42. 17th Karmapa 1985

O rgyan phrin las rdo rje


“In general, at a precise moment in time, when disciples' merit and the Lama's compassion connect with each other, the great and genuine beings will give up one emanation body and appear in another. Once again, disciples will be able to meet face to face with the supreme emanations and to enjoy their portion of the nectar of their Lama's speech.”

-- Venerable Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche


The Seventeenth Gyalwa Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, was born on June 26, 1985 into a family who were part of the community of nomads residing in Bakor (the “Valley of the Cow”) in the Lhatok region of East Tibet. His father’s name is Karma Döndrub, and his mother’s name is Lolaga. His mother had astonishing dreams during her pregnancy, e.g., that white cranes offered her a bowl of yoghurt that had a golden letter resting on top of the bowl. Rainbows stretched across the cloudless and clear sky on the afternoon before the birth of her son. On the day he was born, a cuckoo landed on the tent in which the baby was born and a soothing conch-like sound was heard by many throughout the valley. In Tibet, such events are seen as wondrous signs that an enlightened being has been born into this world.

The child was named Apo Gaga by Amdo Pälden, Abbot of Kalek Monastery. A mirror divination foretold that the boy’s destiny would be revealed before he turned eight. Until then, Apo Gaga received instructions from Amdo Pälden in a seat reserved for him at Kalek Monastery and returned to his family to help during the harvest season. Lolaga recounts: “He built toy monasteries and a throne of stone and earth, where he would sit and recite prayers. When others killed animals, he would look at them with compassion and shed tears.” In 1992, the boy asked his parents to move to their summer pasture a month earlier and told them to expect a visit from travelling monks. Aware of the fact that their son was extraordinary, his parents did as he said. Soon after setting up their new home, the search party arrived and found the reincarnation according to the prediction letter that the Sixteenth Karmapa had written and given to His Eminence the Twelfth Tai Situpa. The details of Apo Gaga's birth and life matched the predictions of the letter, which reads:


“Emaho! Self awareness is always bliss;
The Dharmadhatu is free from center or edge.
To the north of here, in the east (of the land) of snow
Is a country where self-arisen divine thunder blazes.
In a beautiful nomad’s place with the name of a cow,
The method is Döndrup and the wisdom is Lolaga.
Born in the year of the one used for the earth
With the wondrous, far-reaching sound of the white one,

This is the one known as Karmapa.

He will be nurtured by Lord Dönyö Drupa..
Without bias, he pervades all directions.
Without being close to some and distant from others,
He is the protector of all beings.
The sun of the Buddha’s Dharma that benefits others always blazes.”


The day that the search party from Tsurphu was about to arrive, Apo Gaga told everyone that his monks were coming. He danced with joy and told his parents to set up a special tent. Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche had been appointed to represent the Vajra Regents and to officially escort the Gyalwa Karmapa to Tsurphu Monastery. However, Rinpoche tragically passed away in a car crash near Rumtek Monastery on April 26, 1992, only a few days before he had planned to leave for Tibet. His early death was caused by those who were creating obstacles for the Kagyü Lineage. For more than forty-nine days his funeral rites were carried out at Rumtek Monastery, headed by Situ Rinpoche and Gyaltsab Rinpoche. Following, each Regent sent a personal representative to greet the Karmapa and escort him to Tsurphu. After the search party made inquiries with the families in that area, they then proceeded to Apo Gaga’s tent and interviewed his parents. Having learned about the child, they escorted him to Kalek Monastery. Akong Tulku Rinpoche (as Situ Rinpoche's representative) and Sherab Gyaltsen (as Gyaltsab Rinpoche's representative) arrived to offer gifts and to confirm the identity of the reincarnation of the Sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa. Sangye Tenzin Rinpoche bathed the reincarnate Karmapa and presented His Holiness with the monastic robes. When they left Kalek Monastery to escort him to Tsurphu, three suns appeared in the sky and were seen by hundreds of people.


