Therefore, the responsibility to maintain the continuity of the teachings of the Kagyu lineage rests equally on you as it does on me." The Shamarpa is often referred to as the "Red-hat Karmapa," especially in early Kagyu texts.
The Shamarpa lineage
- Shamar Chöpal Yeshe (1406–1452). Chöpal Yeshe is renowned for having constructed several monasteries and retreat-centers. He was also able to abolish the practice of animal sacrifice in the regions of Tibet where that custom had continued.
- Shamar Chokyi Drakpa Yeshe Pal Zangpo (1453–1526) was recognized by the 7th Karmapa, who became his Lama. The famous Tibetan monastery Ga Mamo Tashi Rabten was founded by him.
He also established many smaller monasteries. During his travels outside Tibet, Chökyi Tragpa built many monasteries, among others there are four monasteries in Bhutan and he was the first of the Shamar reincarnates to visit Nepal where he built a small monastery in Swayambhunath, one of the country’s most sacred places.
- Shamar Köncho Yenlak (1526–1583) was identified by the 8th Karmapa. He also recognized and became the Lama of the 9th Karmapa.
- Shamar Yeshe Nyinpo (1631–1694) was recognized by the 10th Karmapa, and he became the Karmapa’s disciple.
- Könchog Geway Jungnay (1733–1741) was born in Paro in Bhutan, and was discovered by the 13th Karmapa, 13th Karmapa but lived only until age nine
- Mipam Chödrup Gyamtso (1742–1793) was the stepbrother of the 6th Panchen Lama, Lobsang Palden Yeshe (1738–1780).
This ban remained in place until after the Dalai Lama lost power in Tibet during the 1950s, although it was later revealed that the Karmapa had recognized reincarnations of the Shamarpa secretly during the intervening period.
- Unknown, presumed forced into hiding by the Tibetan government.
- Tugsay Jamyang (1895–1947) was the son of the 15th Karmapa. However, it is recorded that he taught and practiced Buddhism as a layman.
- Mipham Chokyi Lodro (1952–) was born in Derge, Tibet and at the age of four he was recognized by the 16th Karmapa
Ogyen Trinley Dorje is held to be the 17th Karmapa by other major teachers of the Karma Kagyu lineage (including the 12th Situ Rinpoche, the 12th Gyaltsab Rinpoche, the 7th Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, the 9th Thrangu Rinpoche, the 7th Mingyur Rinpoche) along with Sakya Trizin (head of the Sakya Lineage), who acknowledges Karmapa Thaye Dorje as well and the 14th Dalai Lama.
(see Karmapa controversy).