HH the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, Gendün Rinpoche and the young Karma Trinley Rinpoche. Photo: Bernard Lebeau
Who's the Karmapa?
A Short Explanation Regarding the Significance of the arrival of His
Holiness the Sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa, by Lama Gendun Rinpoche*
Long ago, after seeing the suffering of beings in the six realms,
compassion arose in the minds of all buddhas. In order to free all
beings from the suffering of countless rebirths in the circle of
conditioned existence, they gathered and prayed for the merit of beings
to ripen so that they might be liberated from their obscurations and
unskillful actions of body, speech and mind, the perfect, deep and clear
meditative absorption took place and Karmapa, emanation of the Great
Compassionate One, Lord Chenrezig, was named and thus appeared on earth.
From the first incarnation, Dusum Kyenpa, down to the present
incarnatation, Rangjung Rikpi Dorje, the Karmapas have shown themselves
In the past, countless numbers of buddhas have manifested throughout the
ten directions of space, showing to beings the holy teachings of the
enlightened ones. In the present Dharma Age we are under the guidance of
the teachings given by Shakyamuni Buddha. In the future, the Wheel of
the Dharma will be turned by His Holiness Karmapa, who will then be
known as the Buddha Drugpa Sinjay.
The precious Guru Padmasambhava has said, and in my opinion it is true
that if one sees the face of the Karmapa, or hears his voice,
unimaginable defilements and obscurations are removed and rebirth in the
lower realms is prevented.
In a text spoken by Shakyamuni Buddha (kr-wo-gnam lchag-we-spyad-leg) it
is said “from all the ten directions, all buddhas gathered in the centre
of the mandala and predicted that one called Karmapa will become in
order that the dharma may flourish.”
And (in the mdo-dsdus-pas-les) it is said “In countless numbers of
worlds, countless Karmapa incarnations will appear.”
Again (in the mgna-pas-les) it is said “In the ten directions,
throughout space, hundreds of thousands of buddhas are seated; and in
hundreds of thousands of worlds, countless Karmapa tulkus appear.”
In another text spoken by Buddha (mdo-ting-azine-rgyal-po-les) it is
said: “After my teachings are finished, there will appear like the
roaring of a lion, an emanation of the Great Compassionate One,
Chenrezig, this bodhisattva, called Karmapa will cause the fruit of
dharma to ripen and spread. At that time, all who have heard his voice,
seen or remembered him, will gain liberation.”
And again (in the mDo-Lang-Kar-gSheds-pa-les) it is said: “The lineage
of the Black Hat One (the Karmapas) will continue without interruption
for as long as the age of a Thousand Buddhas lasts, for the benefit and
welfare of all sentient beings without limit.”
All of the above quotations were not spoken by just anyone, but were
very clearly stated by Shakyamunl Buddha himself.
I think it is therefore important for us to know that this enlightened
being will be coming to Dhagpo Kagyu Ling, France in a few months, For
those with no knowledge of dharma, and, for the benefit of all beings, I
have written these few lines so that all may have the opportunity to see
His Holiness and to clearly understand the nature and the power of the
blessings his presence will convey. If one sees the face of Karmapa, one
is sure to be purified from all unskillful actions of the past. It is of
very great importance to have confidence and that is why I’ve written
this short paper.
from the Hippie-Magazine "International Times"
Issue 8, 4 (1977)