Karmapa Rangjung Rigpé Dorje

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The Sixteenth Gyalwang Karmapa, photo courtesy of Kagyu Samye Ling

Karmapa Rangjung Rigpé Dorje (Tib. རང་བྱུང་རིག་པའི་རྡོ་རྗེ་, Wyl. rang byung rig pa'i rdo rje) (1924-1981) — the Sixteenth Karmapa. He left Tibet in 1959 and rebuilt the Rumtek monastery in Sikkim in 1962, making it the seat of the Karma Kagyü in exile. Through his vision and action, the future of the Kagyü tradition was ensured, despite the tragic events of the time in Tibet, and he played a major role in establishing the Kagyü School in both the East and West. He passed away in Chicago in 1981.

There are are currently two incarnations who hold the title of Seventeenth Karmapa:

Further Reading

  • Sogyal Rinpoche, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, revised and updated edition, Harper San Francisco, 2002, pages 224-225 & 270-271.
  • Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, Blazing Splendor: The Memoirs of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche (Boudhanath, Hong Kong & Esby: Rangjung Yeshe Publications, 2005), Ch. 7, 21 & 30.
  • Norma Levine, The Miraculous 16th Karmapa: Incredible Encounters with the Black Crown Buddha, Shang Shung Publications, 2013.

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