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The 16th Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje was one of the greatest Buddhist teachers and meditation masters of his time. He was born in Derge in Eastern Tibet in 1924.
In 1931 the young incarnate was ordained as a novice monk and then studied in the Tsurphu monastery deepening his meditative realization of Sutra, Tantra, Mahamudra, and the “Six Yogas of Naropa”. In 1959, in view of the occupation of Tibet, the Karmapa decided to flee his country realizing that the cause of the Dharma would be served best by escaping the ever-tightening grip of Communist China. Accordingly, together with an entourage of 160 lamas, monks and laymen, Karmapa left the Tsurphu monastery, the traditional seat of the Karmapas, and proceeded towards India. Under Karmapa's guidance the party was able to take along the most precious statues, ritual items, relics, thangkas and books, which had been preserved at Tsurphu monastery over the centuries.
The ruler of the state of Sikkim in North-Western India offered the Rumtek monastery to the Gyalwa Karmapa; the monasterywas built during the time of Karmapa's 9th incarnation, Wangchuk Dorje (1556 -1603). Karmapa undertook the construction of a new monastery in Rumtek, which was completed in four years thanks to the generous help of the Indian government and the ruler of Sikkim,. The new monastery in Rumtek became the Karmapa’s official seat outside Tibet and the center of Buddhist study, ritual, and practice.
The 16th Karmapa's deep wish was that Buddha's Diamond Way teachings would be available to all those who feel inspired, also outside the Himalayas. He looked far into the future without any cultural or social limitations.
In 1974, invited by his first Western disciples Ole and Hannah Nydahl, the 16th Karmapa led a party of Karma Kagyu lamas to the West, visiting Europe, America and Canada for the first time. This and following visits resulted in founding centers of lay Buddhist practitioners which have been developing intensively until today. Run by Lama Ole Nydahl, they remain under the spiritual guidance of the 16th Karmapa's spiritual successor, the 17th Karmapa Thaye Dorje.
H.H. the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa died on November 5th 1981 in a hospital near Chicago.
|Would you like to know more?|
|Recommended websites in English|
(Worldwide Diamond Way Buddhism website)
(HH 17th Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje web page)
(The International Diamond Way Buddhist Project)
(Lama Ole Nydahl web page)
(Diamond Way teachings website)
(You Tube chanel with Lama Ole Nydahl's lectures)