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The 8th Karmapa - Mikyo Dorje

Image from: Thangkha painted by the 8th Kenting Tai Situpa Chokyi Jungne.
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Amidst many auspicious signs, Karmapa Mikyo Dorje (1507-1554) was born in Damchu, in eastern Tibet. The gods proclaimed his birth in the ten directions, and word spread rapidly throughout Tibet that the Karmapa's reincarnation had appeared. After nine days, the Third Kenting Tai Situpa, Gyalsay Tashi Paljor, came to see the child. The sacred prediction letter of the previous Karmapa had described a house with juniper trees in back, the front door facing east, and a stream flowing eastward nearby, and stated that the names of his parents would be "Jampa" and "Lamatso." Kenting Tai Situpa found that the physical details of Mikyo Dorje's birthplace and the names of his parents closely matched the details of the sacred prediction letter.

The 3rd Kenting Tai Situpa told Mikyo Dorje's parents to keep his identity secret for three months, in order to create the auspicious conditions for his long-life. He gave them a gift of tea, incense, and blessing medicine, saying, "Serve the child buttered tea and offer incense before him, saying it is a gift from Kenting Tai Situp. Then give him the blessing medicine and send me word if he speaks." When the parents did so, Mikyo Dorje exclaimed, "Emaho! Do not doubt me, I am Karmapa!" Soon afterwards, Kenting Tai Situpa brought him to Karma Monastery. Goshir Gyaltsab Rinpoche offered Mikyo Dorje a ritual bell and hand drum, which the infant played perfectly according to ritual.

At the age of nine, Karmapa took novice vows, and concentrated on study and meditation. Deities bestowed transmission and prophecies upon him in visions, and he performed miracles such as leaving the impressions of his feet and hands in stone. He became a great artist, whose paintings of deities strongly influenced religious painting throughout Tibet. He once carved a beautiful marble image of himself, and when it was finished he asked, "Are you a good likeness of me?" The statue replied, "Yes, of course!" Mikyo Dorje then took a lump of stone left over from the work and squeezed it like dough, impressing the stone with the shape of his fingers.

In his teachings, Mikyo Dorje emphasized the view that the essence of all things is beyond mere nothingness, which can only be recognized through direct realization devoid of concepts or dualistic fixation. He taught that all appearances are nothing more than interdependent, relative manifestation. This view, known as Shentong ("Empty of Other"), has become the primary approach for followers of the Kagyu lineage. Through his mastery of logic and philosophy, Mikyo Dorje composed commentaries that make this view accessible to scholars.

Karmapa spent much of his life traveling from region to region, wherever monasteries and students appealed to him for guidance and transmission. His traveling camp, called Karmay Garchen, The Great Camp of the Karmapa, consisted of a large monastic congregation carrying all the religious facilities required for many months on the road. Karmapa's monks assembled for their daily ceremonies in huge shrine tents equipped with ceremonial necessities. In this way, Mikyo Dorje propagated the Dharma and blessed thousands of people throughout the kingdoms of Tibet and its neighboring regions.


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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