The Karmapa blessed his disciples with his first poem shortly after arriving at the seat of the Karmapas in the Tölung Valley of Central Tibet on June 15, 1992. He was greeted by ceremonies, folk dances, music, singing, and celebrations at his ancestral seat. The first spiritual song he composed in this life, simply entitled the “Four Lines,” is:


“Unequalled son of Shuddhodhana, foremost among human beings,

Guru Padmakara, a second Buddha,

Düsum Khyenpa, founder of the teaching tradition of the Practice Lineage,

I supplicate you: grant your blessings.


Having reached the age of nine years, this was written during the festival of Saga Dawa of the Water-bird year of the 17th Rabjung (1993) at the Dharma Palace of Tsur Dowo Lung by the one blessed by having received the name Buddha Karmapa and called Pal Khyabdak Rangjung Ugyen Gyalwae Nyugu Trinley Dorje Tsal Choklé Nampar Gyalwae Dé. May this be virtuous.


The leader of the People's Republic of China approved of the Karmapa and allowed his activity to take place. Supported by Goshir Gyaltsab Rinpoche, many great Lamas, and devotees, His Eminence Tai Situ Rinpoche performed the Hair-cutting Ceremony (that symbolizes the Karmapa’s renunciation of samsara) on August 2, 1992 in front of Jowo, the sacred statue of Shakyamuni Buddha in the Jokhang Temple of Lhasa. Gifts from the Dalai Lama were presented to the Karmapa, which included the Dalai Lama's personal rosary beads. At that time the Karmapa also received the Genyen (the “lay-practitioner”) vows. On July 24, 2002, he received the Getsül (the “novice monk”) vows from the Dalai Lama.


On September 27, 1992, approximately 25,000 people from all over Tibet and the world attended the official enthronement ceremony of Apo Gaga as the Seventeenth Gyalwa Karmapa that was performed by His Eminences Tai Situpa and Gyaltsab Rinpoches at Tsurphu Monastery. The first part of the ceremony was when the Minister for Religious Affairs of China granted his approval and wishes for His Holiness. The second part of the ceremony was the traditional enthronement. During the prayers that followed, Tai Situ Rinpoche presented the eight auspicious symbols, the eight auspicious substances, and the seven possessions of a universal monarch to the Karmapa. Religious teachings were given by Lamas, such as the highest Nangchen Drukpa teacher Adeu Rinpoche, the Palpung Khenpo Zhönu Dawa, and Khenpo Dönyö Lodrö from Kalu Rinpoche’s monastery. His Eminence Gyaltsab Rinpoche explained the five magnificent conditions of the Karmapa’s manifestation: the magnificence of his teacher, of his residence, of the time of his enthronement, of his entourage, and of his teachings. His Eminence Gyaltsab Rinpoche, together with other high Lamas such as Thrangu Rinpoche, offered a complete manadala offering to the Karmapa. His Eminence Tai Situpa then offered a statue (the body representation of a Buddha), a Sutra (the speech representation of a Buddha), and a Stupa (the mind representation of a Buddha) to the Karmapa. According to the command of Guru Padmasambhava in his Treasure Terma revealed by Chogyur Lingpa in the mid-nineteenth century, the Seventeenth Karmapa was named “The Glorious All-Pervading Spontaneously-Manifested One of Oddiyana, Sprout of the Victorious Ones, Vajra of Enlightened Activity to Teach Beings, Accomplished One, Victorious in all Directions.” His named is shortened to “Ogyen Trinley Dorje,” which reflects that his essence is inseparable from Guru Rinpoche, the one from O-rgyän (Oddiyana in Sanskrit). Between the day of the enthronement and the next, thousands of devotees lined up to be blessed by the Gyalwa Karmapa. On the next day, a group of birds circled clockwise above the temple and a rainbow stretched across the sky as the young Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, gave his first empowerment, that of Red Chenrezig, to a crowd of over ten thousand disciples.


At Tsurphu Monastery, the Gyalwa Karmapa received most of his early education under the guidance of Drupon Dechen Rinpoche. Immersing himself in a monastic life of study and meditation, the Karmapa is able to comprehend an entire text only after one recitation. By the age of 13, he had already completed all requirements in the study of Tibetan grammar and literature, the arts, religious dances, monastic skills, and ritual texts. This was completed mainly under the direction of Umze Thubten Zangpo and Lama Lodrö Sherab, who both served the Sixteenth Karmapa as attendants. His Holiness then began studying Buddhist philosophy, which included the texts “ The Profound Inner Meaning” composed by the Third Gyalwa Karmapa, the “ Uttara Tantra Commentary” by Buddha Maitreya, and “The Two Seals,” while each day he saw hundreds of visitors who came from all over Tibet and from around the world to receive his blessings and spiritual advice.


In 1994, Gyalwa Karmapa visited the Gelugpa monasteries and centers of the Potala, Jokhang, Tashilunpo, Drepung, Sera, and Ganden. He then travelled to Beijing and met President Jiang Zemin. Chöje Lama Phuntsok tells us that President Jiang Zemin told the Karmapa, “If ever you need anything, I will help you.” His Holiness replied, “Thank you very much. I don’t need anything for myself. But ever since 1959 our universities, monasteries, and libraries are destroyed and most of our books were burned. I know that many of our sacred texts are now being kept in Peking, at Norbu Lingka, and elsewhere. Please help me get hold of them, especially those of the Kagyü School, otherwise I need no help.” Lama Phuntsok added: “Imagine how skilled His Holiness was when, at such a young age, he said this to the Chairman of the People’s Republic of China. No other 12-year old boy would even think about things like this (…). Jiantse-Min even gave a written statement to His Holiness that he would make photocopies of the sacred texts and give them to him, which he did. So His Holiness has many copies of texts that are 500 or 600 years old. This is certainly an amazing and wonderful feat.” During his travels in China, His Holiness paid homage to the Buddha’s tooth that is enshrined in Beijing, visited the Wutai Mountains that are sacred to Bodhisattva Manjushri, and the cities of Sanghai, Chengdu, and Nanking.


Due to his omniscient wisdom, the Karmapa is able to recognize reincarnations of eminent masters. At the request of the monasteries and the office of the Nenang Pawo Rinpoche (who passed away in 1991), His Holiness recognized Rinpoche’s eleventh incarnation in 1994; Pawo Rinpoche then returned to Nenang Monastery in Tibet. At the request of the Labrang of Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche, the Karmapa predicted the circumstances of Jamgon Kongtrul’s rebirth. His Holiness granted a formal letter, instructions, and sketches for the search party to find Rinpoche. After the search party encountered a few obstacles, the Fourth Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche was found in August of 1996 in the village of Shemey Shang in the district of Chushur. When the search party returned and informed His Holiness, he simply unveiled a toy house that was identical with the actual house of Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche’s family. The Karmapa performed the Hair-cutting Ceremony at Tsurphu on Lhabab Duchen in September of 1996 and gave Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche the name Lodrö Chökyi Nyima. Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche was then brought to India, where His Holinesses the Dalai Lama, Sakya Trizin, and Mindroling Trichen confirmed his reincarnation. Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche then returned to his main seat at the great Pullhari Monastery in Nepal. Tenzin Dorje, General Secretary of the previous and present Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche, also requested His Holiness for a prophesy concerning the reincarnation of the Third Dolpo Shelri (a disciple of the Second Jamgon Kongtrul and sincere devotee to the Third Jamgon Kongtrul). The Fourth Dolpo Shelri Rinpoche was found in 1998 based on the Karmapa’s prophecy and was brought to his monastery, Tsakhang Gompa, situated at Shey in Upper Dolpo in Nepal. The Jamgon Kongtrul Labrang has carried on the responsibility for Tsakhang Gompa. Today, the Venerable Fourth Dolpo Shelri Rinpoche lives and studies with His Eminence the Fourth Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche. The reincarnation of Dilyak Dabzang Rinpoche, an emanation of Gampopa and disciple of the Sixteenth Karmapa, was also predicted, without any hesitation, by the young Gyalwa Karmapa.


On May 10, 1998, Drupon Dechen Rinpoche of Tsurphu Monastery passed away. The Karmapa performed the cremation and did P howa for him. A Stupa was made between the destroyed Stupas of the First and Second Karmapas for Drupon Dechen. After his passing, the Karmapa assumed complete responsibility for the Tsurphu Monastery and Khenpo Palden became his tutor. The monastery underwent extensive rebuilding to restore the temples, shrines, Stupas, a Shedra (“monastic college”), and residences that had severely decayed and were neglected over the years, fulfilling one of the main duties of a Karmapa. As the years went by, however, His Holiness sought to receive the empowerments and transmissions of the Oral Kagyü Practice Lineage, but was unable to do so fully because most of the eminent Kagyü Lineage-holders were in India.


Chöje Lama Phuntsok tells us: “His Holiness decided to flee to India when he was 13 and managed to do so when he was 14 years old. Around 60 or 70 Chinese police were constantly guarding the Karmapa at Tsurphu, so he could never go outside the monastery without a guard trailing him. But on December 28 th, 1999, at 11 o’clock at night, he left Tsurphu unnoticed and fled from Tibet via Nepal to Dharamsala in India. Nobody even noticed him while he was on the way, not even the military posts. He arrived in India five days later, on January 3, 2000. It’s almost inconceivable, seeing he had no passport and visa. When one thinks about the activities that His Holiness has manifested, then it is extraordinary.


“Only two people knew that His Holiness would leave Tsurphu. People are usually very nervous and cannot eat or sleep before undertaking something as decisive and dangerous as that, but nobody noticed any change in his demeanour. At 10 o’clock in the night of January 3, 2000, he left his car behind and walked across the border to Nepal. There aren’t police or military posts, no villages or houses either; only a few tradesmen spend the night in their cars there. Even though there was no moonlight, His Holiness the Karmapa noticed that the sky was very clear due to the bright light of the stars. It was a very auspicious night - the tradesmen felt so much peace, without knowing that the Karmapa was near them. He was able to ease them, because he had no fear. If someone like us were trying to escape, we would be very scared and would tremble with fright, scaring those who are near us. The district in Nepal across the border from Tibet is called Mustang, and His Holiness spent his first night in

a village called Nethang.


“His Holiness stayed in the home of villagers in Nethang. These people have great faith and devotion in the Karmapa, but they did not know that he spent the night in their little home. He was not wearing robes, but was dressed in simple street clothes, was wearing a fancy gold ring, and had a pack of cigarettes visible in his shirt pocket so that nobody would have the slightest notion that the Karmapa was in their presence. The Karmapa was accompanied by five or six Lamas and monks, and, in order to conceal their identity, the older monk sat down on the throne and acted as though he was guiding the group, while the Karmapa pretended to be his servant. The humble villagers asked him if he was also a Lama, but he answered, ‘No, no. I am only a student and am going to my teacher in India.’ He asked the host for a blanket and lay down on the floor near what serves as an outhouse inside the cottage. Nevertheless, there were villagers who thought to themselves that he was a Lama; they suspected that he was a Lama who was protecting himself. The next morning the group left, and the family still did not know that they had given the Karmapa a place to sleep that night.


“The group continued walking across the Thorwa Pass to Manang. In winter, Manang Valley is covered with thick snow and villagers usually descend to the lowlands to avoid the cold. Few people remain to look after their houses and livestock. The group of refugees spent the next night in a little lodge in Manang. The next morning a helicopter was flown in from Kathmandu and took the Karmapa and the little group to Nagakot near Kathmandu. The Karmapa spent that night in a hotel at Nagakot.


“After having crossed the border to Nepal, the Gyalwa Karmapa and his group were taken to the Indian border. He crossed into India on January 3, 2000 and immediately went to a hotel in Dharamsala. An employee at the hotel phoned the Office of the Tibetan Government in Exile and told the person who answered the phone that the Karmapa was there. A representative of the Dalai Lama came to the hotel, was extremely perplexed, and didn’t hesitate to phone the Dalai Lama right away. They rushed the Karmapa to the residence of the Dalai Lama, without even taking the time to offer kathaks or make prostrations, that’s how excited and happy they were – as though a mother had found her lost child. On January 5, BBC broadcast the news worldwide that His Holiness the Gyalwa Karmapa had arrived in India.”


