings and initiations all the while. When passing through the valley of Dung Tso Kha La he perf armed the miracle of flying. Everyone who saw this prostrated and many non-Buddhists were quickly converted. King Ga Thong of Bhutan, himself skilled in magic and sorcery, having heard of Karmapa's miraculous powers, sent an invitation to him at Tso Nak, requesting him to visit his country. Karmapa accepted the invitation and had soon converted many more to the Buddhist teaching. He was presented with one thousand gold coins and after a short stay in Bhutan he travelled back to Kongpo and Tsari Tso Kar, where he rested. While staying at Tsari, Karmapa engaged himself in deep meditation for nine months. He had visions of Chakrasamvara and Kalachakra and Deities and Protectors of the great Kargyudpa Lineage appeared before him. At the end of this time he travelled to the Phagmo monastery of Densa Thil, where he met the new incarnation of Shamar Tulku, Garwang Choskyi Wangchuk. Karmapa formally recognised him and performed his enthronement ceremony at the Dvagspo Shedrup Ling monastic college. Karmapa wrote brief commentaries on the Vinaya Sutra, the Abhidharma Kosha, the Madhyamika, the Prajnaparamita and three major works on the Mahamudra. 208 He then received an invitation from the King of Sikkim, requesting him to visit that country, but since he himself was unable to make the journey he sent a highly qualified Lama in his place. This Lama founded three monasteries in Sikkim; the Ralung, the Potong and the Rumtek. 209 Karmapa was asked to consecrate the new monasteries, to which he replied that he would do so from Tibet, as he was unable to make the journey there himself. He sent instructions indicating the auspicious time, day and month of the ceremony, saying that everything should proceed accordingly. At the time of consecration of the Ralung monastery three large eagles came from the direction of Tibet, flew three times around the new monastery and dropped consecrated grains of yellow rice right on top of the new roof. 2 1 0 Karmapa recognised the new incarnation of the fifth Situ Tulku, Choskyi Gyaltsen. He made a visit to the Kargyudpa college-monastery of Sungrab Ling, 81


where he taught and expounded many doctrines. At this time he began to refer to his imminent passing and his health began to decline. He sent all the prophetic details of his future birth to Shamar Tulku. Then, on the twenty-eighth day of the first month of the female water rabbit year (1603) he passed away. He was in his forty-seventh year. His foremost disciples were: (i) SHAMAR CHOSKVI WANGCHUK: The sixth Shamar Tulku. (1584-1630) (ii) SITU CHOSKYI GYALTSEN: The fifth Situ Tulku. (1586-1657) (iii) GYALTSAP TRAKPA CHOS YANG: The fifth Gyaltsap Tulku. (c.1617c.1658) (iv) PAWO TSUKLAK GYAMTSO: The third Pawo Tulku. (1567-1633)


The name of Shamar Tulku ('Red Hat One').


The name of Situ Tulku.


Tib: Tbangka. 203 Densa Thil was founded by Lama Phagmo Gru.


In Southern Tibet.


Near Shigatse. Founded in 1445, it is the monastic seat of the Panchen Lamas.


The '}e Yah Se Sum', the Gelugpa 'trinity' of Je Tsongkhapa and his two main disciples.


The 'Dam Ngags'.


The 'Pbya~cben gNas·brTen Pbyag·mTsod', the 'Cbos·sKu mTsub·bTsug' and the 'Ma-rig Mun·sel'.


The old Rumtek monastery is a site just below the new monastery.

21 0

There are people in Sikkim who treasure these yellow grains, kept since this time.



(Tib: Chos-dbYings rDo-rje)

Chos Ying Dorje was born on the twenty-eighth day of the third month of the male wood dragon year (1604), at Golok Khansi Tang, in the extreme North-East of Tibet. During her pregnancy his mother dreamed that Guru Padmasambhava2 11 came towards her and entered into her. There were many auspicious omens. When the baby was born he took one step in each of the four directions, sat cross-legged in the centre and said, "Om Mani Padme Hum, Hri! I pity the sufferings of humanity, for I am Karmapa!" News of the birth of the extraordinary child spread far and wide and reached Chang Mowa, the local Ruler, who invited the baby to be brought to Ma Chu in Eastern Tibet. The child was honoured and taken to the Tsong Mo Che palace. Magyal Pomra, 212 one of the two Protector-Deities of Tibet, came to receive blessings from the young boy. He stayed in the palace for six years and by the time he was seven he had fully learnt the art of painting, surpassing even the greatest of his teachers. The sixth Shamar Tulku, who was staying at t})e Tsari Tso Kar monastery, sent his personal secretary, accompanied by several Lamas, to collect the new Karmapa incarnation. They were very surprised when the small boy asked if Shamarpa was well, even before they announced who had sent them. It was found that all the details of his birth complied with the letter of prediction. He was invited to meet Shamar Tulku at the Zadam Nyinche Ling college. On the fourteenth day of the twelfth month of the male iron dog year (1610) the young Karmapa reached the college and was immediately recognised by Shamar Tulku. On the twenty-third day of the first month of the female iron boar year (1611) his enthronement ceremony took place and the young Karmapa performed the Black Hat rite. He entered into debate with about five hundred learned young Lamas, and was asked about Lord Buddha's life-story, the teachings of the Bodhisattvas and doctrinal matters of the Madhyamika school. Karmapa excelled in the debate, despite his youth, and was able to clarify several important points to those gathered there. Good omens and lucky signs appeared in the sky around and over the monastery and everyone was very impressed by the gifted young Karmapa. Several days later, while accompanied by his attendants, Karmapa Chos Ying Dorje went for a walk along the banks of the Dza Chu river. He pointed out a large white boulder in the middle of the stream and told those with him to take it out of the water and break it open. Everyone protested that the task was too difficult, however Karmapa insisted that it be done 'for the Dharma and for all sentient beings'. With great difficulty the huge boulder was lifted out of the water 83


and broken in two. Inside it were found a cluster of insect-like creatures, which Karmapa blessed withMantras. Soon he had released them all from their sufferings and they were reborn in higher realms. At the age of eight Karmapa travelled to Tsurphu via the Phowo district of Southern Tibet and upon his arrival a rainbow canopy miraculously formed right over the monastery. He took the primary ordination from Pawo Tsuklak Gyamtso 21 3 in the Lha Chen temple where there was the huge statue of Lord Buddha, and at the same time he received the empowerment214 of the Kanjur and Tanjur scriptures. 21 5 Remaining at Tsurphu until the age of twelve he engaged himself in the perfection of the teachings. An invitation was brought from the Tsang King, Phuntsok Namgyal, 216 requesting Karmapa to visit Lhasa. A King from the East named Chi Ew approached the city, leading a huge army, and began to prepare for an attack. The King asked Karmapa to help, and was told that there would be no cause for worry. Miraculously the army simply turned back upon reaching Lhasa and returned in the direction from which they had come. 2 1 7 The King was highly impressed and became an ardent disciple of the Karmapa. Leaving Lhasa the young Karmapa Chos Ying Dorje went to Tsal and Li-u Dong Tsen, where he gave teachings and blessings to the people. Accompanied by Shamar Tulku, Situ Tulku and Pawo Tulku he journeyed to Lhobrag Nga Tsang, where news reached him of the death of the Tsang King. At the request of the Queen he travelled to the Samdrub Tse palace to supervise the death-rites. It was while he was in this palace that he received the final ordination from Shamar Tulku, in the presence of Pawo Tulku and ten monks. Together they visited the main shrines of Lhasa, where Karmapa performed ceremonials and made offerings in front of the three statues of Lord Buddha in the main temple. Then, together with Pawo Tulku, Shamar Tulku and Situ Tulku the 'Tse Chu' ceremony of the eight manifestations of Guru Padmasambhava was performed and dances were held to depict this theme. Karmapa travelled to the Tsurphu monastery, where he received initiations of Kalachakra, Mahakala and the red Avalokiteshwara. He made five beautiful statues out of rhinoceros horn, 21 8 depicting the Kargyudpa Lineage of Vajradhara, Tilopa, Naropa, Marpa and Milarepa. At this time he received the special Lineage teachings of Siddha Tilopa and engaged himself in deep meditation. Accompanied by Shamar Tulku and Gyaltsap Tulku 21 9 he proceeded to the great Samye monastery where he received the Bodhisattva teachings from Shamar Tulku and took the appropriate vows. Together they went on pilgrimage to all the Holy places in the region. There was much rejoicing and ceremony, many monks were ordained and the Buddhist teachings spread widely. The next visit was to the Nyinche Ling college of Shamar Tulku, which was the 84


largest religious centre in Tibet at that time. Karmapa was admitted to the college and received the complete Vmaya Sutra and Madhyamika teachings, as well as those of the higher Mantrayana. Travelling in a group they visited Tsang, where they had been invited to stay in the new Wok Ming Ling palace of the new King of Tsang, Karma Tenkyong Wangpo. 220 They consecrated several new shrines and were most warmly welcomed by the King and the people. All prisoners were released for the occasion and there was much rejoicing. They went to the Sakya monastery in the region and met Dakchen Rinpoche 221 and Dampa Kunga Rinpoche. 222 Together many ceremonies were performed and all those present had wonderful visions of the eighty-four Siddhas. Karmapa and Shamar Tulku travelled to Tingri Lang Kor, where they saw the Sakya Siddha223 flying in the sky overhead, playing a bell and a drum. Karmapa had a vision of Milarepa laughing in space and it made him very happy. He founded a monastery at Chos Chung Ling and both he and Shamar Tulku laboured in the construction of it, helping to carry earth and stones. After completion they performed the consecration ceremony together and then set out for Tsurphu once more. On the journey Shamar Tulku became ill and passed away (1630). Karmapa continued on to the monastery, where he built a stupa to preserve the relics of his teacher and also performed the death-rites. Karmapa foresaw that a time of political oppression was approaching. He went to Lhasa, visiting the monasteries of Tsari Kyang Kha, Shol Kha and Kong Me on the way there. He gave many teachings and performed an important rite at the great Jo Khang temple in Lhasa, before continuing on to the Yang Dop monastery, where he engaged himself in contemplation of the future. The King of Tibet at this time, Desi Karma Tenkyong Wangpo, who was one of Karmapa's disciples, became strongly anti-Gelugpa and practised religious discriminations during his reign. The fifth Dalai Lama. Ngawang Lobzang Gyamtso, sent three representatives to Mongolia, asking for military help from the chieftains there. The chief of the Qoshot Mongols, Gushri Khan, assumed the responsibility and promised to visit Tibet in support of the Gelugpas. 2 24 Karmapa was very disturbed by all the unreligious activity and sent a letter to the Dalai Lama explaining that he was not in favour of military action in the name of religion and that neither he nor the Kargyudpa sect in any way sanctioned the activities of the King of Tsang. The Dalai Lama replied that he understood this to be the case and to rest assured that nothing untoward would happen. 2 2 5 Karmapa realised, however, that events would take a different course. The King of Tsang began collecting together a large army, gathering people together from Kongpo and preparing them for fighting. Karmapa went to see him and told him to cease making war preparations immediately, as it was contrary to the Buddhist Dharma. He pointed out that many thousands would die if fighting 85


was to break out and that there would be much suffering. He also indicated that if the Tsang King were to attack then he would surely get killed. In the meantime Gushri Khan of the Mongols marched into Khams and engaged the non-Buddhist Bheri chieftain 2 26 in fighting (16 39). After a year he brought all of Khams under his control and moved his armies towards Tsang. The Dalai Lama, who had not been kept fully informed of the developments, was very upset and demanded that the Mongol chieftain should be persuaded to return to his own lands. To his main attendant he said, "If, on account of the commitments you have made, you find it difficult to go to Gushri Khan, then I shall see him myself and try to use my religious influence with him. If we can succeed in persuading him to leave it will benefit us politically and vindicate our honour." The attendant refused to allow the Dalai Lama to approach Gushri Khan, saying that it was already too late to stop the inevitable. 2 2 7 Karmapa Chos Ying Dorje began to distribute all his accumulated wealth among the poor. Knowing that he must eventually get involved in the dangerous situation he appointed Gyaltsap Tulku as his temporary representative at Tsurphu monastery. He then moved to Yam Our, where he set up a camp. Some days passed and then the Mongol chieftain Gushri Khan attacked the Tsang capital of Shigatse. The city was surrounded. On the eighth day of the first month of the water horse year (1642), after a fierce battle, the city fell and the King of Tsang was captured. 228 Many were killed and thousands wounded. Karmapa was encamped at Yam Our when he received a letter from the Dalai Lama, asking whether he was preparing to wage war against the Gelugpas and demanding that he send his word of honour that he would refrain from takingany hostile action. Karmapa replied, "How dare we ever harm the Gelugpas in the future, even as we have never harmed them in the past", and added that he would comply with any request from the Dalai Lama to prove his sincerity on this point. Somehow, on receiving the reply, a quibble of words and meanings erupted and the Gelugpa Ministers pointed out that Karmapa had not, in exact terms, promised never to harm the followers of the Dalai Lama. 229 Consequently forces were sent to attack Karmapa's camp. They killed many of his followers, destroying their tents and belongings. Karmapa himself avoided the slaughter230 and when it was over he sent the survivors away to disperse throughout the country. Then, with his servant Kuntu Zangpo, he flew in space to the Kurtod district of Northern Bhutan. Those who witnessed him leave saw him in varying forms; some saw him take the shape of a vulture, others that of a deer, while some simply saw him flying in his human form. Karmapa and Kuntu Zangpo 231 landed far away from the troubles. For twelve days they had no food, but Guru Padmasambhava appeared and sustained them on sacramental pills instead. Guided by the Nagas, the Serpent Kings, they



travelled towards ]yang in the Yunnan region. Bears, wolves and other animals provided food for them from the jungles. Monkeys came to receive his blessings and led him and his servant through the forests until they reached the safety of the Targye Gang monastery in ]yang, after a journey of three years and four months. Everyone gathered to greet Karmapa and there was great rejoicing at his wellbeing. Receiving word of his arrival King Karma Chime Lhawang sent his chief Minister to Targye Gang, with many offerings and an invitation for Karmapa to visit the palace. On the first day of the first month of that year (c.l645) he arrived at the palace and was laden with gifts and honoured with ceremonies and great processions. Dances and dramas were performed and he began to preach throughout the country. On one occasion Karmapa called together beggars from the four directions and seating himself in their midst and chanting the 'Mani' Mantra he distributed among them all the presents received since his arrival. At this time the Mongolian forces were in the border region of Yamdo, quite close to ]yang and were there engaged in raiding and pillaging. The King of ]yang sent his army to assess the situation and in a sudden conflict they succeeded in destroying the Mongol army. Pleased with this success the King convened a meeting with the Ministers and Generals and a decision was made to send forces to attack the Mongol armies in Tibet itself. A vow was made that if they were successful in their mission they would establish Karmapa as the Supreme Ruler. Three hundred thousand soldiers were prepared, but suddenly Karmapa himself appeared before the King and forbade any such action, saying that they should certainly not undertake warlike activities as it was contrary to the Buddhist Dharma. While preaching in the King's palace Karmapa had a vision of the whereabouts of the new Shamar Tulku. Once again he distributed all of his reaccumulated possessions among beggars, passed all his personal books, relics and ritual items into the care of his servant Kuntu Zangpo and rode off towards the extreme North in search of Shamar Tulku. Carrying only little food he passed through Bok Yul, where he met twelve beggars. To them he gave the remainder of his possessions and food and continued the journey disguised as one of them. Karmapa passed through a Sakya hermitage and while begging there he was recognised, helped and honoured. A shepherd boy also recognised him intuitively and spread the word among the local people, who gathered together one hundred horses laden with provisions and presented them to him. Karmapa called the stonemasons of the area and told them to carve a large number of Mani-stones. 2 3 2 When the work was finished he paid their wages with all the possessions that he had just received. He continued on to Golok and in the Li Yul district came across a boy whom



he recognised to be the incarnation of Shamarpa. 233 The child had himself declared the previous day that Karmapa was coming to see him and recognised his teacher despite the beggar's clothes that he was wearing. Together they started the return journey and in Bok Yul Karmapa realised that his servant Kuntu Zangpo was becoming very anxious about his well-being and sent a party of people with mules to fetch him. At Sui Chu Karpo Karmapa left a footprint permanently embedded on a large rock and at this place his servant Kuntu Zangpo arrived to meet him. He bestowed the ordinations on the young Shamar Tulku, Yeshe Nyingpo and for two years he fully explained the Kargyudpa teachings to him. Receiving another invitation to visit the Kingdom of Jyang he travelled there and was royally welcomed at the Lan Dok palace. He founded a temple for the Five Bodhisattvas, 234 naming it Potala, and even the King of jyang laboured in the construction of it. The youngest son of the King, Mipham Tenpa Nyima, received ordination as a monk and was personally instructed by Karmapa. Karmapa Chos Ying Dorje recognised a boy as the incarnation of Gyaltsap Tulku 23 5 and his enthronement ceremony was performed when he was three years old. On his return from Golok news came that incarnations of Situ Tulku 23 6 and Pawo Tulku 23 7 had been found. Karmapa travelled to Khams, collected the young Tulkus and brought them back to jyang for instruction. He gave the empowerment of the Kanjur 238 to all of them and transmitted the complete Oral teachings. On the eleventh day of the third month of the female iron ox year ( 1661) he finished imparting the doctrines and they set out for Lhasa visiting all the places of pilgrimage on the way. On the third day of the third month of the female water ox year (1673) the party arrived at the Tibetan capital. Karmapa went straight to the Potala and met the Dalai Lama, who asked him all about his travels and experiences, expressing a desire to know more about the Mahamudra teachings. Feeling great compassion towards Karmapa he gave instructions that he should be free to return to Tsurphu monastery. Karmapa went to the jo Khang temple and there performed many important ceremonies, during which Bodhisattvas appeared and were seen by all those present. At last he returned to Tsurphu, where he was received with joy and many celebrations. At this time he indicated that he expected to leave the world soon and gave the predictions of his future rebirth to Shamar Tulku and Gyaltsap Tulku. On the ninth day of the eleventh month of the male wood tiger year (1674) he became ill. On the morning of the eleventh day of the same month a white rainbow appeared right over the monastery. He passed away on the fifteenth day of that month, the rainbow remaining in the sky overhead for several days. He was in his seventy-first year. His foremost disciples were: 88


(i) (ii) (iii) (iv)

SHAMAR YESHE NYINGPO: The seventh Shamar Tulku. (1631-1694) SITU MIPHAM CHOGYAL RABTEN: The sixth Situ Tulku. (1658-1682) GYALTSAP NORBU ZANGPO: The sixth Gyaltsap Tulku. (1659-1698) PAWO TSUKLAK TRINLAY GYAMTSO: The fifth Pawo Tulku. 239 (1649-1699)


Padma Jungnes, the Nyingmapa teacher of the eighth century.


Also known as 'rMa-rGyal·Po·Cben·Po·sPom·Ra' (Lit: 'sPom·Ra, Great King Peacock'), he lives in the snow mountain of A·mes·rMa·Cben ('Hail Ancient One, Great Peacock'), on the Ma Chu river, Amdo. Ling Kesar's sword is believed to be hidden in this mountain. For more details of this tradition see 'Religious Observances in Tibet', by R. Ekvall, p. 243. There is another Great Protector Deity of Tibet, who is known as 'Tong-Lba Dorje Barwa'. 213

The third Pawo Tulku, a disciple of the previous Karmapa.


Tib: Lung.


The canonical literature, of Sutras, Tantras and their commentaries.

216 According toW. D. Shakabpa in 'Tibet: a Political History' (p. 99): "In 1611 Karma Tensung Wangpo died and was succeeded by his son, Karma Phuntsok Namgyal. After a tour of the southern border, Karma Phuntsok Namgyal visited Lhasa and sent his private secretary to the Dalai Lama a5king for a religious audience. ..he received a polite note saying that the 4th Dalai Lama was in meditation and could not be disturbed. The Tsang chief was deeply offended." Phuntsok Namgyal died in 1621 and was succeeded by Karma Tenkyong Wangpo. 217

According to Shakabpa, T:APH (p. 101): "The Mongol soldiers returned to Tibet in 1619 in the guise of pilgrims. They camped some distance outside Lhasa.

218 These are in Rumtek (see illustrations). 2 19 The fifth. 220

Ruler from 1623-1642.


The Hereditary Sakya Lama.


The Spiritual Sakya Lama Incarnate.

2 23

Whose Mystic Hat was called 'Pem Liew Tbow'.


In 1638 Gushri Khan (Tib: Tenzin Chogyal) went on pilgrimage to Tibet and met the Dalai Lama, who impressed him greatly. At a ceremony in the Jo Khang temple he was given his Tibetan title and .seal. He promised to support the Gelugpas. 2 2 5 The Dalai Lama was not aware that his Ministers were determined on a military solution. 226 Donyo Dorje, the Bonpo chieftain of Bheri, entered into an alliance with the King of Tsang, with the intention of eliminating the Gelugpas. He was captured and put to death by Gushri Khan. 227 The Dalai Lama was most upset at the unreligious turn of events. He was, however, the victim of the political intrigues of his Ministers.




The King of Tsang was eventually executed, in 1642.


The fifth Dalai Lama, Ngawang Lobzang Gyamtso, was born in 1617 into a Nyingmapa family. He established himself as Supreme Ruler of all Tibet, through the help of Gushri Khan, leader of the Mongol armies. He rebuilt the great Potala palace in Lhasa. He died in 1682. 230 According to Snellgrove & Richardson, in 'A Cultural History ofTibet' (p. 198): "The tenth Black Hat hierarch was caught up in political events totally at variance with his quite proper religious way of life. He was a remarkable character, typical of the best of Tibetan Lamas." and "The Black Hat hierarch escaped the fighting and lived for many years, sometimes disguised as a simple monk and always accepting hardships of every kind." 231

Skt. Samantabhadra.


A wall of prayer-stones, carved with Mantras such as 'Om Mani Padme Hum.'


The seventh, Yeshe Nyingpo.


The 'Gyalwa Ri-nga'.


The sixth, Norbu Zangpo.


The sixth, Mipham Chosgyal Rabten.


The fifth, Tsuklak Tinlay Gyamtso.

2 38

The scriptures.


The fourth incarnation, Tsuklak Kunzang (1633-1649) died very young.



(Tib: Ye-shes rDo-rje)

Yeshe Dorje was born in the male fire dragon year (1676) in Meshuk, Eastern Khams. As soon as he was born he wiped his face, sat cross-legged and said, "I am the Karma pal" At this time a rainbow formed over the house and many flowers fell down from the sky. When he was still very young he saw Cbakrasamvara and other Protectors and Deities in the sky above him. He pointed them out to those who were present, but they could see nothing and started to laugh at him. In reply to their mockery he flew up in the air, hovered for a while and then returned to the ground. The news of this miraculous event spread far and reached Shamar Tulku 240 and Gyaltsap Tulku, who both sent off their representatives to investigate further. It was found that all the details of the birth were in exact accordance with the letter of prediction left by the previous Karmapa. He was thus brought to the great Yang Chen monastery where he met the seventh Shamar Tulku, who recognised him immediately. The young Karmapa was taken to Tsurphu monastery where he was enthroned. He performed the Black Hat ceremony shortly afterwards. From Shamar Tulku he received the preliminary ordinations and studied the scriptures under the guidance of the sixth Gyaltsap Tulku and Karma Tinlay Tulku 241 • From Shamar Tulku he also received the full esoteric teachings, including the transmission of the 'Six Yogas' of Naropa. Shamarpa passed away. Karmapa Yeshe Dorje received the teachings, explanations and initiations of Ter Cbos 242 from Yonge Migyur Dorje243 and Taksham Nuden Dorje. 244 He performed the death-rites of Shamar Tulku and built a stupa to house the relics. The Tsurphu monastery was rebuilt and many other temples and monasteries were repaired, having been badly damaged by the Mongol soldiers. One year after the passing of Shamar Tulku Karmapa had a vision of the new incarnation and made arrangements for the boy to be brought to Tsurphu from his birth-place in Nepal. Karmapa performed the enthronement ceremony of the eighth Shamar Tulku and named him Palchen Choskyi Dodrup. Then he predicted that Situ Tulku would reincarnate at AI Or in the male iron dragon year ( 1700) and imparted this information to the new Shamar incarnation, 245 along with the remaining teachings. He spent much time engaged in deep meditation. Karmapa Yeshe Dorje sent the letter of prediction concerning his next incarnation to the young Shamar Tulku. He then passed away in the male water horse year ( 1702), at the age of only twenty-seven. There were remarkable occurrences at that time. His foremost disciples were: 91



SHAMAR PALCHEN CHOSKYI DODRUP: The eighth Shamar Tulku. (1695-1732) (ii) KENCHEN KARMA DONYOD: (iii) TENZIN CHOGYAL: The fifth Trungpa Tulku.

FOOTNOTES 240 The seventh. 241 The third. 242 The 'discovered' teachings, hidden by Padmasambhava. 243 The present incarnation is in Gangtok. 244 Who dressed in a tiger's skin. A great Nyingmapa Lama. No present incarnation known. 24 5 Who recognised the eighth Situ Tulku in about 1708. The seventh Situ Tulku, Nawe Nyima, died very young.


CHANGCHUB DORJE: THE TWELFTH KARMAPA (Tib: Byang-chub rDo-rje) (1703-1732) Changchub Dorje was born in the female water sheep year (1703) at Litsa Tok in the Derge province of Eastern Tibet. Two months after his birth he suddenly declared himself to be the Karmapa. Shamar Tulku heard of the birth of the remarkable child in the place mentioned in the letter of prediction and sent a search-party led by his personal secretary. On the way there they met the Terton Migyur Dorje, 246 who guided them straight to the place. Upon their arrival at the village they were most surprised to see a white rainbow which ended right on the roof of the house where the child had been born. Everything was found to be exactly in accordance with the details given in the letter of prediction. The small child correctly chose all the items which had belonged to the previous incarnation of Karmapa and threw away all the others in disgust. A message was sent to Situ Tulku, who came to meet the new incarnation, leading a party consisting of Traleg Rinpoche, 247 Surmang Garwang Rinpoche 248 and Sangye Nyenpa Tulku. 249 Together they proceeded to the Karma Gon monastery, reaching there by the time Karmapa Changchub Dorje was seven years of age. One night Karmapa had a dream of Lord Buddha preaching to many monks seated around him. Among them he saw himself, with hands folded in supplication, asking for the methods best suited for learning the Mahayana. He received a concise mystic phrase in answer and on waking from his sleep Karmapa instructed his servant to write the words down. Later, in a second dream he saw Palden Atisha and asked him several questions about the Dharma. From him he received mystic verses in answer; four sentences for the Mahayana and four for the Vajrayana. Karmapa returned to Derge, the province of his birth and from there set out for Tsurphu, visiting many places on the way. At Tsurphu he was enthroned by Shamar Tulku, in the presence of Situ Tulku. He received the primary and final ordinations and was initiated into the complete Kargyudpa teachings, including the 'Six Yogas' of Naropa, the Lineage teachings and the Oral transmission. He recognised the seventh Gyaltsap Tulku, Kunchok Oser and enthroned him. Karmapa Changchub Dorje met the Nyingmapa Siddha Khatog Rigdzin Chenmo and along with Situ Tulku and Gyaltsap Tulku they discussed various aspects of the teachings. Karmapa decided that it was time a special pilgrimage was made to Nepal. Accompanied by Shamar Tulku, Situ Tulku and Gyaltsap Tulku the long journey across the Himalayas was completed and on arriving in the Kathmandu valley the party went straight to the great Bodhanath Stupa where they made many offerings. There the four incarnate Lamas were received by King Jagajayamalla, 250 who was seated in a golden howdah mounted on top of a huge 93


elephant. There were many attendants with gold and silver spears, honorific umbrellas and huge drums, who escorted them to the King's palace. Karmapa led the way into the palace assembly-hall, where all observed the customary period of silence in front of the portrait of Prat PamaP 51 Then a splendid feast was prepared and rooms were made available. Karmapa stayed in the palace for seven days, bestowing blessings and preaching the Dharma. An epidemic had broken out in the valley just before his arrival and at the request of the King he performed a propitiation ceremony and the epidemic immediately subsided. Since the country was suffering from drought Karmapa threw consecrated grain into the air and it rained heavily. He preached the Dharma throughout the Kathmandu valley, fully explaining the laws of Karma to the people. The Royal Family received many excellent teachings and many Panditas came to discuss points of doctrine. Karmapa took the party on pilgrimage to Namo Buddhaya, the place where, as a Bodhisattva, in the distant past Lord Buddha had offered the flesh of his own body to a hungry tigress. 2 5 Ia At this place an invitation was received from King Ranaj itamalla, 2 52 asking them to visit his city. Elephants were provided for Karmapa and Shamarpa and fine horses for Situ Tulku and Gyaltsap Tulku. In a magnificent procession they circumambulated the city, bestowing their blessings upon all. Karmapa and the other incarnate Lamas left Nepal and travelled on pilgrimage to Kushinagara 2 53 in India, the place of the final passing of Lord Buddha. There they all prostrated, made offerings and said prayers for the good of mankind. At this time an invitation was received for Karmapa to visit China. Retracing the route through Nepal the pilgrims returned to Tibet, reaching the Tsurphu monastery safely. Karmapa and Shamar Tulku left Tsurphu on the thirteenth day of the third month of the female wood snake year (1725) and travelled through Khams and North Eastern Tibet, visiting many temples and monasteries on the way to China. Passing through numerous provinces254 they reached Sing Chi-ew, where they visited the temples of Avalokiteshwara and the Goddess Tara. They performed many rites, giving special instructions to their disciples, saying that they should try their utmost to propagate the Dharma in the difficult times. This was a period of great religious discrimination. Karmapa and Shamar Tulku considered it more favourable for them to leave their bodies and reincarnate. Karmapa sent a letter of prediction to Situ Tulku 255 and on the thirtieth day of the tenth month of the water rat year ( 17 32), early in the morning of the new moon, he passed away. Shamar Tulku followed him two days later, amidst many omens. His foremost disciples were: (i) SITU CHOSKYI JUNGNES: The eighth Situ Tulku. (1700-1774) 94


(ii) GYALTSAP KUNCHOK OSER: The seventh Gyaltsap Tulku. (1699-1765) (iii) PAWO TSUKLAK GAWA: The seventh Pawo Tulku. 256 (Died: 1781) (iv) DRUKCHEN KARGYUD TINLAY SHINGTA: The sixth Drukchen Rinpoche. (v) YONGDZIN KARMA THUBTEN NGAWANG: (vi) JETS UN JYUNGON TULKU:


Tercben, 'revealer of treasures'.

247 An incarnation of the Siddha Shogam, one of je Gampopa's disciples. The present Traleg Rinpoche is a

student at Sarnath, India. 24 8 From Surmang monastery. The present incarnation born in Sikkim as the son of Kazi Sonam Gyatso. Age 7 years. 24 9 The fourth incarnation. 2 50 Ruler of Yambu (Kathmandu) from 1722-17 36, which period was remarkable for the phenomenal drought. 2 51 Of Prata Pamalla, a former King of Yambu, who came to the throne in 1639 and died in 1689. He was a man of great ability and learning, who devoted particular energy to bringing together Pandits from many different countries. He built many temples. (See: 'History of Nepal', translated from the Parbatiya, by Singh and Gunanand. Edited by Daniel Wright. Kathmandu 1971 reprint). 2 51 a Situated to the East of Bhatgaon, near to the village of Panavati. 252 Of Bhatgaon, in the Kathmandu valley. He reigned from 1722-1769. 253 In India, the place of the

Paranirvana of Lord Buddha.

254 Silling, Len-ju, Tsu-tsui, Chang-shoi, Nganar Ning-ten, Ho Chang-chen, Tsen Chang-yi, Ching-ni, Chi-ew,

Lun-tok Shen, Ching-chi-ew etc. 25 5 The eighth, who at that time was at Palpung monastery. 256 The sixth incarnation, Choskyi Dodrup, died young.


