The Fifteenth Karmapa
Kakyab Dorje (1871 – 1922)
Born with the very
auspicious circle of hair between the eyebrows (found on the young Sakyamuni
and known as one of the 32 marks of an enlightened being), Khakyab Dorje
spoke the mantra of Avalokiteshvara at his birth in Sheikor village of the
Tsang province in central Tibet. He was recognized and enthroned by the
Kyabgon Drukchen, Migyur Wanggi Gyalpo along with Jamgon Kongtrul, Jamyang
Khyentse Wangpo, Terchen Chokgyur Lingpa, and Pawo Tsuklak Nyinchey.
He grew up receiving a very
thorough education from very famous scholars and eventually received the
Kagyu transmission from Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye, who also passed on to
him the essence of his hundred compositions embracing the profound teachings
of all Tibetan Buddhist traditions, as well as the fields of medicine, art,
linguistics and general Buddhist studies. He studied with many great masters
such as Khenchen Tashi Ozer.
He continued his activities
of teaching and giving empowerments throughout Tibet, and preserved many
rare texts by having them reprinted. Khakyab Dorje is the first in the line
of Karmapas to get married, and had three sons, one of whom was recognized
as the second Jamgon Kongtrul Palden Khyentse Öser. His life was a brilliant
example of the bodhisattva with an insatiable desire for learning in order
to help other beings.
Among many disciples, his
closest students were Tai Situ Pema Wangchok Gyalpo, Jamgon Kongtrul Palden
Khyentse Öser, and Beru Khyentse Lodro Mize Jampe Gocha.
Some years before his
passing into parinirvana, he entrusted a prediction letter to his closest
attendant, the eleventh Tai Situpa.