Karmapa

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The Karmapa (officially His Holiness the Gyalwa Karmapa) is the head of the Karma Kagyu, the largest sub-school of the Kagyupa (Tibetan Bka' brgyud), itself one of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism.

The historical seat of the Karmapas is Tsurphu Monastery in the Tolung valley of Tibet. His Holiness' principal seat in exile is the Dharma Chakra Centre at Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim, India. His regional monastic seats are Karma Triyana Dharmachakra in New York, Dhagpo Kagyu Ling in France and Tashi Choling in Bhutan.

Due to a controversy within the Karma Kagyu school over the recognition process, the identity of the current 17th Karmapa is disputed. See Karmapa controversy for details.

Contents

Origin of the lineage

Part of a series on Tibetan Buddhism

Practices and Attainment

Major Monasteries

Major Festivals

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The first Karmapa, Düsum Khyenpa (Dus gsum Mkhyen pa) (1110–1193), was a disciple of the Tibetan master Gampopa. A gifted child who studied dharma (Buddhist teachings) with his father from an early age and who sought out great teachers in his twenties and thirties, he is said to have attained enlightenment at the age of fifty while practicing dream yoga. He was henceforth regarded as the Karmapa, a manifestation of Avalokitesvara (Chenrezig), whose coming was predicted in the Samadhiraja Sutra[1] and the Lankavatara Sutra.[2]

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