DU DUL DORJE: THE THIRTEENTH KARMAPA (Tib: dDud-'dul rDo-rje) (17 33-1797) Du Dul Dorje was born in the second week of the eighth month of the female water ox year ( 17 3 3), in Chaw a Drong of Nyen Chow a province. As a small child he started recounting stories of his past visits to India, Nepal and China. One day a sixteen year old boy dressed in white, holding a basket of flowers, appeared before him. 2 57 Scattering the flowers at his feet the boy danced around him and said. "I am Mahakala! I come from the Light of Knowledge, sometimes in a ~rathful form! As Teacher and Protector there is no difference between you or me!" The figure then scattered the last handful of flowers and laughing, dissappeared. As many people were witness to this curious event the fame of the young boy spread far and wide. A search party led by the seventh Gyaltsap Tulku came to meet the boy and found that everything was in exact agreement with the letter of prediction left by the previous Karmapa. Thus the young incarnation was recognised and taken to the Tsurphu monastery, where he was ceremonially enthroned and where he performed the Black Hat ceremony for the first time. A representative was sent from the Dalai Lama. 2 58 On the fifteenth day of the fourth month of the female wood ox year (1745), at the age of twelve, the young boy took the preliminary ordinations from the eighth Situ Tulku. He completed his basic studies by the time he was nineteen, when he then took the final ordination and was taught the 'Six Yogas' of Naropa, the Kargyudpa Lineage and received the full Oral transmission. He had a clear vision of Padmasambhava and J etsun Milarepa. One day water started pouring out from underneath the great statue of Lord Budd!ta in the jo Khang temple of Lhasa. There was a danger that the image might become submerged, possibly to be taken off to the land of the Nagas. 2 59 A prediction was found in a book written by Guru Padmasambhava260 in which it was declared that the Karmapa Lama would be the only person able to dispel the danger. The Dalai Lama261 asked Karmapa Du Dul Dorje to come to Lhasa, so that he might help save the precious statue. Owing to circumstances beyond his control Karmapa could not personally make the visit, but instead sent a letter with instructions that it should be placed on the water. This letter was addressed to the King of the Nagas and when it was presented the water immediately started subsiding. Later Karmapa himself travelled to Lhasa, riding on a hornless Yak262 and going directly to the Jo Khang temple he prayed before the great statue of Lord Buddha. He offered a white silk scarf to the image and the arms moved into the 'receiving' position, remaining permanently outstretched from that time on. He had an audience with the eighth Dalai Lama, 26 3 who thanked him for coming and presented many gifts to him in gratitude.



Karmapa Du Dul Dorje made a pilgrimage to Nepal (c.1750), meeting King Jaya Prakasamalla 264 and arranged for restoration to be undertaken on the great Swayambhunath Stupa. 265 He was well received by the King, the Ministers and the people and was able to ensure that the work was satisfactorily carried out. At the age of thirty-nine Karmapa went to the Palpung monastery, 266 where he discussed the results of his meditations with the eighth Situ Tulku and received the remaining teachings and the Oral transmission from him. He recognised the tenth incarnation of Shamar Tulku 267 and then travelled to Tsurphu monastery dressed in the robes of an ordinary Lama. Visiting all the villages of Khams, Eastern Tibet, he gave teachings to the people in an extremely simplified form. At the .end of the journey he retired to the hermitage built by Karma Pakshi on the mountain behind Tsurphu and there spent many years in deep meditation. He revealed many precious treasures and was especially renowned for his ability to communicate with animals and birds. The Ruler of Southern Tibet invited Karmapa to consecrate a small monastery in the palace of Phowo, which was fifteen days journey from Tsurphu. Being unable to go in person Karmapa fixed a date and time for the ceremony and sent a messenger to tell the Lamas there to make all the necessary preparations. At the exact moment of the consecration Holy grain started to rain down from the sky and everyone was very happy with the auspicious event. Later he had a vision of the new incarnation of Situ Tulku and a party was sent to collect him. He was enthroned by Karmapa and received all the teachings from him. Karmapa Du Dul Dorje gave the letter of prediction to his disciple Situ Tulku and passed away on the fourth day of the eighth month of the female fire snake year ( 1797), at the age of sixty-five. There were many auspicious signs at the time of his passing and precious relics were recovered from the funeral pyre. His foremost disciples were: (i) SITU PADMA NYINGCHE WANGPO: The ninth Situ Tulku. (1774-1853) (ii) SHAMAR CHOSDRUP MIPHAM GY AMTSO: The tenth Shamar Tulku. (1742-1792) (iii) PAWO TSUKLAK CHOSKYI GYALPO: The eighth Pawo Tulku. (iv) DRUKCHEN KUNZIG CHOSKYI NANGWA: The seventh Drukchen Rinpoche. (v) LADAKH HEMI GYALSA Y: A Prince, from Hemis monastery, Ladakh. (vi) KHAMTRUL JIGME SENGE: The Line ofKhamtruP 68 Tulkus,from Khams.


A well-known form of 'white' Mahakala, as a sixteen year old boy, holding a basket of flowers.



The seventh Dalai Lama, Kalzang Gyamtso (1708-1757).

2 59

Serpent Kings.


The prophecy book was the 'sPyi-lung 'Od-kyi ITa-wa Chen' (a Nyingmapa Terma).


The eighth, Jampal Gyamtso.

262 An 263



264 Reigned from 1736-1768. 265 An

inscription in stone commemorates this repair. (c.1751). A copy of it is in the Cambridge University

Library. 266

Of Situ Tulku.

26 7

The tenth. The ninth Shamar Tulku, Kunchok Jungnes,died young, having been greatly harassed by the Gelugpa Ministers. 268


The present incarnation, Donjud Nyima, is the eighth. He founded a Craft Centre in Tashijong, India.

THEG CHOG DORJE: THE FOURTEENTH KARMAPA (Tib: Theg-mChog rDo-rje) (i798-1868) Theg Chog Dorje was born on the tenth day of the twelfth month of the fire snake year ( 1798), in the Danang village of Zalmo Gang in the Do Khams region of Eastern Tibet. Many rainbows were to be seen over the village and at the time of his birth the baby wiped his own face and said, "Om Mani Padme Hum, Hri! Ah Ahh I Ii Uu UU... " 269 The fame of the child spread far, reaching the Kargyudpa Lama Drukchen Kunzig Choskyi Nangwa, 2 70 who sent a search-party to the region. Situ Tulku and Gyaltsap Tulku2 71 also sent search-parties and all of them met in the village of Danang. Together they took the boy to the Karma Gon monastery, where he was welcomed by the ninth Situ Tulku. Finding all the details in the letter of prediction to be exactly correct, Situ Tulku officially recognised him as the new incarnation of Karmapa and bestowed the primary ordination. Staying in the Karma Gon monastery for several years, Karmapa Theg Chog Dorje received· both the New 72 and the Old2 73 teachings and studied several versions of the life of Guru Padmasambhava. He travelled to Tsurphu, where, by the age of nineteen, he had received most of the teachings and the esoteric transmission. He took the final ordination, rebuilt the monastery and repaired all the stupas and small temples in the area. He also founded a meditation centre, calling it Drupde Samten Ling. Acting in accordance with a prediction made by Guru Padmasambhava, Karmapa invited the Terton Chogyur Lingpa2 74 to come from Khams to the Tsurphu monastery. There were great celebrations, culminating in Lama-dances of the 'Eight Manifestations of Guru Padmasambhava' 275 and those of Vajrakila. 276 Karmapa made a pilgrimage to Kang Rinpoche, Mount Kailash in Western Tibet, and during his stay there some people were sure they could see him sitting meditating in a tent in the middle of lake Manasarovar. 2 77 He circumambulated the Holy mountain, visited all the shrines, and had a wonderful vision of Chakrasamvara. On his return journey he passed by a craggy hill, famous as the abode of a demon. Large boulders suddenly started to roll down towards the party of pilgrims, terrifying everyone. Karmapa glanced up and at that moment the large rocks remained where they were and the smaller rubble and dust completely disappeared. Karmapa travelled to Tsari, where he had visions of the Goddess Tara and of Chakrasamvara and where he left a permanent footprint on a stone. Then he returned to Tsurphu monastery, travelling through the province of Kongpo, where he preached and bestowed many blessings on the people. He imparted the complete teachings to Drukchen Kunzig Gyamtso and J amgon Khongtrul Rinpoche, 2 7 8 99


leaving the letter of prediction with his two brothers, Dodrup Tulku and Choswang Tulkn. On the twenty-first day of the first month of the male earth dragon year (1868) he passed away, in his seventy-first year. Rainbows were to be seen all around him at that time. His foremost disciples were: (i) DRUKCHEN KUNZIG GYAMTSO: The eighth Drukchen Rinpoche. (ii) JAMGON KHONGTRUL RINPOCHE: The first Jamgon Tulku. An mcarnation of Manjusri. (iii) DABZANG DEDON TENP A RABGYE: The first. (iv) GYURME TENPHEL: The eighth Trungpa Tulku.


The vowels of the alphabet.

2 70

Leader of the Drukpa·Kargyud. A disciple of the previous incarnation.


The eighth, Chospal Zangpo (1766·1820).

2 72 The 'Sar-ma': the 'new' teachings. 273 The 'Nying·ma': the 'old' teachings.

274 A 'discoverer' of texts and treasures (Terma). He was from the Tsita monastery. (1829·1870). 2 75 The Tse·cbu. 2 76 Purpa Drup Chen, a wrathful Tantric form. 277

The Holy Lake near to the mountain. 2 78 A great teacher, who influenced many.


KHA CHAB DORJE: THE FIFTEENTH KARMAPA (Tib: mKha-khyab rDo-rje) (1871-1922) Kha Chab Dorje was born on the tenth day of the eighth month of the female iron sheep year (1871), in Shelkar village of Tsong province Western Tibet. As soon as he was born he looked up into the sky and declared himself to be the new Karmapa. He had a white mole in the middle of his forehead. By the time he was a year old he already had an astonishingly profound understanding of many subjects and was able to pass his knowledge on to others. He continued as his own teacher until the age of six. Drukchen Rinpoche, Terton Chogyur Dechen Lingpa and Jamgon Khongtrul Rinpoche felt convinced that he must be the incarnation of Karmapa and upon consulting the letter of prediction it was found that all the details were exactly correct. As a final test the boy was asked to select items of clothing placed before him and he immediately chose those which had belonged to the previous Karmapa. Thus he was taken to the Tsurphu monastery. In the female fire ox year ( 1877) he was ceremonially enthroned and on this occasion composed a prayer to Mahakala. He studied all the doctrines and became skilled in the science of medicine. At the age of eleven he travelled to Lhasa, where he met the thirteenth Dalai Lama, Thupten Gyamtso, 279 who honoured him greatly. In Lhasa there was a very large statue of Dorje Dragden the Protector, which offered his spear to Karmapa. Staying in Lhasa for a while, he taught widely and then returned to Tsurphu. Karmapa Kha Chab Dorje received the empowerment280 of the Kanjur from Kenchen Tashi Oser and that of the 'Six Books of Padmasambhava' 281 from Pawo Tsuklak Nyingche. 282 At the age of fourteen he received an invitation to consecrate a newly restored monastery in Li Thang. Drawing a map of the place he dropped Holy grain onto it and at that same moment showers of grain fell on the roof of the monastery. In t~e male fire dog year (1886) he went to Khams, visiting the Palpung monastery as well as many others. From Jamgon Khongtrul Rinpoche he received the teachings and initiations of the great Kargyudpa Lineage, the Bodhisattva vows, the Kalachakra and the Oral transmission. He travelled to the Dzong Sar monastery of the first Khyentse Rinpoche, 2 83 where he recounted all the events of his past lives. Then he visited Bonpo Gon in Li Thang, where he performed a miracle by pushing his finger right into a hard rock. When he withdrew it, streams of milky water flowed out of the hole. He visited all the region around Li Thang, imparting teachings and bestowing initiations. At the request of Dzigar Rinpoche of Shang Ling monastery he gave the rebirth prediction concerning the next Drukchen Rinpoche.



In the male earth rat year (1888) Karmapa received many teachings and initiations284 from jamgon Khongtrul Rinpoche 285 and studied the Higher Tantras, medicine and astrology. From jambyang Khyentse Rinpoche 286 he received many empowerments and initiations, as well as the Kargyudpa Lineage teachings, the Mahamudra and the Oral transmission. Through the Celestial Buddha Vajradhara he realised perfection in meditation. Karmapa made a prediction of the whereabouts of the eleventh Situ Tulku, Padma Wangchog Gyalpo, recognised him and supervised his enthronement ceremony. He then travelled to Lhasa, to Sang Ngag Chos Ling, 287 and to the great Samye monastery. He enthroned the new Drukchen Rinpoche and taught him fully. Going to Tsari he practised his meditation there and many visions revealed themselves to him, including those of Guru Padmasambhava, Vajravarahi, Hevajra, Kalachakra and Chakrasamvara. The Protector of Tsari also appeared and presented Karmapa with a precious statue of Guru Padmasambhava288 and a skyfallen sceptre. 2 8 9 Karmapa returned to Tsurphu in the male wood horse year ( 1894 ), founding the Tsur Kung monastery nearby, and repairing the main buildings. He built a temple of the Protector-Deity of Lhasa 2 90 and then travelled to Palpung monastery where he preached and bestowed many initiations. At this time jamgon Khongtrul Rinpoche came and transmitted the remaining secret teachings to him. He returned to Tsurphu where he witnessed the dance of Mahakala and conducted many important ceremonies. Karmapa received many requests from the King of Bhutan, asking him to visit his country. He started off on the long journey and reached Trongsar Dzong, the old capital, on the first day of the first month of the male earth dog year ( 1898), at the time of the New Year celebrations. He preached and bestowed the Mahamudra initiations in their complete form, with full explanations, for which the King of Bhutan was extremely grateful. Karmapa returned to Tibet, where, guided by particular visions, he found the new incarnations of jamgon Khongtrul Rinpoche 291 and the tenth Pawo Tulku, 292 supervising both enthronement ceremonies at Tsurphu monastery. To Situ Tulku 293 and jamgon Rinpoche he passed. on all the teachings, the Mahamudra, the Kargyudpa Lineage, the 'Six Yogas' of Naropa and the complete Oral transmission. On the first day of the first month of the male water rat year (1912) he insisted that the New Year trumpets be blown towards the East294 instead of towards the South, as was customary. For many years Karmapa Kha Chab Dorje engaged himself in deep meditation. He bestowed his blessings on the people. Then he wrote a letter indicating details of his next rebirth and left it in the care of jam pal Tsulten, his favourite attendant. On the twenty-sixth day of the third month of the male water dog year 102


(1922) he passed away, at the age of fifty-two. There were many auspicious signs visible in the sky and precious relics were recovered from amongst his ashes. His foremost disciples were: (i) SITU PADMA WANGCHOG GYALPO:TheeleventhSituTulku. (1886-1952) (ii) JAMGON KHYENTSE OSER: The second Jamgon Khongtrul Tulku. (1904-195 3) (iii) PAWO TSUKLAK TRAWE WANGCHUK: The tenth Pawo Tulku. (b. 1912) (iv) SHAMAR JAMBYANG: The eleventh Shamar Tulku. (c.1880-1947) (v) GYALTSAP TRAKPA GYAMTSO: The eleventh Gyaltsap Tulku. (c.19021959) (vi) KHYENTSE RINPOCHE: (vii) CHOSKYI NYINJE: The tenth Trungpa Tulku, who received the Rabjum ordination from the fifteenth Karmapa.


(1876-1934)_ 'Lung'.


The 'rGya-chen Pod-drug'.


The ninth Pawo Tulku, who died c.1'911.


Who had many incarnations, the third of which was Kargyudpa. The others were Nyingmapa and Sakyapa. 284

The 'Rin-chen gTer-mDzod' . . .in 75 volumes.


The first.


Who gave him the empowerment of 'sGrub-Tobs Kun-'Dus' (10 volumes of Mantras).


Where he recognised the new Drukchen Rinpoche.


Which is in the present Rumtek monastery, Sikkim, preserved within a Gau. (Reliquary).


'Nam Chak', lit: 'sky-fallen'. It is in Rumtek.


Tsering che-nga.


The second.


The tenth, now living in Bhutan. A great teacher.


The eleventh.

294 Later this was interpreted as indicating the direction in which his future incarnation would be born. The sixteenth Karmapa was born in the East.




H.H. Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, the sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa.

RANGJUNG RIGPE DORJE: THE SIXTEENTH KARMAPA (Tib: Rang-byung Rig-pa'i rDo-rje) (Born: 1924) Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, the present Gyalwa Karmapa, was born on the fifteenth day of the sixth month of the male wood rat year ( 1924) at Denkhok on the banks of the Dri Chu river, near to the 'Athup' palace in Derge, Eastern Tibet. Before his birth the Siddha Gyal Je and Dzogchen Thupten Choskyi Dorje both prophesied thatagreatBodhisattva would soon come to Athup and advised the family to set up a camp outside the palace so that the birth would not take place in a lay environment. His father's name was Tsewang Paljor and his mother was called Kalzang Chosdun. While still in his mother's womb the baby could be heard reciting the 'Mani' Mantra. One day, shortly before the birth, his mother noticed that her stomach had become completely flattened, as if she was not pregnant at all. She proceeded to the camp, set up on a hill behind the palace, and at sunrise the next morning she felt a great heaviness and her stomach began to swell very rapidly. Soon afterwards the baby was born. There was a slight fall of rain and many rainbows appeared all around, some ending at the camp and others at the palace. When the child was born he took seven steps, saying, "Mother, Mother! I am going away!" She wrapped him in a blanket and it was noticed that all the water in the offering-basins had turned into milk. Realising the importance of the birth the family let it be known that a girl had been born, in order to protect the child from ill-wishers. In the meantime Situ Tulku and Jamgon Khongtrul Tulku had opened the letter of prediction left by the fifteenth Karmapa and found the following detailed instructions: "East of Tsurphu, close by a river, in a place that long ago had belonged to Pawo Denma Yulgyal Tokgod 295 and to the Minister of Ling Kesar, on the Pal hill, decorated with the letters 'A' and 'thup', is a house made of earth, belonging to a Royal and religious family. The birth will take place there on the fifteenth day of the sixth month of the rat year." Both Situ Tulku and J amgon Khongtrul Tulku had clear visions of the Athup palace and sent off a party to determine if the new incarnation was to be found there. Upon their arrival the party heard of the birth of the remarkable child, in conditions exactly as had been predicted in the letter. The search was over. Thus the sixteenth Karmapa was recognised. For some years he remained in the palace, in the good care of his parents. He was a child of extraordinary natural insight; if horses or cattle were missing from the area he could always give an exact description of the place where they could be found. His room in the palace was on the third floor. One day visitors brought him tea in an earthenware pot. Karmapa threw it down into the court107

The young Sixteenth Karmapa with his teacher, the Eleventh Situ Tulku, in Tibet


yard below and then sent a servant to pick it up. Miraculously it was not broken, nor had one drop of the tea been spilled. Laughing, Karmapa squeezed together the neck of the pot and sealed it completely. For a long time it was preserved in the Athup palace. When Karmapa was seven years old Situ Tulku and Jamgon Khongtrul Tulku visited the palace and performed his primary ordination. A ceremonial empowerment of the Goddess Vajravarahi 296 was completed and on the twenty-seventh day of the first month of the female iron sheep year ( 19 31) the young incarnation was ordained as a novice monk. Then Khyentse Rinpoche, Zimpon Legshed Gyaltsen and Donyer Gyaltsen Zangkyong together offered the sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa his ceremonial robes and Hat. On the first day of the second month of the same year he was taken to the Palpung monastery at the invitation of Situ Tulku. On the way there the party was met by the local Ruler, Tsewang Palchod, who led them to the Lhendrup Teng palace, where many fine ceremonies were performed in honour of the new incarnation. Thousands of people gathered to receive his blessings. On the eighth day of the second month the party reached Palpung monastery. The enthronement ceremony took place four days later in the large assembly hall and thousands of pilgrims gathered to pay homage to the Gyalwa Karmapa on this auspicious occasion. On the twenty-second day of the fourth month Situ Tulku accompanied him to Tsurphu, visiting many monasteries and places of pilgrimage on the way. Halfway between Khams and Tsurphu, at Gyina Gon monastery, the senior secretary and a hundred Lamas honoured the new incarnation. The following day, the thirteenth of the sixth month, the Black Hat ceremony was first performed in this lifetime. The sky was filled with rainbows and many flowers fell down from the heavens. Thousands were witness to this astonishing and auspicious event. The journey was continued. The way passed through a valley near the palace of the greatest Protectors of Tibet, Nyenchen Tang Lha, which was situated on the crest of a mountain. Karmapa sent sacred grain and a white Yak as offerings to this Protector and the Yak was seen to run straight up to the top without any guidance. Gyaltsap Tulku, Pawo Tulku, Jamgon Khongtrul Tulku and many other Lamas arrived to escort the party to Tsurphu monastery, the traditional seat of the Karma pas. The Gyalwa Karmapa travelled to Lhasa to meet His Holiness the thirteenth Dalai Lama, 297 who performed his 'hair-cutting' ceremony. At their first meeting Karmapa was wearing his 'Ne Shu' 298 hat, but the Dalai Lama saw another hat on top of it and pointed this out to his chief Minister. When Karmapa performed the traditional prostrations he was seen to take off his small hat, but afterwards the Dalai Lama asked why he had not taken off the other hat also, as it was cus109


tomary to be bare-headed on such an occasion. All those present protested that he had indeed been bare-headed. Then it was realised that the Dalai Lama must have seen the subtle Bodhisattva-hat/ 99 visible only to those of the highest spiritual attainment, and had thought that everyone else could see it also. Karmapa returned to Tsurphu monastery, where a second enthronement ceremony was performed, supervised by Drukchen Mipham Choskyi Wangpo and the eleventh Situ Tulku. He studied with Kangkar Rinpoche for four years and often told his teacher about his previous incarnations. On the third day of the twelfth month of the female wood pig year (1935), at the age of twelve, the young Karmapa travelled to Khams. On the way, at a place called Lorang, he told Dechang Yeshe Palwar to open the window of his palanquin, saying that he could see many well-dressed people riding towards him on most beautiful horses. It was realised that the people must be the Protectors of that place, coming to honour Karmapa, since no-one else could see them. The party reached Tardzi Chutsen, the hot springs, and stopped to rest and bathe in the curative waters. It was the middle of winter yet many snakes suddenly started crawling out from between the rocks. Karmapa rushed into their midst and was soon covered in them. He started to dance, saying, "I am the King of the snakes!" Everyone was terrified and begged him to stop, but he only laughed and did not seem to be at all worried. Presently the snakes unwound themselves and went back into the hot springs. On the tenth day of the twelfth month, at Chite, Karmapa discovered a new stream, naming it 'Five Nectars'. On the twenty-ninth day of the same month, while passing once more through the neighbourhood of the Protector Nyenchen Tang Lha, a white Yak came straight up to Karmapa bowed before him and disappeared. Everyone was astonished, but Karmapa just said, "Its only natural!" The party reached Shakshu Kar, where Drukchen Paljor Rinpoche came to receive the Karmapa. They started to joke together about their respective miraculous powers and suddenly Karmapa took a sword from his attendant's scabbard and tied a knot in the blade with his bare hands. 300 Paljor Rinpoche was totally amazed and did not offer to compete. The combined party reached Tsokpur, where there was a frozen river to be crossed. There Karmapa left a footprint on the ice, and when the river melted later in the year it was found that this footprint was still visible in the water and again on the ice the following year. Paljor Rinpoche led the party to the Riwa Barma monastery, where a ceremony to Guru Padmasambhava was performed. At the end of the rite the offering cakes 301 were thrown in the different directions in order to dispel evil forces. When they were thrown to the East flames could be seen coming out of them. It was at this time that there was a sudden and unaccountable pause in Chinese aggression on the Eastern borders. 110


Karmapa left for Tungnak Lhachen Gon monastery and was asked to perform a consecration ceremony. After the Holy grains had been thrown it was found that they had all turned into dazzling white Holy relics. One of the most famous hunters in the region came to Karmapa, prostrated and confessed that he had killed many innocent animals unnecessarily. He then presented his hunting dog to him. At the same time another visitor brought three baby deer and presented them to Karmapa. Soon the hunting dog and the three deer became very good good friends, being completely at ease in each others company. Other people brought cats, guinea-pigs, mice and rats and soon all these animals were sleeping side by side. While Karmapa was preaching at the Tanam monastery one of the deer left a clear hoof-mark on a rock. Karmapa reached Oil Yak monastery, where the party all stayed in tents, several of which were joined together. On one occasion he was seen high up off the ground, riding a deer along the ropes from one tent to another. The party reached Radza Dzong in the mountains, where there was a great shortage of drinking water. The Lama Samten Gyamtso explained to Karmapa that the nearest spring was three miles away and asked for a blessing to help the situation. Karmapa ordered that a wooden tub should be brought and placed near the monastery. Then he said he wanted to take a bath, so people carried water to fill it up. After the bath he told the attendants to empty the water onto the ground. Immediately it started to rain and a new spring broke forth from the spot where the tub had been standing. The water shortage of the monastery was permanently resolved. Passing by Chos Gon, in Khams, where the local Protector had a palace on the top of a very high m<;>untain, Karmapa offered this Protector a beautiful red horse which ran straight up the mountain to the summit. The party reached Karma Gon and as Karmapa entered the great assembly hall all the tops of the relic-stupas were seen to raise themselves, as if in a salute. Several days later he visited the Dam Gon Phug cave, where a Naga-King was seen to come out and honour him. Sitl.\ Tulku came to Karma Gon and took Karmapa to the Palpung monastery, where he received the full Kargyudpa 'Treasury' teachings 3 0 2 and the Oral transmission.303 He travelled to Latog, where he gave many teachings to the Ruler before returning to Palpung and continuing on to Li Thang, accompanied by Situ Tulku. They visited Dzong Sar monastery, where the Abbot Khyentse Choskyi Lodru requested that the Black Hat ceremony be performed. During this auspicious event Khyentse Rinpoche saw Karmapa in the form of Dusum Khyenpa, the first incarnation, and the Black Hat was to be seen floating about eighteen inches above his head. At Pangphug Gon monastery there was a statue of Dusum Khyenpa that had been known to speak on several occasions. In the main hall, on a pillar support stone, Situ Tulku made a permanent footprint on the left side and Karmapa made 111

H. H. The Sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa as a young man.


one on the right. On the flag-stone in front of the monastery his dog left a print and his horse left a hoof-print on a stone in the stable. Close by the monastery there is a lake at the head of the valley, where Karmapa left about twenty footprints on top of a large rock. Karmapa travelled to Tukshi monastery, quite close by, and there staged the Dance of Mahakala. Two neighbouring provinces were fighting and many people had been killed, so Karmapa visited the area and made peace between the various parties. The Ruler of China, General Chang-Kai-Shek, invited Karmapa to visit, but he did not accept the invitation. Instead he returned to Palpung monastery, where he took the empowerments and initiations of 'Druptop Kuntu' and studied the Vinaya Sutra, the Prajnaparamita, the Abhidharma Kosha, the Chakrasamvara Tantra, the Kalachakra Tantra and other teachings, under the guidance of Situ Tulku and Khyentse Rinpoche. He received all these in their complete form. On the fifteenth day of the ninth month of the male iron dragon year (1940) he travelled to Tsurphu, visiting the Penchen monastery on the way. In that place there was a statue of the Protector Zhing Kyong, riding on a horse. As soon as Karmapa approached the horse started to neigh, much to the surprise of everyone. He proceeded to Dam Chung, where the main Deity offered him a large unpierced nine-eyed Zi-stone, a type of precious banded-agate. The party reached Tsurphu on the eleventh day of the eighth month of the female iron snake year (1941). For the next few years Karmapa engaged himself in his study and meditations, while the monastery was extensively rebuilt. In the male wood monkey year ( 1944) he made pilgrimage to Trag and Samye monasteries and then visited the Drowolung monastery in South Tibet, a seat of Marpa the Translator, where he had marvellous visions of Marpa, Jetsun Milarepa and Je Gampopa. He received an invitation from His Royal Highness Jigme Wangchuk, King of Bhutan, asking him to visit his country. In the second month of the male wood monkey year (1944) Karma pa tra veiled there and visited the Bumthang district of the North, where he was most warmly welcomed by the King. At his request the Black Hat ceremony was performed and on this occasion the King saw Karmapa in many different miraculous forms. Karmapa visited the Champa and Kuje temples in Bumthang, Northern Bhutan, where he offered a ceremonial silk scarf to the image of Guru Padmasambhava in the Kuje shrine, where there is an impression of Padmasambhava's body in the rock. The silk scarf flew high up into the air and stuck itself onto the forehead of the large statue. All who witnessed this were very amazed and it was taken to be a most auspicious and significant event. From Bhutan Karmapa returned to Tsurphu monastery. Situ Tulku travelled from Khams to Tsurphu, meeting Karmapa there on the eleventh day of the ninth month of the female wood bird year ( 1945). At the age



twenty-three Karmapa received the detailed final ordination, together with the initiations and explanations of the higher Kargyudpa teachings. 3 04 On the twentysecond day of the fourth month of the female fire pig year ( 194 7), he left for Teod in Western Tibet and Situ Tulku returned to his monastery in Khams. Karmapa visited several Kargyudpa monasteries at Mendong and Bu Kar and from Teod he travelled on pilgrimage to Nepal. There he was highly honoured by King Tribhuvan Bir Bikram Shah Dev and the Royal family and performed the Black Hat ceremony for them all. He visited all the main pilgrimage-places in Nepal and bestowed his blessings upon thousands. For this journey the King of Bhutan graciously delegated four high government officials to act as guides and interpreters. The Maharaja of Sikkim, Sir Tashi Namgyal, sent Kazi Sherab Gyaltsen to act as his personal escort. All this help was greatly appreciated as it enabled the pilgrimage to take place in the most satisfactory manner. From Nepal Karmapa travelled to India via Lumbini the birth-place of Lord Buddha and on to Sarnath and Bodh Gaya, where he performed prostrations and prayers; there were many fine ceremonies. The pilgrimage was continued to Ajanta, Ellora and Kushinagara, the place of Lord Buddha's final passing. He received an invitation from Sir Tashi Namgyal of Sikkim, asking him to bless his country with a visit. Accordingly Karmapa travelled to Gangtok, the capital, and stayed in the monastery attached to the Royal palace. The Black Hat ceremony was performed and he preached to the people. On the thirtieth day of the first month of the male earth rat year (1948) Karmapa returned to India and travelled to Rewalsar, 305 in the North West, where he spent several days and performed a special rite of Guru Padmasambhava. Thousands came to receive his blessings and the local people remarked that many white snakes appeared from a stone wall and that there were most unusual movements on the surface of the lake. The party travelled on due North, via Kunu and Purang, to the Holy mountain of Kailash. 306 Karmapa made three complete circumambulations of this mountain, taking three days for each one, and also went all around the Holy lake of Manasarovar. 307 He visited all the places of pilgrimage in the region. Then he travelled right across Tibet, via the Mendong Kargyudpa monastery, and reached Tsurphu on the seventeenth day of the eleventh month of the male earth rat year (1948). Karmapa invited Jamgon Khongtrul Tulku3 0 8 to come and give further teachings to him at Tsurphu. From him he received many teachings, 309 including the 'Six Yogas' of Naropa and the remaining Oral transmission. In the year of the male iron tiger (1950) an epidemic of smallpox struck Tsurphu, so Karmapa performed the Vajra Kila 3 10 rites. Soon it had subsided and all those who were affected recov.ered very quickly. 114


On the twenty-ninth day of the fourth month of the male water dragon year (1952) he visited Chang in Northern Tibet and there performed the Black Hat ceremony. He went to the Kar Chung monastery and before entering it was seen to spit on the ground outside. An elderly lady devotedly gathered up the spittle and carefully preserved it. Later it was found to have turned into precious shining relics, which kept on multiplying. Many of these were given to sick people, helping them to become cured, and many are still preserved by his followers. Karmapa returned to Tsurphu on the seventeenth day of the tenth month of the same year (1952). On the eighteenth day of the fourth month of the male water snake year (1953) Karmapajourneyed to Lhasa, where he had audience with His Holiness the fourteenth Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyamtso, 311 and received the empowerment of Kalachakra from him. On the twenty-fifth day of the eighth month of the same year he returned to Tsurphu, where he imparted the full empowerment, explanation and initiation of 'Chos-ling Ter' 31 2 to Chong Rinpoche 313 of the Mindroling Nyingmapa monastery. He also performed 'Men-drup', the collection of medicinal plants, and distributed them widely. On the seventeenth day of the sixth month of the male wood horse year (1954) the Gyalwa Karmapa visited China, together with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Chong Rinpoche and other High Lamas. During this visit Karmapa made a prediction of the whereabouts of the new Situ incarnation, the twelfth, and a letter containing details of this was sent to Tibet. After a stay in Peking and other parts of China, Karmapa returned to Tibet, travelling via many monasteries in Khams and Do, where he bestowed teachings and blessings. On this occasion he was asked to represent His Holiness the Dalai Lama who was himself unable to make the journey. (1955). Karmapa went to the Palpung monastery, where he recognised and enthroned the new incarnation of Situ, Tonyod Nyingche Wangpo. He visited Lhasa briefly, where he had some important conversations with His Holiness the Dalai Lama after which he returned to Tsurphu, reaching the monastery on the seventeenth day of the fifth month of the female wood sheep year (1955). The Dalai Lama accepted his invitation to visit Tsurphu, during which visit the Black Hat ceremony was performed for him, and in return he gave the empowerment of the compassionate Avalokiteshwara. At this time fighting broke out in Eastern Tibet, between the Khampas and the Chinese. The Chinese sent a request for Karmapa to visit the area of Chamdo and he travelled there and advised both sides to refrain from any further hostilities. He made them promise to keep a five-year truce, but the Chinese were now trying to convert everyone to communism and people were feeling very uneasy. While in Chamdo Karmapa had numerous visitors and bestowed many empowerments and blessings to create 115

