16th Karmapa, Rigpe Dorje at Rumtek Monastery

Catalogue of Extant Works

16th Gyalwang Karmapa

For an Introduction to the Catalogue, see here.

Tibetan Language

In 2017, a three-volume edition of the 16th Karmapa’s Works in Tibetan was compiled and published by Tibetan scholar, Tashi Tsering, more on that publication here.

  • 16th Karmapa’s Collected Works. Published by Tsurphu Labrang and Amnye Machen Institute and Tashi Tsering (2017). See: TBRC W8LS18007)
  • English translations of the outlines of Second and Third Volumes by Adele Tomlin (Dakini Publications, 2021) are here and here.
English Language

There are several interviews (translated into English) in which the 16th Karmapa gives teachings and explanations. All are currently without English transcript. I hope to produce a transcript for all these interviews soon. Other videos are of the 16th Karmapa performing the black crown ceremony.

  • Wish Fulfilling Gem: An Interview with 16th Karmapa with Deborah Peck (New York 1980, published on Meridian Trust website, see here Wish Fulfilling Gem, An Interview with H.H. the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa – The Meridian Trust ( Here is an English transcript (kindly provided by Jerzy in 2021). I will produce one later, which is closer to the Karmapa’s original Tibetan. There is also a Polish translation/transcript of it, see here.There is also a Polish translation/Transcript of this, see here.
  • Vermont TV interview with 16th Karmapa  (Canada 1976).[3] The show was called “Vermont Report”, a half-hour Public Television news program from Vermont. The footage is from the “extras” disc which features with the documentary film “Recalling a Buddha” (2009) by Greg Eller.Also present are 3rd Jamgon Longtrul Rinpoche, Gedun Gyatso (representative of 16th Karmapa, France), 3rd Bardor Rinpoche and Lama Tenzin Chonyi (President of Karma Triyana Chakra, USA) among other lamas, including Karmapa’s personal attendant. The interview is commenced with a remarkable 5 minute recitation, led by the 16th Karmapa, invoking the three jewels. See here. [UPDATE: English transcript of this interview based on the original Tibetan, published here in October 2021, see 16th Gyalwang Karmapa’s 40th Paranirvana (Part I): First English transcript/translation of 1976 Vermont TV Interview].
  • Rumtek interview 1978. There is currently no public record of this in English. Polish translation by Karma Trinley Dragpa (aka Lama Rinczen (1982), see .pdf here.
  • Manjushri empowerment, oral transmission, guru yoga for 8th Karmapa, chanted by 16th Karmapa solo, for audio see here.
  • Song From My Heart. This song comes from booklet published In 1980/81?  by 16th Karmapa to edit, titled Dzalendara and Sacharchupa, translated by Katia Holmes, details are in book Miraculous 16th Karmapa (Norma Levine). English only. Tibetan source not available[2]. Pdf scan here.
  • A Song. Composed while preparing a new edition of the woodblock of The Oceans of Songs of the Kagyu Fathers, after being asked by Discipline Master, Drupgyu Tendar. Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre – A Song.
  • Songs and Teachings of Karmapas  Publication date unknown, possibly 2006. English only.
  • The Songs of Rangjung Rigpe DorjeRain of Wisdom. Translated by Nalanda Translation Committee, originally published in 1980 (Shambhala Publications (2010). Pdf scan see here.
  • Song Whose Time has Come:  The Melodious Illumination of the Six-legged Bee. Composed at Tshurphu in 1944. Translated by Michelle Martin with Thrangu Rinpoche guidance ( 1994?).  English and Tibetan. Contained in the Third Volume of Collected Works. English only. The Song Whose Time Has Come: The Melodius Hum of a Bee | Karmapa – The Official Website of the 17th Karmapa (
  • Blissful Roar of Melodious Experience. Spoken on 17th Day, 5th Tibetan month (1961). Published by Rumtek Monastery on 25th day, 5th Tibetan month (July 7th 1961).   Translated by Michele Martin with Thrangu Rinpoche guidance (1992 and 1994). Contained in the Third Volume of Collected Works. English only. Blissful Roar Of Melodious Experience | Karmapa – The Official Website of the 17th Karmapa (
  • Song is Ala Thala Thala. Composed by 16th Karmapa when he was 17 years old at Palpung Chokhor Ling, Tibet (1951). Translated by Michelle Martin with Thrangu Rinpoche guidance (1994). English and Tibetan. Contained in the Third Volume of Collected WorksA Song | Karmapa – The Official Website of the 17th Karmapa (
  • This Ordinary Mind of Nowness. Song by 16th Karmapa found in Australian Kagyu booklet together with 16th Karmapa text: Message. Other details unknown. English only. Pdf scan here.
  • Spontaneous Vajra Song at the Ground-Breaking Ceremony of Shri Rumtek Monastery, second month of the Wood-Hare year (1976?). Translated by Gelongma Palmo. See Extracts of Radiant Compassion, Vol. 2 by Gerd Bausch.  Extracts of Radiant Compassion Volume Two ( and here. A video of this song being read can be seen here.

