K a r m a . K a g y u . T r a d i t i o n

The First Karmapa, Dusum Khyenpa (1110-1193)

Excerpts from The Garland of Moon Water Crystal (dawa-chu-shel-gyi-phreng-ba) by the eighth Situ, Chokyi Jungnay, and Belo Tsewang Kunkhyab

The First Karmapa, Dusum Khyenpa was born in the village of Ratay in East Tibet. His father was a Buddhist practitioner, and he received teachings from him as well as from many other teachers. Thus Dusum Khyenpa studied and practised Buddhism from an early age.

At the age of twenty he travelled to Central Tibet, where he studied extensively for twelve years with many great scholars such as Kyabpa Chokyi Senge and Patsab Lotsawa Nyima Trag. He met with Gampopa at the age of thirty and received Kagyu teachings for three years. He also received teachings from Rechungpa and other disciples of Milarepa. Thus, he studied and practised meditation for twelve years. The miraculous powers he developed enabled him to visit holy sites of the Vajrayana in India. In Uddhiyana, also a sacred Vajrayana site, he met dakinis from who he received extensive teachings.

At the age of forty-four he returned to East Tibet, where he remained until his death. During this period he constructed three well-known monasteries, spread the Kagyu teachings and attracted a great number of disciples. He had many students capable of carrying on the Kagyu lineage. From among those, Drogon Rechen became the lineage holder. Dusum Khyenpa passed away at the age of eighty-four.

Drogon Rechen (1148-1218)




News & Press release

17th Gyalwa Karmapa

14th Kunzig Shamarpa

Kagyu Lineage

Rinpoches' pages

World wide centres

Technical contacts