His Holiness The Sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa, in Peking.


stability in the area. Then he travelled to Lhasa, where he explained the situation to the Dalai Lama before returning to his monastery at Tsurphu. On the twenty-ninth day of the ninth month of the male fire monkey year (1956) Karmapa travelled once more on pilgrimage to India. He rested at the Dechen Choskor Ling monastery and again at the Kargyud monastery at Yatrong, near Sikkim. He visited Gangtok, the Sikkimese capital, where he was most warmly welcomed by the Maharaja, Sir Tashi Namgyal, who deputed Kazi Sonam Gyamtso as Karmapa's personal guide and interpreter. From Sikkim the party moved to India, visiting Bodh Gaya, Sarnath, Kushinagara and Lumbini, where Karmapa met up with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who was also on pilgrimage there. The journey continued to Nepal, where Karmapa visited the three Holy places, Bodhanath, Swayambhunath and Namo Buddhaya and gave blessings and teachings to many thousands. He returned once more to India, where he visited many Holy places of the South, including Ajanta, Ellora, and the great Stupa at Sanchi. He continued on up to Kalimpong, near Darjeeling, where he was met by Her Royal Highness Azi Wangmo of Bhutan. He travelled to Sikkim, visiting the Potong monastery in the North. There the elderly Lamas of the nearly ruined Rumtek monastery asked him to visit that place also. Karmapa told them that the time was not yet right, but that he would come later. He returned to Tsurphu, by which time further hostilities had started in the Domed region of Khams. The Ninth Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche and the Eighth Traleg Rinpoche both came to stay in Tsurphu, having left Khams on account of the troubles there. Karmapa recognised the twelfth incarnation of Gyaltsap Tulku, Trakpa Tenpai Yaphel, and performed hi.s enthronement at Tsurphu monastery. From Sechen Khongtrul Rinpoche 314 Karmapa received the initiation of 'Longe hen Zod Dun', the teachings of Longchenpa the Siddha, along with the full explanations. Situ Tulku came to visit Tsurphu. Fighting broke out all over Tibet and Karmapa was begged by his disciples to flee the country while he had the chance. He told them not to worry, saying "It is not necessary for me to leave yet. But if the time comes you can be assured that there will be no difficulty for me". Sometime later Karmapa sent Situ Tulku and the ninth Sangye Nyenpa Tulku to Bhutan. He gave instructions for the restoration of the Nyide Gon monastery in Lhobrag, in the South, telling the monks to go about life in their normal way. At this time a new monastery was being built for Karmapa at Kur Tod, in Northern Bhutan, under the patronage of Her Royal Highness Azi Wangmo, who had met him in Kalimpong. The monastery was finished and prepared for use. The Chinese hostilities became intolerable and future possibilities for a peaceful existence were very unlikely. Realising that the cause of the Dharma would 117


best be served by escaping from the ever-tightening grips of the Chinese, His Holiness the Gyalwa Karmapa decided that he had no choice but to move to more peaceful areas. Accordingly, on the fourth day of the second month of the earth boar year ( 1959), accompanied by an entourage of one hundred and sixty Lamas, monks and laymen, Karmapa left Tsurphu monastery, the ancient seat of the Karmapas since the twelfth century, and proceeded towards Bhutan. Accompanying him were Shamar Tulku, Gyaltsap Tulku and the fourth Ponlop Rinpoche, as well as many other incarnate Lamas. jamgon Khongtrul Tulku was already in Kalimpong, India, and Situ Tulku was in Bhutan. Under the directions of the Gyalwa Karmapa the party were able to bring with them the most precious of the sacred statues, ritual items, relics, icons, paintings, books and costumes, which had been preserved at the Tsurphu monastery over the centuries. The hazardous and difficult journey, taking twenty-one days in all, passed through Lhobrag in Southern Tibet, the birthplace of Marpa the Translator. Rites were performed at various sacred places on the way, for the welfare of all sentient beings and for the preservation of the Buddhist Dharma in the difficult times ahead. The party arrived safely at Shabje Thang, in the Bumthang district of North Bhutan, on the twenty-fifth day of the second month of the earth pig year ( 1959). They were most warmly welcomed by Her Royal Highness Tsultrim Palma, the Aunt of His Royal Highness the King, and many Ministers and high ranking officials of the government. At Bumthang Karmapa visited the Kuje, Champa3 15 and Tashi Chos Ling temples, where special rites were performed for the protection and progress of the Buddhist Dharma. His Majesty King jigme Dorje Wangchuk, accompanied by his senior Ministers, gave a warm welcome and reception to His Holiness the Gyalwa Karmapa at Khasa Drab Chu, near the Bhutanese capital of Thimpu. At this time discussions were started with the Government of India, considering future plans for the resettlement of the Gyalwa Karmapa and his many followers. It was decided that all should transit through Bhutan and settle temporarily in Dharamsala, North Western India. Meanwhile, in Sikkim, the Royal family headed by Sir Tashi Namgyal had been discussing what could best be done to help Karmapa in this time of difficulty and uncertainty. The Maharaja had not fogotten the long-standing links of the Royal family and people of Sikkim with the Line of Karmapa incarnates. It was decided to offer him a permanent place in Sikkim. There was one thought uppermost in Karmapa's mind, and it was that, though in exile, he should not rest but must take full responsibility for rekindling and revitalising the torch of the Dharma, with the material and spiritual co-operation of the many Buddhists throughout the world. He felt that the Dharma had become 118


like a lamp which needed an immediate and sustained supply of vital oil, in order to be able to burn a clear strong light. In his contemplations the Gyalwa Karmapa felt that Sikkim would undoubtedly be the best place to set about creating the conditions for the fulfilment of his mission. Sikkim he considered especially suitable on account of the natural Buddhist inclinations of the people and particularly as the country had been sanctified by a visit of Guru Padmasambhava in the distant past. Therefore he readily accepted the kind invitation to set up his base in that country. Accompanied by Her Royal Highness Tsultrim Palmo of Bhutan Karmapa led the party to Gangtok arriving on the twenty-fifth day of the fourth month of the earth pig year (1959). He was received at the palace by the Maharaja, members of the Royal family, government officials and the Sikkimese people. He was highly honoured and all received his blessings. Sir Tashi Namgyal, the Maharaja, offered Karmapa the choice of several sites in his Kingdom, for the location of the new monastery. Karmapa selected the site at Rumtek, where a Karma-Kargyudpa monastery had been built during the time of his ninth incarnation, Wangchuk Dorje. This place possessed all the auspicious attributes needed for the site of a seat of the Karmapa: seven streams flowing towards it, seven hills facing it, a mountain behind, snow ranges in front and a river below, spiraling downhill like the form of a conch-shell. Karmapa and his party immediately arranged to proceed directly to Rumtek and arrived there on the fifth day of the fifth month of the earth pig year (1959). At that time Rumtek consisted of a monastery mostly in ruins and about half a dozen huts surrounded by jungle. There was neither adequate accommodation nor facilities for preparing food. Conditions were extremely difficult. The immediate problem was to commence making the place habitable. During this period land was cleared, tents were set up and everyone began to work hard in order to fulfil the dream of establishing a new Centre for the Gyalwa Karmapa. THE RUMTEK CENTRE Karmapa travelled to New Delhi, where he met Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru the Indian Prime Minister. He was received with great warmth and cordiality and there were many discussions. Pandit Nehru fully understood the difficulties faced by Karmapa's followers and promised that the Indian Government would provide financial assistance for the construction of the new monastic centre. He made assurances that there would be a free supply of food and clothing for the people there. On the fifteenth day of the second month of the female iron ox year (1961) the community of monks at Rumtek began preparations for Varsha, the Buddha's 119


rainy-summer retreat, as laid down in the ancient Buddhist scriptures. The Maharaja of Sikkim graciously gifted seventy-four acres of land at Rumtek to The Gyalwa Karmapa, in perpetuity. The Sikkim Government generously donated funds towards the preliminary construction costs and provided free timber. A motorable road was made, electric cables brought in and water provided. The Government of India made a large grant for the immediate construction of an assembly-hall and for residential quarters for the monks. A further sum was allocated for a dispensary, housing for the medical officer and contributions were received from the general public, even though no appeal was made. Despite the generosity of so many people these funds were insufficient for the purpose, so Karmapa added a huge amount from his own resources. Work on clearing the site began on the auspicious twenty-second day of the eleventh month of the water tiger year (1962). Monks and laymen pledged themselves to complete the clearing and preparatory work in the shortest possible time, working in both heat and cold. It took one hundred and eight men, working ten hours a day, some five hundred and forty days to clear and level the site. There were many casual labourers not included in this figure. The foundation stone of the new monastic centre was laid by the new Ruler of Sikkim, Palden Thondup Namgyal, on the sixteenth of June, nineteen sixty-four, a most auspicious day according to the Tibetan calendar. It took four years to complete the construction of the new centre, designed in the most beautiful traditional Tibetan style. One hundred and thirty disciples, including volunteers of various nationalities, worked together to complete the new Centre for Dharma. It was named 'Pal-Karmapa-Densa-Shed-Drup-Chos-KhorLing', meaning 'The Seat of His Holiness The Gyalwa Karmapa: A Centre for the Teaching and Practice of the Dharma.' The rare treasured religious relics, icons and books brought from Tibet were installed in the new monastery. On the first day of the first month of the fire horse year (1966) The Gyalwa Karmapa ceremonially entered the new Centre. It was a magnificent and highly auspicious occasion. RECENT ACTIVITIES In 1967 Karmapa, accompanied by a party of ninety-five followers, visited Thimpu, the capital of Bhutan, at the request of His Majesty the late King. Reaching there on the tenth day of the eighth month he was warmly received and taken to the Tashi Chos Dzong palace in a ceremonial procession. During the course of his stay in Bhutan he visited Tak Tsang, the 'Tiger's nest' cave-monastery, famous for the visit of Guru Padmasambhava. He also travelled to the Kyichu temple in Paro, there performing special rites for peace and tranquility in the 120


world and for the preservation and propagation of the Dharma everywhere. Since 1967 Karmapa has been making regular visits to Bhutan, at the invitation of His Majesty the King and the Royal family. His Royal Highness the late King and Her Royal Highness the Queen Mother most generously presented the Tashi Chos Ling palace at Bumthang, together with its entire landed property, to Karmapa, who proposes to start a large Dharma Centre there. Work on the construction of the main shrine and residential quarters for about three hundred and fifty monks, near to the main palace, was started in 1969. Karmapa has taken measures to establish monasteries in Ladakh and Nepal. Further monasteries have been given in Bhutan and in Calcutta a new Centre is being constructed. In 1971 Karmapa conducted readings of the Buddhist scriptures and gave initiations to a large gathering of Buddhists from many different countries at the new Rumtek Centre. In the same year one thousand ten-inch high gilded statues of Lord Buddha were made, filled with herbs and charms and blessed. In addition eighty-four statues of the Indian Siddhas, six of Tibetan Siddhas and many others of the teachers of all sects of Buddhism were similarly prepared. All were then placed in boxes and presented on the altars of the main assembly-hall. In 1972 Karmapa undertook another extensive pilgrimage throughout India, accompanied by the thirteenth Shamar Tulku, the fifth Ponlop Tulku and other Lamas and monks from the new Rumtek monastery. The party visited Bodh Gaya, Sarnath, Sanchi, Ajanta, Ellora and Nagarjuna Sagar and then returned to Sikkim. People journeyed continually to see the Gyalwa Karmapa and many received his blessings. In 1974 Karmapa led a party of Kargyudpa Lamas to the West, visiting Europe, America and Canada, and performing the Black Hat rite on a number of occasions. In this way he has been able to establish direct contact with his overseas Centres and to spread his teachings more widely. To all those seeking the Way of the Dharma he acts, as in his previous incarnations, as a guide, teacher, friend and true example. "May all spiritual leaders enjoy long lives and prosperity. May the religious Order multiply and may all fulfil their duties. May the blessings of the Dharma liberate all departed souls. In this world rna y sickness, poverty, wars and evil influences be cut at the root, and permanently destroyed. May all things be Auspicious. May all aspirations be well fulfilled. May the darkness of this Kali Yuga, The Black Age, be dispersed!"




A famous archer.


Tib: Dorje Pbagmo.


Thupten Gyamtso (1876-1934).


His small hat. See photograph taken in Peking (p. 116).


The original Black Hat.


This sword is still with Paljor Rinpoche.


Tib: Tormas.




Dam Ngags-zu.


The 'rGya-cben bKa-mDzod', the 'gCbig-sbes Kun-grol' and the full transmission.


Tso Perna.


Kang Rinpocbe.




The second.


The 'Rin-cben Ter-zod', the 'Pbyag-cben Nges-don rGyil'mtso ' etc.


The Tantric Knife-Deity. Tib: Purpa K1'la.

311 31 2 313

Born in 1935. A 'Terma', discovered teaching. Head of the Nyingmapa sect at that time.


Sechen Khongtrul Rinpoche (1901-1960) was another emanation of the first Jamgon Khongtrul Tulku. He was a Nyingmapa. No rebirth now.

31 5

There is a large statue of the Future Buddha Maitreya there.

The Spiritual Heads of the four major Buddhist sects in Tibet, photographed together in India shortly after their escape from Tibet. They are (left to right); Dudjom Rinpoche of the Nyingmapa sect, The Gyalwa Karmapa of the Kargyudpas, The Sakya Rinpoche of the Sakya sect, and The Dalai Lama of the Gelugpas.




Masked dancing of the Kargyudpas.

ACTIVITIES AT THE CENTRE The rich heritage of traditional Tibetan culture has been much encouraged by the establishing of a printing-press, an arts department and a metal-casting section Many wood-blocks for printing books have been carved and the press has produced quite a large number of scriptural texts in Tibetan. Skilled artists are engaged in painting traditional icons (Thangkas) and expert craftsmen manufacture high quality ritual objects, bronzes and temple-fittings, from gold, silver, copper, bronze and iron. Young incarnate Lamas and monks, among them the Ven. Shamar Tulku, the Ven. Situ Tulku, the Ven. Gyaltsap Tulku and the Ven. Khongtrul Tulku, take part in the varied activities at the Centre. Many come to Rumtek in order to study traditional literature, philosophy, arts, sciences and correct religious practices. Special training is given so that the young Lamas become well-versed in the drawing of pantheons, Mandalas and the making of sacrificial cakes (Tormas ). They are taught the proper intonation of vocal sounds (Dangwang), the blowing of trumpets, conch-shells and other traditionally Tibetan instruments. Religious dance-dramas are performed regularly. In the training of young Lamas stress is laid on the reading and writing of Tibetan literature of religious importance and the memorization of ten major religious rites. Examinations are conducted regularly, covering the many different subjects. RELIGIOUS CEREMONIES AND OBSERVANCES

Religious ceremonies and rites, as laid down in the Buddhist scriptures, are regularly observed at the Rumtek monastic centre. The following are part of the general programme of events: (1) 'Tsedrup Thap She Kha Chor': The Rite for long-life. From the ninth to the fifteenth day of every 1st month. (2) 'Dolma Mandai Zhi Chog': The four Mandalas of Goddess Tara and 'Tseringma': Worship of the Guardian Deity. From the third to the ninth of every month. (3) 'Drup Chen' (Purpa-dance) and 'Tse Chu' (Guru Padmasambhava): Dance training and full rehearsals are conducted throughout every third month, for the dances due each year. (4) 'Chos Ling Tertin Kyi Purpa Drup Chen' (The Rites of Vajrakila, as introduced by Terton Chogyur Lingpa): Together with the traditional Lamadances these are held every alternate year, from the first to the eleventh day of the fourth month. (5) 'Khorlo Demchog': Preparation of the Mandalas of the Tutelary Deity 125


Chakrasamvara, in coloured sand, and their accompanying Rites. From the first to the eighth day of every fifth month, continuously for seven days. (6) 'Chod Kyi Tsog Khor': The Chod- Rite of Phadampa Sangye, from the fifth to the ninth day of every sixth month, for five days continuously. (7) 'Varsha': The Buddha's rainy-summer retreat. From the fifteenth day (full moon) of every sixth month, until the thirtieth day of every seventh month. Religious instruction, memorization of scriptures and the reading and writing of religious books are all a part of the required observances at this time. (Tib: Dbyar-chos - summer retreat) (8) 'Gyalwa Gyamtso': The Mandala of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshwara, in the red form. Preparation of the coloured Mandala from the twenty-first to the twenty-seventh day of every seventh month, with all the accompanying Rites. (9), 'Karma Lingpa Zhi Tro': Rites of the peaceful and wrathful Terton, Karma Lingpa, from the first to the fifth days of every ninth month. (10) 'Kun Rig Cho Ga': Worship and Rites of Vairochana, the Dhyani Buddha, from the third to ninth days of every tenth month. (11) 'Drolod Yezor': Worship and Rites of the wrathful Dorje Drolod, from the twenty-second to the thirtieth days of every eleventh month. (12) 'Gonpo Dorje Ber Nagpo Chen': Worship and Rites of the Great Protector Black Mahakala and Lama-dances, from the twenty-second to the thirtieth days of every twelfth month. On Auspicious Days: The following monthly practices are observed in addition: ( 1) 'Dolkar Ngodrup Kuntsol': A ceremony to the Goddess White Tara, in the morning, and 'Tseringma': Ceremonies of the Guardian Deity, in the afternoon, on the third day of every month. (2) 'Gyalwa Gyamtso ': Rites of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshwara, in the morning, and ']etsun Milarepa Lhatrup': Praise of Jetsun Milarepa, in the afternoon, on the eighth day of every month. (3) 'Thug Drup Bar Ched Lam Sel': The Dharma-heart practices, in the morning, and 'Zhing Kyong': Protector-Rites, in the afternoon, on the tenth day of every month. (4) 'Bod Kyong Ten Ma Chu Nyi Sol Chod': Offerings to the Twelve Guardian Deities, on the thirteenth day of every month. (5) 'Demchog': Rites of the Tutelary Chakrasamvara, in the morning, and 'Thang Lha Nyen Do': Deity offerings in the form of coloured threads, in 126


the afternoon of the fifteenth day (full moon) of every month. (6) 'Dolma': The Rites of Goddess Tara in the morning, and 'Phagmo Pamkyi': The Rites of the Great Dakini Vajravarahi, in the afternoon, on the twenty-third day of every month. (7) 'Thug Drup': The Heart-Yoga practices, in the morning, and 'Phagmo Lha Nga ': Rites of the Five Dakinis, in the afternoon, on the twenty-fifth day of every month. (8) 'Kun Rig Nam Par Nang Dze': Rite of the Yoga-Tantra, the 'all-seeing' practice. On the third day of every month. In Addition:

(i) 'Yar Ngo': Yoga-Tantra observances on the day of the rising moon, and (ii) 'Mar Ngo': Yoga-Tantra observances on the day of the waning moon. The Protector Mahakala is worshipped continuously in the Eastern-corner temple, with four monks in attendance, as was advised by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In the West-corner room there is a small temple, where one monk keeps constant vigil.


A Note on the Tibetan Calendar The Tibetan calendar is divided into major cycles of sixty years duration. These sixty-year cycles are themselves divided into five minor twelve-year cycles, each year of which is identified by the name of an animal, bird or reptile. The twelve years are also paired consecutively with a distinguishing Element. There are five such Elements, with alternating male and female attributes. Thus each sixty-year cycle runs: (1) Female Fire Rabbit (9) Female Wood Pig (2) Male Earth Dragon (10) Male Fire Mouse (3) Female Earth Snake (11) Female Fire Ox (4) Male Iron Horse (12) Male Earth Tiger (5) Female Iron Sheep (13) Female Earth Rabbit (6) Male Water Monkey (14) Male Iron Dragon (7) Female Water Bird (15) Female Iron Snake and so on. (8) Male Wood Dog A year is based on the Lunar calendar, certain days of which are generally considered to be particularly auspicious, as are those falling on the 8th, lOth, 15th, and 25th of the month. When a day is deemed especially unfavourable, owing to a specific combination of the phase of the moon and the point at which it occurs within the sixty-year cycle, such a day may be omitted from the calendar altogether and a more beneficial day of the month doubled in its place. (Tibetan time-systems can be further understood through the great Kalachakra Tantra).


PRECIOUS TREASURES OF THE KARMA-KARGYUDPA SECT Preserved at the Rumtek Monastery ( 1) Inside a golden relic-box, a statue of Mikyo Dorje, the eighth Karmapa, made from marble by himself. The face is painted and the rest of the image is covered with gold and precious wrappings. It is said that "Whoever sees this image must quickly become Liberated". When the statue was made a small piece of marble was left over and this was squeezed by Karmapa's hand, leaving a clear impression of his palm. The piece can be seen preserved above the main statue, along with a small personal image of Vajravarahi, the Protector-Goddess of the Karmapas. (2) Inside a golden relic-box, a statue of Phagmo Khachodma,a once the personal icon of the Siddha Naropa, who presented it to Marpa. It is of copper and is heavily ornamented. One of the most precious treasures of the Karmapa incarnates. (3) A statue of Pema jungnes Chinlab Pal Barma, a form of Guru Padmasambhava, which was miraculously discovered from within a mine by Kha Chab Dorje, the fifteenth Karmapa. (4) A statue of Nor Lha jambhala, made from Dzi Chim metal, it was presented to Rangjung Dorje, the third Karmapa, by the Protector of the Tsari lake in Southern Tibet. (5) A statue of Chakrasamvara and Vajravarahi made from mixed white, red and yellow Dzi Chim metals, discovered from within the relic-box of the Ruler of Derge, in Khams. (6) A statue of Mahakala, named Gonpo Gya Nakma, consecrated by Karma Pakshi, the second Karmapa. (7) A five-pronged Sceptre (Vajra), made from Dzi Chim metal, which belonged to the Terton Dorje Lingpa, who discovered it. (8) A statue of Tong Drol Chenmo, a form of Guru Padmasambhava, in a relicbox of silver. It was discovered by the Terton Chogyur Lingpab from the Champa Trak rock in Tsari Tso Kar. (9) A statue of Guru Dewa Chenpo Chema Atrong, a form of Guru Padmasambhava. A most important relic from the Tsurphu monastery of the Karmapas. It is preserved within a golden relic-box, decorated with the dancing figures of Dakinis. (10) A statue of Tamag Khanon Dule Namgyal, a form of Guru Padmasambhava, made by Tami Gonson from Ekadhatu metal and discovered by the Terchen Ratna Lingpa. c It is preserved within a golden relic-box, with the auspicious symbols around. ( 11) A statue of Tsogyal Sangdrup, a form of Guru Padmasambhava, discovered 128


by the Terchen Ratna Lingpa and presented to the fifteenth Karmapa. It is preserved within a silver relic-box inscribed with the auspicious symbols. (12) A statue of Dolma Ngodrup Pel Barma, a form of the Goddess Tara, made from Li Kadur, a kind of beil-metal. The image is heavily gilded, with many precious red corals decorating the upper part. It is preserved within a beautiful relic-box. This statue helps successive Karmapas to make their important predictions. (13) A statue of Yesbe Norbu, a form of Guru Padmasambhava, discovered by the Terton Taksham Nuden Dorje. Inside the head of the image is preserved a precious jewel. (14) A statue of Lord Buddha, made in Eastern India from Li Kadur metal. It was presented to the present Karmapa by Situ Tulku, after his ordination ceremony. (15) A statue of Vajravarahi, made from red Dzi Chim metal. She is the Guardian Deity of the Line of Karmapas. (16) A statue of Lord Buddha, in earth-witness Mudra, made in Eastern India from Li Kadur metal. It was once the property of Oser Gocha, the King of Nepal who was the father of the first Buddhist Queen of Tibet.d This precious image was presented to the tenth Shamar Tulku by King Mantrasimha of Nepal. It is considered to be as important as the Lord Buddha statue called jowo Yeshe Norbu, which is in the great Jo Khang temple of Lhasa. (17) A Yab- Yum statue of Guru Padmasambhava, discovered by Terchen Urgyen Chogyur Dechen Lingpa whilst he was preparing precious medicines in the cave known as Khandro Bum Dzong Gi Dechen Phug in lower Khams. This small statue was recovered from within a lump of the medicinal 'mixtures. It is preserved within a fine golden relic-box. (18) Relics of Lord Buddha, discovered by Terton Taksham Nuden Dorje. They are preserved within a golden relic-box. (19) A statue of jetsun Dolma, the Goddess Tara, known as Zi ji Barwa, the Guardian Deity of the Buddhist King Indrabhuti of India. It is completely covered with inset precious jewels. (20) White funerary relics (Rinshel) inside a statue of Dusum Khyenpa, the first Karmapa. It is made of Li Kadur metal from Eastern India and was consecrated by himself. This most precious image has thrice preached the 'Six Yogas' of Siddha Naropa. It is heavily gilded and painted. (21) A statue of Dusum Khyenpa, the first Karmapa, made from mixed red, yellow and white Dzi Chim metal. It preserves the funerary relics of Dusum Khyenpa and is believed to be a good likeness of him. Though paint has many times been applied to the top of the head, it always peels off or disappears completely. Many tests of this have been made. 129

A statue of the Goddess Tara : it was the Guardian Deity of King lndrabhuti of India. It is covered with precious jewels.


(22) A statue of Vajradhara, the Adi-Buddha and root-Guru of the Kargyudpa sect. It was made by Chos Ying Dor je, the tenth Karmapa, from a rhinoceros horn. It is partly gilded and painted. (23) A statue of the Siddha Tilopa, carved by Chos Ying Dorje, the tenth Karmapa, from a rhinoceros horn. It is partly gilded and painted. (24) A statue of the Siddha Naropa, carved by Chos Ying Dorje, the tenth Karmapa, from a rhinoceros horn. It is partly gilded and painted. (25) A statue of the teacher Marpa, carved by Chos Ying Dorje, the tenth Karmapa, from a rhinoceros horn. It is partly gilded and painted. (26) A statue of Jetsun Milarepa, carved by Chos Ying Dorje, the tenth Karmapa, from a rhinoceros horn. It is partly gilded and painted. (27) A statue of Vajrapani, called Cbag Dor, holding a kite-bird, made by Chos Ying Dorje, the tenth Karmapa, in gilded copper. (28) A Yab- Yum statue of Purpakila, named Dorje Shonu Dule Namgyal, presented to the fifteenth Karmapa by Sherab Jungnes, a great Doctor. It was his Protector Deity. (29) A round golden relic-box (Gau), usually carried by H. H. The Gyalwa Karmapa, containing relics found in the head of Dharmadhoti, the son of the teacher Marpa. When he was cremated a small statue of Vajravarahi was found within a cluster of relics. (30) A golden relic-box containing the original green silk used to wrap up the Namgyal Purpae (ritual knife) worn by Yeshe Tsogyal, the disciple of Guru Padmasambhava. It was found within the Thang La rock, one of the eight great pilgrimage centres of Tibet. ( 31) A relic of Karma Pakshi, the second Karma pa, being a cheek-bone in the form of the Tibetan letter 'Dhi', along with several other relics, all preserved within a fine golden relic-box. (32) A stone statue of Avalokiteshwara, discovered from within a large round stone by'Dzigar Dorje Trakpa. (33) Inside a fine relic-box, relics preserved in the form of the Tibetan letter 'Ah', which appeared among the remains of a rib-bone of Mikyo Dorje, the eighth Karmapa. (34) Within a golden relic-box, a bone of Lhacham Perna Sel, the consort of Guru Padmasambhava, showing the self-formed (Rangjung) statue of jetsun Dolma, The Goddess Tara. ( 35) Within a large golden relic-box is a smaller golden box containing a statue which used to be worn in the hair of King Srong Tsen Gampo, the Siddha King of Tibet. It is called De Chung Wang Gi Gyalpo, meaning 'Fulfiller of Desires'. It is a golden form of jambhala, the wealth Deity and was retrieved from the precious lake of Tsari Tso Kar by Rangjung Dorje, the third Karmapa.


A precious statue of the Goddess Saraswati, preserved in the Rumtek monastery.


(36) A Namchak sky-fallen Purpa (ritual knife), discovered by Terchcn Chogyur Lingpa. It is a great treasure and is kept within a relic-box. (37) A Namchak sky-fallen Purpa, of mixed Dzi Chim metal of a red and white colour, discovered by Terchen Chogyur Lingpa. (38) A white statue showing the ten miracles of Lord Buddha. It was made by the Siddha Nagarjuna, who discovered the material Lu Zim from the great Nagalake in India. It was presented to Rolpe Dorje, the fourth Karmapa, while on the way to China. (39) A grey-green statue showing the ten miracles of Lord Buddha. It was made by the Siddha Nagarjuna out of Lu Zim, a metal-like material recovered from the Naga-lake. It was presented to Rolpe Dorje, the fourth Karmapa, while on the way to China. (40) A statue of Lord Buddha, made of Li-metal from Eastern India. This was the personal Guardian of Palden Atisha, from whom it passed on through to Je Tsongkhapa, founder of the Gelugpa sect. When Debzhin Shegpa, the fifth Karmapa, was returning to Tibet after visiting China this statue was sent to him by J e Tsongkhapa, his former disciple. (41) A statue of Lord Buddha, made of Li-metal from Eastern India, presented to Shamar Tulku by the present H. H. The Dalai Lama, after ordaining him as a monk. This statue is called Marwe Senge. (42) A statue of Vajrapani, made from Chinese bell-metal. (43) A painting (Thangka) of Palden Atisha, drawn and painted by himself, with an inscription on the reverse, in his own hand. (44) A series of forty-six scroll-paintings (Thangkas) of the Kargyudpa Lineage of Teachers. Very precious to the Kargyudpa sect. ( 45) A statue of Lord Buddha in the standing posture, known as Thup Pa Trong Cher Ma, which was the personal Guardian of King Ashoka of India. It was presented to the teacher Marpa by Siddha Maitripa. (46) A statue of Lord Buddha, known as Thup Pa Cham Shug Ma, the personal Guardian Deity of the Indian Siddha Jowo Ser Lingpa, the teacher of Atisha. (47) A statue of Lord Buddha, made of yellow Li-metal. The Guardian Deity of Sakya Kunga Nyingpo. ( 48) A statue of the white Tara, made of red Dzi Chim metal by Chos Ying Dorje, the tenth Karmapa. (49) A statue of Avalokiteshwara, known as Sa Yi Nyingpo, made of Dzi Chim metal by the tenth Karmapa. (50) A statue of Vajravarahi, made of Dzi Chim metal. It was the main Guardian Deity of Lama Ngogpa, one of the important disciples of Marpa. It is a statue that has spoken on occasions ('Sung Chon'). (51) A statue of j etsun Dolma, the Goddess Tara, known as Ngodrup Pal Barma,



of yellow Li-metal. The Guardian of the great Kenchen Shiwa. (52) A statue of Karma Pakshi, the second Karmapa, made by himself and named Pakshi Nga Tra Ma ('My likeness'). It is composed of mixed white, black and multicoloured Dzi Chim metal. It was consecrated by himself.


(1) The Kanjur: in 104 volumes. (2) The Tanjur: in 206 volumes. (3) The 'Rinchen Ter Zod': in 61 volumes. (4) The 'Dam Ngag Zod': in 10 volumes (5) The 'Ngags Zod': in 3 volumes. (6) The 'She Cha Zod': in 3 volumes. (7) The 'Padma Karpo Sung Bum': in 14 volumes (8) The 'Druptop Kuntu': in 10 volumes. (9) The 'Kha Chab Dorje Ka Bum': in 10 volumes. (10) The 'Khongtrul Ka Bum': in 10 volumes. (11) The 'Mila Gur Bum': in 1 volume. (12) The·'Seng Treng Namthar': in 2 volumes. ( 13) The 'Shamar Kha Chod Wangpo Ka Bum': in 4 volumes of 10. (14) The 'Yeshe Kor Sum': in 1 volume. (15) The 'Dvagspo Ka Bum': in 2 volumes. (16) The 'Chag Chen': in 3 volumes. Plus numerous smaller works.

FOOTNOTES a Naro Khandroma (Skt: Sarvabuddba Dakini). b (1829-1870), a great discoverer of treasures (Terton). c (1403-1478), a great discoverer of treasures (Terton). He was a devotee of Vajrakila, the Tantric Tutelary. He brought together the important.'Old' Tantras, compiling them as the rNying-ma rGyud-Bum, the '100,000 Old Tantras'. d Princess Bhrikuti, the daughter of King Amsuvarman of Nepal (Tib: Oser Gocha), who married King Srong Tsen Gampo of Tibet. e Of three fingers-width in size.


Clearing the site for the new monastery.

Preparations of materials for building.

His Royal Highness the Ruler of Sikkim, at the Foundation Ceremony.

His Royal Highness The Ruler of Sikkim, laying the foundation stone for the new Rumtek monastery.

