The biography faithfully renders of what was the essence of His Holiness the 16th Karmapa’s qualities and activities. His Holiness the Karmapa was indeed radiant in his wisdom and in his compassion. There is no doubt that many students will greatly benefit from such a rich exposure to His Holiness’ life and work. His Holiness the 41st Sakya Trizin
In this world to simply hear about a sublime being like the 16th Karmapa, makes living more joyful and meaningful. This wonderful book, Radiant Compassion we get first-hand glimpses into the life and activity of this fully realized master. It is heart gripping narrative that captivates our minds and gives us reasons to rejoice in such accomplishment. To all seekers, this is a gift that is hard to put down.
Marcia Binder Schmidt Rangjung Yeshe Publications, writer, translator, and teacher. Co-author of Blazing Splendor: The Memoirs of the Dzogchen Yogi Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche
This is a wonderful book. I was not fortunate enough to meet the Sixteenth Karmapa, so like most people I have to rely on the stories of others to learn of him, and I am glad to have this book. Biographies of the masters are meant to inspire and educate, to show us that the teachings really can transform us. They serve as models of how to live an ethical life by giving us examples of those who embodied the dharma in daily life. Radiant Compassion is a great biography and a moving portrait of a truly magnificent teacher. We meet the Sixteenth Karmapa as a person who faced real challenges, made real decisions, and who at every turn manifested wisdom and compassion. The book has a beautiful balance of personal recollections of people who knew him, and solid biographical information that makes it absorbing from the very start. It’s funny and moving and very well put together. I’m eager to begin the second volume!
Alexander Gardner, PhD Director, Treasury of Lives: A Biographical Encyclopedia of Tibet, Inner Asia, and the Himalayan Region. Author of The Life of Jamgon Kongtrul the Great
Sandy Agnew's review: Judith Amtzis, the proofreader of the English edition of “Radiant Compassion” introduces: Sandy Agnew, this review’s primary writer, is a devoted disciple of His Holiness Penor Rinpoche and an old friend. I gave Sandy a copy of Radiant Compassion shortly after it appeared in English, not really sure whether she would read or enjoy it. As Sandy had neither encountered the 16th Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, nor read anything about him, I wasn’t sure she’d be interested. To my delight, she was entranced once she opened the book and engaged with the story of this most compassionate teacher.
Sandy told me how several times during the course of her reading she was moved to tears by sensing the love and compassion with which His Holiness treated all those he encountered, be they human or animal. Such is the power of the Karmapa and of Gerd Bausch’s telling of his story. This book, through the many descriptions of those who knew him, inspires and uplifts as did the man himself. Here begins Sandy’s review:
Radiant Compassion, The Life of the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa is an extraordinary book reflecting the early life of a remarkable Buddhist master. Gerd Bausch has meticulously researched and documented the 16th Karmapa’s immeasurable qualities through a multitude of stories, personal interviews, and reflections. The book is uniquely engaging and readable and offers hope and inspiration especially relevant at this moment in time.
Fascinating accounts and responses to encounters with the Karmapa, and particularly to experiencing the Black Crown Ceremony, reflect the awe and devotion he inspired. The myriad qualities of Yishin Norbu, the “wish-fulfilling jewel”—as the Karmapa was affectionately known—are documented: his selflessness, boundless generosity, clairvoyance, deep insight, positivity, humility, kindness, and compassion. Again and again, people mentioned his joyful demeanor and uplifting laughter even in the face of great challenges. Harder to explain was Rangjung Dorje’s special ability to change people simply through his presence. He was like the “sun,” like something “primordial.”
The reader gains insight into the tragic plight of Tibetan refugees through heartbreaking stories of those affected by the Chinese invasion. Following a forced flight from his beloved Tsurphu Monastery in central Tibet, after establishing his new seat in the remote mountain kingdom of Sikkim, the 16th Karmapa significantly contributed to preserving Buddhism’s precious wisdom and spreading it throughout the world. As the respected teacher Dzigar Kontrul Rinpoche explains, “The fact that he restored the culture and tradition guaranteed the whole continuity of the lineage.”
In this time of division and mistrust, Radiant Compassion offers valuable inspiration. Rangjung Rigpe Dorje touched people across all boundaries, geographical and religious. He awakened devotion and appreciation among Tibetan Buddhist students, monks, and nuns, as well as among Hindu masters, traditional Sikhs, Jains, and Christians, including Pope Paul VI. He found followers among ordinary Indians, military men, and westerners from various countries and backgrounds. The people of Sikkim called him “our Buddha.” Just as His Holiness Karmapa touched such a wide array of people, so will this book be beneficial to all who encounter it.