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The Head, the Karmapa

The head of the Karma-Kagyu-School is H.H. Gyalwa Karmapa. The first Karmapa Dusum Kyenpa was born in the year 1110. The tradition of the reincarnated teachers that sustain an unbroken lineage is based on him. Since that time the Karmapas normally leave a letter before they pass away, giving information such as time and location of their next incarnation. The letter of the 16th Karmapa contained a poetic, still very precise description of the place, the year of birth and even the names of his parents.

The main seat of the Karmapas is Tsurphu Monastery in Central Tibet. After the Chinese invasion H.H. the 16th Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje had to flee from Tibet in 1959. Since that time he resided in Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim/India. In 1974 the 16th Karmapa travelled to the West for the first time and visited Europe, Canada and the United States. In 1981 he died from cancer in an U.S. hospital.

The 17th Karmapa Urgyen Trinley Dorje

The 17th Karmapa Urgyen Trinley Dorje