There are two Guru Yoga sadhana texts in the Third Volume of the Collected Works, both of which have been translated into English (see below).

1.Continuous Nectar of Rain on the Sprouts of the Four Kayas: Guru Yoga of 16th Karmapa. Composed in Tibet, 8th Month of the Earth-Dog Year. There are several published translations of this Guru Yoga by 16th Karmapa[3]. The earliest translation is by Freda Bedi/Sister Palmo (1971). They are all in English and Tibetan:

2. Shower of Siddhis: Concise Guru Yoga by 16th Karmapa. Source 3rd Volume, Collected Works. Translated by Adele Tomlin, Dakini Publications 2021. English and Tibetan. See here ‘Shower of Siddhis of the Profound Path of Guru Yoga’ by 16th Karmapa.


There are two publications (in English only) of 16th Karmapa’s teachings and instructions on the Guru Yoga practice. For more on the commentaries, see previous post here.

  • Towards Supreme Illumination, A Commentary on the Guru Yoga (1974). Another commentary on Guru Yoga, Towards Supreme Illumination, given by 16th Karmapa in 1974, translated by Sister Palmo/Bedi has been kindly preserved and published by Samten de Wet on his website, see hereKarmapa (
  • Seedlings of the Four KayasA Commentary on the Guru Yoga (1980) Seedlings of the Four Kayas is a commentary on the second Guru Yoga sadhana, said to have been orally transmitted by the 16th Karmapa in USA, 1980. Published by Buddhism Today (no.28, Fall/Winter 2011) with Tibetan translation by Ngodrup Bukar, compiled and edited by Manfred Seegers. It is in English with no Tibetan source record.  As it is not available online, a .pdf of the commentary is available to download here.
  • Aspiration. Said to be spoken during Wood-Horse Year (1954). There are two texts under the title. English only. See .pdf scan here.
  • Reminder to Myself. Third Month Wood-Horse Year (1954). Published in Heart Advice of the Karmapa by 7th Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche (2018). Text is re-produced here: A reminder to myself ~ 16th Karmapa | Just Dharma Quotes.
  • Benefits of Veneration for Rumtek Monastery (1966) – Written by the 16th Karmapa, in the Fire Horse Year (1966). Translated by Lama Yeshe Gyamtso in 1999. Text here: Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre – Benefits of Prayer. English only.
  • Importance of the Monastery– KTD publication website. English only. See .pdf here.
  • Inspiration of the Monastery. KTD publication website. English only. See .pdf here.
  • Repaying the Kindness of my Mother – Unsourced. English only. See .pdf here.
  • Teachings by 16th Karmapa: Australian Kagyu Sangha. Published by Australian Kagyu sangha. 1980s? In form of a booklet containing three items : 1) Message 2) Song 3) Ngondro text[4]. English only.
  • 1976 New Year’s Wishes. English only. Published on Facebook, 14th December 2020 by Gerd Bausch. 
  • On Pointing Out the Nature of Mind (1976). Pith Instruction published said to be given orally by 16th Karmapa at Rumtek Monastery in Wood-Hare Year (1976). Published on November 19, 2010, www. English Only. No details about original Tibetan original or translator. See:
  • The Manifestation of Compassionate Activity (1980) published originally by Densal, (newsletter of Karma Triyana Dharmachakra). Published on Rumtek Monastery website: “From a public talk His Holiness the Sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa gave at the University of Colorado in 1980. The Manifestation of Compassionate Activity was the subject of the teaching, which was sponsored by Naropa Institute and translated by Ngodrup Burkhar. Dharmadhatu has very kindly given us a tape of this teaching so that it may be published in Densal. From this tape a revised translation was made by Sangye Wangchuk with collaboration and editing by Michele Martin.” English only. Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre – The Manifestation of Compassionate Activity.
  • Advice on Spiritual Practice (1980) – Teaching was given at Karma Triyana Dharmachakra by  Sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa on Sunday, August 31, 1980. It first appeared in Densal Vol. 2. No. 3, Summer 1981. English only. Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre – Advice on Spiritual Practice
  • Confidence in the Dharma (1980) – Interview with Densal, translated by Ngodup Tsering Burkhar. Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre – On Confidence in Dharma: An Interview. English only.
  • The Karma Kagyu Path (1981). Buddhism Today, Issue 20. See .pdf here.
  • Pointing out instructions, online source unknown. English only. See .pdf scan here.
  • Words of Advice. Published by Dagpo Kagyu Mandala, date and translator unknown. English only. See .pdf here.
  • Questions and answers from website Buddhist Library . Two answers by 16th Karmapa. Circumstances unknown. English only. See .pdf scan here.
  • Letter to Bardor Rinpoche. Date not stated. English and Tibetan. Contained in the Third Volume of Collected Works. English translations, here and here.