While fleeing, His Holiness composed a few spiritual songs and wrote: “These words of aspiration, sprung from a sincere intention, were written down by Ogyen Trinley, the one who bears the noble name of the Karmapa, while he was escaping from Tibet.  One night in the illusory appearance of a dream, on a lake bathed in clear moonlight and rippled with blooming lotus flowers serving as a seat for three Brahmins who appeared wearing pure white silk and playing a drum, guitar, flute and other instruments. Created in pleasing and lyric tones, their melodious song came to my ears, and so I composed this aspiration prayer with a one-pointed mind, filled with an intense and sincere intention to benefit all the people of Tibet.  Within a beautiful and auspicious chain of mountains, this land of Tibet, may the sun rays of the supreme aspiration for awakening swiftly appear.” The first verse of aspiration, entitled “A Sweet Melody of Fortunate Ones ,” is:


“ Om Swasti.

The right-turning conch of pure compassion in body, speech, and mind
Pours forth a stream of good intentions that never change.
Thereby, may a sweet, resonant melody beyond compare, such music for the ears,
Open the lotus petals of virtue, excellence, and goodness.

It has the supreme name of the Wish Fulfilling Tree, the ambrosial one.
Musical tones of this stainless tree, granting every wish, are dulcet and pleasing.
Throughout its branches the gems of lasting happiness nestle among their leaves.
Sovereign in our realm, may the world be resplendent with the beauty of this tree.”


The Indian government kindly granted the Karmapa refugee status in 2001, and he continues to stay at his temporary residence in Gyuto Monastery in Dharamsala. The Karmapa’s wish to receive further instructions and meet with his former teachers is being fulfilled as he studies Buddhist philosophy and meditation while being imparted the transmissions and empowerments from the Regents and Lineage-holders of the Kagyüpa Tradition. The Most Venerable Thrangu Rinpoche was appointed to be his tutor by the Dalai Lama. His Eminence Tai Situ Rinpoche is his Root Guru.


In the teachings, Chöje Lama Phuntsok said: “Thinking about it, that a 14-year old boy fled Tibet and reached India within five days without the Chinese, Nepali, or Indian officials knowing, is miraculous when it comes to outer circumstances. But the inner life-story is another manifestation of His Holiness’ wondrous abilities. And now, the Gyalwa Karmapa regularly supervises the Great Disputations that are carried out (at Tergar Monastery) for an entire month between scholars and monks during their examinations. He also organizes and presides over the Great Kagyü Mönlam (founded by Khyabje Kalu Rinpoche and organized by Venerable Bokar Rinpoche before he passed away recently) that takes place every year at Bodhgaya. (…) His Holiness offers many teachings and empowerments on that occasion.” In these teachings, Chöje Lama added: “There was quite a vast collection of literature in the Kagyü School on Sutras, Tantras, and yogic practices during the times of the Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth Karmapas (between 1400 and 1600 CE). They became scattered during the times of the Tenth Karmapa. His Holiness the Seventeenth Karmapa has expressed his wish to have these texts again.”


The Gyalwa Karmapa has been permitted by the Indian governmental authorities to engage in tours to Buddhist sites in India and annually travels to Bodhgaya and Sarnath for important Kagyü ceremonies over which he presides. He has also travelled to Ladakh, Tibetan settlements in southern India, Calcutta, and elsewhere in Himachal Pradesh. His Holiness still awaits permission from the Indian authorities to return to Rumtek Monastery, the traditional seat of the Gyalwa Karmapas in Sikkim, India.


In 2008, the Gyalwa Karmapa received permission to travel to the United States to teach the Dharma for his first time in the West and to renew the link he had in his last life with his disciples. Information about his historic first visit to the West from May 15 to June 2 is available in the website “karmapa.visit.org.” In “The Official blog for the 2008 U.S. visit of His Holiness,” an American Indian sage posted the following comment:


"I don't think humanity realizes what is taking place at this very moment.
To have such a great incarnation walking the earth at this time is our saving grace.

The native Americans have been waiting for this revelation,
The opportunity to prevent self-destruction is here.

The White Buffalo Calf Woman said that she would return to help usher in a time of peace.

The presence of His Holiness in America is this timing."


In the Foreword to “The Varja Garland. The Lotus Garden. Treasure Biographies of Padmakara and Vairochana,” His Eminence the Fourth Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche wrote:


“Through the ripening of the benevolent aspirations of our Teacher, the peerless Buddha Shakyamuni, Buddhism initially flourished in India and was like a lotus garden created there for beings’ benefit and delight. Fortunate beings naturally gathered from all directions, like bees coming to collect nectar of honey. These beings became like vases filled to the brim with the treasure of Dharma, which they subsequently translated into their native languages. We can clearly see today that it was through their sharing of Dharma with the fortunate people of their various lands that Buddhism still exists as an undiminished, living tradition.”


Disciples and devotees of the Seventeenth Gyalwa Karmapa regularly sing the spiritual song, entitled “An Aspiration for the World,” that he composed. The song can be downloaded from the link “Audio” in the section “Audios, Teachings and others” of the Karma Lekshey Ling Institute website. The text to the spiritual song is:


“World, we live and die on your lap.
On you we experience all our woes and joys.
You are our ancestral home of old.
Forever we cherish and adore you.


We wish to transform you into the pure realm of our dreams.
We wish to transform you into a land for all creatures,
Equal for all and free of prejudice.
We wish to transform you into a loving, warm, and gentle goddess.


Our hope in you is so ever resolute.
So please be the ground on which we all may live
So all these wishes may come true,
So all these wishes may come true.


Do not show us the dark side of your character,
Where nature's calamities reign.


In every section of our world's land
May there thrive a fertile field of peace and joy,
Rich with the leaves and fruits of happiness,
Filled with the many sweet scents of freedom.
May we fulfill our countless and boundless wishes.”


The Kagyü Office website of His Holiness (“kagyuoffice.org”) offers extensive information on the Seventeenth Gyalwa Karmapa. The sidebar provides links to sections on His Holiness' current activities and schedule, as well as his personal history, from his recognition through his life in Tibet, his long journey from Tibet to India, to the current day.



Dedication Prayers


Through this goodness, may omniscience be attained

And thereby may every enemy (mental defilement) be overcome.

May beings be liberated from the ocean of samsara

That is troubled by waves of birth, old age, sickness, and death.


By this virtue may I quickly attain the state of Guru Buddha, and then

Lead every being without exception to that very state!

May precious and supreme Bodhicitta that has not been generated now be so,

And may precious Bodhicitta that has already been never decline, but continuously increase! 


May the lives of the Glorious Lamas remain steadfast and firm.

May peace and happiness fully arise for beings as limitless (in number) as space (is vast in its extent).

Having accumulated merit and purified negativities, may I and all living beings without exception

swiftly establish the levels and grounds of Buddhahood.



A Prayer for the Long Life of the Seventeenth Gyalwa Karmapa,

written by His Holiness Minling Trichen

Namo Gurubhe!
Ultimate guide, the Three Secrets of the Accomplished Ones incarnate,
Regent of the Glorious Ones of the three times, protector of sentient beings,
sole refuge, perpetual and unfailing, foremost of the Three Jewels,
unequalled self-manifestation of the compassion of all the Glorious Ones,
may you remain unchanging in perfect health for a hundred eons!

Supreme Mountain, abiding continually for the disciples of this world,
having completely crossed the ocean of Dharma of the Three Vehicles,
unfurl the Victory Banner of the doctrine of the superior vehicle,
on the summit of the King of Mountains,
never sinking, extending over all.


Supplication for the Longevity of the Seventeenth Gyalwa Karmapa,

written by His Holiness Sakya Trinzin

Emanation of the sixth Guide of Beings in this Fortunate Eon and of the great Siddha Saraha, the seventeenth incarnation of Düsum Khyenpa, may your lotus feet stand firm and your activity increase.

You see just as it is the very nature of all phenomena to be known and through your love, you act as refuge of all beings. Through your power you are victorious over the maras. May your lotus feet stand firm and your activity increase.

The illumination of your activity, derived from your accumulated merit and wisdom, developed in full array, causes the forest of lotuses of the Doctrine of the Glorious One to flourish. Moon of the speech of the Pure Dharma, may your lotus feet stand firm and your activity increase.

