The Twelfth Karmapa Changchub Dorje (1703 - 1732)

“You embody the nonconceptual, great bliss dharmadhatu,
And expand the wisdom that knows the profound and luminous non-dual nature.
Dispeller of the darkness of ignorance, sole friend of all beings,
Changchub Dorje, we supplicate at your feet.”

—from Supplication To The Karmapas (full text)


The Twelfth Karmapa, made pilgrimage tothe sacred places of the Buddha in India
and Nepal accompanied by the Shamar,
Situ, and Gyaltsap Rinpoches.  

As predicted by the previous Karmapa, the twelfth Karmapa was born at Kyile Tsaktor in Derge province of eastern Tibet. Chökyi Dhöndrup sent a search party and his envoys brought the child to Karma Gön where Shamarpa met with the young child and recognized him in accordance with the previous Karmapa's prediction and instructions.

The young Karmapa studied under many illustrious masters. He gave profound Kagyu teachings to the famous Nyingma master of Katok monastery, who in turn shared his Nyingma teachings.

Changchup Dorje left troubled Tibet in order to make pilgrimage to India and Nepal, accompanied by the Shamar, Situ, and Gyaltsap Rinpoches. Upon reaching Nepal, he was greatly honored by the King of Nepal, who credited him for stopping a raging epidemic and for making rain that ended a serious drought. In India, they visited the sacred places of Lord Buddha.

After the Karmapa returned to Tibet, he accepted an invitation to China, and set out accompanied by the Shamarpa. However, foreseeing difficult political times ahead and realizing the need to leave his body, the Karmapa sent the eighth Tai Situpa a letter with details of his next incarnation and then succumbed to smallpox, as did the Sharmapa two days later. Tai Situpa became his spiritual heir.

Chokyi Jungney (1699 or 1700 - 1774)

The Eighth Situ incarnation, Chokyi Jungney, otherwise known as the Situ Panchen, was born in Derge, Kham, in the Earth Hare year. He studied and received the full transmissions from the 8th Shamar Chökyi Dhöndrup and the Twelfth Karmapa Changchup Dorje. He also studied extensively with many other teachers such as Rikdzin Tsewang Norbu. Chökyi Jungney went to see the Karmapa and Shamar Chökyi Dhöndrup when they were on the journey to China sometime around 1735. He was one of the most renowned scholars and meditation masters of Tibet. One of his major activities was editing and seeing to the printing of the woodblock editions of the Kagyur and Tengyur project of the King of Derge. This production is now well-known around the world as the Derge edition, which is considered as one of the best original prints of these central texts of the Tibetan tradition. The activities of Situ Panchen flourished widely and he restored or established monasteries, retreats, and study centers all over Tibet and Jang.

Situ Panchen recognized and enthroned the 13th Karmapa and the next incarnation of Shamar Rinpoche.

He gave the full transmission of the Kagyu lineage to the Thirteenth Karmapa, Düdul Dorje.

These details about Chokyi Jungney are compiled from Karma Gyaltsen's book called kam tshang yab sras dang dpal spungs dgon pa, Szechwan edition, pp. 85 - 88 / 167 - 214. May this be virtuous!


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