The Karmapa

In the case of an enlightened being, rebirths are taken consciously, motivated by a desire to benefit all living beings and made possible by the depth and clarity of an individual's realization. The first such reincarnation (tulku) was recognized in thirteenth-century Tibet. His name was the Gyalwa Karmapa, "The Victorious One of Enlightened Activity." Thereafter, he continued to return, generation after generation, until the present seventeenth Karmapa. The Karmapa is said to embody the activity of all the buddhas of the past, present, and future. Citing ancient texts, traditional histories trace his lives back for eons and continue it forward into the distant future.

"His Holiness the Gyalwa Karmapa holds, teaches, and inspires the lineage of the Kagyu order, which is known for its meditative practices, its focus on retreat, and the many realized masters it has produced.

Like the Dalai Lama, the Karmapa is regarded as an embodiment of compassion, represented by the deity Chenrezik.

The sole purpose of the Karmapa's incarnation is to lead living beings from the suffering of samsara into freedom- the realization of mind's deepest, pure nature. This full awakening, or enlightenment, is possible for every living being who sincerely engages in practice."

From - Music in the Sky: The Life, Art & Teachings of the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje   Copyright (c) 2003 Michele Martin

The Karmapa Lineage

During his lifetime, Shakyamuni Buddha predicted there would come into being a fully realized teacher who would reappear over and over again as the Karmapa. This Karmapa would continue his enlightened activity on behalf of all beings until the Buddhist teachings were no longer needed in this world. The name Karmapa refers literally to 'the one who performs the activity of a Buddha.'

From the twelfth century to the present time and through successive incarnations, the Karmapa has performed the selfless and tireless activity of a fully enlightened teacher, or bodhisattva, exemplifying the wisdom and loving-kindness that lies at the heart of Buddhist practice. Each successive Karmapa has held the position of supreme head of the Kagyu Order of Tibetan Buddhism, the lineage known as that of 'the sacred word', in which the most profound Buddhist teachings are passed down from teacher to disciple through successive generations. Uniquely, each Karmapa, before he passes away, leaves behind a letter foretelling the exact circumstances of his next rebirth.


Prediction of the Fifth Karmapa, Dezhin Shengap

Translated by Michele Martin

 

After the Sixteenth in the rosary of Karmapa

Before the Seventeenth, an incarnation of a demon

One spoken of as relation

Will arise in this seat, Sacho.

By the power of the person's perverted aspirations,

The Karmapa lineage will be near destruction.

 

At that time, one having true aspirations from previous life,

A heart emanation of Padmasambhava,

From the Western direction [with Lhasa as the Center].

One with a necklace of moles, fierce and wrathful

Whose mouth speaks wrathful speech,

Having dark maroon colour and eyes protruding [the colour of the wrathful aspect of Padmasambhava].

This one will subdue the incarnation of the samaya breaker,

He will protect Tibet and Kham for a while.

At that time happiness, like beholding the sun

In this Tibet will occur, I think.

Without this, even if karmically virtuous ones come

The dharma will wane downwards,

As fruit of the negative aspirations of the demon.

It will be difficult for happiness to arise.

 

From the inside the king of the centre will be defiled

The emanation of demon, an officer of high rank [also, "minister"], coming from Kong,

Will disturb the center and destroy the center's domain [also, "territory" or "kingdom"].

Many outsiders not existing before [not on the scene before],

[Not knowing] what has arisen, will conceal [the meaning is clearer if the line following it is taken in context].

The beings of the degenerate times, will be seduced [also, "duped"] by the demon.

Not having faith in Dharma, will become full of suffering.

Upper, lower and middle, in all three regions,

Blood of disturbances and arguments will rain.

From quarrels, disturbances and debates,

There will be no place of peace even for awhile.

Except for this very tormented fetters (fetters, bonds, whether material or moral),

There is no liberty.

 

Three precious ones, the three roots and the Dharma protectors,

It is not that they don't have compassion.

Due to the Karma of beings and the power of aspirations of the demon,

A time will arrive of a downward decrease.

At that time the Secret Lineage Dharma,

Will have more power and bring swift blessings.


Prediction of the Nineteenth Century Mystic, Chogyur Lingpa

"In the area of vision,

in front of mountains, rocks and ancient trees

is the seventeenth of the incarnation rosary,

simultaneously with Khentin Tai Situ,

their minds fused as one.

 

Through these, it is signified

that the leaves and the petals of Buddha's teachings

will flourish [under him]

and there will be abundant fruit of the very essence

of transmissions from Gampopa."


 

Following the Communist Chinese occupation of Tibet in the 1950's and the Communist government's subsequent repression of all aspects of Buddhist life, His Holiness the Sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, successfully reestablished the Kagyu Order in exile. This sixteenth incarnation built Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre in Sikkim as his new seat-in-exile. On many visits abroad, including several to the United States, the Karmapa was recognized as one of the great spiritual teachers of our time, touching all who he encountered with his wisdom, compassion, and loving-kindness.

The Sixteenth Karmapa passed away in 1981. The Seventeenth Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, was discovered in eastern Tibet in 1992 and lived at Tsurphu Monastery until he escaped from Tibet in late December, 1999. He arrived in Dharamsala, India on January 5, 2000, where he temporarily resides at Gyuto Tantric University.

Photos

   
   
   

Quotes

“Peace and well-being are to be found in this world, and even for Tibet, peace is not impossible. We should understand that just as we seek happiness for ourselves, so do others seek happiness for themselves. Many problems are created in our world today because people do not engage in what will actually lead them onto a path that benefits them and brings happiness. From the time we open our eyes in the morning until we sleep at night, if we can pass the whole day with in a kind-hearted mind and cheerful face, on good terms with people and talking pleasantly to them, our mind will be relaxed when we go to sleep at night. On the other hand, if we spend the day making others upset, if we fight, and even if we win, when we are going off to sleep at night we will have regrets and our mind will not be at ease. 