You are the main teacher of hundreds of thousands of renunciates, the father of a million bodhisattvas, and the great master of countless vidyadharas. May your lotus feet stand firm and your activity increase.

You plant the banner of victory of the teaching in this world. The flag of your renown is unfurled in all quarters. Lord of the activity of the Glorious Ones, Karmapa, may your lotus feet stand firm and your activity increase.

You who spreads the teaching of the King of Sages and are the protector of beings in this time of degeneracy, emanation of the Lord of the World, Chenrezig, Karmapa, may your lotus feet stand firm and your activity increase.

May these prayers be accomplished through the interdependent vows of the supreme guide, the Holy Lama, the truth of the authentic Three Jewels, and our own pure, excellent wish.

In accordance with the wishes of the lord protectors, the supreme Tai Situ Rinpoche and the supreme Tsurphu Gyaltsab Rinpoche, this aspiration was made by Ngawang Kunga of Drolma Podrang, the throne holder of the glorious Sakyas as an alteration of a previous composition. May this aspiration be accomplished. Written in 1992.



The Short Long Life Prayer for His Holiness, Ogyen Trinley Dorje


// mi-che tak-pa rang-jung chö-kyi-ku
gyu-trul zuk-kyi kur-zheng kar-ma-pay
sang-sum dorje kam-su rab-ten-chin
tha-ye trin-ley lhung-drub päl-war-shog //

Naturally arising Dharmakaya, unchanging and ever-present,

Karmapa, you appear as the form kayas' magical illusions.

May your three secret vajras remain stable in the realms

And your infinite spontaneous activity blaze in glory.




Kagyu Office of His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, “The Golden Rosary” (2008).

His Holiness the Seventeenth Gyalwa Karmapa, “Four Line Aspiration Prayer,” translated by The Dzogchen Ponlob Rinpoche and Martin Marvet, in Kagyü Office, Poems (2008).

His Holiness the 17 th Gyalwa Karmapa, “A Sweet Melody of Fortunate Ones,” translated under the guidance of Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche by Michele Martin, in: Prayer4peace.net (2008).

His Holiness the 17 th Gyalwa Karmapa, “An Aspiration for the World,” translated under the guidance of The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche by Tyler Dewar, in: Nalandabodhi.org, Seattle (2008).

The official blog for the 2008 U.S. visit of His Holiness the 17 th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, May 15-June 2, 2008, comment posted on May 19/22, 2008.

For transcripts of His Holiness’ teachings presented at the Great Kagyü Mönlam, please see: “kagyumonlam.org/English/Lectures.”

His Eminence Jamgon Kongtrul the Fourth, Lodrö Chökyi Nyima, Foreword to “The Varja Garland. The Lotus Garden. Treasure Biographies of Padmakara and Vairochana,” transl. by Yeshe Gyamtso, N.Y., 2005, pages vi-viii.

Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, Foreword to “Emaho! - His Eminence Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche the Fourth,” published by the Jamgon Kongtrul Labrang, Pullahari Monastery in Nepal, 1998, page v.

Chöje Lama Phuntsok, “His Holiness the Gyalwa Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje,” instructions presented at Karma Theksum Tashi Chöling in Hamburg in 2006, in: Karma Lekshey Ling Institute, “Downloads - Teachings by Lamas of Karma Lekshey Ling Institute,” Kathmandu, 2008.

Simhanada, “The Kagyü Lineage” (2008).

Karma Triyana Dharmachakra, “The Kagyü Lineage,” N.Y. (2008).


Dedicated to H.H. the Seventeenth Gyalwa Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje,

H.E. the Fourth Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche, Lodrö Chökyi Nyima,

And all the wonderful Khenpos and Lamas of the Kagyü Lineage,

we pray that they live long and prosper and spread the true Dharma throughout the world!


(“Thank you,” Khenpo Karma Namgyal. Compiled by Gaby Hollmann, responsible for all inadequacies and mistakes. Munich, Sept. 2008.)

© Karma Lekshey Ling Shedra, Post Box No.8435, Swoyambhu, Kathmandu, Nepal