A most precious statue of Lord Buddha Sakyamuni, depicted with the right hand in the 'earthwitness' gesture and the left hand in the meditation position, upon which is placed a gold begging-bowl. The image is cast in a lustrous kind of bell-metal known as Li Kadur, from Eastern India, and there are substantial traces of gilding. The expression of the Buddha is most benign, the face is painted with gold and the hair covered with powdered lapis lazuli, and the body is wrapped in finest gold brocade. This exquisite statue, in classical Gupta style, was once the personal property of King Amsuvarman (Tib: Oser Gocha) of Nepal, whose daughter Princess Bhrikuti became the first Buddhist Queen of Tibet through her marriage to King Srong Tsen Gampo in circa 639 A.D., and was presented to the tenth Shamar Tulku by King Mantrasimha of Nepal in the eighteenth century. It is now preserved in Rumtek monastery, Sikkim.

A unique marble image of the eighth Karmapa, Mikyo Dorje, made by himself as his own likeness in the period circa 1532 A.D. After making it a small piece of marble was left over and this he squeezed with his hand, leaving a very clear impression on the stone. It is to be seen to the upper right, wrapped in red silk, and to the upper left is a small image of the Dakini Vajravarahi, a Protector of Mikyo Dorje which he always carried. The Lama is depicted wearing the Black Hat, the face and body is gilded and the whole is wrapped in precious brocade with seed-pearls affixed and kept within a large gold relic-box. It is said that whoever ever sees this icon must quickly become Liberated and is a type of image believed to speak on particular occasions. It is preserved at Rumtek monastery. (seep. 77).

A precious statue known as Dolma Ngodrup Pel Barma, a form of Tara the Saviouress. It is made from a particular kind of bell-metal, heavily gilded, and is wrapped in fine silk within an exquisite golden relic-box decorated with attendant figures and Protectors. The image wears a necklace of perfect red corals and seed-pearls and it is said that this unique icon has the pro· perty of being able to assist successive Karmapas to make important predictions.

A precious statue known as Guru Dewa Chenpo Chema Atrong, a form of Guru Padmasambhava, wrapped in honorific silk brocade and with the mystic hat coloured with vermilion. A most important relic from the Tsurphu monastery, it is preserved in an exquisite golden relic-box.

A precious statue known as Tamag Khanon Dule Namgyal, a form of Guru Padmasambhava, depicted holding a mystic sceptre. It was made by Tami Gonson from Ekadhatu metal and discovered by Terchen Ratna Lingpa in the fifteenth century. It is preserved in an exquisite relic-box of gold.

A precious statue known as Tsogyal Sangdrup, a mystic form of Guru Padmasambhava, depicted with a pointed red hat and holding a thunderbolt-sceptre. The image was discovered by an incarnation of the Terchen Ratna Lingpa and presented to the fifteenth Karmapa. It is preserved within a finely worked silver and gold relic-box decorated with the Auspicious Symbols.

A precious statue known as Tong Drol Chenmo , a mystic form of Guru Padmasambhava, depicted wearing the Urgyen hat and holding a sceptre. The image is gilded and wrapped in silk. It was discovered by an incarnation of Terton Chogyur Lingpa from the Champa Trak rock in Tsari Tso Kar and is now preserved within a silver and gold relic-box at Rumtek monastery.

THE BLACK HAT CEREMONY A mystic rite of initiation and empowerment, performed by the present sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa. His right hand holds the same Black Hat presented to his fifth incarnation by Emperor Yung-lo of China in the fifteenth century and his left hand holds a crystal rosary. It is said that the Black Hat rite has the power to confer immediate Liberation.

THE THIRTEENTH SHAMARPA (1972) The Line of successive Shamar 'Red Hat' incarnations has continued since the thirteenth century. They have always been inseparable from the Line of Karmapas. The present thirteenth Shamar Tulku is in Rumtek.

THE RUMTEK MONASTIC CENTRE IN SIKKIM The new Rumtek monastery was constructed on the site of an old Kargyudpa monastery in Sikkim. It was designed and built according to classical Tibetan traditions and was completed in 1968.

CEREMONIALS IN THE ASSEMBLY-HALL AT RUMTEK MONASTERY The main assembly-hall, of traditional design, shown with ceremonials and meditation in progress. H. H. The Gyalwa Karmapa is seated on a high ornate throne at the centre and is flanked by ShamarTulku andjamgon Khongtrul Tulku to the left and Situ Tulku and Gyaltsap Tulku to the right, who are shown wearing yellow silk robes. Other Lamas and monks are in the aisles.

MURAL IN RUMTEK MONASTERY Part of an extensive mural in traditional Karma-Khadri style of Eastern Tibet, depicting the Kargyudpa Lineage emanating from the Adi-Buddha Vajradhara. It is in the new Rumtek monastery, Sikkim.

THE KARGYUDPA LINEAGE TREE At the centre top are shown three columns of Indian Siddhas, whose teaching had great influ· ence on the founders of the Kargyudpa sect. Then, below, at the apex of the larger central group is Vajradbara the Celestial Buddha, depicted dark blue, with Tilopa and Naropa at either side. Below is Marpa, with Milarepa and Gampopa at either side. The Karmapa incarnations are all shown wearing Black Hats, with the eighth incarnation Mikyo Dorje in the centre, larger in size, who is considered in meditation as a symbol of the Mabamudra teachings. The other Lamas depicted are the Shamar Tulkus, wearing Red Hats, the Situ Tulkus (also with Red Hats), the Gyaltsap Tulkus and the Jamgon Khongtrul Tulkus, as well as others of the Lineage. The first branches of the 'tree' show the Guardian Protectors, with Mabakala at the 'trunk'. The next row comprises eight Tutelary Deities (Tib: Yidam), such as Cbakrasamvara, Hevajra and Kalacbakra. Lay-people are shown in reverence. This recent painting is on a large banner (Tbangka) at Rumtek monastery.

GOLDEN STUPA A golden Stupa, a symbol of the subtle Yoga-body, containing precious relics. It is decorated with extraordinarily large corals as well as fine turquoises and precious banded onyx stones. It is at Rumtek monastery, Sikkim.

T ANTRIC OFFERING-CAKE A mystic offering-cake (Tib: Torma), made of barley-flour, sugar and butter, coloured with various edible pigments. It is offered during the rites of Mabakala, the Protector, and is a symbol of the offering of the inner Universe. At the apex is a moon, then a sun and finally the flaming Triple Gem of Buddhism.

MAHAKALA The Protector of the Karma-Kargyudpas. The wrathful outer form , conceived of as dark as outer space, conceals a deep transcendent essence which ultimately rests on the tranquil ground of compassion.

The new monastery, under construction.

Bringing the first religious texts (the Kanjur) to the new monastery.

His Holiness The Gyalwa Karmapa (Centre) visiting the Tashi Chos Dzong palace in Thimpu, Bhutan. To the left is His Royal Highness Jigme Dorje, the late King of Bhutan. To the right is His Holiness the Supreme Abbot of Bhutan, (Photo 1967)

A painting of the great Tsurphu monastery in Tibet. It is in the main entrance· gate of the new Rumtek monastery in Sikkim, which is based on the same architectural concept.

His Holiness The Gyalwa Karmapa preparing to travel in a helicopter provided by His Royal Highness The Late King Mahendra of Nepal, while on pilgrimage there.

H. H. The Gyalwa Karmapa on pilgrimage to the Bodhanath Stupa, Kathmandu, Nepal.

Performing the Black Hat ceremony for refugees in New Delhi.



Incarnation 1st





(13 50-1405)

























(No formal recognition, for political reasons, until:)










(19 52-present)

THE SHAMAR INCARNATIONS (The 'Red Hat' Karma-Kargyudpa Lama) (1)

The first Shamar Tulku, TRAKPA SENGE, was born in the Tibetan female water sheep year (1283) at Pompor Gang, on the bank of the Shel river in Khams, Eastern Tibet. Early one morning in his fourth· year he had visions of the Siddha Protector Desheg Thangpa and the Goddess Tara, receiving important initiations from them. By the time he was six he had quite a reputation as a seer-of-demons and often described to people the amazing forms of Tutelary Deities and Protectors. His parents became worried about this and took him to see Lama Lodru Trakpa, in the hope that he would find a way to exorcise the disturbing influences. The Lama asked the small boy to tell him what it was that he could see and was given a fully detailed description of the Tantric Deity Hayagriva and his accompanying Mandala. Recognizing the unique powers of perception inherent in the boy the Lama advised' his parents to make him a monk, saying that it was likely that he would become a great Lama, thus benefiting the cause of the Buddhist Dharma. The boy was ordained as a monk and studied with Lama Trakpa and Lopon Gyal je. At the age of seventeen he met Rangjung Dorje, the third Karmapa, accompanied him to the Tsurphu monastery and received precepts from him. Then he went to the great Sang Phu Neutok college, where he completed his studies. He soon became famous a.s a scholar and master of debate. At the age of twenty-four, at Dechen Teng, he again met Karmapa and received from him the complete teachings, including the 'Six Yogas' of Siddha Naropa. For a period of two years he went into retreat in a cave. While there practising the Dream Yoga he had a vision of Rangjung Dorje, who advised him to start a meditation centre. The Protector Mahakala provided all the details of the location and it was founded at Nesnang. The buildings were quickly completed and within a short time Shamar Trakpa Senge had about twenty-five disciples, who practised Yoga meditation there. Then he returned to his cave and spent the rest of his life in meditation. On the twelfth day of the second month of the female ox year he passed away amidst many auspicious signs, in his sixty-seventh year. His foremost disciples were Yagde Panchen and Tokden Gon Gyalwa. (1283-1349) (2)

The second Shamar Tulku, KHA CHOD WANGPO, was born in the Tibetan male



iron tiger year (1350) at Chema Lung in Chang Namshung, Northern Tibet. At the age of seven months Karmapa Rolpe Dorje appeared before him in a vision and said: "The flower is ready, but not yet opened, Wait for the right time, for you are still human. Highly qualified as you are, please wait a little longer, And I shall teach you to become fully perfected!" Then Karmapa snapped his fingers in the air and from that moment the young child could remember all the details of his past life and began to tell people that he was the incarnation of Trakpa Senge. By the age of fourteen months he was preaching the Dharma and at the age of three years was giving specific teachings. His fame spread quickly, reaching servants and disciples of the previous Shamar Tulku. They came to visit him and immediately recognised him as the new incarnation. Then he was taken to Kampo Nesnang monastery, where he was enthroned. At the age of seven years, while crossing a river, he met Karmapa Rolpe Dorje, who taught him the complete Mahamudra, the Six Yogas and the Kargyudpa Lineage. From Khenpo Dondrup Pal he received the primary and secondary ordinations. Having completed his studies he travelled to the pilgrimage-place of Tsari, where he had an auspicious vision of the Siddha Dombhi Heruka. Later he received a Red Hat (Tib: Zha-mar) from the Gyalwa Karmapa in recognition of his great achievements and as a symbol of his function as a teacher. Shamar Kha Chod Wangpo recognised the next incarnation of Karmapa, Debzhin Shegpa, and enthroned him at the Tsurphu monastery where he transmitted the teachings to him. At the age of thirty-seven he founded a large monastic meditation centre at Gaden Mamo and soon there were three hundred Yogis practising there. He engaged himself in the perfection of the secret teachings and had many visions of Protectors and Tutelary Deities, from whom he received many important initiations. On the twenty-ninth day of the seventh month of the female wood bird year (1405) he passed away. His foremost disciples were the fifth Karmapa, Lama Kazhipa Rinchen and Sowon Rigpe Raldre. (1350-1405) (3)

The third Shamar Tulku, CHOSPAL YESHE, was born on the fourteenth day of the second month of the male fire dog year ( 1406) in Trang Do of Kongpo province in Southern Tibet. While still inside his mother's womb he could be heard reciting the 'Mani' Mantra and at the time of his birth there were several rainbows in the shape of an umbrella, which formed right over the roof of the house. On the 144


soles of his feet there was formed the Mongolian letter 'Gyel' (meaning Victory). He was immediately recognised as the incarnation of Shamarpa and was identified as such by several of his former disciples. All the prediction details agreed precisely with the circumstances of his birth, so he was taken to Taktse, passing through Gaden Mamo meditation centre on the way there. At the age of six years he was observed climbing all overthe greatWonpo rock, known to be the residence of an important Protector Deity. On the third day of the tenth month of the female water snake year (1413), at the age of eight, he met Karmapa Debzhin Shegpa at Pang Dor and together they proceeded to Taktse. On the tenth day of the eleventh month of the same year he took the preliminary ordination from Karmapa and received the precepts and teachings. Later he recognised and enthroned the new Karmapa, Tongwa Donden and took him to his monastery. From Kenchen Sonam Zangpo he received the final ordination. Geshe Rigdzin gave him some important teachings as did the pupil of his former incarnation, Sowon Rigpe Raldre. Having completed all his studies he began to impart teachings. A fine Lama, he had many disciples. After many years spent spreading the Dharma he passed away on the fourth day of the sixth month of the male water monkey year (1452), at the age of forty-seven. There were numerous rainbows overhead at this time and flowers fell down from the sky. His foremost disciples were Jampal Zangpo, Gelong Zhonu Pal the historian and Ngampa Chatrel. (1406-1452)

(4) The fourth Shamar Tulku, CHOSKYI TRAKPA, was born on the third day of the third month of the female water bird year (1453) at Kangmar in Domed, Eastern Tibet. On the night of his birth people in the region saw two moons in the sky. When he was born he told relatives that he knew the Gyalwa Karmapa. At the age of seven years he was taken to the Kangmar monastery and there he went straight up to his throne and sat upon it. His previous disciples mixed up all the books and placed them before him, but he selected all the writings of the Karmapas and then put all the pages in the right order. Shamarpa was invited to Chang Mo Sar and to the great Surmang monastery, where he met Chos Trag Gyamtso, the seventh Karmapa. The Black Hat ceremony was performed for his benefit and he received many teachings and initiations at this time. At the age of twelve he performed the Red Hat ceremony and was formally enthroned. He had a vision of the Goddess Saraswati, who offered him an Arura (Myrobalan) fruit. As a result of this he was able to learn very quickly. He went to Gaden Mamo where he meditated for six months. In the male iron 145


tiger year (1470) at the age of seventeen Sharnar Tulku made a brief visit to Mongolia and upon his return to Tibet he received all the final teachings from Karrnapa. Go Lotsawa Zhonu Pal, a disciple of his previous incarnation, taught him Sanskrit and the classical treatises. At the age of forty-six he became Supreme Ruler of Tibet. He founded the large Gaden Marna monastery, with an assembly-hall of ninety-four pillars. The work was started on the second day of the third month of the male earth monkey year ( 1488) and was completed on the tenth day of the sixth month of the male iron dog year (1490). At the age of fifty-one he founded a large monastery at Yang Chen, a short distance North of Tsurphu, with seventy-two pillars in the main assembly-hall. This work was started on the nineteenth day of the fourth month of the female water pig year (1503) and was completed in the second month of the rat year (1504). In the monkey year (1524), on the twenty-fifth day of the twelfth month, Sharnar Tulku passed away, amidst many highly auspicious omens. He was seventy-two. His foremost disciples were Taklung Narngyal Trakpa, Zhalu Lotsawa and Drigung Ratna. (145 3-1524) (5)

The fifth Sharnar Tulku, KUNCHOK YENLAK, was born on the tenth day of the eighth month of the female wood bird year (1525) atGaden KangSar in Kongpo district. At the time of his birth many flowers bloomed even though it was the middle of winter. As soon as he was born he was heard to chant the 'Mani' Mantra. He was quickly recognised as the new incarnation and enthroned by Karrnapa Mikyo Dorje, who began to impart the teachings. By the time he was twelve Sharnar Tulku had completed his studies. Attaining perfection in his meditation he attracted many fine disciples. He recognised the ninth Karrnapa, Wangchuk Dorje, and performed his enthronement and over the next years transmitted all the esoteric teachings to him. On the second day of the seventh month of the female water sheep year (1583), in his fifty-ninth year, he passed away. There were many unusually auspicious signs at that time. His foremost disciples were the ninth Karrnapa, Karma Tinlaypa, Drigung Chogyal Phuntsok and Taklung Kunga Tashi. (1525-1583)

(6) The sixth Sharnar Tulku, CHOSKYI WANGCHUK, was born on the third day of the ninth month of the male wood monkey year (1584) in Sholung. There were many auspicious signs at the time of his birth and at an early age he was a remarkable 146


child. Karmapa Wangchuk Dorje recognised him when he was five years old and enthroned him at the Dvagspo Shedrup Ling monastic college. From Karmapa he received the higher teachings and by his twelfth year was considered an expert in meditation. Under the excellent Lama Karma Tinlaypa he studied Sanskrit and quickly became proficient in it. On the eleventh day of the seventh month of the serpent year (1583) he founded the Thupden Nyingche Ling meditation centre. By the age of sixteen he had fully mastered Sanskrit and had a reputation as a fine scholar. He visited colleges of all the different sects, took part in many scriptural examinations and debates and became recognised as one of the greatest scholars of his time. He fully memorised thirty-two volumes of the Buddhist scriptures and on one very important occasion defeated the Bonpos in a great debate. · Shamar Choskyi Wangchuk had several auspicious visions of the Sakya Pandita and received important teachings from him. He composed a beautiful prayer for the Sakya Pandita and for the Bodhisattva Man jusri. The Ruler of J yang invited him to visit there and he did so, correcting the mistakes in the Kanjur Sutras in the monasteries. He imparted the Mabamudra teachings and attracted many fine disciples. He travelled to the great Surmang monastery and gave teachings and initiations to the monks and Lamas there. Shortly afterwards he recognised and enthroned the tenth Karmapa, Chos Ying Dorje. Then he travelled on pilgrimage to Nepal. Arriving in the Kathmandu valley he went straight to the great Bodhanath Stupa where he was met by King Laksminara.Simha Malia, who honoured him and presented him with a garland of flowers. Impressing the Brahmins with his knowledge of Sanskrit he debated doctrinal matters with them and spread the Dharma in Nepal. King Simha Malia, Ruler of another of the valley Kingdoms, sent a large elephant for him to ride upon. He visited the great Swayambhu Stupa and built four golden altars at the four directions, instead of his original plan for a golden roof above it. A record of this auspicious visit, in the male iron dragon year (1640), was inscribed under the arch of the South side of the temple. Shamar Tulku returned to Tibet, travelling via Yolmo in Northern Nepal. Passing through Southern Tibet he gave the Lama 'i Naljor initiations to the people and explained the laws of Karma. At Tashigang he met the Gyalwa Karmapa, presented him with a mongoose from Nepal and imparted the remaining teachings to him. On the fourth day of the second month of the male iron horse year (1630) Shamar Tulku became ill. His disciples requested him to postpone his passing until the arrival of Khedrup Karma Chagme, who still had to receive some important teachings. Shamar Tulku made and painted a small clay statue of himself and blessed and consecrated it (this is preserved in Rumtek monastery). Khedrup 147

A small day statue of Shamar Choskyi Wangchuk, the sixth Shamar Tulku, made by him in the year 1630, shortly before his passing. It is preserved in the new Rumtek monastery Sikkim and is in the possession of the present thirteenth Shamar Tulku.


Karma Chagme reached him in time and was able to receive the teachings required. Then, on the twenty-eighth day of the ninth month of the male iron horse year (1630), in the morning, he passed away. There were many auspicious signs. His foremost disciples were the tenth Karmapa, Karma Mipham Tsewang Rabten (the Ruler of )yang) and Khedrup Karma Chagme. (1584-1630)

(7) The seventh Shamar Tulku, YESHE NYINGPO, was born in the female iron sheep year (1631) at Golok on the pank of the Ma Chu river, in Eastern Tibet. The tenth Karmapa recognised and enthroned him and also gave him teachings. Shamar Tulku visited )yang and Lhasa, where he learnt many doctrines and studied philosophy. From the Gyalwa Karmapa he received the complete teachings and perfected them. He recognised Yeshe Dorje, the eleventh Karmapa and enthroned him, transmitting the complete teachings. On the fifteenth day of the twelfth month of the male wood dog year (1694) he passed away. His foremost disciple was the eleventh Karmapa. (1631-1694) (8)

The eighth Shamar Tulku, PALCHEN CHOSKYI DODRUP, was born on thetenth day of the ninth month of the female wood pig year (1695) at Yolmo Kangra in Northern Nepal. White rainbows appeared over the house at the time of his birth. As a child he explained all the details of his previous incarnations and listed the monasteries of his order. The fame of the remarkable child spread quickly and the Gyalwa Karmapa sent a party to visit him. He was immediately recognised as the new Shamarpa. The King of Nepal (probably King Bhaskara Malia of Kathmandu, 1700-1714) honoured him greatly and a Yogini called Zitapuri predicted that he would become a Siddha. At the age of seven he left Nepal and travelled to the Tagna monastery in Western Tibet, where he was highly honoured and escorted to Tsurphu. Karmapa enthroned him and gave him many teachings. The Tibetan government officially granted permission for him to remain in the country (he was born in Nepal and presumably had been considered a foreigner) and he took his seat in the great Yang Chen monastery. Shamar Choskyi Dodrup recognised the eighth Situ Tulku. He received all the teachings from the eleventh Karmapa and later recognised the twelfth Karmapa, Changchub Dorje. He revisited Nepal and then travelled to China with the Karmapa. He passed away in China on the second day of the eleventh month of 149


the water rat year (1732), two days after the passing of the Gyalwa Karmapa. His foremost disciple was the eighth Situ Tulku. ( 169 5-17 32)

(9) The ninth Shamar Tulku, KUNCHOK JUNGNES, was born in the female water ox year (1733) and was recognised and enthroned by Situ Tulku, who had been a disciple of his previous incarnation. The Gelugpa government had passed an order forbidding anyone to predict about or enthrone any Shamar incarnation, but Situ Tulku challenged the order in the High Courts and won the case. Lama Khatog Rigdzin Chenmo made a prediction that if the enthronement ceremony could take place at the Khatog Gon monastery in Khams then there would be a good chance that the child would live for a long time. Unfortunately the Lama died and the other Lamas of the monastery refused to allow Situ Tulku to perform the enthronement ceremony there, for fear of losing their monastery in reprisals by the Gelugpas. The young Shamar Tulku passed away at the age of eight, in the female iron bird year ( 1741), having received only the essence of the teachings. (17 33-17 41) (10) The tenth Shamar Tulku, MIPHAM CHOSDRUP GYAMTSO, was born in the water dog year (1742) in Tashi Tse of Tsang province. He was born as the brother of the Panchen Rinpoche, Lobzang Palden Yeshe (1738-1780), and was recognised by the thirteenth Karmapa and the eighth Situ Tulku. From Situ Tulku he received the primary and secondary ordinations, and all teachings were transmitted to him. Sometime later he recognised the ninth Situ Tulku and taught him everything. Shamar Tulku spent many years reviving the Dharma in Tibet and then went on pilgrimage to Nepal. While he was in Nepal fighting broke out between that country and Tibet. In Lhasa an influential Gelugpa Minister, Tagtsag Tenpai Gonpo, became aware of a political opportunity and claimed that Shamar Tulku was instigating the fighting with Nepal. He seized the great Yang Chen monastery of the Shamarpa and an order was passed by the government declaring that all the monasteries of Shamar Tulku must become Gelugpa and that he should never reincarnate again. His ceremonial Red Hat was buried under the floor of the temple of Shamarpa in Lhasa and the building was turned into a court house. In fact Shamar Tulku was trying to make peace with the Nepalese and had visited Nepal only for reasons of pilgrimage. He offered a great bell to the Swayambhu Stupa in Kathmandu (it is 150


still to be seen) and then passed away in Nepal at the age offifty. He had many important disciples. (1742-1792) NOTE: From the passing of the tenth Shamar Tulku in 1792 until the late nineteenth century no Shamarpa was formally recognised. To have done so would have incurred the wrath of the political factors of the ruling Gelugpas, who had seized all the monasteries and property of the Shamar Tulku. The comment of H. H. The Sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa on this period was: "Merit was becoming smaller and smaller. There was much political interference. Black was becoming white. The real was becoming unreal. At that time it was not practicable to have any Shamarpa recognised or enthroned. Everything was kept secret. The incarnations appeared, but were not revealed."


The eleventh Shamar Tulku, Jambyang Rinpoche, lived mostly in North Tibet. He was the son of the Karmapa Kha Chab Dorje but remained virtually unknown. He practised his meditation in remote areas, receiving teachings and initiations, but never participated in the monastic life. He became perfected as a Siddha, leaving impressions of his feet on rocks at Shawa Trak, in Northern Tibet. He was a very saintly Lama and passed away in 1947, but was known to only a few. (c.1895-1947) (12) The twelfth Shamar Tulku, TINLA Y KUNCHAP, was born on the first day of the first month of the male iron tiger year ( 1948). He was recognised by the sixteenth Karmapa and installed at the Tsurphu monastery. He passed away at the age of one year and two months. (1948-1950) (13)

The thirteenth Shamar Tulku, CHOSKYI LODRU, was born on the third day of the eighth month of the male water dragon year (1952) in the Athup palace of Derge, Eastern Tibet. Before his birth the eleventh Situ Tulku had prophesied that one of the highest Kargyudpa incarnations would be born there. At the time of his birth the sky was filled with rainbows, one forming like a tent right over the palace. All the water in the neighbourhood turned milky, thus informing the people of a miraculous birth in the region. In the old Yang Chen monastery of the Shamarpas there was a statue of the Protector Deity, riding on a horse. At the time when Shamar Choskyi Lodru was born the horse spat out some sheep's bones which had been put in its mouth after the monastery had been confiscated. At the age of six the young boy was taken to Tsurphu monastery. His nurse 151


was circumambulating the building when suddenly the boy, who was being carried on her back, pointed to some Lamas and monks who had come in from the Western gate and said "Those are my Lamas, my monks!" They had come from the Yang Chen monastery. The sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa confirmed that it was indeed the new Shamarpa incarnation, but since the order of the ruling Gelugpas was still in force, banning recognition of Shamar incarnations, he did not reveal this fact publicly. Before leaving Tibet the small boy was secretly taken to the Yang Chen monastery, where he pointed out the statues of his previous incarnations and described the events of each of their lives. At the age of nine Shamar Tulku was brought to Sikkim by the present Gyalwa Karmapa. Karmapa discussed his recognition with H. H. the Dalai Lama. The matter was put to test by meditation and by dream and there was a positive result. H. H. the Dalai Lama formally allowed for his reinstatement and laid aside all the political interferences of the past. One month before his planned enthronement Shamar Tulku, accompanied by his brother Jigme, made a visit to Dharamsala and there had audience with H. H. the present fourteenth Dalai Lama, who confirmed his official reinstatement The matter was settled without any disagreement. On the fifteenth day of the fourth month of the male wood dragon year (1964) Shamar Tulku Choskyi Lodru, the thirteenth formal incarnation, was enthroned by Karmapa in the old Rumtek monastery in Si.kkim. He is presently studying with H. H. the Gyalwa Karmapa in the new Rumtek monastery. His is in his twenty-first year.

An informal portrait of the Thirteenth Shamar Tulku (1972).



Incarnation 1st

















( 1658-1682)















(1886-195 2)



( 19 54-present)


THE SITU INCARNATIONS (A Red Hat Karma-Kargyudpa) Prior to the first Situ Tulku the Lineage was formed by three great Yogis: (i) Drogon Rechen (1088-1158) (ii) Naljor Yeshe Wangpo (1220-1281) (iii) Rigowa Ratnabhadra (1281-134 3) Drogon Rechen was born at Nyamo Shung in Yarlung, Southern Tibet. As a small child a rainbow was frequently to be seen over his head. At the age of nine years he ran away from home and went to study with the teacher Drogompa. He received the teachings of the Inner Heat and was initiated into the cycle of Chakrasamvara. He had a vision of Dusum Khyenpa, the first Karmapa, and from him received the teachings in an esoteric way. These he imparted to Gyalsay Born Trakpa. After a life immersed in meditation he passed away at the age of seventy. There were many auspicious signs. His line passed to Naljor Yeshe Wangpo, who in turn passed it to Rigowa Ratnabhadra. (1) The first Situ Tulku, CHOSKYI GYALTSEN, was born in the region of Karma Gon. He became a disciple of Debzhin Shegpa, the fifth Karmapa, and from him received the initiations and teachings of the Mahamudra in the complete form. He perfected the teachings and travelled to China with the Karmapa. The Chinese Emperor Tai Ming Chen (Yung Lo) conferred the honorific title 'Tai Situ' on him. He spent most of his life meditating in caves and was a fine Lama. (1377-1448). (2)

The second Situ Tulku, TASHI NAMGY AL, was born into a Royal family in Tibet and was recognised by Tongwa Donden, the sixth Karmapa, who enthroned him and gave him the complete teachings. He was an excellent Lama and became the companion-tutor of Chos Trag Gyamtso, the seventh Karmapa. He visited many parts of Tibet, giving teachings and bestowing initiations. There were many auspicious signs at his passing. (1450-1497). (3)

The third Situ Tulku, TASHI PALJOR, was recognised and installed by the seventh Karmapa and from him he received all the teachings. He perfected them and then recognised Mikyo Dorje, the eighth Karmapa. He passed on all the teachings to Karma Tinlaypa. Then he passed away at Karma Gon. (1498-1541). 155


(4) The fourth Situ Tulku, CHOSKYI GOCHA, was born in Tse Chu near Surmang. He was recognised and installed by Mikyo Dorje, the eighth Karmapa, from whom he received all the teachings. Later he recognised Wangchuk Dorje, the ninth Karmapa, and passed away sometime afterwards. There were many auspicious signs. (1542-1585). (5)

The fifth Situ Tulku, CHOSKYI GYALTSEN PALZANG, was born in the male fire dog year (1586). He was recognised by Wangchuk Dorje, the ninth Karmapa, and from him received all the teachings. He built the Yer Mo Che monastery (with one hundred and sixty pillars in the main assembly-hall) and was presented with a Red Hat by the Karmapa. He passed away in the female fire bird year (1657) amidst many highly auspicious signs. (1586-1657)

(6) The sixth Situ Tulku, MIPHAM CHOGYAL RABTEN, was born in Meshod. He was recognised and enthroned by Chos Ying Dorje, the tenth Karmapa. He performed the miracle of hanging his monks robe and rosary on a sunbeam and left many of his footprints on stones and rocks. He spent some time studying at Tsurphu and Karma Gon monasteries, where he impressed everyone with his great learning and insight. Situ Tulku was a great Sanskrit scholar, an astrologer, a doctor and a fine painter. Many beautiful Thangkas were made by his hand and he also wrote the 'Sung-Bum',a compendium of all-knowledge. From the tenth Karmapa he received all the teachings. He forecast the details of his future incarnation and then went to Ri Wo Cha Gang in China, where he passed away. There were many highly auspicious signs at that time. His disciples were numerous. ( 1658-1682).

(7) The seventh Situ Tulku, NA WE NYIMA, was born as the son of the Royal family of Ling. He was immediately recognised as the incarnation and was admitted to a Sakya college. He passed away very young having received only the essence of the teachings. (1683-1698). 156



The eighth Situ Tulku, CHOSKYI JUNGNES, was born in the province of A-Lu Shekar. At the age of eight years he was recognised by the eighth Shamar Tulku, Palchen Choskyi Dodrup, and was taken to Tsurphu monastery for his enthronement. From Shamar Tulku he received all the teachings and initiations and studied philosophy and medicine. Situ Tulku travelled to Lhasa, at the time when Tibet was ruled by the Ministers Ngagpho, Lumpa and Gya Rawa. Ngagpho invited him to make some predictions and Situpa declared that the Ministers would be overthrown and that Ngagpho would be killed. In the year of the monkey (1716) it happened that Pho Lhawa Sonam Tobgyal killed him. Situ Tulku became very well known in Nepal. In the female fire sheep year ( 172 7) he founded the great Palpung monastery in Eastern Tibet, on the seventh day of the third month. He visited ]yang, as invited by the Ruler, and imparted all the teachings to Du Dul Dorje, the thirteenth Karmapa, and to the tenth Shamar Tulku. He was recognised as a fine scholar and was an excellent artist. He visited Nepal on pilgrimage and was highly honoured there. Once, after a debate with Pandita J aya Mangola of Kashmir, he was told by him that he merited seven umbrellas according to the Indian standards of honour. After discussing the Vinaya Sutras and points of Dharma with Pandita Prahduma he was told that he must have been blessed by Lord Shiva Shankara, since that was the only way he could have achieved such insight and learning. Situ Tulku returned to Tibet and preached throughout the land. He translated many books from the Sanskrit, including prayers to the Goddess Tara. All the precious teachings he passed on to his many disciples. Then he visited China at the invitation of the Emperor Chi'en Lung (1735-1796) and was highly honoured. While meditating in the lotus-posture of a Buddha he passed away and it was observed that his heart-region retained heat for seven days afterwards and there was a strong smell of insence everywhere. His foremost disciples were the thirteenth Karmapa, the tenth Shamar Tulku, the Drukchen Tinlay Shingta, Drigung Choskyi Gyalwa, Pawo Tsuklak Gyalwa, Druptop Chos J e Gyal, Khamtrul Choskyi Nyima andLotsawa TsewangKunchap. (1700-1774).

