Gyalwang Karmapas

This page is for research, translations and posts about the 1st to the 17th Gyalwang Karmapas.

Midnight-Blue Crown of the Karmapas

Texts, Translations and Transcriptions

General Research

Indestructible Mind Maṇḍala of the Karmapas, Tsurphu Monastery: Origin, history, rebuilding and ‘Praises to Tsurphu’ by 3rd and 16th Karmapas

The Chinese and the Karmapas: Historical survey from the 2nd to 19th Karmapas

The Kangyur and the Karmapas’ role in their publication and preservation

A ‘Kagyu Treasure’ Tradition? Marpa’s Fifteen ‘Hidden Scrolls’ from Sekhar

Karmapas on Buddha Nature

Vajrayogini and the Karmapas

The Karmapas, Chogyur Lingpa and Vajrakīlaya

Tibetan script of Guru Padmasambhava’s prophecy on 15th to 21st Karmapas, as revealed by Chogyur Lingpa

Supplication to the Garland of Karmapas by Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro

1st Karmapa, Dusum Khyenpa

GARLAND OF PLAY: PRAISES TO VAJRAYOGINI BY LORD ATISHA AND FIRST KARMAPA

Supplication to the Life of 1st Karmapa, Dusum Khyenpa by 8th Karmapa

Vajrayoginī Praise and Sadhanas by 1st Karmapa, Dusum Khyenpa

  • Five Deity Vajravārāhı Indian root text  (Phag mo lha lnga’i skor las rje btsun ma’i rgya gzhung/)
  • Sadhana of Five Deity Vajravārāhı (Phag mo lha lnga’i sgrub thabs/)
  • Joyful Garland Praise to Vajrayogini (rDo rje phag mo’i bstod pa rol ba’o phreng ba zhes bya ba/)

2nd Karmapa, Karma Pakshi

Mahāsiddha Tilopa: Catalogue of Biographies and ‘Ḍākinī’s Instruction to Tilopa on the Bardo’ by 2nd Karmapa

‘Seeing the Face of Karma Pakshi: 2nd Karmapa Guru Yoga texts’ by Yongey Mingyur Dorje and 15th Karmapa

Accomplishing the Guru: 2nd Karmapa Karma Pakshi, Concise Daily Practice‘ by 15th Karmapa

Guru Yoga on Second Karmapa: Naturally-Present Heart Drop, by Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro

3rd Karmapa, Rangjung Dorje

‘There is no time to waste’: an appeal’ by 3rd Karmapa, with commentary by 13th Karmapa

Guru Yoga on Third Karmapa: Heart Essence of the Profound Meaning’ by Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro

8th Karmapa, Mikyo Dorje

Song to Lineage Masters, Je Tsongkhapa, Bodong Panchen, Je Ngorchen and Rongton Chenpo by 8th Karmapa

Supplication to the Life of 1st Karmapa, Dusum Khyenpa’ by 8th Karmapa

The difference between Buddha-Nature and Dharmakāya’ by 8th Karmapa

‘Direct Instructions on the Great Compassionate One’ by 8th Karmapa with commentary by 17th Karmapa

Praise to the Source of the Gyalwang Karmapas’ Black Crown by 8th Karmapa

Karmapa’s Midnight-Blue ‘Dakini Hair’ Crown: Praise, Source and Benefits by 8th Karmapa and 1st Jamgon Kongtrul

One Day Meditation on Mind of Awakening by 8th Karmapa

Kālacakra as the ‘ultimate pinnacle’ of all the tantras: Jetsun Tāranātha and 8th Karmapa

White Tārā Daily Sadhana by 8th Karmapa

9th Karmapa

‘Knowing One Liberates All’ by 9th Karmapa

10th Karmapa, Choying Dorje

‘Mental Comrade of the Eight Worldly Distractions’ by 10th Karmapa

13th Karmapa, Dudul Dorje

‘There is no time to waste’: an Appeal’ by 3rd Karmapa, with commentary by 13th Karmapa

