Eighth Karmapa, Mikyo Dorje (1507-1554)
from The Garland of Moon Water Crystal by Situ Chokyi Jungnay and
Belo Tsewang Kunkhyab
Eighth Karmapa, Mikyo Dorje was born in the province of Ngam Chu,
Eastern Tibet. As soon as he was born, he sat up and declared 'I
am the Karmapa! I am the Karmapa!'
Karmapa's father went to see Situ Tashi Namgyal who was in the vicinity
to tell him about his newborn son. Situpa said that he was almost
certain that the boy was the Karmapa reincarnation and told the
father to keep that in mind and care for the child accordingly.
about the same time the Amdo family of Kongpo in Central Tibet claimed
that their son was the Karmapa reincarnation. At the request of
many people Gyaltsap Tashi Namgyal took charge of this child.
Karmapa reincarnation born in Ngamchu was brought to the province
of Riwo Che and to Lho Rong, where many of the previous Karmapa's
disciples were staying. They were convinced that the child in their
care was the true incarnation.
problems ensued as the two parties could not agree. Therefore, Gyaltsap
had both children brought together in order to determine who was
the true Karmapa. When a situation like this occurs, it is tradition
to see if the candidates are able to pick out the possessions of
the predecessor from a stack of things which is a mix of the belongings
of the previous incarnation and other objects.
child from Ngam Chu was able to single out the possessions of his
predecessor whereas the other child failed to do so. Thus it was
established who was the true reincarnation. The young Karmapa announced
that the other candidate was the reincarnation of Zurmang Chungtsang
from the Zurmang Monastery in Eastern Tibet.
eighth Karmapa received all the Kagyu teachings from Denma Drubchen
Tashi Paljor. He also studied with and practised under the guidance
of many other masters.
established many monastic colleges and authored a great number of
transmitted the innermost teachings of the Kagyu lineage to the
fifth Shamarpa, Konchog Yenlag, who became the next lineage holder.
Mikyo Dorje passed away in his forty-seventh year.
Fifth Shamarpa, Konchog Yenlag (1526-1583)