(9) The ninth Situ Tulku, PADMA NYINGCHE WANGPO, was born in Yilung in 157


Khams, Eastern Tibet. At the age of five years he was formally enthroned and received all the teachings from the thirteenth Gyalwa Karmapa and the tenth Shamar Tulku. He spent most of his life in deep meditation and was a great scholar and teacher. At the age of sixty-one years he received his final initiations and practised the teachings for eighteen years afterwards. At the age of seventynine he passed away. At that time the sky was filled with rainbows and there were many other highly auspicious signs. He recognised the first Jamgon Khongtrul Tulku as a teacher of the Karma-Kargyudpas. (177 4-18 53). (10) The tenth Situ Tulku, PADMA KUNZANG CHOGYAL, was born at Nam Tso in Chang, near to a lake, in the male wood tiger year (1854). His formal enthronement was performed by the fourteenth Karmapa, Theg Chog Dorje, and the first Jamgon Khongtrul Tulku, Lodra Taye. He spent the whole of his life perfecting the Kargyudpa teachings and became a Siddha. He left many of his footprints OJ! rocks and was able to walk right up sheer mountain faces. At his passing there were numerous highly auspicious signs. (1854-1885). (11) The eleventh Situ Tulku, PADMA WANGCHUK GYALPO, was born in the male fire dog year (1886) in Li Thang. There were many unusual and highly auspicious signs at that time. The predictions of the Gyalwa Karmapa concerning his reincarnation were found to be absolutely correct. At the age of four years he was recognised by Karmapa and taken to the great Palpung monastery. From Kha Chab Dorje, the fifteenth Karmapa, he received the ordinations and teachings. J amgon Khongtrul Tulku also taught him and bestowed many empowerments and initiations on him. Situ Tulku later discovered and recognised the present Gyalwa Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, the sixteenth incarnation, and performed his formal enthronement and ordination. He transmitted the complete teachings to him and bestowed all the initiations, explanations and empowerments. At about the age of fifty he visited the great Surmang monastery, and there performed many miracles. He passed the rest of his life partly in meditation and partly bestowing teachings to his many disciples. Then, at the age of sixty-seven, he passed away amidst many auspicious signs. (1886-1952). (12) The twelfth Situ Tulku, PADMA DONYO NYINGCHE WANGPO, was born in the 158


male wood horse year ( 1954) in Taiyul. The details of his birth were completely in accordance with the prediction of the present sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa. He was taken to the Palpung monastery founded in his eighth incarnation and ceremonially enthroned there by the present Gyalwa Karmapa. At that time it was clearly noticed that he recognised all his old servants and disciples. After receiving all the customary initiations and empowerments he left Tibet for Bhutan, at about the time of the great exodus. He is now studying in the new Rumtek monastery, Sikkim, and is in his nineteenth year.


The Twelfth Situ Tulku. (1971)


Incarnation 1st



































( 1960-present)


THE GYALTSAP INCARNATIONS (An Orange Hat Karrna-Kargyudpa) (1)

The first Gyaltsap Tulku, GOSHI PALJOR DODRUP, was born in Yagde Nyewo. From the sixth Karrnapa, Tongwa Donden, he received the complete teachings and initiations, perfecting them in his lifetime. He recognised, enthroned and taught the seventh Karrnapa, Chos Trag Gyarntso and bestowed the ordinations on him. He lived a very saintly life and passed away at the age of sixty-three, in the male earth dog year. He prophesied that he would have many successors. (c.1427-1489). (2)

The second Gyaltsap Tulku, T ASHI NAMGY AL, was born in Nyewo and was recognised by Chos Trag Gyarntso, the seventh Karrnapa, from whom he received all the initiations and teachings. He was presented with an Orange Hat by Karrnapa, in recognition of his high attainments. A fine Lama, he enthroned Mikyo Dorje, the eighth Karrnapa, and transmitted the teachings to him. When he passed away there were many auspicious signs. (1490-1518). (3)

The third Gyaltsap Tulku, TRAKPA PALJOR, was recognised by Mikyo Dorje, the eighth Karrnapa, who passed on all the teachings to him. He practised his meditations to perfection and had visions of many Protectors and Tutelary Deities. He passed away at an early age, amidst auspicious omens. (1519-1549).

(4) The fourth Gyaltsap Tulku, TRAKPA DODRUP, was recognised by Mikyo Dorje, the eighth Karrnapa, and from him received many initiations and teachings. Another of his teachers was the fifth Sharnar Tulku, Kunchok Yenlak. He cornposed a detailed commentary on the Bodhisattva doctrines and another on the teachings of Hevajra. He was a Siddha and had many disciples. (1550-1617). (5)

The fifth Gyaltsap Tulku, TRAKPA CHOS YANG, was born in Tenchen Gar in 163


the Tsang province, in the female fire snake year (1617/18). He was recognised by the sixth Shamar Tulku, Choskyi Wangchuk, enthroned by him and received all the teachings. He spent most of his life practising deep meditation. A contemporary of the fifth Dalai Lama, under whose rule the Kargyudpa sect suffered greatly, Gyaltsap Tulku was able to keep control over his monasteries and was known as a great diplomat in the times of difficulty. He had many disciples. (1618-1658).

(6) The sixth Gyaltsap Tulku, NORBU ZANGPO, was born in the male iron rat year (1660) in the Gelthang district of ]yang. He was a remarkable child and could explain all the details of his past lives. The tenth Karmapa, Chos Ying Dorje, predicted his whereabouts, recognised him and enthroned him at the age of three. Gyaltsap Tulku received all the teachings and became a great Siddha. With the seventh Shamar Tulku he recognised the eleventh Karmapa, Yeshe Dorje, whom he also taught. ( 1660-1698).

(7) The seventh Gyaltsap Tulku, KUNCHOK OSER, was born in Nyewo Chu Gor. He was recognised and enthroned by the twelfth Karmapa, Changchub Dorje, and received all the teachings from him. He travelled to Tsurphu monastery where he received ordination from Situ Tulku in his fifteenth year. The eighth Shamar Tulku, Palchen Choskyi Dodrup, transmitted the remaining Oral teachings to him. Then he travelled to the auspicious pilgrimage place of Tsari Tso Kar, where he meditated for three years. Gyaltsap Tulku travelled to Nepal with the twelfth Karmapa, the eighth Shamar Tulku and the eighth Situ Tulku. Together they visited many places of pilgrimage and were highly honoured by the people. After this the party travelled to India and then returned to Tibet. Gyaltsap Tulku passed away in his sixtyfourth year amidst many highly auspicious signs, having recognised the thirteenth Karmapa, Du Dul Dorje. (1699-1765).

(8) The eighth Gyaltsap Tulku, CHOSPAL ZANGPO, was concerned in the recognition of the fourteenth Karmapa, Theg Chog Dorje. He was an excellent Lama and had many disciples. (1766-1820). 164


(9) The ninth Gyaltsap Tulku, TRAKPA YESHE, was an excellent Lama, who received all the teachings and initiations. At his passing there were many auspicious signs. (1821-1876). (10) The tenth Gyaltsap Tulku, TENPAI NYIMA, received all the teachings and perfected them in his lifetime. He was a fine Lama and had many excellent disciples. (1877-1901). (11)

The eleventh Gyaltsap Tulku, TRAKPA GY AMTSO, received all the teachings from .the fifteenth Karmapa, Kha Chab Dorje. He had many disciples. At the time of his passing there were many auspicious signs. (1902-1959). (12) The twelfth Gyaltsap Tulku, TRAKPA TENPAI YAPHEL, was recognised by the sixteenth Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, and was enthroned at the Tsurphu monastery. He was brought from Tibet by the present Gyalwa Karmapa and is now studying in the new Rumtek monastery, Sikkim. He is in his eighteenth year.

The Twelfth Gyaltsap Tulku. (1967)


APPENDIX: (D) THE JAMGON KHONGTRUL INCARNATIONS (1) The first J amgon Khongtrul Tulku, LODRA T AYE, was born in the female water bird year (1813) in Rong Chap of the Derge province, in Eastern Tibet. Born into a Bonpo family he quickly perfected their teachings. Then he received ordinations from the Nyingmapas and Kargyudpas and had many teachers. The ninth Situ Tulku, Padma Nyingche Wangpo, recognised him as a Tulku of the Karma-Kargyudpas. He became a disciple of the fourteenth Gyalwa Karmapa. Jamgon Khongtrul Tulku was an excellent artist and a fine physician. He had more than sixty teachers and perfected the science of medicine. Terton Chogyur Lingpa (1829-1870) met him and recognised him as an emanation of the Bodhisattva M:mjusri. In his lifetime he wrote more than ninety books, covering the whole range of Tibetan culture. He was of the direct Lineage of Siddha Krishnacharin and an emanation of Siddha Avadhutipa. He spent the whole of his life bestowing initiations and explaining the teachings to his numerous disciples, amongst whom was the fifteenth Gyalwa Karmapa, Kha Chab Dorje, whom he recognised. Throughout his life he never once became ill. He passed away in his eightyeighth year, amongst many important and auspicious omens. His other foremost disciples were the tenth Situ Tulku, the tenth Trungpa Tulku and J amgon Mipham Rinpoche. (1813-c.1901). (2)

The second J amgon Khongtrul Tulku, KHYENTSE OSER, of Palpung, was recognised by the fifteenth Karmapa, Kha Chab Dorje. He received all the teachings from Karmapa and also from the tenth Trungpa Tulku. He spent most of his life practising meditation and imparted all the teachings to the present sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa. He had many fine disciples and was renowned as an excellent Lama. He left prediction details of his future rebirth. ( 1904-19 53). (3)

The third J amgon Khongtrul Tulku, LODRA CHOSKYI SENGE TENPAI GOCHA, was born in Central Tibet into the wealthy Sandu Sang family. It was found that the prediction details left by the previous Khongtrul Tulku were exactly in accord167


ance with those of his birth. He was recognised as the new incarnation and received empowerments and initiations. Shortly after the increase in Chinese hostilities he safely escaped to India. He was enthroned at the old Rumtek monastery at the age of six years and is presently studying with the sixteenth Karmapa in the new Rumtek monastery. He is in his nineteenth year.

The Third jamgon Khongtrul Tulku. (196 5)


APPENDIX: (E) THEPAWO INCARNATIONS The first Pawo Tulku, CHOSWANG LHUNDRUP, was a Siddha who could fly in the air and walk on water. He was given the name 'Pawo ', meaning 'Hero', by the local people. Many of the later Pawo Tulkus were disciples of the Karma pas and were famed for their knowledge of the Six Yogas. The present incarnation, PAWO TSUKLAK NAWA, in his sixties, lives in Bhutan and is a meditation teacher there. One of the great incarnations of the Kargyudpa Lineage, he has perfected the Six Yogas of Siddha Naropa and the Mahamudra. His Lineage:

Incarnation 1st














( 1649-1699)



(1701- ? )




? -1781)




? - ? )



( ? -1911)




The Tenth Pawo Tulku. (1966)


APPENDIX: (F) OTHER HIGH LAMAS OF THE KARGYUDPA SECT TR UNGPA TULKU The Eleventh CHOGYAM TRUNGPA TULKU was born in North-Eastern Tibet in February 1939. He was the Supreme Abbot of the great Surmang monastery, founded in his first incarnation as Trung Mase the Siddha. The present incarnation was recognised by the sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa, from whom he received many important initiations and teachings. After reaching the West he founded the Samye Ling Tibetan monastic centre in Scotland. Now he is in America, where he has established two important new centres of Buddhism.

The Lineage 1 2 3 4 5 6

Kunga Gyaltsen Kunga Zangpo Kunga Osel Kunga Namgyal Tenzin Chogyal Lodro Tenphel

7 8 9 10 11

Jam pal Chogyal Gyurme Tenphel Karma Tenphel Choskyi Nyinje Choskyi Gyamtso

Trungpa Tulku. (1968)



KALU RINPOCHE The second KALU RINPOCHE has a monastery in Sonada near Darjeeling and has twice visited Europe, Canada and America, founding a number of new Centres for Buddhist Dharma and meditation. He is an excellent teacher, especially of the 'Six Yogas' of Siddha Naropa.

Kalu Rinpoche.

SANGYE NYENPA TULKU The first Sangye Nyenpa Tulku, DEMA DRUPCHEN, was a great Siddha. He was the main teacher of Mikyo Dorje, the eighth Gyalwa Karmapa. All his subsequent incarnations were fine teachers and Yogis, famous for the extraordinary miracles which they performed. The present incarJ?ation, the tenth, is aged nine years and lives in the new Rumtek monastery in Sikkim.

The Tenth Sangye Nyenpa Tulku. (1970)



PONLOP RINPOCHE The first PONLOP TULKU was a Siddha of the Nyingmapa tradition. The fourth incarnation, Je Won Ponlop, was born into a Nyingmapa family. He travelled to the Tsurphu monastery and received Kargyudpa teachings from his elder brother, who was a meditation teacher there. He became part of the Karma-Kargyudpa and was a fine Lama. He passed away in the old Rumtek monastery in the male water tiger year ( 1962).

The Fourth Ponlop Tulku.

The fifth PONLOP TULKU, Sungrab Ngedon Tenpe Gyaltsen, was born at the new Rumtek monastery at sunrise on the twenty-sixth day of the fourth month of the female wood snake year (1965), as the son of the General Secretary of the monastery. His birth was in accordance with a prediction made by H. H. The Sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa and his recognition was confirmed by H. H. The Fourteenth Dalai Lama. He was enthroned at Rumtek, where he is now studying. He is seven years old.

The Fifth Ponlop Tulku. (1972)






TRONGSAR KHYENTSE WANGPO The third incarnation, aged twenty-six. He lives in Madhya-Pradesh, India. Of the Karma-Kargyudpa Line.

DELGO KHYENTSE RINPOCHE The second incarnation, aged fifty· eight. He lives in the Kichu monastery, Bhutan. Of the Nyingma-Kargyudpa Line.

DRU PON RINPOCHE The second DRU PON TULKU, presently studying in Rumtek, Sikkim, aged seven years.

Dru Pon Rinpoche. (1972)



DABZANG RINPOCHE .An emanation of je Gampopa, he lives in Nepal, aged forty-five. KHENPO TRANG U The eighth incarnation. Aged forty, he is the Abbot of the new Rumtek monastery.

SABCHU RINPOCHE The third incarnation, aged fifty-seven, lives in Kathmandu, Nepal.

TRALEG RINPOCHE The ninth incarnation, now aged eighteen, lives in Sarnath, India.



DORJE LOPON TENGA RINPOCHE The second incarnation, aged fortyone, lives in Rumtek.

TRUNGRAM GYALDRUL RINPOCHE The third incarnation, aged five years, lives in Rumtek. AKONG RINPOCHE Presently runs the Samye Ling Tibetan centre in Scotland. A disciple of the Karmapa, he was the Abbot of the Dolma temple, near Chamdo. He is the second incarnation.



The Drukpa-Kargyud is composed of three sections, being termed the 'top', the 'bottom' and the 'middle'. Thus: The 'top': Founded by Gyalwa Ling Repa, who passed the teachings on to Drogon Tsangpa Gyare (founder of the Tsangpa subsect). He in turn passed them to Go Tsangpa Gonpo Dorje, whose foremost disciple was Siddha Urgyenpa (the teacher of the third Karrnapa). Siddha Urgyenpa passed them on to his disciple Gyalwa Yang Gonpa. This section became known as the 'Namkhye Karma', or 'Star of Heaven'. It was very large. The 'bottom': Founded by Siddha Lorepa, who went to Bhutan and there met Tsangpa Gyare, from whom he received all the teachings by the time he was seven. At the age of thirteen he went to Khara and there meditated for three years. He travelled to Narn Tso, where there is an island in the middle of a lake and two caves on the island, both of which he used for prolonged meditation. He had only one load of barley flour and had to eat his animal-skin clothing, yet he was able to spend many years there and ultimately attained perfection. One summer he performed a miracle of creating a path of ice from the island to the shore. As he walked across it a shepherd saw the ice melting behind him and thus his fame spread far. He had about a thousand disciples and founded two monasteries, Karpo Chos Ling (in Tibet) and Tarpa Ling (in Bhutan). He passed away at the age of sixty-four in the male iron dog year (1250). This section became known as the 'Sayi Tsi Shing', or 'Tree Branches'. The 'middle': Founded by Wonres Dharma Senge, the nephew of Tsangpa Gyare. Born in the fire bird year (1177), he received all the ordinations and initiations from his uncle. He prophesied the corning of a-flood but stopped it by leaving his footprint on a rock in front of the great Ralung monastery. Then he repaired the monastery, constructed many new shrines and built great statues. He passed away at the age of sixty-one leaving eight successors in charge of the monastery. They were: (i) Zhonu Senge, (ii) Nyirna Senge, (iii) Senge Sherab, (iv) Senge Nyinche, (v) Chosje Senge Gyalpo, (vi) Jarnbyang Kunga Senge, (vii) Lodru Senge and (viii) Sherab Senge. The elder brother of Sherab Senge, Yeshe Rinchen, spent fifty years as their spiritual leader and was succeeded by: The First DRUKCHEN RINPOCHE: Gyalwang Kunga Paljor, who was born in the male earth monkey year (1368?). He was the first teacher of the 'Drukchen 177


Chyabgon' sect of the Karma-Kargyudpas and received the complete Mahamudra from the Siddha Namkhi Nal jor and others. From the teacher De Ringpa he received the teachings of Pramana and the Madhyamika. From Changchub Pal he took initiation into Hevajra and Mahamaya. He spent six years in the monastery of Je Gampopa and then went to Ralung, where he succeeded as Abbot. At the age of fifty-nine he made a prediction concerning his future incarnation. He had a nephew called Ngawang Choskyi Gyalpo, who had many teachers and became a fine scholar. The first Drukchen Rinpoche meditated at the Ralung monastery for nine years, perfected himself and became a Siddha. He was an incarnation of Marpa and helped to spread the Dharma widely. At the age of seventy-six he passed away. The second DRUKCHEN RINPOCHE: Jambyang Choskyi Trakpa, was born in J ayul, according to the prediction of his predecessor. He became a disciple of Ngawang Choskyi Gyalpo and received many teachings and initiations from Shamar Tulku and the Gyalwa Karmapa. Perfecting his meditation he became a Siddha, leaving many footprints permanently on rocks and was able to sit in the air in the lotus-posture of a Buddha. In accordance with the instructions of the Dakini Sukhasiddhi he founded the Tashi Thong Mon Ling monastery. He performed many miracles and passed away at the age of forty-five. The third DRUKCHEN RINPOCHE: Padma Karpo was born in the female fire pig year (1527). He had many teachers and quickly became a Siddha. He founded the Sang Nga Chos Ling monastery and wrote many books. His foremost disciples were (i) Thuchen Chosgon and (ii) Yongdzin Ngawang Zangpo, who founded the great Dechen Choskhor Ling monastery. The fourth DRUKCHEN RINPOCHE: Mipham Wangpo. The fifth DRUKCHEN RINPOCHE: Paksam Wangpo. The sixth DRUKCHEN RINPOCHE: Tinlay Shingta. The seventh DRUKCHEN RINPOCHE: Kunzig Chosnang. The eighth DRUKCHEN RINPOCHE: Jigme Migyur Wangyal. The ninth DRUKCHEN RINPOCHE: Mipham Choskyi Wangpo. The tenth DRUKCHEN RINPOCHE: Khedrup Yeshe Gyamtso. The eleventh DRUKCHEN RINPOCHE: Jigme Migyur Wangkyi Dorje, the present incarnation, who was predicted and recognised by the sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa. His enthronement ceremony was performed at the Do Tsuk monastery in Darjeeling. He is now aged nine years and already exhibits powers of prophecy. His monastery is at the Mem tea-estate, below Sukhia Pokhri in the Darjeeling district.

(II) THE KHAM BRANCH The first KHAMTRUL RINPOCHE: Karma Tenphel (1598-1638), a disciple of



Yongdzin Ngawang Zangpo (who had two other important disciples: Taktsang Repa of Ladakh and Dorzong Kunchok Gyalpo, of Far Eastern Tibet). A great teacher, he produced an incarnate Line. The second KHAMTRVL RINPOCHE: Kunga Tenphel (1639-1679), who had a fine disciple called Dzigar Sonam Gyamtso, the first DZIGAR CHOKTRUL RINPOCHE. The Line continued until

Jigme Gocha, the ninth incarnation, who lives in the new Rumtek monastery in Sikkim, aged eleven years.

The Ninth Dzigar Choktrul Tulku. (1969)

The third KHAMTRVL RINPOCHE: Kunga Tenzin (1680-1729), a disciple of the first Dzigar Choktrul Rinpoche, he founded the Khampa Gar monastery in Eastern Tibet. The fourth KHAMTRVL RINPOCHE: Choskyi Nyima (1730-1780). The fifth KHAMTRVL RINPOCHE: Dupjud Nyima (1781-1847). The sixth KHAMTRVL RINPOCHE: Tenpai Nyima ( 1848-1907). The seventh KHAMTRVL RINPOCHE: Sangye Tenzin (1908-1929).



The eighth KHAMTRUL RJNPOCHE: Donjud Nyima (born 1930), the present incarnation, who lives in Tashijong (Himachal Pradesh) where he has established a Tibetan Art and Craft centre.

The Eighth Khamtrul Tulku.

(III) THE BHUTAN BRANCH In accordance with a prophecy made by Drogon Tsangpa Gyare, his disciple Sangye Won produced a disciple called Phajo Drogon, who went to Bhutan. There he founded the Tan Go monastery and spread the Dharma widely. (IV) THE DRIGUNG BRANCH Founded by Jigten Sumgun, of Khams, a disciple of Lama Phagmo Gru Dorje Gyaltsen (a disciple of Je Gampopa). He founded the Drigung monastery in 1179 and had many fine disciples, the foremost of whom was Lama Nyeu, who was born in Lhanang in the male wood monkey year (1164 ). He received all the teachings from Jigten Gonpo (who is also known as Rinchen Pal) and then travelled to Mount Kailash in Western Tibet, where he meditated for thirty-four years. He attained perfection and became a great Siddha, as did many of his 180


disciples. Another great teacher of this school was Kadampa Chosje, born in Khams in the iron dog year (1190?). He was initiated by jigten Gonpo and quickly attained perfection. He founded the Lung Shok and Rinchen Ling monasteries. "Half the Tibetan people are Drukpas, Half the Drukpas are begging ascetics, Half the begging ascetics are Saints." (popular Tibetan saying)



(From the Tibetan) Translated by The Nun Karma Khechog Palmo &

Karma Tinlaypa Rinpoche

THE GURU-LAMA YOGA OF THE KARMAPAS (The 'Lama 'i Naljor') THE SITUATION "In the sky before me is my Lama, In the form of Mikyo Dorje, the eighth Karmapa. Wrapped in countless waves of Enjoyment, He wears the robes of a monk. Upon his head is the Black Hat Crown, And his complexion is of a golden colour."

"He holds sceptre and bell, Symbolic of the Unity of Wisdom and Means: Thus he makes the non-dual Voidness-Bliss Discernible." "As I make this prayer and meditate, The Fire of devotion flames. As I meditate upon it, The Blessing of the Lama blazes in reply. When I meditate upon this Blessing, Warm and sacred, like fire, All the powers come to me, And the Mani-jewels burst into flame." "From the sky and from the earth, Yet neither from above nor from below, The Blessing falls like rain. From my very heart, KYE! Listen to me, and to my prayer!" "Manifestation is in the Void, The Void is in all things manifested: Manifestation, inseperable from the Void, Is the body of the Lama. To this body I am praying, Oh Precious Lama, give me the Blessing." "Sound is in the Void, The Void is in all sound: 185


Sound and Void, inseperable, Is the speech of the Lama. To this speech I am praying, Oh Precious Lama, give me the Blessing." "Bliss is in the Void, The Void is in all Bliss: Bliss and Void, inseperable, Is the Mind of the Lama. To this Mind I am praying, Oh Precious Lama, give me the Blessing." "KYE! Listen to me. When the Lama-jewel appears, The sky is filled with rainbow light. Imagine the eight Goddesses of offerings, The Blessing flames like fire, HU RU RU .... Like a flash come the first Realizations, SHA RA RA .... " "KYE! Listen to me. Great Lama, that in your presence I may attain the Realizations. Come and Bless me. From that supremely sacred place Descend. Bestow upon me the supreme attainment Of the Four Initiations. Bestow upon me the occult powers. Remove all my wrong ideas And mental obstacles. Make every being peaceful."

THE VISUALIZA 170N: THE APPEARANCE OF THE DAKINIS The first is the Karma Dakini, green of colour. She removes envy, and IS the Heavenly Mother of Action: "In the sky before me is the Wisdom Dakini, Green of colour. (GREEN) All sickness, malefic influences and defilements, Are purified in Her light." 186


"For all sins, veils of ignorance, And the faults that bind us, Before the revered Yogini, with folded hands I am penitent." The second is the Ratna Dakini, yellow of colour. She removes pride, and is the Heavenly Mother of jewels: "In the sky before me is the Wisdom Dakini, (YELWW) Yellow of colour. All sickness, malefic influences and defilements, Are purified in Her light." "For all sins, veils of ignorance, And the faults that bind us, Before the revered Yogini, with folded hands I am penitent." The third is the Padma Dakini, red of colour. She removes passion, and is the Heavenly Mother of the Lotus: "In the sky before me is the Wisdom Dakini, Red of colour. (RED) All sickness, malefic influences and defilements, Are purified in Her light." "For all sins, veils of ignorance, And the faults that bind us, Before the revered Yogini, with folded hands I am penitent." The fourth is the Buddha Dakini, white of colour. She removes ignorance, and is the Heavenly Mother of the Buddhas: "In the sky before me is the Wisdom Dakini, (WHITE) White of colour. All sickness, malefic influences and defilements, Are purified in Her light." "For all sins, veils of ignorance, And the faults that bind us, Before the revered Yogini, with folded hands I am penitent." 187


The fifth is the Heavenly Mother of the Samaya, bound by oath, black of colour. She purifies the vows of Yogis, and is not different from Sri Devi, theMaha Kali: "In the sky before me is the Wisdom Dakini, (BLACK) Black of colour. All sickness, malefic influences and defilements, Are purified in Her light." "For all sins, veils of ignorance, And the faults that bind us, Before the revered Yogini, with folded hands I am penitent." The sixth is the Vajra Dakini, blue of colour. She removes all ill-will and hatred, and is the Heavenly Mother of the adamantine Vajra: "In the sky before me is the Wisdom Dakini, (BLUE) Blue of colour. All sickness, malefic influences and defilements, Are purified in Her light." "For all sins, veils of ignorance, And the faults that bind us, Before the revered Yogini, with folded hands I am penitent." The seventh is ~he Heavenly Mother of many colours. She removes the faults and failings born of the three 'poisons' of craving, hatred and ignorance: "In the sky before me is the Wisdom Dakini, (SMOKY) Smoky of colour. All sickness, malefic influences and defilements, Are purified in Her light." "For all sins, veils of ignorance, And the faults that bind us, Before the revered Yogini, with folded hands I am penitent." (HERE THINK THAT ALL IS NOW PURIFIED) MEDITATION

The sky is full of Mikyo Dorje. 188



Ecstatic Joy of the Vajra, shining in rays of eight colours.


The Heavenly Messengers flame at the power of your speech.


Fierce is your Buddha-activity, purifying all defilements.


DEVOTION TO THE KARMAPAS "Most venerated Holy One, With power over the Four Bodies, Whatever you undertake is the Divine play Of the transcending Wisdom, Encompassing all. Oh Karmapa, in whom resides the power of the Buddha, Ocean·of Buddha's Blessings, Think of me."

"You have gathered a heap of virtues, And all that is good. The essence of the Buddhas, Is manifested in the Holy Lama, Great in mercy. Born of the Higher Senses, is your Body of Illusion. Oh venerated Vajra-essence of speech, Think of me." "As long as this body lasts, It is upon you that we rely. Of the nature of the Four Bodies, Is the Oral Transmission of Gampopa: Giver of Blessings, To those who are worthy, You of the magnificent succession, Think of me." "All negative mental fabrications, Collapse of themselves. In the Dharmadhatu, immaculate, 189


Your Form of Light appears. Oh Master of the Buddha-activity, Who knows past, present and future, Great Heart of Love, Think of me." "In this Age of Darkness, Many are the ways which you show For controlling all beings. Oh power of the Victorious Ones, Caring for all, without discrimination, You from whom all occult powers emerge, Most Holy One, Think of me." "Who are all the Victorious Ones ln One, Who can ripen those who are worthy. The Order of the Karmapas, Showing the Vajrayana Path of Bliss, Away from the two veils of ignorance, Oh faultless One, Think of me." "By yourself, you have attained The Four Activities of the Buddhas. Through your Will and Blessing, Bestow upon me the Wisdom Supreme. The succession of Realized Ones, Is concentrated within you. Oh speech of the Vajra, Great Karmapa, Think of me." "Possessing the Eight Virtues, Of the Celestial Buddha Vajradhara, Having the Seven Aspects, Of the Tutelary Heruka: Thou who are all the Buddhas in One, The power of the jinas, The real Buddha, venerated Mikyo Dorje, Think of me." 190


"You who are all the jinas in One, Karrnapa, think of me. You who are all the Buddhas in One, Karrnapa, think of me. You who are all the Tathagatas in One, Karrnapa, think of me. You who are Omniscient, Karrnapa, think of me." THE MANTRA: "KARMAPA CHEN NO"

(Repeat it as often as you can)


"You who are all mercy, Think of me. You who are all the Buddhas in One, Think of me. You who are at all times the Supreme Teacher, Think of me." "To Mikyo Dorje, I am praying. To Chos Trag Gyarntso, I am praying. To the Oral Transmission of Garnpopa, I am praying. To the Order of the Karma pas, I am praying." "Most venerated One, may I become like you. Learned Abbot, rna y I become like you. Guru-Lama, may I become like you. Protector of the people, rna y I become like you." "With your spiritual father, Omniscient, Sangye Nyenpa, great in Realization, Oh Victorious One, Mikyo Dorje, If I do not pray to you, to whom should I pray? Of your mercy, if you do not look towards me, Who will look? Therefore, to you I am praying, That you give me your Blessing." 191


"Of all the sentient beings, Especially those who rely upon you alone As their Guardian, Cherish us, beyond Time itself. And bestow upon us The Realization of the Mahamudra." "If you do not give the Blessing, who will Bless me? In your Love if you do not hold me, who will hold me? If you do not show me your grace, who will show it? If you do not control me, the willing one, Who will control me? Oh most venerated One, if you don't guard me from bad action, Who will guard me? Master of the spiritual powers, if you do not protect me, Who will protect me?" "It is you who will accompany me through the lifetimes. Cut the root of all my doubts, And always be the Wish-fulfilling Gem. I rely upon you continuously, for you can protect me. Oh Eternally Awakened One, dry up the lake Of the world's sufferings."

"Ocean of virtues untellable, Teacher of all beings, Like the sky, their only mother. Oh treasure-house of mercy, beyond imagination, In this Age of Darkness, If you do not listen to the people, Then who will listen?" "If you do not protect me now, Then when will you protect me? If you do not bestow the powers upon me now, When will you bestow them? When I see my mind and yours as One, I am Liberated from delusion, And all the knots of my consciousness are untied. All people, like the vast expanse of the Heavens,



Are related to each other. I pray that now and always, You may bring them to Liberation." LAMA MOST SACRED "Look towards all sentient beings, And save those who pray to you. At this time, like he whose house collapses, Is the meditator beset by fears. Pray turn your mind towards him." LAMA THE GREAT JEWEL "You who know the Ultimate Meaning, You who know how to transfer the Blessing, You who can show us the Ultimate Realization, Having the Divine Eye and the occult powers, Showing a mass of miracles, Inexpressible is the kindness that you bestow upon us: For you put Enlightenment right in my hand."

"When unfortunate manifestations come, You are the guide, showing the Voidness In its manifold aspects. Transcendent Lord of the Universe, From the depths of my heart, I beseech you, For you alone have the required powers." "To you of the merciful heart, I am speaking. Oh Master of the powers, of the Oral Transmission, Beyond debate, All powerful One, Of action ·beyond compare." "Most Holy One, Fully Enlightened, All the grace of body, speech and mind is yours. For the sake of all beings, Here and now I am offering myself to you. Of your great Love accept me. And having accepted me, you who have the power, Always protect me. 193


Oh venerated One, from my heart I beseech you, Give me the Blessing, That I may become like you." "To the most revered and Holy Lama, I am praying, Give me your Blessing. May I understand all that you do, And may I remember all that you say." "Give me your Blessing, That I may realize my mind and yours As One." "From birth to birth, Throughout all my life-times, Give me your Blessings, That all I do may add to your Happiness. May whatever be displeasing to you, Never arise in me. Pray give me your Blessing." "In the innermost recess of my heart, Remembering the hour of death, May pure devotion be born in me. May disgust with the world be attained by renunciation. May I always remain with the Blessings Of Mikyo Dorje, the Joyful One." "Throughout all my life-times, May the venerated Karmapa, Mikyo Dorje, Be my Lama, And from the transcending Path of the Vajrayana, Of the Arising and Perfecting Path of Yoga, May I attain the Realization of the non-dual body." "In all my life-times, may my Teacher be the Gyalwa Karmapa, Who wears the sacred Black Hat Vajra-Crown. May my Protector Yidam be that honoured One, Of the Great Bliss. May I always be in the presence of Chakrasamvara."