Method for Repelling Adverse Conditions’ and ‘Golden [Serkyem] Offering to Accomplish Aims’ by the 13th Karmapa

Actually Realising’ White Tārā Daily Practice by 13th Karmapa

15th Karmapa, Khakhyab Dorje

Supplication to Dagpo Kagyu’ by 15th Karmapa

Yeshe Tshogyel Guru Yoga’ by 15th Karmapa

Embodiment of all the Buddhas’: Twenty-Three short Karmapa Guru Yoga texts by the 15th Karmapa

Accomplishing the Guru: Karma Pakshi, Concise Daily Practice‘ by 15th Karmapa

Thangtong Gyalpo’s ‘Mind Bindu of the Great Siddhas (Drubthob Thugtig)’ Supplication by 15th Karmapa

Cloud of Siddhis: Immortal Life-Essence Bindu Supplication: long-life practice of Padmasambhava and Mandāravā by 15th Karmapa

Aspiration for the Prospering of the Ultimate Meaning Teachings by 15th Karmapa

15th Karmapa on the ‘Immortal Life-Essence Bindu’ treasure: long-life practice of Padmasambhava and Mandāravā

Supplication to 15th Karmapa: The Melodious Song of  Permanent Immortality: Supplication for the Long Life of the Supreme Emanation of the Great Refuge Protector, by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo

16th Karmapa, Rigpe Dorje

FIRST EDITION CATALOGUE OF 16TH GYALWANG KARMAPA’S COLLECTED WORKS, TEACHINGS, INTERVIEWS, SONGS, VIDEOS (in Tibetan, English and other languages)

‘TOWARDS SUPREME ILLUMINATION’: Guru Yoga Texts by 16th Karmapa and translations by the Karmapas’ first female translator, Freda Bedi

THIRD VOLUME OF 16TH KARMAPA’S COLLECTED WORKS. Aspirations, Guru Yogas, Life-Stories, Songs, Supplications, Teachings and Letters.

Shower of Siddhis of the Profound Path of Guru Yoga’ by 16th Karmapa

16th Karmapa’s Transmission Record (Volume II of his Collected Works) and Kālacakra lineages

17th Karmapa, Orgyen Trinley Dorje

‘GOLDEN TEACHINGS’ OF KAGYU TANTRA: Marpa the Translator and student Ngog, the Seven Ngog Mandalas, Thirteen Tantras of Marpa, Kongtrul’s ‘Treasury of Kagyu Mantras’, 17th Karmapa’s birthday teaching and Drikung Kagyu ‘Mar-Ngog’ activities

‘Actions Speak Louder than Words’: 17th Karmapa’s outstanding activities on female empowerment and equality

Origins of Secret Mantra (Teachings by 17th Karmapa, August-September 2021)

(DAY 12). BUDDHA THE RADICAL REVOLUTIONARY AND FEMINIST: WHEN ROYALTY BOWED TO LOWER CASTES AND WOMEN BECAME FULLY-ORDAINED SANGHA (by 17th Karmapa)

(DAY 11): ‘CAN’T GET NO SATISFACTION’; FROM PRINCE SIDDHARTHA TO SHAKYAMUNI THE ASCETIC: the early life of Buddha, family lineage, name, locations and practicing austerities in the forest (by 17th Karmapa)

(DAY 10): ‘DO WHATEVER YOU ENJOY’, HERETICS, HEDONISTS, NIHILISTS AND ‘NAKED ASCETICS’ IN INDIA: Sixty-two wrong views, six non-Buddhist teachers, the Charvakas and Jain followers at the time of Buddha

(DAY 9): ‘NO SMOKE WITHOUT FIRE’, INDIAN PHILOSOPHICAL INVESTIGATIONS ON MATTER, MIND, METAPHYSICS, LOGIC AND THE MEANING OF LIFE AND REALITY (by 17th Karmapa)

