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

The second Shamarpa, Kacho Wangpo (1350-1405)

Excerpts from The Garland of Moon Water Crystal by Situ Chokyi Jungnay and Belo Tsewang Kunkhyab

The second Shamarpa, Kacho Wangpo , was recognized by the fourth Karmapa, Rolpai Dorje, and was his main student. He was a scholar as well as being accomplished in meditation. Kacho Wangpo identified the 5th Karmapa, Deshin Shegpa, and became his guru. He is well-known for having furthered the Kagyu teachings to a great extent. He also authored many treatises which define the precise meaning of the Kagyu teachings.

he tradition of succession by reincarnation originated in twelfth century Tibet with the example of Dusum Khyenpa, the first Karmapa. The Shamarpa Lineage dates back to the same century. It is the second line of reincarnates in the history of that tradition and it began when Rangjung Dorje, the third Karmapa, presented his principal disciple, Khaydrup Dragpa Senge, with a ruby red crown conferring the title Shamarpa (Holder of the Red Crown) on him.

This Red Crown is an exact replica of the Black Crown worn by the Karmapas and exemplifies the close relationship that exists between these two lines of reincarnates. Furthermore, the second Karmapa, Karma Pakshi, predicted that 'future Karmapas will manifest in two forms'. This statement was clarified later by the fourth Karmapa, Rolpe'i Dorje, when he designated the Shamarpa reincarnates as the second manifestation.

The Shamarpa is also known as a manifestation of Amitabha, The Buddha of Boundless Light.

Tibetan historical records speak of the Karmapa as Karma Shanakpa (Karmapa the Black Crown Holder) and the Shamarpa as Karma Shamarpa (Karmapa the Red Crown Holder). They are referred to as such in the historical texts of Golo Shonnu Pal (1392-1481), Pawo Tsuglag Trengwa (1504-1516), the fifth Dalai Lama, Ngawang Lozang Gyamtso (1617-1682), and the eighth Situpa, Chokyi Jungnay (1700-1774).
It is important to understand that these crowns are simply symbols of activities to benefit beings. The crowns do not denote separate lineages. Both 'The Black Hat Lama' and 'The Red Hat Lama' belong to the Karma Kagyu Lineage.

The Fifth Karmapa, Deshin Shegpa (1384-1415)




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