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The 5th Karmapa - Deshin Shekpa

Image from: Thangkha painted by the 8th Kenting Tai Situpa Chokyi Jungne.
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The great Fifth Karmapa, Deshin Shekpa (1384-1415), has been praised thus: "You are the Ocean of Supreme Intention, laden with jewels of Omniscient Wisdom. The profound depths of your compassion transcend conceptual limit. Continuous waves of your activity stream in the ten directions. To the Lama, the Ocean of Knowledge, I bow down."

In accordance with the prediction of Rolpe dorje, Deshin Shekpa was born in Nyangdam, in southern Tibet. His father and mother were advanced tantric practitioners, and from his mother's womb he was heard reciting Om Mani Pemay Hung. So many magnificent omens arose during his mother's pregnancy that people gathered in great numbers as soon as he was born in order to make offerings, prayers, and prostrations to him. By the time he was two months old, he had demonstrated beyond question that he was indeed the Karmapa.

Through his mastery of the ten paramitas, Karmapa won the devotion and respect of all who met him. He obtained mastery of phenomena through mastering his own mind, and understood precisely how to benefit and mature the stream of being of everyone he met. Buddha Shakyamuni, Manjushri, Maitreya, Chenrezig, the Sixteen Arhats, and the goddess Tara visited him repeatedly to bestow blessings and prophecies. Hosts of protectors and guardian deities scrupulously accomplished his activity without requiring any instruction or command.

Yung Lo, the Ming emperor, invited Deshin Shekpa to the Chinese Imperial Court, where he was received by ten thousand monks. He bestowed many Vajrayana transmissions upon the Emperor and his retinue, who through their devotion achieved excellent results in meditation and practice. The Emperor, in particular, perceived the mystic black crown of Chenrezig that rests above the heads of all the Karmapa incarnations. So that others with less ability might receive its blessing, Yung Lo obtained Karmapa's permission to construct a replica of silk, gold, and jewels. He then offered the crown to Deshin Shekpa, who consecrated it with the divine original. The material crown has been passed down to all subsequent Karmapas, and is displayed in a ceremony conferring Chenrezig's blessing.

Deshin Shekpa meanwhile manifested limitless miracles in the vicinity of the Imperial court. Rainbows, multicolored clouds, visions of flying saints, gods, and goddesses, and mysteriously glowing lights appeared to all who lived in the ImperialCity. The Emperor commanded court artists to paint these visions on a silk scroll, which he then offered to the Karmapa.

Upon his return to Tibet, Deshin Shekpa appeared to grow ill. Though ceremonies were undertaken to prolong his life, he told his students that he had already arranged the conditions for his rebirth in the vicinity of Karma Monastery in eastern Tibet. He then passed away, and images of deities and many other rainbow-colored relics were recovered from the ashes after his cremation.

Remarks: The first Kenting Tai Situpa is the 5th Karmapa's disciple, he accompanied the 5th Karmapa to China. From this incarnation to the 7th Kenting Tai Situpa, Karma Gon Monastery was the main seat of the Kenting Tai Situpas. In this biography, Karma Monastery should mean Karma Gon Monastery.


Mahamudra Ocean of Definitive Meaning~~

Karma Kagyu Refuge Tree Masters

01 Vajradhara

01 Tilopa

01 Naropa

02 Lodro Rinchen

03 Saraha

04 Nagarjuna

05 Shawaripa

06 Maitripa

07 Marpa

08 Milarepa

09 Gampopa

10 The 1st Karmapa

11 Drogon Rechen

12 Pomdrakpa

13 The 2nd Karmapa

14 Orgyenpa

15 The 3rd Karmapa

16 Gyalwa Yungtonpa

17 The 4th Karmapa

18 The 2nd Shamar Rinpoche

19 The 5th Karmapa

20 Rigowa Rinjung (Ratnabhadra)

21 The 6th Karmapa

22 Bengar Jampal Sangpo

23 The 1st Gyaltsab Rinpoche

24 The 7th Karmapa

25 The 1st Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche

26 The 8th Karmapa

27 The 5th Shamar Rinpoche

28 The 9th Karmapa

29 The 6th Shamar Rinpoche

30 The 10th Karmapa

31 The 7th Shamar Rinpoche

32 The 11th Karmapa

33 The 8th Shamar Rinpoche

34 The 12th Karmapa

35 The 8th Kenting Tai Situpa

36 The 13th Karmapa

37 The 10th Shamar Rinpoche

38 The 9th Kenting Tai Situpa

39 The 14th Karmapa

40 The 1st Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche

41 The 15th Karmapa

42 The 11th Kenting Tai Situpa

43 The 2nd Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche

44 The 16th Karmapa

There are many reference sources for this catagory. Please kindly advise us if there is copyright issue or mistake.
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