(DAY 8): THE AGE OF PHILOSOPHY, ARRIVAL OF SUTRAS, DIVINE GEOMETRY AND DEVANAGARI SCRIPT by 17th Karmapa

(DAY 7): IDEAS ON SAMSARA, KARMA, ADVANCED PHILOSOPHY AND INDIAN CASTE: the Upanishads on liberation, two epic Indian poems, Buddha’s clan as ‘friend of the Sun’, rise of the Brahmins and status of women (by 17th Karmapa)

(DAY 6): FROM MANY GODS TO ONE- BRAHMA, PRIMAL SOURCE OF ALL PHENOMENA. Development of Indian Philosophy, the Brahmanas texts, the Upanishads and profound views of the ‘one source’ nature of reality and appearances (by 17th Karmapa)

(DAY 5): VEDIC MAGICAL RITUALS, ACTIVITIES AND MANTRAS: the four Vedas, horse sacrifice, King empowerment, fire pujas, the fourth Veda and their connection to Secret Mantra

(DAY 4): ‘HUMAN NATURE’ AND VEDIC GODS: Fire, intoxicants, money, death and the Vedic ‘dark side’: Demi-Gods, Maras, Flesh-eaters, animal sacrifices (by 17th Karmapa)

(DAY 3) VEDIC HYMNS TO DIVINE MOTHER NATURE: Oral myths, poems and praises to the Gods of Nature and the importance of the Vedas for understanding Buddhist Secret Mantra origins (Origins of Secret Mantra (by 17th Karmapa).

(DAY 2): ARRIVAL OF THE ARYANS, MOTHER OF INDO-EUROPEAN LANGUAGES. Ancient Indus Valley civilisation, Aryan migration and language, the indigenous Dravidians and cultural mixing (teaching by 17th Karmapa)

(Day 1) ANCIENT MOTHER OF BUDDHISM: India and the Tibetan river that flows through it (Origin of Secret Mantra (by 17th Karmapa) (August 2021).

Good Deeds by 8th Karmapa (Transcripts and translations of Teaching by 17th Karmapa, February-March 2021)

TIBETAN ART, PRE-GREAT ENCAMPMENT (KARMA GAR-RI) : Indian, Newar and the ‘Three Great Tibetan Styles’ of Men-ri, Khyen-ri and Jeyu-ri (7th -15th Century) by 17th Karmapa

THE ‘SINGLE-SITTING’ VEGETARIAN PRACTICE: Sakya Ngorchen Kunga Zangpo’s vegetarianism; Kālacakra master, Śākyaśrī and the four monastic communities (Joden Tshogpa Zhi); the Gedun Gangpa’s monastic ordination of the 4th-8th Karmapas

UNBEARABLE GRIEF LIKE EATING THE FLESH OF ONE’S OWN CHILD: Jamgon Kongtrul the Great, Yogi Drugpa Kunleg and 17th Gyalwang Karmapa on abandoning meat; love and compassion more important than scriptures and logic

JE MILAREPA’S SONG ON THE SUFFERING OF ANIMALS FOR THE EVIL ‘CUSTOM’ OF MEAT-EATING

COMPASSION NOT COMPETITION: THE MAHAYANA VIEW ON EATING ANIMALS. Buddha’s vegetarian disciples, Devadatta, Mahākāśyapa and Bakula; Mahayana Sūtras on great compassion and Buddha-Nature; and Chinese Buddhist vegetarianism

RULES OF BUDDHIST CONDUCT (VINAYA) FOR MONASTICS (AND LAYPEOPLE) ON EATING MEAT: 17th Karmapa on the Vinaya rules on ‘offered’ meat and the three ‘tests’ of impurity –

‘IF YOU EAT MEAT YOU ARE NOT KAGYUPA’: The 8th Karmapa and other Karmapas’ strict vegetarianism and the Great Encampment rules

JE TSONGKHAPA AND THE KAGYU LINEAGE: Marpa’s Guhyasamāja and Nāropa’s Cakrasaṃvara and Six Yogas. ‘Good Deeds’ teaching by 17th Karmapa (Day 12)

TEENAGE 8TH KARMAPA’S ADAMANT REFUSAL TO MEET CHINESE EMPEROR: thousands of people, offerings and threats of force could not persuade him. ‘Good Deeds’ teaching by 17th Karmapa (Day 10: part 2)

THE KARMAPA WHO SAID ‘NO’ TO WORLDLY POWER: 5th Karmapa’s refusal to take control of Tibet; Je Tsongkhapa; famous Chinese translators, Zhiguang and Palden Tashi; the Chinese ‘Marco Polo’ explorer, Zhenghe; and a $45 million thangka. Good Deeds teaching by 17th Karmapa (Day 10: Part I).

