Karmapa, 1st

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PeopleKarmapa, 1st


དུས་གསུམ་མཁྱེན་པ་
First Karmapa Dusum Khyenpa(1110 - 1193) 

A renowned Tibetan master recognized as the first in the lineage of Karma pa incarnations and early founder of the Karma bka' brgyud sect of Tibetan Buddhism. He was born in the Tre shod region of eastern Tibet and at the age of sixteen was ordained by a monk of the Bka' gdams sect and received tantric instruction from a disciple of Atiśa Dīpaṃkaraśrījñāna. He went on to study Madhyamaka and the Kālacakratantra with some of the leading scholars of the day. At the age of thirty, Dus gsum mkhyen pa met his principal guru, Sgam po pa B sod nams rin chen, from whom he received many teachings, including so-called “heat yoga” (gtum mo; see candālī). He also studied with Mi la ras pa’s renowned disciple Ras chung pa. He devoted himself to the teachings that would become the hallmark of the Bka' brgyud, such as the six yogas of Nāropa and mahāmudra, but he also received teachings from a number of Bka' gdams and Sa skya masters. He went on to found three important Bka' brgyud monasteries: Kam po gnas nang in 1164, Karma dgon in 1184, both in eastern Tibet, and Mtshur phu northwest of Lha sa in 1187. The latter became a powerful central-Tibetan institution as the primary seat of the Karma pas up to 1959. It is said that at the age of sixteen Dus gsum mkhyen pa received a hat woven from the hair of one hundred thousand ḍākinīs. This hat has been passed down to subsequent Karma pas, and seen in the so-called “black hat ceremony” (zhwa nag). (Source: "Dus gsum mkhyen pa." In The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism, 274–5. Princeton University Press, 2014. http://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt46n41q.27.)

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Other names

  • ཀརྨ་པ་གཅིག་པ་ · other names (Tibetan)
  • དཔལ་ཆོས་ཀྱི་གྲགས་པ་ · other names (Tibetan)
  • གྲུབ་ཐོབ་ཁམས་པ་དབུ་སེ་ · other names (Tibetan)
  • karma pa gcig pa · other names (Wylie)
  • dpal chos kyi grags pa · other names (Wylie)
  • grub thob khams pa dbu se · other names (Wylie)
  • Karmapa, 1st · other names

Affiliations & relations

  • Karma Kagyu · religious affiliation
  • phywa pa chos kyi seng+ge · teacher
  • sgam po pa · teacher
  • ras chung pa · teacher
  • Byang chub grags · teacher
  • 'gro mgon ras chen · student
  • kaH thog dam pa bde gshegs · student