“Our priceless pure heart is not something that can be purchased at a pharmacy, poured into our body, or obtained through a cure. If we went to a major city looking to buy it, we could not purchase this pure heart no matter what price we were willing to pay. How do we find it? With the sincere wish to discover it, we discipline our mind with our mind. When such a motivation is born within us, we and others are benefitted and so our lives become meaningful. With a pure motivation that does not wane and with great courage that does not despair, may each one of us endeavor to make our lives meaningful.”

from Music in the Sky

Publications

"Hearing a beautiful melody can invoke your wisdom body and thereby have a peaceful and harmonious effect on your mind, in the same way that the meditation of calm abiding brings inner peace. If you can sustain this calmness, you will develop inwardly, moving through deeper insight all the way up to the ultimate level of realization."

 

Books

Ngondro for Our Current Day: A Short Ngondro Practice and Its Instructions

Published in 2010; paperback

Available in: English

Future Is Now: Timely Advice for Creating a Better World

Published in 2009; paperback

Available in: English

Traveling the Path of Compassion: A Commentary on The Thirty-Seven Practices of a Bodhisattva

Published in 2009; paperback

Available in: English

Environmental Guidelines for Karma Kagyu Buddhist Monasteries, Centers and Community

Published in 2008; pamphlet

Available in: English

Heart Advice of the Karmapa

Published in 2008; paperback

Available in: English

Ceremony of Offering to the Gurus

Published in 2007; paperback

Available in: English

Kagyu Monlam Book: A Compilation for Recitation

Published in 2007; Spiral Bound, 8.3 x 11.7 inch

Available in: English, Chinese, French, Korean, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Vietnamese

Deer Park Calligraphies

Published in 2005; Booklet, 8.3 x 8.5 inch

Available in: English

His Holiness' published materials are available online at the Namse Bangdzo Bookstore or other dharma stores all over the world.

CDs

Hearing a beautiful melody can invoke your wisdom body and thereby have a peaceful and harmonious effect on your mind, in the same way that the meditation of calm abiding brings inner peace. If you can sustain this calmness, you will develop inwardly, moving through deeper insight all the way up to the ultimate level of realization.

From the book: Music in the Sky

Refuge

Published in 2010
7 songs, 34 minutes

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Lion's Roar: Great Compassion

Published in 2007
14 songs, 55 minutes

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Lion Roar

Published in 2006
10 songs

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Melody of Devotion - Karmapa Khyenno

Published in 2005
5 songs, 46 minutes

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Karma Pakshi Chant

Published in 2002
8 songs, 45 minutes

 

Sweet Melody of Joyful Aspiration

Published in 2001
9 songs, 43 minutes

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Karmapa's Melodious Songs of Truth

Published in 2000
6 songs, 23 minutes

 

Sacred Buddha

Published in 2000
11 songs, 60 minutes

 

His Holiness' published materials are available online at the Namse Bangdzo Bookstore or other dharma stores all over the world.

Life of Milarepa

Published in 2010; 2 DVDs + 1 CD + Booklet;

Seven-Line Guru Rinpoche Prayer

Published in 2009; 75min;

Karmapa in America 2008: Wisdom of Enlightened Mind: The Journey Begins

Published in 2009; Complete set of 3 DVDs

Lion in Action, Record of His Holiness the 17th Karmapa

Published in 2007; 42min

Under the Bodhi Tree, and Jewel Ornament of Liberation

Published in 2004; 6 DVDs, 7hrs

Three Teachings by Karmapa

Published in 2003; 97min

His Holiness' published materials are available online at the Namse Bangdzo Bookstore or other dharma stores all over the world.

First Visit to KTD - 2008

             


youtube
Reception Ceremony
Slide show from the Rice and Tea Ceremony at KTD
May 19  4:40 min podcast
  (better quality)

youtube
Purification Puja and Appreciation Ceremony
Slide show from the second day of visit
May 20  5:43 min podcast
  (better quality)

youtube
His Holiness on a Morning Walk
His Holiness on his way to Bardor Rinpoche's house
May 21  1:52 min podcast
  (better quality)

youtube
Guru Rinpoche Empowerment
Slide show from the Guru Ripoche Empowerment
May 21  1:17 min podcast
  (better quality)

youtube
His Holiness with Rainbows at KTD
Slide show from roof of KTD
May 21  2:48 min podcast
  (better quality)

youtube
Rainbow over KTD during His Holiness' visit
May 21  19 sec
     

youtube
Rainbow over KTD during His Holiness' visit
May 21  24 sec
     

youtube
His Holiness' first visit to Karme Ling
Slide show from Karme Ling retreat center
May 22  2:41 sec podcast
  (better quality)

youtube
His Holiness Touring the New Building
Slide show from tour of the new building by His Holiness
May 23  35 sec podcast
  (better quality)

youtube
His Holiness' visit to the NJ KTC
Slide show from the visit to the New Jersy Karma Thegsum Choling
May 23  1:24 min podcast
  (better quality)
Teaching from Shamong KTC NJ
Short video of talk from the New Jersey Karma Thegsum Choling
May 23  2:42 min    

youtube
His Holiness Karmapa arrives at Newark International Airport
His Holiness greeted by children at the Airport.
May 15  3:01 sec    

you tube
His Holiness arrives in New York City
Official welcoming ceremony in New York City Shambhala Center
May 16-19 4:47 min.
 

youtube
His Holiness' visit Kunzang Palchen Ling
Slide show from the visit to the Kunzang Palchen Ling, monastery of Bardor Tulku Rinpoche, Red Hook, NY.
May 22  2:20 min podcast
  (better quality)