EMPRESS XU’S DREAM REVELATION OF A SUTRA BY AVALOKITESVARA AND ADVOCATE OF WOMANS EDUCATION. ‘Good Deeds’ by 17th Karmapa (Day 9: part 2)

OFFICIAL SEAL OF APPROVAL: White jade seal, paintings and precious objects given by Chinese Emperor to the 5th Karmapa, and other Tibetan seals, their language and origin. ‘Good Deeds’ teaching by 7th Karmapa (Day 9:Part I)

‘THUNDEROUSLY BLOWING HIS TRUMPET’: Abandoning distractions and the 8th Karmapa’s visit to Jang. ‘Good Deeds’ teaching by 17th Karmapa (Day 8)

EATING ONLY THE ESSENCE: Birthplace of 8th Karmapa and his first gurus, 2nd Goshri Gyaltsab Rinpoche and 1st Sangye Nyenpa, Siddha from Denma: ‘Good Deeds’ teaching by 17th Karmapa (Day 6)

NON-SECTARIAN SONG OF FAITH AND DEVOTION: 8th Karmapa’s ‘Song to Lineage Masters, Je Tsongkhapa, Bodong Panchen, Je Ngorchen and Rongton Chenpo’. ‘Good Deeds’ teaching by 17th Karmapa (Day 5: Part II)

WOLVES IN MONK’S ROBES: 8TH KARMAPA’S ACCOUNT OF ABANDONING NEGATIVE FRIENDS , SONG FOR JE TSONGKHAPA, AND THE CHALLENGES OF BEING A KARMAPA: ‘Good Deeds’ teaching by 17th Karmapa (Day 5)

SACRED GEOGRAPHY OF KARMA KAGYU: THREE MAIN SEATS, ‘OUTER’ AND ‘INNER’ SITES OF CHAKRASAMVARA AND BIRTH PLACES AND DATES OF THE EIGHT KARMAPAS. ‘Good Deeds’ teaching by 17th Karmapa (Day 4)

THE WHITE CONCH’S RESOUNDING HORN: ASTONISHING CHILD PRODIGY, MIKYO DORJE AND THE DISPUTE BETWEEN THE ‘WESTERN’ AND ‘EASTERN’ CANDIDATES: ‘Good Deeds’ Teaching by 17th Karmapa (Day 3)

‘JAW-DROPPING’ HANDWRITTEN COLLECTED WORKS THAT EMANATED LIGHT: TEXTUAL SOURCES, THE MEANING OF ‘LIBERATION-STORY’, IMPORTANCE OF FAITH AND INNER QUALITIES: ‘Good Deeds’ by 17th Karmapa (Day Two)

THE BRAVE ‘KAGYU FOX’: Meaning and origin of the name ‘Karmapa’, the ‘midnight-blue crown’ and ‘Karmapa Khyenno’ mantra: ‘Good Deeds of 8th Karmapa’ by 17th Karmapa (Day One)

Aspirations to End Adversity (January 2021)

USHNISHNA WHITE PARASOL PROTECTION AND REPULSION FROM ALL HARM: ‘STALLION GARUDA KING OF BIRDS’ DAILY PRACTICE BY KARMA CHAGME: ‘Aspirations to End Adversity’ with 17th Karmapa (Day VIII: Part 1)

TANTRA CANNOT BE KNOWN WITHOUT KNOWING THE “CHANTED NAMES OF MAÑJUŚRĪ’: ‘Aspirations to End Adversity’ with 17th Karmapa (Part VII)