"The Heart of the Path is devotion and the Mabamudra. The essence of dissatisfaction with the world, Is the body of the Precious Lama. And He Himself is the Full Attainment Of the Celestial Buddha, Vajradbara, Indivisible." ENTREATiNG THE LINE OF THE LAMA SUCCESSION: "To the matchless Line of the Oral Transmission of Gampopa, I am praying. To that Supreme among men, Dusum Khyenpa, I am praying. To the Realization-Line of the Order of Kargyudpa, l am praying. To the One great in mercy, Rangjung Dorje, the Omniscient, I am praying. To the. One of great ability, Sangye Nyenpa, I am praying. To the One of grace abounding, the Gawi Yangchen, * I am praying. To the Vajra-voiced One, I am praying. To the good voice of the egoless state, I am praying. To the incomparably good Mikyo Dorje, I am praying. To the peerless One of great Love, I am praying. To the peerless One of the merciful Heart, I am praying. To the peerless One greatly skilled, I am praying." 4SKING FOR THE BLESSING "Uncertain is the time of my death, And from my innermost heart I pray Give me your Blessing. Bless me that from deep within me, • The Great Voice of Ecstasy.



Dissatisfaction with the world may arise. Bless me that all outer things may appear meaningless. Bless me that I may understand the impermanence of everything." "You, whose loving kindness encompasses all, Away from any attachment to your own, To you I pray. You, whose Buddha-activity knows no bounds, To you I pray. To you, whose Blessings are beyond now and then, To you I pray. To you, whose Holy Sight and Words are full of meaning, To you I pray." THE PRAYER OF THE BUDDHA OCEAN-WIDE, CALLED THE GYALWA G Y AMTSO: In the Circle of Fire, recite this:

"Sitting on the crown of my head, In the moon-disc in the heart of the Lotus, Is the Gyalwa Karmapa Rangjung Dorje. Surrounding Him are the host of Kargyudpa Lamas. With deepest devotion I am praying; Pour your Blessings upon me, That I may see the Voidness of all things, Both inner and outer." "In my heart, on the Eternal Vajra-seat, Is the Lord Buddha of the Great Mercy, Surrounded by all the Buddhas, Ocean-wide. With deepest devotion I am praying; Pour your Blessings upon me, That I may see the Voidness of all things, Both inner and outer." "To my right, flaming in the enjoyment of the Great Bliss, Is the King of the Angry Ones, the peerless Hayagriva, Surrounded by the Ocean of Heroes. With deepest devotion I am praying; Pour your Blessings upon me, That I may see the Voidness of all things, Both inner and outer." 196


"To my left, in the Palace of Pure Space, Is the Secret Mother, the Wisdom Dakini, Surrounded by an Ocean of Dakinis. With deepest devotion I am praying; Pour your Blessings upon me, That I may see the Voidness of all things, Both inner and outer." "Above me, in the Pure Palace of the Gods, Is the Vajra-Guru, Padrnasarnbhava, Lotus-born, Surrounded by an Ocean of Siddhas. With deepest devotion I am praying; Pour your Blessings upon me, That I may see the Voidness of all things, Both inner and outer." "Below, in the Palace of the Great Vows, Are the Dharma-Protectors, with their consorts, Surrounded by an Ocean of Vow-keepers. With deepest devotion I am praying; Pour your Blessings upon me, That I may see the Voidness of all things, Both inner and outer." "Having prayed with faith and devotion, To my Root-Lama, and to all the Line, May I and all sentient beings Of the Six Spheres, Attain the most Perfect Realization." "Oh Great One, Rangjung Dorje, Finding you is like finding the Wish-fulfilling Gem. If I and all others make the offering to you, Pray fulfill our heart's desires. And rna y all be Auspicious!" "By your Bodhisattva Actions, The Rays of Mercy stream in the Ten Directions, Just like the moon becoming full on the fifteenth day." 197


"May happiness increase throughout the Universe! May all things be Auspicious! May the world be Happy!"



by Rangjung Dorje (The Illrd Karmapa) (Translated by: G. C. C. Chang)

TRANSLATOR'S NOTE "The reader will discover the opening stanzas of The Vow express the religious and spiritual tradition of Mahamudra. The first five stanzas present the fundamental principles and the necessary 'wishes' of the Buddhists. The author of The Vow is Karmapa lllrd (1284-1339), a very great authority and an accomplished Yogi, whose numerous writings include The Profound Inner Meaning of Tantrism, considered by Tibetan scholars as the greatest work on the subject. The Vow is recited by the White School as a daily prayer."

(From: 'Esoteric Teachings of the Tibetan Tantra' by G. C. C. Chang, published by Aurora Press, Lausanne, Switzerland... & C. A. Muses.)


THE VOW OF MAHAMUDRA by Rangjung Dorje (1)

"I pray to the Guru, to the Yidam and to those Holy Beings in the Mandala, I pray to the Buddhas and to their Bodhisattva Sons in the Three Times and the Ten Directions, Remember me, have compassion and pity on me, Bless with accomplishment my wishes." (2)

"The pure action of my body and my mind, My virtuous deeds and those of all sentient beings, Are like clear streams flowing from the Snow Mountain-devoid of the defilements of the Three Circles. May they flow freely into the great ocean-the ocean of the Buddha's Four Bodies." (3)

"Until I attain the Four Bodies of Buddha, May even the name of Samsaric miseries and sins Be unheard in all my future lives, While I enjoy the happy Dharma-oceans.

(4) "May faith, intelligence, diligence and leisure, Good Gurus and the essential teachings come to me, May I practice rightly, without stumbling and hindrances, The blessings of Dharma filling my future lives." (5)

"The Holy and Wisdom reckonings liberate me from ignorance, The pith-instructions destroy my dark doubts forever, Through the Light from meditation, vividly and unmistakenly I behold Reality. Increase, Oh Light of the Three Wisdoms."

(6) "The Root-principle is the Two Truths-the absence of the concrete and the null views, 203


The Superb Path is the Provisions-without either the exaggerating or minimizing views, The Fruit is the Two Benefits of neither Nirvana nor Samsara. In future life, may I meet such right teachings." (7)

"The Essence of Mind is the Two-in-One, the Void and the Radiant Original Source, Mahamudra, the Diamond-Practice, is the Purifier: The Purified are the flickering and insubstantial blindness and defilements. May I attain the Immaculate Dharmakaya, the Purified Fruit." (8)

"The View of Mahamudra lies in neither adding nor deducting from the Nature of Mind, Being mindful of this View, without distraction, is the Root-action of Mahamudra, Of all meditations, this is the highest practice. Let me always find this right teaching of the View, Action and Practice."

(9) "All Dharmas are the expression of Mind: The Mind is of No-Mind, Void in essence, Void, yet not extinct, it manifests all. Let me observe this essence and retain this immutable View." (10)

"In our confusion, we consider the self-manifestation apparent in outer objects, In our blindness we hold the self-awareness to be the real ego: Because of the Two Clingings, sentient beings wander in Samsara, May I cut this root of confusion and blindness." (11)

" 'Nothing really exists.' Buddha, himself, sees no existence, 'All is not empty!', since the causes of Nirvana and Samsara exist. This is the Middle-Path of the Two-in-One, neither agreeing nor contradicting, May I realize the discrimination-free Mind-essence." (12)

"No one can describe that by saying, 'This is it!' No one can deny that by saying, 'This is not it!' 204


Such is the Non-created Nature of Being, which transcends the realm of Consciousness. May I attain, decisively, this uttermost Truth." (13) "Ignorant of this, we drift in the ocean of Samsara, If one realizes this essence, there is no other Buddha. In the final Truth, there is neither Yes nor No, May I realize the Dharma-nature, the principle of Alaya."

(14) "The manifestation is Mind, the Voidness is also Mind, The Enlightenment is Mind, and the blindness is also Mind, The springing of things is Mind, and their extinction is also Mind. May I understand that all Increasing and Decreasing inher in Mind." (15) "Unsullied by intentional practice or meditation-with-effort, Away from the Worldly Wind of distraction, With no effort and correction, I rest comfortably on the Natural state of Mind. May I find the adroit and subtle teachings of Mind Practice." (16) "The waves of Thought flow strong and weak, clear and dim,-subside, Without disturbance the River of Consciousness flows Naturally, Far from the mud of drowsiness and distraction. Let the steady and immutable Ocean of Samadhi absorb me." (17) "Repeatedly contemplating the Incontemplatable Mind, Clearly discerning the Indiscernable Meaning, I forever elimate the doubts of Yes and No. Let me surely behold my Original Face." (18) "When I observe the outer objects, I find nothing but my own Mind: When I observe my Mind, I find nothing but the Voidness. Observing both Mind and Objects, freed am I from the Two Clingings. Let me realize the True Nature of the Illuminating Mind-essence." • Accumulations, the permanent non-dissolution.




"Because that transcends the Mind, it is called the Great Symbol: Because that frees from the extremes, it is called the Great Middle Way: Because that encompasses all and embraces all, it is called the Great Perfection. Let me understand that knowing One is knowing All." (20)

"With clingings absent, the Great Bliss continuously arises; With no form to cling to, the Radiant Light outshines the dark hindrances: May I constantly practice the practice of no-effort, transcending Mind; The Natural and Spontaneous Non-Discerning." (21)

"The craving for ecstasy and good experience in meditation, naturally dissolves; The evil thoughts and blindness rest Innately Pure in the Dharmadhatu. In the 'ordinary mind' there is no loss or gain, no claim or disclaim. Away from words, let me realize the Truth of the Dharma Essence." (22)

"Not knowing their natures are identical with Buddha's, Sentient beings wander endlessly in Samsara; To those misery-bound, who have undergone endless sufferings, May I forever pity them with unbearable Great Compassion." (23)

"Right in that moment when the Great Compassion arises, Emerges nakedly and vividly the Great Voidness; Let me always find this unmistakable Two-in-One Path, And practice it day and night." (24)

"With meditation-produced clairvoyance and other miraculous powers, May I ripen all the sentient beings and adorn Buddha's Pure Land; May I fulfill the compassionate vows of all Buddhas, And eventually achieve the Highest Enlightenment and Perfections." (25)

"The power of the compassion of Buddha, The power of the loving Bodhisattvas, The power of all virtues and good deeds, 206


May I bind these powers into one great force, By which the Pure Vow of mine, And the benevolent wishes of others, Be readily fulfilled!"



GLOSSARY ABHIDHARMA (Skt.): A section of the Buddhist Canon concerning metaphysics. A basic work of the Hinayana. A Hrdaya Shastra. ACHARYA (Skt.): 'Master'. An honorific title denoting great spiritual attainment. The head of a religious Order. ADI (Skt.): 'Original'. 'The Beginning'. ADI-BUDDHA (Skt.): The 'Original Buddha', the Root-Teacher, the symbol of universality and completeness. ALI-KALI (Skt.): The vowels and consonants, the structural elements of all Mantras. In the Tantras it has been said that 'the whole Universe is nothing but Ali-Kali'. The esoteric significance of these sounds is the inner relationship between the left and right subtle nerves (Nadis) of the Yoga-body. AMITABHA (Skt.): One of the five Dhyani-Buddhas, the Buddha of BoundlessLight and Discriminating Wisdom. (Tib; Opamed). AMIT AYUS (Skt.): The Buddha of Boundless Life. (Tib: Tsepamed). AMRITA (Skt.~: Nectar, the Elixir of Immortality. ARHAT (Skt.): A Worthy-One, who has transcended the Cycle of Rebirths. (Tib:· Trachompa). AVALOKITESHWARA (Skt.): The Great Compassionate Bodhisattva. (Tib: Chenrezigs). BARDO (Tib.): The Intermediate State, between death and rebirth. There are various forms of Bardo. (See: 'The Tibetan Book of the Dead'). BLACK PILLS: Special sacramental medicine, prepared and distributed by the Gyalwa Karmapa, to confer Liberation from all suffering. Generally associated with the 'Black Ha~' rite. BODH GAY A: The pilgrimage-place in Bihar state, N .E. India, where Buddha gained his Enlightenment. BODHISATTVA (Skt.): One who is freed from the notion of self and who works for the Liberation of all beings. BONPO (Tib.): The indigenous religion of Tibet. A form of Shamanism which, in the course of time, adopted many of the Buddhist practises. BYAMS-CHOS (Tib.): The Doctrines of Maitreya, the Future-Buddha. The 'Five Treatises' of Maitreya. CHAKRA (Skt.): 'Wheel', 'Centre', 'Cycle'. Especially in connection with the subtle focal points of the Yoga-Body. CHAKRASAMVARA (Skt.): An important Tantric Tutelary Deity (Yidam), the mystic aspect of the Teacher. Of supreme importance to the Kargyudpa sect. (Tib: Demchog ). CHOD (Tib.): The rite of 'slaying the ego'. A Tantric practice revealed by Siddha 211


Phadampa Sangye. Especially familiar to the Nyingmapa and Kargyudpa sects. CHORTEN (Tib.): A structure, usually built to house funeral relics, or other precious remains. Built as a symbol of the subtle Yoga-Body. (Skt: Stupa). CONSCIOUSNESS-TRANSFERENCE YOGA: The Yoga which confers the power to transfer the consciousness-principle from the human body, at will. (Tib: Phowa). One of the 'Six Yogas' of Siddha Naropa. DAKINI (Skt.): Heavenly Goddess, 'angel'. Guardians of the esoteric teachings, personifications of the cosmic feminine energy, sometimes creative, sometimes destructive. They play an important part in the Tantric hierarchy. (Tib: Khandroma). DALAI LAMA (Tib.): The incarnate spiritual Head of the Gelugpa sect. The Ruler of Tibet from 1642 until the Chinese invasion of 1958/9. The present Dalai Lama is the fourteenth incarnation. DAMARU (Tib.): A double-sided ritual drum. DAM NGAGS (Tib.): The 'Oral Transmission' of the secret teachings. Many of the Tantric teachings were never written down, but passed directly from teacher to disciple. DANGWANG (Tib.): The control of the pitch and resonance of the voice. An important aspect of ritual chanting. DEUTSE (Tib.): Sacramental medicine, composed of five herbs noted for their powerful curative properties. The 'Five Elixirs' (Skt: Panchamrita). DHARMA (Skt.): Religious Doctrine. The Buddhist Law, governing all aspects of existence. (Tib: Chos). DHARMADHATU (Skt.): Absolute Truth. The 'Universal Whole'. The ultimate location of everything. DHYANI-BUDDHA (Skt.): There are five Buddha-aspects;Amitabha, Aksobhya, Amoghasiddhi, Ratnasambhava and Vairocana. These are known as DhyaniBuddhas, each of which has an all-important part in the great transformation. They are the expressions of the varied Tantric teachings and form the basis of every Buddhist Mandala. DOHA (Skt.): Mystic song, as sung by the Siddhas. This form probably originated in Eastern India, where wandering Holy Men (Sadhus) can still be heard to sing them. DOLMA (Tib.): The Great Mother Goddess and Saviouress a personification of peaceful and helpful influences. She has twenty-one different forms. (Skt. Tara).

DOLMA YESHE KORLO (Tib.): The Mystic Circle of the emanations of the Goddess Dolma. 212


DORJE (Tib.): The Adamantine ('Diamond') Sceptre. Symbol of the Vajrayana, the Tantric Way of Buddhism. (Skt: Vajra). DORJE CHANG (Tib.): The Celestial Buddha, the Root-Guru of the Kargyudpa sect. Usually dark blue in colour, he holds a Sceptre and Bell, symbolic of the Union of Wisdom and Means. (Skt. Vajradhara). DORJE NALJORMA (Tib.): See Vajrayogini. DORJE PHAGMO (Tib.): See Vajravarahi. DREAM YOGA: The Yoga which arouses the consciousness from both the sleeping and waking 'dream-states' of Samsaric existence to a true undeluded Conscious state (Nirvana). One of the 'Six Yogas' of Siddha Naropa. DRONGJUG (Tib.): The Yoga of Transformation, used for the animation of corpses. DRUP DE (Tib.): The place where a community of monks practises meditation,in caves or other retreats. DR UPTOP (Tib.): See Siddha. DZICHIM (Tib.): A precious metal, with properties of spiritual power, made or found by magical means. There are various colours of this precious material, used for casting bronze statues and protective talismans. DZOGCHEN (Tib.): The Tantra of Non-Duality. A meditative Way, followed particularly by adherents of the Nyingmapa sect. It is called the 'Great Perfection'. (Skt: Mahasampanna). EKADHA TU (Skt.): 'One Element'. A particular metal used for the casting of sacred objects. EKAJAT A (Skt.): A Tantric form of Mahakali, depicted with one eye, one tooth, one breast and one hair. A secret Mother-Goddess and Protector, especially familiar to the Nyingmapa sect. GAD EN (Tib.) A Paradise, presided over by the Future Buddha Maitreya. GARUDA (Skt.): A huge hawk-like bird, the devourer of snakes and poisons. One of the outer gate-keepers of Mandalas. In the Hindu pantheon Garuda is the vehicle of Vishnu, 'Lord of the Universe'. (Tib: Khyung). GAU (Tib.): An amulet-box, reliquary. Usually made of metal. GELONG (Tib.): An ordained monk. GELUGPA (Tib.): The 'Reformed' sect of Tibetan Buddhism, founded by Je Tsongkhapa. It is the 'Yellow Hat' sect. The Dalai Lama is their reincarnate Teacher. GE NYEN (Tib.): The primary ordination, given to both lay-people and monks. Various Buddhist vows are taken at this time. GESHE (Tib.): 'Doctor of Divinity'. An honorific title, usually received after passing difficult religious examinations. GE TSUL (Tib.): A novitiate monk. An ordination of ten vows. 213


GHANTA (Skt.): Ritual Bell, symbolic of the female principle. (Tib: Trilbu). GIRl (Skt.): One of the ten orders of ascetics of Shankaracharya. It denotes one who lives in forests and foothills. GOMCHEN (Tib.): Ascetic. (Skt: Yogi). GONPO (Tib): A Protector. Especially used for Mahakala, the Great Time Deity. usually black of colour and very wrathful. GREAT PERFECTION: See Dzogchen. GUHY ASAMAJA (Skt.): The name of a Tantric Tutelary Deity, the embodiment of a specific esoteric teaching. GURU (Skt.): Teacher, Master. (Tib: Lama). GYALWA (Tib.): 'Victorious One'. A title of a Bodhisattva. The honorific name of H. H. The Karmapa Lama and H. H. The Dalai Lama. GYALWA GYAMTSO (Tib.): A red, four-armed form of Avalokiteshwara. HA YAGRIVA (Tib.): A horse-headed Tantric Deity. (Tib: Tamdrin). HEART DROP: The Dzogchen Nying-Thig. The Tantric doctrines of Vimalamitra, as taught mainly by the Nyingmapa sect. The Maha Ati doctrines. HERUKA (Skt.): Wrathful Tantric Deities, usually winged.The embodiment of the male qualities of Buddhahood, they unite with the Dakinis of certain realms. HEVAJRA (Skt.): An important Tantric Tutelary Deity, the mystic aspect of the Teacher. Hevajra means 'The Indestructible', 'The Adamantine One'. Depicted usually blue of colour, dancing, with sixteen arms, embracing his consort Nairatma ('Non-self'). It is also the name of a Tantra which gives the explanations and mystic symbolism of this form. HINAYANA (Skt.): The ancient Theravada tradition of Buddhism, as currently practised in Ceylon, Burma, Thailand and Cambodia. ILLUSORY-BODY YOGA: The Yoga through which Full Knowledge of the purely relative existence of natural phenomena is attained. (Tib: Gyu-lu). One of the 'Six Yogas' of Siddha Naropa. INNER-HEAT YOGA: The Yoga through which Psychic Energy is developed and controlled, creating a source of inner warmth and invulnerability to extreme cold. (Tib: Tummo ). One of the 'Six Yogas' of Siddha Naropa. INTERMEDIATE-STATE YOGA: The Yoga through which the transition through the Intermediate State between death and re-birth can be controlled and transcended. (Tib: Bardo). One of the 'Six Yogas' of Siddha Naropa. JAMBHALA (Skt.): The God of Wealth. Usually depicted holding a mongoose. JNANA DAKINI (Skt.): A Wisdom-holding Goddess (Dakini). (Tib: Yeshe Khandroma). KADAMPA (Tib.): A sect of Buddhism in Tibet, founded by Pandit Atisha in the eleventh century. It influenced the Kargyud pa and later sects. KALACHAKRA (Skt.): An important Tantric Tutelary Deity, the mystic aspect 214


of the Teacher. Kalachakra means 'Cycle of Time', and is depicted blue of colour, with twenty-four arms, embracing his consort. Also the name of a Tantra, which gives the relationships between the Yoga-Body and the Astrological patterns and cycles. (Tib: Duskor). KALI (Skt.): The Mother Goddess, of the Hindu pantheon. Dark and wrathful externally, she conceals her inner compassionate nature. The spouse of Kala, 'Time'. (Tib: Lhamo). KALI YUGA (Skt.): The last of the Four Ages, which make up the Great Time Cycle (Mahayuga) of the Indian classical tradition. It is the present Dark Age, of egotism and dissention. KANG RINPOCHE (Tib.): Mount Kailash, in Western Tibet. The main place of pilgrimage for both Buddhists and Hindus. This mountain can be understood as an initiatory Mandala. KANJUR (Tib.): Canonical literature, 'Translation of the Buddha Word' consisting of Vinaya Sutras, the Prajnaparamita, the Mahayana Sutras and various meditative and ritual instructions (Tantras). About one hundred volumes in entirety, attributed to Lord Buddha himself. KARGYUDPA (Tib.): A sect of Buddhism in Tibet, founded by Marpa 'The Translator', in the eleventh century. The sect which especially stresses the importance of the 'Oral Transmission'. KARIKA (Skt.): A commentary on the Sutras. KARMA (Skt.): Action and reaction, understood as One. The course of events. Destiny, self-made. KARMAPA (Skt./Tib.): 'Man of Action'. 'Man of Karma'. The name of the Gyalwa Karmapa, founder of the Karma-branch of the great Kargyudpa sect in Tibet. Leader of the 'Black Hat' Buddhists. KHENCHEN (Hon. Tib.): See Khenpo. KHANDROMA (Tib.): See Dakini. KAZHIPA (Tib.): An Order, denoting spiritual attainment. One who is especially fit for bestowing monastic ordination. KHENPO (Tib.): Abbot of a monastery, and in charge of monastic and academic studies. KURUKULLA (Skt.): A Tantric form of the Goddess Tara, depicted holding a bow and arrow made of flowers. KUSHINAGARA: The pilgrimage-place in U.P., India, the site of the Paranirvana of Lord Buddha. LAMA (Tib.): Teacher, Guru. A Superior Man. (Skt: Guru). LAMRIM (Tib.): Meditation Way. LHAMO (Tib.): A Mother-Goddess. A female Divinity, usually of a wrathful nature, but boon-bestowing. (Skt: Matrika). 215


LIGHT YOGA: The Yoga through which Knowledge of the Void, from whichall phenomena are made visible, is attained. (Tib: Osal). One of the 'Six Yogas' of Siddha Naropa. LI KADUR (Tib.): A metallic compound, used for the casting of images and bells. LOTSAWA (Tib.): A Translator of the Buddhist teachings. LUMBINI: The birthplace of Lord Buddha, in Nepal. LUNG (Tib.): 'Wind'. An empowerment, or authorisation. MADHYAMIKA ( Skt.): A philosophical concept, as expounded by the Siddha Nagarjuna. The 'Middle Way' of Buddhism. MAHAKALA (Skt.): The Great Time Deity, a Tantric Protector, especially of the Kargyudpa sect. He is usually depicted as being extremely wrathful, black of cvlour, and holding a skull-cup and chopper. A Guardian of deep secrets,his consort is the Mahakali. (Tib: Gonpo Nakpo Chen). MAHAKALAKAKAMUKHA (Skt.): The crow-headed form of Mahakala. In the form of a cremation-oracle. MAHAMA Y A (Skt.): The Great Illusion. The name of a Tutelary Deity and the teachings concerning the overcoming of illusion. MAHAMUDRA (Skt.): The Great Sign, Great Symbol. The Inexpressible, the Highest Teaching. A mystic concept, especially held by the KarmaKargyudpas. (Tib: 'Chakya Chenpo '). MAHAYANA (Skt.): The 'Greater Way' of Northern Buddhism, as opposed to the Hinayana ('Lesser Way') of the South. The teachings of Mahayana stress the Bodhisattva path, and incorporate the Tantras as the means to the activation of compassion. The Vajrayana is the inner part of the Mahayana. MAHAYOGINl TANTRA (Skt.): The esoteric teaching of the Great Yogini Cycle. (Tib: Naljorma Gyud). MAITREYA (Skt.): The Future Buddha, from the West. He is usually depicted seated on a throne, with a Stupa over his head. MAITRI (Skt.): Compassion. The essence of action as a Bodhisattva. MALLA (Skt.): A rosary, used for counting Mantras. Prayer-beads. MANDALA (Skt.): A Mystic Circle, generally used to convey initiations. Symbols and expressions of the psychological processes of unfoldment and integration. (Tib: Korlo ). MANI (Skt.): Jewel, in the mystic sense. The philosopher's stone. The 'Mani' Mantra is of the Compassionate Bodhisattva Avalokiteshwara. MANJUGHOSA (Skt.): A form of the Bodhisattva Manjusri. MANJUSRI (Skt.): The Great Compassionate Bodhisattva of Wisdom. The embodiment of All Learning. He is usually shown holding a sword and a book. (Tib: jambyang). MANTRA (Skt.): Mystic sound-syllables, composed of vowels and consonants. 216


Understood as the component vibrations of the Universe. Used for controlling the Mind and for transforming it. MANTRAYANA (Skt.): The Way of Mantra-practice. MATRIKA (Skt.): Mother Goddess. Forms of Mahakali. MUDRA (Skt.): Gesture, 'Seal', Consort. A mystic term, with many meanings in different contexts. As Mahamudra, the Higher Teaching. MULA (Skt.): 'Root'. As Root-Guru. Root-Teaching. NADI (Skt.): The subtle nerve-channels of the Yoga-Body. (Tib: Tsa). NAIRATMA (Skt.): A Wisdom-holding Dakini, embodiment of the 'Non-self Consort of Hevajra. (Tib: Dagmema). NAGA (Skt.): A snake or serpent, Guardians of the underworld, treasures and certain esoteric secrets. (Tib: Lu). NAMCHAK (Tib.): Literally 'Sky-fallen'. The name given to meteorite-metal. Used for ritual objects and talismans. NARO CHOS DRUG (Tib.): The 'Six Yogas' of Siddha Naropa: (i) Inner-Heat Yoga, (ii) Illusory-Body Yoga, (iii) Dream Yoga, (iv) Light Yoga, (v) Intermediate-State Yoga and (vi) Consciousness-Transference Yoga. NARO KHANDROMA (Tib.): An emanation of the Great Dakini, in the form in which she revealed herself to the Siddha Naropa. (Skt: Sarvabuddha Dakini). NATH (Skt.): 'Lord'. The name of a sect of Sadhus in India. A title of Shiva, Lord of Yoga. NIRVANA (Skt.): The final extinction of the false idea of self. Freedom from the suffering of Samsara. NORBU (Tib.): Gem. The Wish-granting Gem. (Skt: Maharatna). NORBU KOR SEMS (Tib.): Particular esoteric teachings revealed to the Siddha Tilopa. (Lit: 'Jewel-Mind Cycle'). NYEN ZOG (Tib.): Full ordination, of 25 3 vows. NYINGMAPA (Tib.): The original ('Old') sect of Buddhism in Tibet, founded by Guru Padmasambhava, the Lotus-born. Closely related to the Kargyudpa sect. NYING THIG (Tib.): See Heart Drop. PADMA (Skt.): Lotus. Mystically as well as actually. Symbol of femininity. PADMASAMBHAVA: A native of Urgyen, Guru Padmasambhava visited Tibet in the middle of the eighth century, at the request of the Tibetan King. He subdued the Shamanist demons and established Tantric Buddhism. Founder of the Nyingmapa sect. He is also known as Padma Jungnay or Guru Rinpoche. PANCHAMRITA (Skt.): The Five Elixirs, of medicinal herbs. A sacrament. PANDITA (Skt.): Scholar-Teacher. A learned man of great repute. PARANIRVANA (Skt.): 'Beyond Nirvana'. The passing of a Bodhisattva, the Greater Enlightenment, away from this world. 217


PAWO (Tib.): Hero. The name given to the Siddha Choswang Lhundrup, who became the first Pawo Rinpoche. PHOWA (Tib.): See Transference Yoga. PHY AGY A CHENPO (Tib.): See Mahamudra. POTALA (Tib.): The Great Palace of the Dalai Lamas, in Lhasa, largely built in the seventeenth century. It is situated on a hill overlooking the city, a site used for fortresses and monasteries for many centuries previously. PRAJNAMULA (Skt.): The Root-Wisdom teachings, related to the great Prajnaparamita. PRAJNAPARAMITA (Skt.): 'The Perfection of Wisdom'. The treatise containing the essence of Mahayana, revealed to the Siddha Nagarjuna, The book exists in many different lengths, from a few verses to many hundreds of pages. The principle theme is the concept of Voidness (Sunyata). PRATIMOKSHA (Skt.): A treatise concerning monastic rules. PUMBA (Tib.): Elixir Jar. (Skt: Kalasha). PURPA DRUP CHEN (Tib.): See Vajrakila. PURPAKILA (Tib.): See Vajrakila. RABJUM (Tib.): The first step of ordination, of 5 vows. RANGJUNG (Tib.): Self-originated. See Swayambhu. RINPOCHE (Tib.): Literally'Precious One', the honorific title given to High Lamas and Teachers. RINSHEL (Tib.): Precious relics in the form of small, hard, shining particles, sometimes found among the funeral ashes of Saints or Holy Men. They are of many different kinds and have great esoteric significance. They are much sought after by devotees, and are usually preserved in Stupas or statues. SADHU (Skt.): An Indian Holy Man. An Ascetic. SAKYA (Skt.): The name of the early sect of Buddhism in Tibet, founded by Lama Drogmi. A 'Red Hat' sect. SAKY A LAMA: The Leader of the Sakya sect. The Sakya Pandita. SAKYAPA (Tib.): 'Of the Sakya sect'. SAKYAMUNI (Skt.): Gautama the Buddha, born in Lumbini. Founder of Buddhism. SAKY A PANDITA (Skt.): Sakya Kunga Gyaltsen ( 1182-1251). SAMANTABHADRA (Skt.): The first Bodhisattva. The Adi-Buddha of the Nyingmapa sect. (Tib: Kuntu Zangpo ). SAMSARA (Skt.): The Cycle of Existence; birth, old-age and death. The infinite interaction of cause and effect. SANGHA (Skt.): The Order of Buddhist monks and nuns. (Tib: Gedun). SARASWATI (Skt.): The Goddess of Learning and the Arts. (Tib: Yang Chenma). 218


SARNATH: The deer-park, near Benares, U.P., India, where Gautama Buddha first proclaimed the Dharma. SARVABUDDHA DAKINI (Skt.): The Tantric Dakini who embodies the Wisdom of all the Buddhas and who initiated the Siddha Naropa into the mysteries of Buddhist esoterism. SHAMAR (Tib.): The 'Red Hat' Lama of the Karma-Kargyudpa sect. SHAMBALA (Tib.): A mythical country of uncertain location, thought to be to the North West of Urgyen, from where the Kalachakra Tantra is said to have originated, the King of Shambala having written the treatise down after listening to Lord Buddha discourse on the subject. Recent evidence suggests it can be identified with the Sambalpur area of Orissa. SHES DA (Tib.): School of Philosophy. SHINJE (Tib.): Protector of the Buddhist Dharma, the Great Lord of Death. (Skt: Yama). SIDDHA (Skt.): A Perfected Being. A Saint. SIDDHI (Skt.): Yogic powers, attained through inner development. SIX DOCTRINES/YOGAS: See Naro Chos Drug. STUPA (Skt.): See Chorten. SUBTLE BREATH: A Yogic technique developed by the Indian Siddhas, by which means Psychic Energy is circulated through the subtle nerve-channels. (Tib: Tsa Lung). SUTRA (Skt.): Discourses of Lord Buddha. A 'song'. Scriptural text. SWAYAMBHU (Skt.): Self-originated. Naturally-formed. (Tib: Rangjung). TAMDRIN (Tib.): See Hayagriva. TANJUR (Tib.): Canonical literature, consisting of translated works of individual Indian Masters (Siddhas), being the commentaries on the Sutras and Tantras. Various later theories and practices are also included in the Tanjur, which generally comprises about two hundred volumes. TANTRA (Skt.): Teachings outlining mystic practices as the most direct way to Enlightenment. The esoteric teachings specific for the Kali Yuga, this Dark Age. (Tib: Gyud). TARA (Skt.): The Compassionate Mother Goddess, generally green or white of colour. (Tib: Dolma). TATHAGATA (Skt.): Gautama, Lord Buddha. Lit: 'He who exists only as such'. TERCHEN (Tib): A store of hidden treasure. An honorific title. TERCHOS (Tib.): Literally 'Treasure of the Dharma'. Teachings traditionally hidden by Guru Padmasambha va. TERMA (Tib.): Treasure. A teaching, text or religious object, which has been revealed for the propagation of the Dharma. 219


TERTON (Tib.): One who reveals hidden treasures or teachings, usually an incarnate Lama. (Skt. Vidyadhara). THANGKA (Tib.): A scroll painting. Usually mounted on a banner. TIKA (Skt.): A detailed explanation of a Sutra. TORMA (Tib.): An offering-cake, usually made of barley-flour, butter and sugar. Coloured with various intricate designs, they are offered to the invoked Deities and are then frequently distributed amongst those participating in the rites. TRILBU (Tib.): Ritual Bell. (Skt: Ghanta.) TSA LUNG (Tib.): See Subtle Breath. TSECHU (Tib.): Ceremony of the Eight Manifestations of Guru Padmasambhava. TSEPAMED (Tib.): The Buddha of Boundless Life. (Skt: Amitayus). TULKU (Tib.): An Incarnate Lama. TUMMO (Tib.): See Inner Heat Yoga. TUSHITA (Skt.): See Gaden. TUTELARY: See Yidam. URGYEN: The native country of Guru Padmasambhava. Most likely modern Orissa. VAJRA (Skt.): The Adamantine Sceptre, symbol of the Vajrayana. The expression of masculinity. (Tib: Dorje ). VAJRADAKINI (Skt.): The Vajra-Goddess. The ini'tiatory aspect of femininity. VAJRADHARA (Skt.): The Celestial Buddha, the Root-Guru of the Kargyudpa sect. (Tib: Dorje Chang). VAJRAHUMKARA MUDRA (Skt.): The mystic gesture (Mudra) oftheCelestial Buddha Vajradhara, in which the hands are crossed over the chest. Symbolic of the seed-syllable 'Hum', an expression of the Great Void. VAJRAKILA (Skt.): A fierce Tantric Deity, in the form of a winged knife with a tri-blade. Invoked in times of extreme misfortune. A highly mystical form. An initiation. (Tib: Dorje Purpa). VAJRA MUKUT: The Black Vajra-Hat, presented to the Fifth Karmapa by the Chinese Emperor Tai Ming Chen. The mere sight of this Hat is said to confer Liberation. VAJRAPANI (Skt.): The name of a Bodhisattva and Protector, usually depicted holding a Vajra in the right hand. He manifests both peacefully and wrathfully. (Tib: Chana Dorje). VAJRASATTVA (Skt.): The Higher Aspect of the Dhyani-Buddhas, and an embodiment of the Celestial Buddha Vajradhara. He is generally white in colour and is depicted holding a Sceptre (Vajra) above a Bell (Ghanta). (Tib: Dorje Semspa). VAJRAVARAHI (Skt.): The Sow-headed Goddess, a Guardian of secrets. Symbol 220


of the Great subtle-nerve (Sushumna) and a most important Protector of the Karmapas. (Tib: Dorje Phagmo). VAJRA YANA (Skt.): The Way of the Vajra. The Adamantine Path, leading quickly to Enlightenment. VAJRAYOGINI (Skt.): The Bliss-Dakini, who dances ecstatically. An important and highly symbolical Tantric concept of femininity. Symbol of the Subtle Fire. (Tib: Dorje Naljorma). VARSHA (Skt.): The period of retreat during the rainy season, when monks are forbidden to travel. (Tib: Yarnay). VEDA (Skt.): The ancient hymns and scriptures of the Hindu Brahmanic tradition. VINAYAPUSPAMALLA (Skt.): A text relating to the Vinaya Sutras. VINAYA SUTRAS (Skt.): A section of the Buddhist canon, concerning religious discipline. A basic text of the Hinayana tradition, included in the Kanjur. VIRA (Skt.): Hero. (Tib: Pawo). VISHNU: 'Lord of the Universe', in the Hindu pantheon. WANG (Tib.): Empowerment, Initiation. The mystic transmission of a teaching. Also Wangkur. YAB-YUM (Tib.): The Male/Female aspec;t of Divinity, combined as One, indicating the Union of all Dualities. The One-ness, freed from polarity. YAMANTAKA (Skt.): A Tantric Tutelary Deity, a Protector of the Buddhist Dharma. Usually depicted in a wrathful form, with a hull's head and thirtyfour arms. YANG CHENMA (Tib.): See Saraswati. YESHE (Tib.): Wisdom. YIDAM (Tib.): Tutelary Deity. Protector and benefactor, in the esoteric sense. The mysticform of the Teacher and the embodiment of the secret teachings. (Skt: Istadevata). YOGA (Skt.): Cosmic Union. The aim of all spiritual endeavour. YOGI (Skt.): One who practises Yoga. YOGINI (Skt.): A female Yogi. ZHAMAR (Tib.): 'Red Hat'. See Shamar. ZHANAG (Tib.): 'Black Hat'. See Vajra Mukut. ZI STONE: A form of precious banded agate, highly prized by Tibetans. (Tib: Zi).



SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY Bell, C., Tibet Past and Present, (Oxford 1968). Bhattacharyya. B., Buddhist Esoterism, (Benares 1964 ). Chandra, L. The Autobiography and Diaries of Situ Panchen, in Tibetan, with English forward by E. Gene Smith, (Delhi 1969). Chandra, L., Khongtrul's Encyclopaedia of Indo-Tibetan Culture, in Tibetan, with English forward by E. Gene Smith, (Delhi 1969). Chang, G. C. C., The Hundred Thousand Songs ofMilarepa, (New York 1962). Chang, G. C. C., Teachings of Tibetan Yoga, (New York 1963). Chang, G. C. C., Esoteric Teachings of the Tibetan Tantra, (New York 1968). Clarke, H., The Message of Milarepa, (London 1958). Dalai Lama, 14th., My Land and My People, (London 1962). Dalai Lama, 14th., The Opening of the Wisdom Eye, (Bangkok 1968). Das, S. C., journey to Lhasa and Central Tibet, (Delhi 1970). Das. S. C., Contributions on the Religion and History of Tibet, (Delhi 1970). Dasgupta, S., An Introduction to Tantric Buddhism, (Calcutta 1950). Dasgupta, S., Obscure Religious Cults, (Calcutta 1962). Datta, B. N., Mystic Tales of Lama Taranatha, (Calcutta 1957). David-Ned, A., Initiations and Initiates in Tibet, (London 1958). David-Ned, A., The Superhuman Life ofGesar of Ling, (London 1959). Desjardins, A., The Message of the Tibetans, (London 1969). Douglas, N., Tantra Yoga, (New Delhi 1971). Ekvall, R. S., Religious Observances in Tibet, (Chicago 1964 ). Evans-Wentz, W. Y., Tibet's Great Yogi Milarepa, (Oxford 1951). Evans-Wentz, W. Y ., The Tibetan Book of Great Liberation, (Oxford 1954). Evans-Wentz, W. Y., The Tibetan Book ofthe Dead, (Oxford 1956). Evans-Wentz, W. Y., Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines, (Oxford 1958). Ferrari, A., Mk'yen-Brtse's Guide to the Holy Places of Central Tibet, completed and edited by L. Petech and H. E. Richardson, (Rome 1958). Gordon, A. K., An Iconography of Tibetan Lamaism, (New York 1959). Govinda, A., Foundations of Tibetan Mysticism, (London 1962). Govinda, A., The Way of the White Clouds, (London 1966). Guenther, H. V., Gampopa: The jewel Ornament of Liberation, (London 1959). Guenther, H. V., The Life and Teaching ofNaropa, (Oxford 1963). Guenther, H. V., Yuganaddha: The Tantric View of Life, (Benares 1964). Guenther, H. V., The Royal Song of Saraha, (Seattle 1969). Hoffman, H., The Religions of Tibet, (London 1961). Kawaguchi, E., Three Years in Tibet, (Madras 1909). Latourette, K. S., The Chinese: Their History and Culture, (New York 1956). 225


Legshay, K., & Gyaltsan, D., History of the Karma-Kargyudpa Sect, in Tibetan, with introduction in English. From Situ Choskyi Jungnes and Belo Tsewang Kunchab, (New Delhi 1972). Li An-Che., The Kargyudpa Sect of Lamaism, an article in the Journal of the American Oriental Society, ( 1949). Nebesky-Wojkowitz, R., Oracles and Demons of Tibet, (The Hague 1956). Norbu, T. J., Tibet is my Country, (London 1960). Pallis, M., Peaks and Lamas, (London 1946). Pranavananda, S., Exploration in Tibet, (Calcutta 1950). Prawdin, M., The Mongol Empire: Its Rise and Legacy, (London 1941). Regmi, D. R., Medieval Nepal, (Kathmandu 1970). Richardson, H. E., Tibet and its History, (London 1962). Richardson, H. E., The Karmapa Sect, articles in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, (1958 and 1959). Roerich, G. N., The Blue Annals of Zhonupal, two volumes, (Calcutta 1949 and 195 3). Sahu, N. K., Buddhism in Orissa, (Utkal University, Cuttack, 195 8). Shakabpa, T. W. D., Tibet: A Political History, (New Haven 1967). Snellgrove, D. L., The Hevajra Tantra, a translation from the Tibetan, (London 1959). Snellgrove, D. L., Four Lamas of Dolpo, a translation from the Tibetan, (Oxford 1967). Snellgrove & Richardson., A Cultural History of Tibet, (London 1968). Trungpa, C., Born in Tibet, (London 1966). Trungpa, C., Mudra, (Berkeley 1972). Tucci, G., Tibet, (London 1967). Tucci, G., To Lhasa and Beyond, (Rome 1956). Tucci, G., Tibetan Painted Scrolls, three volumes, (Rome, 1949). Tucci, G., Travels of Tibetan Pilgrims in the Swat Valley, (Calcutta 1940). Tucci, G., The Debter Marpo Sarma: Tibetan Chronicles, (Rome 1971). Tucci, G., Theory and Practice of the Mandala, (London 1971). Waddell, L.A., Lamaism: The Buddhism of Tibet, (Cambridge 1967). Warder, A. K., Indian Buddhism, (New Delhi 1970). Wright, D., History of Nepal, translated from the Parbatiya by Shankar Singh & Gunanand, edited by D. Wright, (Calcutta 1958). Wylie, T. V., The Geography of Tibet According to the Dzam Ling Rgyas Bshad, (Rome 1962).


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INDEX A-lu Rong 54 A-Lu Shekar 157 Abhidharma 77, -kosha 81, 113 Abhayakirti 11 Adi Buddha 7, 68, 131 Ajanta,caves 114,117,121 Akong Tulku 176 Ali-Kali 67 Ama Drum 73 Amdo,province 73,89 Amdo Tsong Kha, province 43, 57 America 121, 1 71, 172 Amitabha 54 Amitayus 69, 79 An Jam 73 Arhat, 16th 62 Arhats 62, 67 Ariq Boga 43 Arya Deva 6 Ashoka, King 133 Assam 7 Athu~pa~ce107, 109,151 Atisha 12, 15, 16, 37,93,133 Avadhutipa, Siddha 13, 167 Avalokiteshwara intra, 16, 36, 41, 48, 50, 5~62,63,65,67,79,84,94, 115,126, 131, 133 Azi Wangmo, Her Royal Highness 117 Bahram 25 Bahrampa Kargyud 25 Balachandra, Siddha 20 Batsa Trag Delwa 36 Bengal 5, 7, 11, 12 Bhatgaon 95 Bheri 45, 86 Bheri, Chieftain Donyo Dorje 86, 89 Bhutan 26, 49, 81, 86, 102, 103, 113, 114, 117-21,138,159,170,174,177,180 Bihar 26 Biyu Phug 76 Black Hat, of the Karmapas 16, 63, 64, 67, 70, 83, 91, 96,109,111,114, 115,140, 145 "Bod Kyong Ten Ma Chu Nyi Sol Chod" 126 Bodh Gaya 46, 70, 71, 114, 117, 121 Bodhanath, Stupa 93, 117, 139, 147 Bodhibhadra 12

Bodhisattva Avalokiteshwara (see Avalokiteshwara) Bodhisattva Manjusri (seeManjusri) Bodhisattva Samantabhadra (see Samantabhadra) Bodhisattva Vajrapani (see Vajrapani) Bodong Ring Tsepa 46 Bok Yul87 Bonpo Gon 101 Bonpo,sect50,52,89, 147,167 'Brom-ston (see Lama Domtonpa) Bumthang, district 113, 118, 121 Burma 64 Buton 52 Calcutta 121 Carpati, Siddha 20 Catighavo 7 Ceylon 12, 3 5, 46 "Cha.g Chen" 134 Chag Dor 131 Chakrasamvara (-Tantra) 5, 7, 13, 24, 25, 33, 35,41,4~47,4~50,51, 54, 55, 65,66,70,77,81,91,99,102, 113, 12~ 128, 155, 194 Chamdo 80, 115, 176 Champa Trak, rock 128 Cham Sar 76 Chandrakirti 6, illustration p.B Chandraprabhakumara 2 3 Chang, province 58, 80,115,158 Changden 44 Chang Mo, region 69, (Sar) 145 Chang Mow a 8 3 Chang-Kai-Shek, Genera/113 Chang Namshung 144 Chang-shoi 9 5 Changchub Dorje (see Karmapa 12th) Changchub Pal 178 Chawa Drong 96 Chema Lung 144 Cheng Te, Emperor (see Wu Tsung) Cheng Tsu, Emperor (see Emperor Yung-Lo) Chepa Choskyi Senge 3 3 Chi'enLung, Emperor 157 Chi Ew, King 84 Chi-ew 95 "gChig-shes Kun-grol" 122 Chimlung 20



Chin Chow On 49 China 26, 39, 42-44, 46, 49-52, 54-57, 61, 62, 64, 76, 80, 94, 96, 113, 115, 117,118, 133, 149, 15~5~ 168 Ching-chi-ew 9 5 Ching-ni 95 Chite 110 Chittagong 7 Chod, rites 48, 126 "Chod Kyi Tsog Khor" 126 Chogyam Trungpa (see Trungpa Tulku, 11th incarnation) Chong, Rinpoche 115 Chos Gon 111 "Chos Ling Tertin Kyi Purpa Drup Chen" 115, 125 Chos-Nyid-rNam-'byed 72 "Chos-sKu mTsub-bTsug" 82 Chos Trag Gyamtso (see Karmapa 7th) Chos Ying Dorje (see Karmapa lOth) Chosde Tak Mar 80 Chosdzin (see Karmapa 2nd) Chos je Marwa Druptop 25 Chosje Senge Gyalpo 177 Choskyi Lama (see Karmapa 2nd) 41 Choskyi Trakpa (see Karmapa 1st) 3 3 Chospa Jigten Sumgun 36 Chospal Zangpo 61 Chosphel44 Choswang Tulku 100 Cittasodhanaprakarana 7 Clear Light Teachings (see Yoga of Clear Light) Dabzang, Rinpoche (Tulku), 1st 100, Present 175 Dagmema 15, 19 Dakchen, Rinpoche 85 Dakini 5, 7, 13, 35, 36, 41, 42, 46, 50, 54, 59,64, 127,128,178 Dalai Lama, 4th incarnation 89 5th incarnation 85, 86, 88, 90, 164 7th incarnation 96, 98 8th incarnation 96, 98 13th incarnation 101, 109 14th incarnation 115, 117, illustration p.122, 127, 133, 152, 173 General reference 60 Dalhousie 26 Dam, province 50 Dam Chu 73


Dam Chung 113 Dam Gon Phug, cave 111 Dam Ngags 82, (Ora/Teachings) 88, 93, 96, 97, 101, 102, 111 Dam Ngags Zod 122, 134 Dam Shung 49 Dampa Choschug 3 5 Dampa Kunga, Rinpoche 85 Danang 99 Dangwang 12 5 Darikapada, Siddha 6, illustration p.B, 13 Darjeeling 117, 172, 178 Dawa-Chu-Shel-Gyi-Treng-Wa 31 "De Chung Wang Gi Gyalpo" 131 De Ringpa 178 Deb-Ter-Mar-Po 26 Deb-Ter-Ngon-Po 31 DebzhinShegpa (see Karmapa 5th) Dechang Yeshe Palwar 110 Dechen Teng 143 Dechung Sangyepa 36 Delgo Khyentse, Rinpoche 174 Demchog (see Chakrasamvara) Den, province 42 Den Gom 44 Denkhok 74, 107 Depa Rinpungpa 80 Derge,province93, 107,151,167, Ruler of Derge 128 Desheg Thangpa, Siddha-Protector 143 Deutse 53 Dharamsala 118, 152 Dharmakirti 13, 74, 77, 78, (see Karmapa 4th) 55 Dharmamati 15 Dharmadhoti 131 Dharma Wangchug 25 Dhinaga 74 Dhobipa, Siddha 6, illustration p.B DhyaniBuddhasl6, 126 Dipamkara Atisha (see Atisha) mDo-bDe-rGyen 72 Do Khams, province 33, 35, 99, 115 Dodrup Tulku 100 Doha, songs 41, 72 "Dolkar Ngodrup Kuntsol" 126 Dolma (see Tara) "Dolma Mandai Zhi Chog" 125 Dolma Ngodrup Pel Barma 129 Dolma Yeshe Khorlo 3 5 Dolpo, province 51


Dombhi Heruka, Siddba (also Dombhipa) 12, 16, 144 Domed, region 117, 145 Domtonpa (see Lama Domtonpa) Donyer Gyaltsen Zangkyong 109 Donyo Dorje 72 Don yo Dorje, of Bberi 89 Dor 16 Dorje Chang (see Vajradhara) Dorje Dragden 101 Dorje Drolod 126 Dorje Lopon Tenga Tulku 176 Dorje Naljorma (see Vajrayogini) Dor je Pal Tseg 3 5 Dorje Phagmo (see Vajravarahi) Dor je Shonu Dule Namgyal 13 1 Dor je Trilbupa, Siddba 7 Dorje Wangchuk 37 Dorzong Kunchok Gyalpo, Rinpocbe 1 79 Dota 20 mOo-Ting-'Chin-rGyal-Po 37 Drengipa, Siddba 6 Dri, province 42 Dri Chu, river 35 Drigom Repa 20 Drigung Chogyal Phuntsok 146 Drigung Choskyi Gyalpo 59 Drigung Choskyi Gyalwa 157 Drigung Kargyud 24, 36, 180, 181 Drigung Kunga Rinchen 71 Drigung Lotsawa 59 Drigungpa 24, 180 Drigung Ratna 146 Drigung Rinpoche, Lama 64 Drilung Wontod 41 "Drolod Yezor" 126 Drogompa 15 5 Drogon Gyaltsa 25 Drogon Rechen 36, 41, 155 Drogon Tsangpa Gyare 25, 36, 37, 46, 177, 180 Drong Jug 15, 16 Dru Pon Tulku 17 4 Drukchen Chyabgon 177, 178 Drukchen Tulku, 1st incarnation 177, 178 2nd-5th incarnations 178 6th incarnation 95, 157, 178 7th incarnation 97, 99, 100, 178 8th incarnation 100, 101, 178 9th incarnation 102, 110, 278 lOth incarnation 17 8

11th incarnation 17 8 Drukchen Paljor, Rinpocbe 110 Drukpa Kargyud 25, 36, 37, 100, 177, 178, 181 "Drup Chen" 135 Druptop Chos Je Gyal157 "Druptop Kuntu" 134, initiation 113 Druptop Urgyenpa (see Urgyenpa) Dudul Dor je (see Karmapa 13th) Dul-Wa'i Ten 68 Dung Tso Kha La 81 Dunzin Lama 24 Dusum Khyenpa (see Karmapa 1st) "Dvags-brGyud-Grub-Pa'i-Shing-rTa 78 Dvagspo 23 "Dvagspo Ka Bum" 134 Dvagspo Lharje (see Gampopa) Dvagspo Tragkha 3 3 Dza Chu, river 83 Dzalinda 71 Dzi Chim, metal128, 129, 133, 134 Dzigar Choktrul Tulku 101, incarnations 1st-9th 179 Dzigar Dor je Trakpa 131 rDzogs-Chen 52 rDzogs-chen-sNying-Thig 52 Dzogchen Thupten Choskyi Dorje 107 E-Le Temur 49 Ekadhatu, metal128 Ekajata, 3 3, 48 Ellora, caves 114, 117, 121 Emperors of China; Chi'en Lung 157 Monkor Gen 43 Tai Ming Chen (see Emperor Yung-Lo) Tai Tsung 58 Tohan Timur (see Toghon Temur) Tokh Temur 49 Wu Tsung 76 Yung-Lo (Cheng Tsu) 61, 62, 65, 155 Er Kaow 43 "Five Doctrines of Maitreya" (see Maitreya Byams-Chos) Five Elixirs (see Panchamrita) Gaden 35 Gaden Kang Sar 146 Gaden Ling 76 Gampopa 3, 20, illustration p.22, 23-26, 33-35, 41, 54, 95, 113, 175, 178, 180



Gangcham Mingdren 3 3 Gangtok 92, 114, 117, 119 Garuda 40, 57 Gelong Zhonu Pal (see Zhonu Pal) Gelthang, district 164 Gelugpa, sect 59, 60, 64, 72, 82, 85, 86, 89, 98, 133, 150-52 Genyen 59 Gephel (see Karmapa 1st) Geshe Gya Marwa 3 3 Geshe Rigdzin 145 Geshe Zharawa 33 Getsul 59 Ghenghiz (Khan) 45 Giri Sadhus 7 Go Lotsawa Zhonu Pal 31, 146 Go Tsangpa Gonpo Dorje 37, 46, 177 Godan Khan 45 Golok 87, 88, 149 Golok Khansi Tang 83 Gomchen Ser Phuwa 73 Gompa Dorje Gon 33 Gomtsul 25, 3 3 Gon Gyal54 "Gonpo Dorje Ber Nagpo Chen" 126 Gonpo Gya Nakma 128 Gonpo Nakpo Chen 68 (see Mahakala) Gopichandra, Siddha 20 Great Perfection Teachings 48 "Grup-sDe'i gChes-a}o" 78 Guhyasamaja Tantra 13, 16, 48 Gungthang, province 16, 19, 20 Guru Dewa Chenpo Chema Atrong 128 Guru-Lama Yoga of the Karma pas 18 3-98 Guru Rinchen 61 Gushri Khan 85, 86, 90 rGya-Chen-bKa-mDzod 122 "rGya-Chen Pod-drug" 103 Gya Rawa 157 Gyaltsay Born Trakpa 15 5 Gyalten 74 Gyaltsap Dharma Rinchen 78 GyaltsapTulkus, 1st incarnation 67, 69, 162, 163 2nd incarnation 71, 73, 76, 78, 162, 163 3rd incarnation 162, 163 4th incarnation 77, 78, 162, 163 5th incarnation 82, 84, 86, 162-64 6th incarnation 88, 89, 91, 162, 164 7th incarnation 93-96, 162, 164 8th incarnation 99, 100, 162, 164


9th incarnation 162, 165 lOth incarnation 162, 165 lith incarnation 103, 109, 162, 165 12th incarnation 117, 118, 125, 162, 165, (illustration) Lineage and Dates 162-65 Gyalwa Gyamtso 52, 62, 126 (also see Avalokiteshwara) Gyalwa Lingrepa (see Lingrepa Padma Dorje) "Gyalwa Ri-Nga" 90 Gyalwa Yang Gonpa 46, 177 Gyalwa Yung Tonpa 52, 55 "rGyud-bLa-ma" 72 "sGrup-Tobs Kun-'Dus" 103 Hayagriva 143 Heart Drop Doctrine 48, 54 Hevajra (-Tantra) 12, 13, 16, 34, 47, 62, 65, 66,69, 102,162,178 Himachal Pradesh 180 Himalayas 93 Ho Chang-chen 9 5 Hod-gSal (see Yoga of the Clear Light) Ila 43 India 5, 7, 11-13, 15, 16, 20, 26, 36, 39, 44, 4~4~ 52,7~ 95, 96,9~ 114, 11~19, 121, 129, 130, 133, 164, 168, 174, 175, 178, 180 Indrabhuti, Siddha-King 6, 7, 129, 130

Jalandhari, Siddha 7 }ambhala 131 }ambyang Kunga Senge 177 }amgon Khongtrul Tulku, 1st incarnation 100-102, 117, 158, 167 2nd incarnation 103, 107, 109, 114, 167 3rd incarnation 118, 125, 167, 168 (illustration) }amgon Mipham, Rinpoche 167 }ampal Tsulten 102 }ampal Zangpo 145 }aya Mangola, Pandita 157 }ayul178 Je Gampopa (see Gampopa) Je Tsongkhapa (see Tsongkhapa) Je Won Ponlop 17 3 "Je Yah Se Sum" 189 }etari, Siddha 12, 13 }etsun Dolma (see Tara)


Jetsun Jyungon Tulku 95 Jetsun Milarepa (see Milarepa) "Jetsun Milarepa Lhatrup" 126 "rJe-bTsun Ngal-bSo" 78 Jigme (brother of 13th Shamar Tulku) 152 Jigme Dorje Wangchuk (see King of Bhutan) Jigten Gonpo (see Rinchen Pal) Jigten Sumgun 24, 35, 180 Jnanagarbha 15 Jnanasiddhi 7 Jonang, sect 52 Jowo Rinpoche, statue 72 Jowo Ser Lingpa, Siddha 13 3 Jowo Yeshe Norbu 129 Jyang42, 74,80, 87, 88,147,149,157,164 (King of }yang) 74, 80, 87, 147, 149, 157 Kadampa Chos je 181 Kadampa Desheg 36 Kadampa, sect 2 3, 37, 60 Kailash, mountain 99, 114, 180 Kalachakra (-Tantra) 7, 12, 33, 47, 48, 67, 76, 81, 84, 101, 102, 113, 115, 127 Kali Yuga 121 Kalimpong 117, 118 Kalu Rinpoche, Lama 172 Kalzang Chosdun 107 Kam Chu, province 57 Kanchou 59 Kang Rinpoche (see Kailash) Kangar Rinpoche, Lama 110 Kanjur 25, 50, 54, 84, 88, 101, 134, 137, 147 Kansu, province 59 Karakorum 46 Karika 55, 61, 76 "Karma Lingpa Zhi-Tro" 126 Karma Mipham Tsewang Rabten (see Kings of }yang) Karma Pakshi (see Karmapa 2nd) Karma Phuntsok Namgyal, King o [Tsang 84, 89 Karma Tenkyong Wangpo, King of Tsang 85, 86 Karma Tensung Wangpo, King of Tsang 89 Karma Tinlaypa (1st) 70-72, 146, 147, 155 (3rd incarnation) 91, (Present) 183 Karmapa 1st-16th, Lineage and dates 29 Lineage Tree see colour illustration Karmapa 1st 3, 24, 25, 32-36, 41, 42, 66, 111, 129, 155

2nd 41-48, 52, 54, 70, 75, 97, 128, 131, 134 3rd 47-53, 128, 131, 143 4th 54-60, 133, 144 5th 61-65, 133, 144, 145, 155 6th 66-68, 145, 155, 163 7th 40, 69-72, 145, 146, 155, 163 8th 40, 73-78, 128, 131, 146, 155, 156, 163,172 9th 40, 79-82, 119, 146, 147, 156 lOth 2, 4, 10, 14, 18, 40, 83-90, 131, 13 3, 147, 149, 156, 164 11th 91-92, 149, 164 12th 93-95, 149, 150, 164 13th 96-98, 150, 157, 158, 164 14th 99-100, 158, 164, 167 15th 101-103, 128, 131, 151, 158, 165,167 16th 16, 31, 105-22, 129, 131, 151, 152, 158,159, 165,167,168,171,173,178 Karnarepa, Siddha 6 Kashmir 11, 34, 45, 157 Kathmandu 93, 94,139, 147, 149, 150, 175 Kazhipa 71 Kazhipa Rinchen Pal61 Kazi Sherab Gyaltsen 114 Kazi Sonam Gyatso 95, 117 Kenchen Chostrup Senge 77 Kenchen Dodrup Pal 55, 144 Kenchen Karma Donyod 92 Ken chen Shiwa 13 4 Kenchen Sonam Zangpo 145 Kenchen Tashi Oser 101 Kesar of Ling 89, 107 Kha Chab Dorje (see Karmapa 15th) "Kha Chab Dorje Ka Bum" 134 Khachopa 65 Kha Chod Wangpo (see Shamar Tulku 2nd) Kha Chu 44 mKha-Gro rGya-mTso (see Mahayogini) mKha'-spyod-pa 65 Khams, province 24, 25, 35, 49, 59, 67, 73, 80, 86, 88, 91, 94, 97, 99, 101, 109-11, 113, 115, 117, 128, 129, 143, 150, 158, 178,180,181 (Do Khams) 33, 35, 99, 115 Khams-Tsang-Kargyud 24 Khamtrul Choskyi Nyima 157 Khamtrul Jigme Senge 97 Khamtrul Tulkus, 1st-8th 17 8-80 8th incarnation 98 Khandro Bum Dzong Gi Dechen Phug, cave 129



Khandro Kalpa Zang 8 Khara 177 Khasa Drab Chu 118 Khatog Champa Bum 41 Khatog Rigdzin Chenmo 93, 150 "Khe-Phi-Ga-Ton" 31 Khedrup Karma Chagme 147 Khedrup Je 78 Khenpo Choskyi Lama 3 3 Khenpo Dodrup Pal144 Khenpo Mal Duldzin 3 3 Khenpo Nyaphu Sonam Zangpo 61, 145 Khenpo Trangu, 31, 17 5 Khongtrul Tulkus (see Jamgon Khongtrul) Khongtrul Rinpoche of Sechen 117, 122 "Khontrul Ka Bum" 134 "Khorlo Demchog" 125 (see Chakrasamvara) Khyentse Rinpoche, Lama 101, 103, 109, 111, 113, 174 Khyira Repa 20 King Ashoka 13 3 Kings of Bhutan 102, King Jigme Wangchuk 113, 118, 120, 138 King Chi Ew 84 King Ga Thong 81 King Gathung 34 King Indrabhuti (see Indrabhuti) King Karma Chime La wang 87 King Karma Tenkyong Wangpo 85, 86 Kings of }yang 74, 80, 87, 88, 147, 149, 157 Kings of Nepal, King Amsuvarman (Oser Gocha) 129, 134 King Bhaskara Malia 149 King Jagajaya Malia 93 King Jaya Prakasa Malia 97 King Lakshiminara Simha Malia 147 King Mantrasimha 129 King Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev 13 9 King Oser Gocha 129 King Ranajita Malia 94 King Simha Malia 147 King Tribhuvan Bir Bikram Shah Dev 114 King of Sikkim 81 King Srong Tsen Gampo 2 3, 131, 134 King Tri Srong Detsen 41 Kodalipa, Siddba 12 Kokh Mote 76 Kong, province 49 Kongpo, province 51, 54, 61, 67, 70, 74, 81, 85,99, 144,146 Kongpo Kam Ra 74


Krishnacharin, Siddba 5, 12, 167 Krishnayamari Tantra 7 Kublai Khan (Emperor Gorbe La) 42-46 Kukuripa, Siddba 15 "Kun Rig Cho Ga" 126 "Kun Rig Nam Par Nang Dze" 127 Kunchen Dolpopa Sherab Gyaltsen 51 Kunchen Rongton Khenpo 67 Kunchok Gyalpo 26 Kunchok Oser (see seventh Gyaltsap Tulku) Kunchok Rinchen 51 Kunden Sherab 47 Kunga Gyaltsen (see Sakya Pandita) Kunga Nyingpo (see Tsongkhapa) Kuntu Zangpo, servant 86-88, Bodhisattva (see Samantabhadra) Kunu 114 Kur Tod, district 86 Kurukulla 54 Kushinagara 94, 114, 117 Kyanga Tsa 20 Kyi Lha 69 Kyirong 20 Ladakh 26, 36, 74, 78, 97, 121, 179 Ladakh Hemi Gyaltsay 97 Lakshminkara, Siddba 7, 13 Lalitavajra, Siddba 7 Lam, lake 42 Lam Tso Lhamo 42 Lama BaRe 48 Lama Domtonpa 13, 26 (as Brom-ston) Lama Drogmi 12, 13, 15 Lama Dunzin 24 Lama Gyalsay Born Trakpa 41 Lama Gyaltsen 79 Lama'i Naljor, initiation 147, 185 Lama }agar Bhairo 3 3 Lama Jigten Sumgun (see Jigten Sumgun) Lama Khatog Rigdzin Chenmo 9 3, 150 Lama Khazhipa Rinchen 144 Lama Lodru Trakpa 14 3 Lama Ngogpa 13 3 (see Ngo Chu Dorje) Lama Nyenres Gedun Bum 48 Lama Nyeu 180 Lama Patsap Nyima Trakpa 3 3 Lama Phagmo Gru (see Phagmo GTu Dorje Gyaltsen) Lama Sakya Shri 34, 37, 45 Lama Samten Gyamtso 111 Lama Sangye Senge 67


Lama Shang 25, 34, 37 Lama Shongsam Topa 24 Lama Sonam Rinchen 73 Lama Taranatha 7 Lama Yang Ripa 7 3 Lamrim 33 Lan Dok, palace 88 Lawapa, Siddha 6, 7 Latog 111 Leh (Ladakh) 74, (Mar Khams) 35 Len-ju 95 Lhacham Perna Sell31 Lhamo Kyi61 Lhanang 180 Lhasa 35, 49, 50, 55, 64, 65, 67, 70, 72, 84, 85,88-90,96,101,102,109, 115,12~ 149, 150, 157 Lhelop Yeshe Lodru 33 Lhendrup Teng, palace 109 Lho Tong 81 Lhobrag 15, 19, 117, 118 Lhobrag Nga Tsang 84 Lhorongpa 73 Li Kadur, meta/129, 133 Li Thang 70, 76, 101, 111, 158 Liu-Pin Shan 58 Li-U Dong Tsen 84 Li-U-Pa 64 Li Yul, district 87 Light Yoga (see Yoga of the Clear Light) Lilavajra, Siddha 7 Lineage Teachings 12, 13, 48, 54, 66, 70, 81, 84,93,96, 101,102,144 Lineage Tree, see colour illustration Ling, province 156 Ling Kesar 89, 107 Lingrepa Padma Dorje 24, 25, 36, 37, 177 Litsa Tok 93 Lo, province 69 Lobzang Trakpa (see Tsongkhapa) Lodru Senge 177 "Long-Chen Zod-Dun" 117 Longchenpa, Siddha 117 Lopon Gyal Je 143 Lorepa, Siddha 177 Lorong 110 Lotsawa Tsewang Kunchap 157 Lu Zim, materiall33 Luipa, Siddha 6 Lui-Pin Shan 58 Lumbini 114, 117

Lumpa 157 Lun-tok Shen 9 5 Lung, province 49 Lung-bstan bKa'-rGya 68 Lung Tse 79 Ma Chu, river 89, 149 "Ma-rig Mun-sel" 82 Machawa Changchub Tson Tru 45 Madhya Pradesh 174 Madhyamika 7, 37, 45, 74, 77, 81, 83, 85, 178 Magadha 12 Magyal Pomra 8 3 Maha Ati 52 Mahakala 24, 33, 42, 48, 67, 84, 96, 97, 101, 102, 113, 126-28, 143 Mahakalakakamukha 3 3 Mahakali 36 Mahamaya 69, 71, 178 Mahamudra 5, 12, 15, 23, 24, 41, 48, 55, 60, 66, 73,75, 77, 78,81,88, 102,144,147, 155,170,178 (Vow of Mahamudra) 201-207 Maharaja of Sikkim, Sir Tashi Namgyalll4, 117-20 Palden Thondup Namgyall20, 136 Mahayana 7 (Sutras) 13, 93 Mahayogini Tantra 33, 54 Maitreya 33, 35, 54, 58, 70, 122 Maitreya Byams-Chos 59, 71, 77 Maitri 37 Maitripa, Siddha 12, 15, 16, 20, 34, 133 (illustration p.8) Manasarovar, lake 99, 114 Mandala 16, 35, 50, 51, 62, 125, 126, 143 Manjughosa 55 Manjusri 50,58,60,65,100,147,167 Mantrayana 85 "Mar Ngo" 127 Marco Polo 46 Marpa 3, 12-16, 19, 84, 113, 118, 128, 131, 133, 178 Martsang Kargyud 25 Martsang Sherab Senge 25 Marwe Senge 13 3 Masewa 71 Matangi, Siddha 6 (illustration p.8) Mati 6 Matul Tulku 26



Mem, Tea Estate 178 Men-Drup 115 Meshod 156 Meshuk 91 Meton Tsonpo 16 Mi Nya, province 43, 50, 57, 64, 65, 69, 70 Mikyo Dor je (see Karmapa 8th) Milarepa 3, 15, 16, 18-20, 23, 34, 69, 84, 85, 96,113, 126, 131 "Mila Gur Bum" 134 Ming Chen (see Tai Ming Chen) Ming, dynasty 58 Mipham Tenpa Nyima 88 Mon, province 34, 69, 71 Mongolia 42-44,51,57,64, 76, 85, 146 Monkor Gen (Monka) 42, 43, 45 Mula Hevajra Tantra 48 Mus 20 Mystic Heat Teachings (see Yoga of Inner Heat) Nadis 13, 67 Naga 56, 86, 96, 111, 133 Nagarjuna, Siddha 5, 6, 24, 33, 55, 56, 1 33 Nagarjuna Sagar 121 Nagpopa, Siddha 13 Nakchu Kha 64 Nakphu,province 81 Nakphu Sonam Zangpo 66 Nalanda 11, 40 Naljor Yeshe Wangpo 155 Namo Buddhaya 94, 117 Nam Tso, lake 158, 177 Namgyal Purpa 13 1 Namkha 65 Namkhi Naljor, Siddha 178 "Namkhye-Karma" 177 Nangtod 24, 37 Nanking 61 Naro Chos Drug (Six Doctrines of Naropa) 34,48, 52, 54,60, 70, 73,91, 93, 96,102, 114,129, 143, 144,170,172 Naro Khandroma 134 Naropa, Siddha 3, 6, 10-13, 15, 16, 1 9, 20, 34, 35,46,48, 52, 76,84,93, 128,129, 131, 143, 171, 172 Nath 7, 20 Ne Shu (hat) 109 Nehru, Pandit Jawaharlal119 Nepall5, 26, 36, 52, 91,93-97, 114, 117,121, 129, 139, 147, 149;51, 157, 164,175


Nesnang (see Kampo Nesnang) New Delhi 119, 140 Ngagpho 157 "Ngags Zod" 134 Ngampa Chatrel145 Ngamtod She Kyong 66 Ngan Dzong Changchub Gyalpo 20 Nganar Ning-ten 95 Ngawang Choskyi Gyalpo 178 Ngochu Dorje 16, 13 3 Ngodrup Pal Barma 13 3 Ngogdun Chudor 16 Ngogpa (see Ngogchu Dorje) Ngompa Cha Gyalwa 65, 66 Ni-Gu Chos-Drug 52 Niguma 13, 48 Non-Duality Tantra (see Great Perfection) Nor Lha Jambhala 128 Norbu Korsem 6 Nuipa 70 Nyal20, 23 Nyamo Shung 15 5 Nyang Dam 59, 61 Nyangpo 54 Nyen Chowa 96 Nyenchen Tang Lha, Protector 109, 110 Nyenres Gedun Bum 45, 48 Nyenzog 52, 59 Nyeu, region 76 Nyewo 163 Nyewo Chu Gor 164 Nyi-o Dong Tser 70 "Nyi-Ma'i-sKil-aKor" 78 Nyi 'U Tsong, palace 64 Nyima Senge 177 rNying-Ma rGyud-Bum 134 Nying-Ma, teachings 100, 134 Nyingmapa, sect 7, 19, 52, 89, 90, 92, 93, 98, 103, 122, 167, 173, 174 Nying Thig (see Heart Drop Doctrine) Nyiphu Gyergom Chenpo 25 Nyishang 20 On-Ge'i Yul46 Oral Transmission 12, 88, 93, 96, 97, 101, 102, 111, 164 Orange Hat 71, 162-65 Orissa 7, 13 Oser Gocha, King of Nepal 12 9 Padma Karpo (see Drukchen Rinpoche 3rd)


"Padma Karpo Sung Bum" 134 Padmajungnes (see Padmasambhava) Padmasambhava 7, 34, 46, 48, 50, 73, 83, 84, 86,92,96, 99,101,102,110,113, 114, 119, 120, 125, 128, 129, 131 Pakistan 7 Pakshi Nga Tra Ma 13 4 Pal, hil/107 Pal Galopa 3 3 Pal-Karmapa-Densa-Shed-Drup-Chos-KhorLing (see Rumtek monastery) Palden Atisha (see Atisha) Panavati 95 Panchainrita 16, 5 3 Panchen Lamas 82 Panchen Rinpoche, Lobzang Palden Yeshe 150 Panditajaya Mangola, of Kashmir 157 Pandita Kazhipa Rinchen Pal 61 Pandita Prahduma 157 Pandita Sakya Choskyi Langpo 71 Pandita Sowon Kazhipa 66 Pandita Yigkyi Shingta 70 Pang Dor 145 Paro 120 Pawo Tulku, Rinpoche, List of incarnations 170 2nd incarnation 31, 78 3rd incarnation 82, 84, 89 4th incarnation 90 5th incarnation 88, 89 6th incarnation 95 7th incarnation 95, 157 8th incarnation 97 9th incarnation 101, 103 lOth incarnation 103, 109 Pawo Denma Yulgyal Tokgod 107 Peking 52, 53, 115, 116, 122 Pem Liew Thow, Mystic Hat 89 "Perna Jungnes Chinlab Pal Barma" 128 Penkar Jam pal Zan gpo 67, 69 Pentapa, Siddha 8 Phabong Karleb 34 Phadampa Sangye, Siddha 52, 126 Phagpa 45, 46 Phagmo Gru Dorje Gyaltsen 24, 25, 59, 82, 180 Phagmo Khachodma 128 "Phagmo Lha Nga" 127 "Phagmo Pam Kyi" 127 Phajo Drogon 180

Pholhawa Sonam Tobgyal157 Pho-wa (see Yoga o fthe Transference of Consciousness) Phowo 84 Pho Wo, palace 97 Phugnes 76 Phuntsok Namgyal (King of Tsang) 84 Phyag-Chen (see Mahamudra) "Phyag-Chen Grid-Thung" 78 "Phyag-Chen gNas-brTen Phyag-mTsod" 82 "Phyag-Chen Nges-Don rGya-mTso" 122 "Phyag-Chen sKor-La" 78 "sPyi-Lung 'Od-kyi !Ta-wa Chen" 98 Pitopa, Siddha 12, 13 Pompor Gang 143 Ponlop Tulkus 17 3 4th incarnation 118, 17 3 5th incarnation 121, 173 Potala, palace 64, 65, 88, 90 Prajnamula 3 3 Prajnaparamita 7, 36, 61, 77, 81, 113 Pramana 178 PrataPamalla 94, 95 Pratimoksha 47, 55, 61 Prince Ratna 57 Princess Bhrikuti 134 Princess Punyadhari 57, 58 Pullahari 11, 12 Purang 36, 114 Purpa Drupchen (see Vajrakila) Purpakila 12 2, 131 Puspamalla, teachings 76 Qoshot Mongols 85 Rabjum Getsul45, 103 Radza Dzong 111 Ragma 20 Rahulagupta 13 Rajgir 26, 70 Ral, province 49 Rangjung Dorje (see Karmapa 3rd) Rangjung Rigpe Dorje (see Karmapa 16th) Ratag 33 Ratnakarashanti 13 Rechung Dorje Trakpa (see Rechungpa) Rechungpa 20, 34 Red Hat, Lamas 142-52, 154-59 Rewalsar, lake 114 Ri Wo Cha Gang 156



Ri Wo Che 34, 55, 61, 73, 74 Rigdzin Go Tsangpa 44 Rigdzin Kumararaja 48 Rigowa Ratnabhadra 155 Rigs-Tshogs-Drug 37 Rinchen Lingpa 2 5 Rinchen Ter-mDzod 103,122, 134 Rinchen Zangpo 65 Rinchen Ling 76 Rinchen Pal46, 180 ,of Mongolia 49 Ring Gong 36 Rinpung Norzang 72 Rinshel78 Riwo Tse Nga, pilgrimage-place 50 Rolpe Dorje (see Karmapa 4th) Rong, province 67 Rong Chap 167 Rong Tsen Kawa Karpo, pilgrimage-place 42, 48, 70 Rongton, Lama 19 Rongyul Sertod 4 5 SaY i Nyingpo 13 3 Sabchu Rinpoche, Lama 17 5 Sadhus 7, 59 Sahajayana 7 Sahajayogini Cinta,Siddha 12, 13 Sakya Dripon 64 Sakya Kunga Nyingpo 24, 133 Sakyamuni 39 Sakya Pandita, Kunga Gyaltsen 42, 45, 77, 78,80, 85,89,147 Sakya, sect 12, 15, 45, 60, 71, 78, 80, 85,

103, 156 Sakya Shribhadra 3 7, 45 Sakya Siddha 85 Sakya Yungton Dorje 52 Sakya Zhonu Changchub 48 Saliputtranagar 7 Saltong Shogam 25, 95 Samadhirajasutra 26 Samantabhadra 11, 78, 90 Sambalpur 13 Samdrup Tse, palace 84 Sanchi,Stupa 117,121 Sandu Sang, family 167 Sangsen Dop Chen 80 Sangye Kyab Repa 20 Sangye Nyenpa Druptop, 1st incarnation 71, 74, 76,80,172


4th incarnation 93, 95 9th incarnation 117 lOth incarnation 172 Sangye Senge 67 Sangye Yonten 36 Sangye Won 180 Santarakshita 52 Saraha, Siddha 12, 37, 41, 72, 73 Saraswati 67,145 (illustration, p.132) "Sar-ma", teachings 100 Sarnath 94,114,117,121,175 Sarvabuddha Dakini 1 34 "Sayi Tsi Shing" 177 Scotland 171, 176 Sechen Khongtrul Rinpoche 117, 122 Sen Shing 43 "Seng Treng Namthar" 1 34 Senge Sherab 177 Senge Nyinche 177 Sewan Repa 20 Shabje Thang 118 Shakshu Kar 11 0 Shambala 13 "Shamar Kha Chod Wang Po Ka Bum" 134 Shamar Tulkus, 1st incarnation 52, 143, 144 2nd incarnation 58-61, 65, 144 3rd incarnation 64-66, 144, 145 4th incarnation 70, 71, 77, 145, 146 5th incarnation 77, 79, 80, 146, 163 6th incarnation 81-85, 146-49, 164 7th incarnation 87-89, 91, 149, 164 8th incarnation 91-94, 149, 150, 157, 164 9th incarnation 98, 150 lOth incarnation 97, 98,129, 150, 151, 157 11th incarnation 103, 151 12th incarnation 151 13th incarnation 31, 118, 121, 125, 133, 148, 151, 15 2, see colour illustration Lineage and dates 142 Shamnam Dzung, river 58 Shang Tu 44 Shantibhadra 12 Shantipa, Siddha 12, 13, 16 Shapa Lingpa 3 3 Sharchog Pung Ri 41 Shavaripa, Siddha 8 (illustration) Shawa Trak 151 "She Cha Zod" 134 She Kyong64 She!, river 14 3


Shelkar 101 Sherab Jungnes 131 of Nalanda 13 Sherab Senge 177 Shes Da 72 Shigatse 82, 86 Shin-rje 36 Shinglopa, Siddha 6, 8 (illustration) Shiva Shankara 157 Shiwa Od Repa 20 Shogam, Siddha 95 Sholung 146 Shongsam Topa 24 Shugseb Kargyud 25 Siddha Gyal J e 107 Sikkim 2, 4, 10, 14, 18, 31, 32, 56, 75, 78, 81, 82, 95, 103, 114, 117-21, 123-38, 14~ 152, 15~ 165, 172, 174, 179 Silling 95 Sing Chi-Ew 94 Singara 35 Sir Tashi Namgy~ (see Maharaja of Sikkim) Situ Tulkus, 1st incarnation 61, 65, 155 2nd incarnation 67, 69, 155 3rd incarnation 71, 73, 76, 78, 155 4th incarnation 77, 79, 156 5th incarnation 81, 82, 84, 156 6th incarnation 88, 89, 156 7th incarnation 92, 156 8th incarnation 31, 92-94, 96, 97, 150, 157, 164 9th incarnation 97, 99, 150,157,158,167 lOth incarnation 158, 167 11th incarnation 102,103,107-11,113, 114, 151, 158 12th incarnation 115, 117,118, 125, 129, 158, 159 Lineage and dates 154 "Six Books of Padmasambhava" 101 "Six Doctrines of Naropa'. (see Naro Chos Drug) Six Ornaments 16 Six Topics ofTilopa 6 Six Treatises of Siddha Nagarjuna 3 3 gSo-Ba Rig-pa 52 Sokpo 76 Somapuri 5, 12 Sonam Dondrup 54 Sonam Rinchen (seeGampopa) 23 Sowon Kazhipa 66 Sowon Rigpe Raldre 144

Srong Tsen Gampo, King 2 3, 131, 13 4 Subtle Breath Yoga (see Yoga of Subtle Breath) Sukhadari, Siddha 6, 8 Sukhasiddhi, Siddha 6, -Dakini 17 8 Sukhia Pokhri 1 78 Sui Chu Karpo 88 "Sung Bum", of Situ Tulku 156 Surmangpa 6 5 Surmang Garwang Rinpoche 93 Swat 7, 13 Swayambhunath,Stupa97, 117,147,150 Tachienlu 45 Tagtsag Tenpai Gonpo 150 Tai Ming Chen, Emperor 61-65, 155 Tai Situ Changchub Gyaltsen 55 Tai Tsung, Emperor 58 Tai-Ya-Sri, palace 50 Tai-Ya-Tu, palace 49, 50, 52, 55 Tai-Ya-Tsi, palace 50 Taiyul159 Taklungpa Kargyud 25, 36 Taklung Kunga Tashi 146 Taklung Kunpang, Rinpoche 52 Taklung Namgyal Trakpa 146 Taklung Shabdrung 67 Taksham Nuden Dorje 91 Taktsang Repa 1 79 Taktse 145 Talung 24 Tamag Khanon Dule Namgyal128 (see colour illustration) Tami Gonson 128 Tanag Chos J epa 71 Tanglopa, Siddha 6, 8 (illustration) Tangpa Chenpo 36 Tangpa Tashi Pal25 Tanjur 50, 84, 134 Tantipa, Siddha 7 Tao Si 43 Tara 33, 35, 41, 48, 67, 94, 99, 125-27, 129-31, 133, 143, 157 Tardzi Chutsen 110 Tashi Chos Dzong, palace 120, 13 8 Tashi Chos Ling, palace 121 Tashigang 147 Tashijong 98, 180 Tashi Lhunpo 80 TashiTse 150 Tashi Porn Trag 41



"Tawa Nyentsel" 59 Tenchen Gar 163 Tenzin Chogyal (see Gushri Khan) Teod 114 Ter Chos 91 Terchen Ratna Lingpa 128, 129 Terchen Urgyen Chogyur Dechen Lingpa 129 Terton Chogyur Lingpa 99, 101, 125, 128, 133,167 Terton Dorje Lingpa 128 Terton Karma Lingpa 126 Terton Migyur Dorje 93 Terton Taksham Nuden Dorje 129 Thang La, rock 131 "Thang Lha Nyen Do" 126 Theg Chog Dorje (see Karmapa 14th) Thimpu 118, 120, 138 Thopaga 20 Thuchen Chosgon 178 "Thug Drup Bar Ched Lam Sel" 126 Thup Pa Cham Shug Ma 13 3 Thup Pa Trong Cher Ma 13 3 Til, cave 34 Tilopa, Siddha 3, 4-8;11, 12, 41, 44, 48, 55, 66, 76, 84, 131 Ting, province 70 Tingri Langkor 44, 47, 85 Tod Lung 33 Tog Go 76 Toghon Temur (Tohan Timur) 39, 49-52, 55 Tokden Gon Gyalwa 143 Tokden Ye Gyalwa 54 Tokh Temur, Emperor 49 Tong Drol Chenmo 128 (see colour illustration) "Tong-Lha Dorje Barwa" 89 Tongwa Donden (see Karmapa 6tlt) Tormo Tashi Osel 71 Trakpa Gyaltsen 65 Trakpa Taye, King 36 Traleg Rinpoche, 9 3 8th incarnation 11 7 9th incarnation 95, 175 Trang Do 144 Trangu Tulku, 8th incarnation 31, 175 Transference Teachings (see Yoga of the Transference of Consciousness) Treshod 33, 35, 79 Treshod Horkok 79 Tri-o 35 Tri-o Dar Tse Do 69, 80 Tri Srong Detsen 41


Trongsar Dzong 102 Trongsar Khyentse Wangpo 17 4 Trophu Kargyud 25 Trungpa Tulku, 1st incarnation 65, 171 5th incarnation 92, 171 8th incarnation 100, 171 lOth incarnation 103, 167, 171 11th incarnation 39, 171 List of incarnations 171 Trungram Gyaldrul Rinpoche 1 76 Tsa Lung (see Yoga of the Subtle Breath) Tsalin Dari 76 Tsalpa Kargyud 25 Tsang, province 16, 42, 44, 71, 80, 84-86, 150, 164 Tsangpa Gyare (see Drogon Tsangpa Gyare) Tsangpa Kargyud 25, 36, 46, 177 Tsari 54, 77, 81, 99, 102, 144 Tsari Cho Sam 81 Tsari Namgyal, pilgrimage-place 81 Tse Chu 156 "Tse Chu", ceremony 84, 100, 125 "Tsed-Ma sDe-bDun" 78 "Tsed-Ma Rig-gZhung rGya-mTso" 72 "Tsedrup Thap She Kar Chor" 125 Tsen Chang-yi 95 Tsepamed 71 Tsering che-nga 103 "Tseringma" 125, 126 Tsewang Palchod 109 Tsewang Paljor 107 Tso Mapham (see Manasarovar, lake) Tso Nak, lake 81 Tso Perna, lake 122 Tsog Chu, river 69 Tsogyal Sangdrup 128 (see colour illustration) Tsokpur 110 Tsong, province 101 Tsong Kha (see Amdo Tsong Kha) Tsongkhapa 58-60, 64, 76, 80, 82, 13 3 Tsong Mo Che, palace 83 Tsu-tsui 95 Tsuklak Trengwa 31, 65 Tsultrim Palmo, Her Royal Highness 118, 119 Tsultrim Rinchen 48 Tsurphu jambyang Chenpo 65 Tsurton Wangne 16 Tsurton Wangye 16 Tuk42 gTummo (see Yoga of Inner Heat) Tushita, heaven 54


"U" 23 Uddiyana (see Urgyen) Uighuria 57, 65 Urgyen 7, 45, 46 Urgyenpa, Siddba 37, 45-48, 177 Vairochana 126 Vajra Mukut (see Black Hat) Vajradakini 11, -Tantra 13 Vajradhara (see illustration p.2), 3, S, 6,131, teachings 67, 84, 102 Va,;aghan~a, Siddba S Vajraghanta Heruka, Siddba 3 S Vajrahumkara Mudra 2 Vajrakila 47, 99, 114, 125, 134 Vajrapani 47, 55,131,133 Vajrasattva 13 Vajravarahi 13, 46,55,102,109,127-29,131

133 Vajrayana 7, 23, 52, 93 Vajrayogini SS, 66 "Varsha" 119, 126 Veda 12 Vimaladipi 11 Vimalamitra, Pandita 48, 52, 54, 67 Vina 7 Vinapa, Siddba S, 6, 8 Vinaya Sutras, precepts 33, 48, SS, 61, 69, 7~77,81,85, 113,157 Vinaya Sutra Tika 80 Vinayapuspamalla 66, 76 Virupa, Siddba 12, 13 Vishnu 60 Vow of Mahamudra 201-207 Wang Jo, province SO Wang Trakpa Gyaltsen 64 Wanchchuk Dorje (see Karmapa 9th) Weungom Tsultrim Nyingpo 25 (Gomtsul), 33 Wok Ming Ling, palace 85 Wonpo, rock 145 Wonres Dharma Senge 177 Wuk Tok, palace 42 Wu Tsung, Emperor 76 Yabzang 34 Yagde Nyewo 163 Yagde Panchen 51, 143 Yam Do 87

Yam Dur86 Yamantaka 24, 33 Yambu (see Kathmandu) Yamzang Kargyud 25 Yang Chen-Ma (see Saraswati) Yang Pen, rock 58 "Yar Ngo"127 Yarlung 1SS Yermo Tang 46 Yerpa Kargyud 25 Yerpa Yeshe Tscgpa 25 Yeshe Dorje (see Karmapa 11th) Yeshe Gyaltsen 25 "Yeshe Kor Sum" 134 Yeshe Norbu 129 Yeshe Rinchen 177 Yeshe Tsogyal131 Yeshe Wangchuk 46 Yidam 37 Yilung 157 Yoga of the Clear Light 16, 35, 52 Yoga ofthe Dream State 52, 143 Yoga ofthe Illusory Body 52 Yoga.ofthe Inner Heat 19, 23, 34, 37, 41, 52, 1SS Yoga of the Intermediate State 52 Yogaofthe Karmapas 183-198 Yoga ofthe Subtle Breath 24, 42, 45 Yoga of the Transference of Consciousness 16,45,46,52 Yoga of Transformation 16 Yolmo 147 Yolmo Kangra 149 Yon Lowa 61 Yongdzin Karma Thubten Ngawang 95 Yongdzin Ngawang Zangpo 178, 179 Yonge Migyur Dor je 91 Yuan, dynasty 58 Yugla Panchen 71 Yung Lo, Emperor (see Emperor Tai Ming Chen) Yungshu 25 Yungton Dorje 52, SS Yunnan 64, 74,87 Zab-mo Nang-don 52 Zalmo Gang 99 Zangri 34 Zhalu Lotsawa 146 Zharawa Yeshe Senge 25 Zhing Kyong, Protector 113, 126



Zhonu Pal 31, 46, 145 Zhonu Senge 1 77 Zhung 16 Ziji Barwa 129 (see illustration p.l30)

Zi-Ra Ur-Do, palace 46 Zimpon Legshed Gyaltsen 109 Zitapuri Yogini 149 Zobsa Tsondru 54

MONASTERIES, TEMPLES AND HERMITAGES (Including religious colleges) Bahram, monastery 25 Bu Kar, monastery 114 Champa, temple 113, 118 Changchub Ling, monastery 74, 76, 80 Chim Phu, temple 50, 52 Chos Chung Ling, monastery 85 Choskhor Lunpo, monastic college 70 Dechen Choskhor Ling, monastery 117, 178 Dechen Yangri, monastery 49, 55 Densa Thil, monastery 24, 34, 54, 64, 80, 81 Dil Yak, monastery 111 Do Tsuk, monastery 178 Dolma, temple 1 76 Drepung, monastery 60 Drigung, monastery 24, 180 Drowolung, monastery 113 Drupde Samten Ling, meditation centre 99 Dvagslha Gampo, monastery 23, 33, 35, 36, 54 Dvagspo Shedrup Ling, monastic college 77, 81, 147 Dzong Sar, monastery 101, 111 Gaden, monastery 37 Gaden Mamo, monastery 71, 144, 146 Gungthang, monastery 25 Gyina Gon, monastery 109 Hemis, monastery 97 jo Khang, temple 64, 85, 88, 96, 129 Kam Chu Ling, monastery 57 Kampo Nesnang, monastery 35, 36, 41, 48, 143, 144 Kangmar, monastery 145 Kar Chung, monastery 115 Karma Gon, monastery 35, 39, 40, 42, 48, 50, 58,61,64,66,69,70, 73, 76, 80,93, 99, 111, 155, 156 Karpo Chos Ling, monastery 177 Khaka Riphug, temple 70 Khams Mar, monastery 35 Khampa Gar, monastery 179 Khatog Gon, monastery 150 Kichu, monastery 174 Kong Me, monastery 85 Kuje, temple 113


Kulu, monastery 3 7 Kur Tod, monastery 117 Kyichu, temple 120 Lha Chen, temple 84 Lha Chim, monastery 66 Lha Ten, hermitage 48 Lha Ten Gon, monastery 61 Long dol, monastery 3 7 Lung Shok, monastery 181 Mendong, monastery 114 Mindrol, monastery 115 Nakphu, hermitage 49, 67 Namdruk, monastery 37 (Kiwo), 61 Nyide Gon, monastery 117 Nyinche Ling, monastic college 84 Nyiphu, monastery 25 Olka Tashi Tang, monastery 66 Palpung, monastery 95, 97, 101, 102, 111, 113, 115, 157, 158, 167 Pang Phug Gon, monastery 111 Perna Chung Tsong, hermitage 48 Penchen, monastery 113 Penyul Gyal, monastery 3 3 Phagmo, monastery (see Densa Thil) Potala, temple 88 Potong, monastery 81, 117 Ralung, monastery, Tibet 24, 37, 177, 178 Sikkim 81 Rinchen Ling, monastery 181 Rinpung, monastery 71 Riwa Barma, monastery 110 Rumtek, monastery, old 81, 82, 117, 119, 152,168,173 new 2, 4, 8, 10, 14, 18, 31, 32, 56, 59, 75, 78, 89, 103, 119-21, 123-39, 147, 148, 152, 159, 165, 168, 172-76, 179, see colour illustration Rva Wa Gang, monastery 70 Sakya, hermitage 87 monastery 26, 80 Samye, monastery 45, 50, 52, 84, 102, 113 Samye Ling, monastery/meditation centre (Scotland) 171, 176 Sang Ngag Chos Ling, monastery 102, 178


Sang Phu Neutok, monastic college 143 Saphu, monastery 67 Sera, monastery 60 Shang Ling, monastery 101 Shol Kha, monastery 85 Sonada, monastery (India) 172 Sungrab Ling, monastery 80, 81 Surmang, monastery 65, 74, 95, 145, 147, 156, 158, 171 Tagna, monastery 149 Tak Tsang, hermitage 120 Taklung, monastery 25, 52 Tan Go, monastery 180 Tanam, monastery 111 Tao Hu Chu Makha, monastery 43 Targye Gang, monastery 87 Tarna, monastery 25 Tarpa Ling, monastery 177 Tashi Chos Ling, temple 118 Tashi Thong Mon Ling, monastery 178 Thupden Namgyal Ling, monastery 80 Thupden Nyingche Ling, meditation centre 147 Tor Phuwa, monastery 47 Trag, monastery 113 Trak Ru, monastery 49

Tsal, monastery 25, 84 Tsari Kyang Kha, monastery 85 Tsari Tso Kar, monastery 81, 83, 128, 131, 164 Tse Lha Gang, monastery 67, 71 Tsen Den, monastery 69 Tsita, monastery 100 Tsorong Gon, monaste1y 41 Tsur Kung, monastery 102 Tsurphu, monastery 3 5, 37, 38, 42, 44, 46, 48-50, 54, 55, 61, 64, 65, 70, 77, 79, 80, 84-86, 88, 91, 93, 94, 96, 97, 99, 101, 102, 107, 109, 110, 113-15, 117, 118, 128, 138, 143, 144, 146, 149, 151, 156, 157, 164, 165, 173 Tukshi, monastery 113 Tungnak Lhachen Gon, monastery 111 Vikramashila, Tantric college and monastery (India) 12, 13, 3 7 Yang Chen, monastery 80, 91, 146, 149-52 Yang Dop, monastery 85 Yatrong, monastery 117 YerMo Che, monastery 156 Yerphug, monastery 25 Zadam Nyinche Ling, monastic college 83,84 Zor Gon Moche, monastery 57



The following have generously contributed photographic material for use in this book: A. DESJARDINS: p. 124. N. DOUGLAS: BIW, pp. 2, 4, 8, 10, 14, 18, 22, 32, 53, 56, 75, 122 (collection), 13 0, 13 2, 13 8 (bottom), 148, 17 3 (bottom), 174 (bottom). Colour: All photographs of statues at Rumtek, Lineage painting, inside and outsid~ the new Rumtek monastery, and formal portrait of Shamar Tulku. G. HOLTON: p. 140. KARMA KHECHOG PALMO: Colour, mural in Rumtek monastery. V. KUMAR: BIW informal portrait of H. H. Gyalwa Karmapa opposite "message". A. LINDBERG-NIELSON: p. 175 (top left). RUMTEK MONASTERY ARCHIVES: pp. 38, 63, 106, 116, 135, 136, 137, 138 (top), 139, 152, 160, 165, 168, 170, 172 (bottom), 173 (top), 174 (top), 175 (top right and bottom), 176 (top, and bottom left), 179. SAMYE LING TIBETAN CENTRE: pp. 108, 171, 176 (bottom right). TASHIJONG TIBETAN CENTRE: p. 180. E. WASSERMAN: Colour, Black Hat ceremony, Mahakala, Golden Stupa, Tantric offering-cake. L. WEINBERGER: p. 172 (top). M. WHITE: Both maps. J. ZISKIN: p. 112 (collection).