In January of 1981, the Sixteenth
Gyalwa Karmapa gave to his heart son, the Twelfth
Tai Situpa, a protection amulet with a brocade cover and said, "This
is your protection amulet. In the future, it will confer great benefit."
This protection amulet contained the letter predicting the rebirth of
the Karmapa as Ogyen Trinley Dorje. It described unerringly the names
of the Seventeenth Karmapa's parents, the area of his rebirth, and the
time of his rebirth.
On the basis of this prediction letter, His Holiness the Seventeenth
Gyalwa Karmapa was found and enthroned in 1992. The letter was translated
by Michele Martin at Rumtek in 1992.
Emaho. Self-awareness is always bliss;
The dharmadhatu1 has no center nor edge.
From here to the north [in] the east of [the land] of snow
Is a country where divine thunder spontaneously blazes2
[In] a beautiful nomad's place with the sign of a cow3,
The method is Döndrub and the wisdom is Lolaga4.
[Born in] the year of the one used for the earth5
[With] the miraculous, far-reaching sound of the white one6;
[This] is the one known as Karmapa.
His is sustained by Lord Donyö Drupa;
Being nonsectarian, he pervades all directions;
Not staying close to some and distant from others, he is the protector
of all beings:
The sun of the Buddha's Dharma that benefits others always blazes.
1Chos kyi dhying, the expanse
of all phenomena and equivalent to sunyata or emptiness.
2The Seventeenth Karmapa's place of birth is Lhathok: "Lha"
means divine and "thok" means thunder. In the text, thunder is poetically
called "gnam chags" or "sky iron."
3The name of the nomadic community where the Karmapa was born
is Bakor; "ba" means "cow," and the Dharma term for cow, "dodjo," is used
in the text.
4Method refers to the father and wisdom to the mother.
5His Holiness was born in the Wood Ox year; a tree lives from
the earth and an ox is used to plow it.
6This refers to the sound of the conch shell that miraculously
resounded in the air for about an hour after His Holiness' birth.