MOTHER TĀRĀ AND PADMASAMBHAVA GURU OF ALL LINEAGES: ‘Aspirations to End Adversity’ with 17th Karmapa (Part VI)

ASPIRATION IS THE BASIS OF ALL RESULTS: ‘Sutra of the Essence of Immeasurable Longevity and Awareness’ and ‘Aspiration for Rebirth in Sukhāvatī’: ‘Aspirations to End Adversity’ with 17th Karmapa (Part 5)

MASTER OF HEALING, BHAISHAJYA: SUTRA OF MEDICINE BUDDHA. ‘Aspirations to End Adversity’ with 17th Karmapa (Part IV)

‘WE HUMANS ARE BECOMING LIKE TERRIFYING DEMONS DESTROYING LIFE ON EARTH’: the Sūtra and Dhāraṇī of Protector Buddha Akṣobhya’: Aspirations to End Adversity’ by 17th Karmapa (Part III)

‘GATHERING ACCUMULATIONS AND PURIFYING NEGATIVE DEEDS’: ‘Aspirations to End Adversity’ by 17th Karmapa (Part II)

Brilliant Light Goddess: Karmapa ‘s Tibetan Translation of the Dhāraṇī of Mārīcī (Ozer Chenma): Aspirations to End Adversity (Part I)

The Four Dharmas of Gampopa (January 2021)

‘Confusion dawning as primordial awareness’: the fourth Dharma, Chinese Zen and the debate on gradual vs instant awakening. ‘Four Dharmas of Gampopa’ by 17th Karmapa (Day 8: Part II)

‘Dismantling Artificial Boundaries’: Concepts of nations, ‘self’ and ‘other’; developing great love and compassion and ‘without borders’ ultimate nature. ‘Four Dharmas of Gampopa’ by 17th Karmapa (Day 8)

Suffering is ‘ready and waiting to happen’: The three types of suffering, being a Dharma practitioner and ‘Dharma going on the Path’. ‘Four Dharmas of Gampopa’ by 17th Karmapa (Day 7)

‘May Dharma go along with Dharma’: The difference between ‘real Dharma’ and ‘pretend Dharma’: ‘Four Dharmas’ of Gampopa by 17th Karmapa (Part 5)

‘The Crown Jewel of Kagyu’: Gampopa’s Collected Works, Last Testament and Textual Sources : ‘Four Dharmas’ of Gampopa by 17th Karmapa (Day 4)

When Gampopa met Milarepa: A tale of beggars, buttocks and bliss. ‘Four Dharmas’ of Gampopa by 17th Karmapa (Day 3)

The Doctor of Dagpo (Dagpo Lhaje) whose family tragedy led to monkhood: ”Four Dharmas’ of Gampopa’ by 17th Karmapa (Day Two)

‘All Buddhists can be called ‘Kagyupa”: the ‘Four Dharmas’ of Gampopa by 17th Karmapa (Day One)

Other texts

PRAISE AND OFFERINGS TO THE GOSHRI GYELTSAB: Translation of ‘Praises to 12th Gyeltsab Rinpoche’ by 17th Karmapa and new biography of 2nd Gyeltsab Rinpoche, Tashi Namgyel

3RD BARDOR RINPOCHE (1949-2021): Life-story, Swift Re-birth Prayer by 17th Karmapa, Letters of Condolence, Letter from 16th Karmapa and Self-Arisen Guru Rinpoche

‘Direct Instructions on the Great Compassionate One’ by 8th Karmapa and commentary by 17th Karmapa

Kagyu Mahāmudrā : origin of the term, distinction between Sūtra and Secret Mantra Mahāmudrā , and pith advice from Je Gampopa by 17th Karmapa

The concepts of tulku reincarnation and re-birth in Tibetan Buddhism: HH 17th Karmapa on the terms ‘tulku’; and ‘yangsi’

LONG-LIFE PRAYER FOR HH 17th KARMAPA BY HH 14th DALAI LAMA

There is also a resource outlining the Collected Works of each Karmapa collated on this website.