Lineage - Karma Choeling Buddhist Monastery

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His Holiness Orgyen Trinley Dorje, the spiritual leader of the Karma Kagyu lineage, was born in Eastern Tibet on June 26th, 1985 and was found according to the predictive letter written by his predecessor the 16th Karmapa.  He was enthroned at Tsurphu monastery in Tibet where he completed basic studies of Buddhist texts and Tibetan language and literature.

The Karmapas were the first lineage of reincarnate lamas and the present Karmapa is the seventeenth in that line. In late 1999, in order to meet his teachers in India, the Karmapa left Tibet travelling directly to the Dalai Lama, and he continues to stay at his temporary residence in Gyuto Monastery, not far from the Dalai Lama’s home. Though young in years the Karmapa has showed a wisdom and maturity well beyond his age.  He has become a skilled poet, artist, and composer of prayers and has presided over Monlam, the annual Kagyu Prayer Festival, since 2001.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama confirmed the recognition of the Karmapa and a close connection between the two spiritual leaders continues to this day. Both are considered emanations of the bodhisattva of Compassion.

This photo was taken in May 2007, just prior to
His Holiness’ Dalai Lama's teaching and commentary on Guhyasamaja at the Tsuglagkhang.  Their Holinesses Gyalwang Karmapa and Sakya Trizin attended this teaching, along with over 2600 people including more than 2000 monks and nuns, and 169 foreigners.

The day after the cremation of HH 16th Karmapa,the General Secretary to the 16th Karmapa requested four heart-sons of His Holiness—Shamar Rinpoche, Tai Situ Rinpoche, Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche and Goshir Gyaltsab Rinpoche— to take joint responsibility for the spiritual affairs of the Karma Kagyu lineage and to locate Karmapa's instructions concerning his next rebirth and thus bring forward his next incarnation. The four Rinpoches refered to as the "four seat-holders", accepted the task and expressed their sincere desire to fulfill the wishes of the Sixteenth Karmapa. The four were to alternate as the regent of His Holiness, serving for three years in rotation, each taking lead responsibility for preserving the activity of the Karmapa during that three year period of their term. During this period the three wishes of the Karmapa — establishment of Nalanda Institute as a top-flight monastic university, the printing of 500 copies of the 215 volume Tengyur, and the construction of Karme Dharma Chakra Central in New Delhi — were completed.

Since his escape from Tibet in 2000 HH 17th Karmapa has resumed his role of head of the Kagyu Lineage.

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