a r m a . K a g y u . T r a d i t i o n
Fifth Karmapa, Deshin Shegpa (1384-1415)
from The Garland of Moon Water Crystal by Situ Chokyi Jungnay and
Belo Tsewang Kunkhyab
Fifth Karmapa, Deshin Shegpa was born in the region of Nyang Dam
in Southern Tibet. As soon as he was born he sat up, wiped his face
and said, 'I am the Karmapa. Om Mani Padme Hum Hri'. The secretary
Rinchen Pal, who acted as the secretary of three Karmapas, heard
of this unusual child and brought him to Tsawa Phu in Kongpo where
a large group of the previous Karmapa's disciples were living. There
he met Shamar Kacho Wangpo, who at once recognised him as Rolpe'i
Dorje's reincarnation. Shamarpa gave him the Black Crown and all
the other possessions of the previous Karmapa that he had been entrusted
The young Karmapa received
the entire cycle of Kagyu teachings from Kacho Wangpo.
Throughout his life he travelled
far and wide, to Tibet, Mongolia and China, bestowing teachings
and empowerments. He was invited to China by the Emperor Tai Ming
Chen and became his guru. Having spent some years in China, he returned
to Tibet where he continued teaching as well as constructing many
stupas and shrines.
He found the young Shamar
reincarnation, Chopal Yeshe, supervised his ordination and transmitted
the Kagyu teachings to him.
Among his foremost disciples
Ratnabhadra became the next lineage holder. Deshin Shegpa passed
away at the age of thirty-one.
(Tib. Rinchen Zangpo) (15th century)