English language editions of Supplications and Sadhanas are very few. However, there are several sadhanas preserved in Tibetan in the 16th Karmapa’s Collected Works that are yet to be translated.

  • Mahakala- extra few lines said to be written by 16th Karmapa for Mahakala invocation written by 8th Karmapa, Mikyo Dorje[4]. Text?
  • The Prayer of the Ocean-Wide Buddha, called Gyalwa Gyamtso – from book Karmapa: Black Hat Lama of Tibet (1976) pp. 196-198.

Most of the biographies (in chronological order below) are written by people who are are neither scholars nor Tibetan speakers/translators, with the exception of Tashi Tsering. Even though they are very interesting and valuable resources of first-hand accounts of mainly non-Tibetan disciples of the 16th Karmapa, they lack source citations or original textual sources. Tashi Tsering’s biography cites several original Tibetan sources and he was also the main person involved in the publication and compilation of the three-volume 16th Karmapa’s extant works in Tibetan, see here.

The first biography compiled and published in 1976, by Nik Douglas and Meryl White, is unique among them all, as it is the first biography of 16th Karmapa in English composed before the 16th Karmapa passed away, but also which has his direct input and introductory message (see below). Part of which was one of the opening quotes in this post.

16th Karmapa’s Introductory message to Karmapa: Black Hat Lama of Tibet (1976) (Tibetan)
16th Karmapa’s Introductory message to Karmapa: Black Hat Lama of Tibet (1976) (English)
Other Languages

There are a couple of French translations, based on Dagpo newsletter Tendrel (2002) edition, these can be sent as pdfs if requested.

  • Le Refuge – French Dagpo text teachings.
  • Compassion -French Dagpo text teachings

Three texts translated from French into Polish ca 2000 taken from Dagpo newsletter Tendrel. Polish translator, Dorota Bury. These can be sent as pdfs if requested.

  • Power of Refuge (Moc Schronienia) pdf here.
  • Enlightened Attitude ( Oswiecona Postawa) pdf here.
  • Inevitable outcome ( Nieunikniony rezultat) pdf here.
16th Karmapa, Rigpe Dorje. Photo courtesy of Samten de Wet.
16th Karmapa, Rigpe Dorje


[1] This catalogue was sponsored and compiled at the request (and efforts) of a devout Polish follower, who remarkably never met the 16th Karmapa in person, yet whose devotion to him and the teachings led to him collecting and preserving many of his published extant works. In addition, the preservation of some of the texts by Rumtek Monastery and Samten De Wet are valuable. I have re-ordered, added to and edited his original list and uploaded the pdf files he generously created where other publications not available, for the public use.

[2]  In the Polish translation (booklet ca 2000) it has the title ‘Pieśń Serca’, which means Song From My Heart. While traveling across India in a jeep, it is reported that the Karmapa stopped and told the story about his previous life as Dzalendara, a highly realized yogi. I contacted Katia Holmes (via Ken Holmes) for the Tibetan original, but was told that there does not seem to be one in existence and it was given to Katia as an oral transmission.  Sacharchupa means previous life stories told by 15th Karmapa Khakyab Dorje .

[3] There is a copy of the booklet , unfortunately without cover, first page, title and second page with edition details.

[4] Popular prayer started with Om Ma Dag. Polish edition Warsaw by Beru Khyentse Sangha. Gyaltsen Rinpoche said the few lines is extension of Om Ma Dag , text in end ( after 16th Karmapa words) says it is an offering to Dharma Protectors.

[5]  Tsurphu: Home of the Karmapas was filmed in Tibet (1988). Produced and Directed by Ward Holmes. It is the first video produced about the reconstruction of Tsurphu Monastery the Main Seat of His Holiness the Gyalwa Karmapas in Tibet and shows Tsurphu in the early days (1988) and includes both the Venerable Drupon Dechen Rinpoche and H.E. 3rd Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche giving a wonderful talk about Tsurphu. It is a rare and historical film. Tsurphu Monastery  was the spiritual home of the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism for centuries before the Chinese invasion of Tibet. The sixteen previous incarnations of the Karmapas have all lived there. This documentary was shot on location at Tsurphu, and introduced by Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche.