His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa尊貴第十七世大寶法王噶瑪巴


His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa

Karmapa Website 大寶法王噶瑪巴官方中文網






The Kagyu Office website presents extensive information on His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa. The sidebar provides links to sections on His Holiness,s current activities and schedule, as well as his personal history, from his recognition through his life in Tibet, his long journey from Tibet to India, to the current day.

Below is an overview of the His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa.

The Karmapas
Karmapa means "the one who carries out buddha-activity" or the embodiment of all the activities of the buddhas. In the Tibetan tradition, great enlightened teachers are said to be able to consciously arrange to be reborn as a teacher who can carry on the teachings of a predecessor in a prior life. Pursuant to this tradition, the Karmapas have incarnated in this form of manifestation body (Skt. nirmanakaya), for seventeen lifetimes, as of the present, and all have played the most important role in preserving and propagating the Buddhist teachings of Tibet.

Prior to the birth of the first Karmapa, the arrival of a Buddhist master who would be known as the Karmapa had been prophesied by the historic Buddha Shakyamuni and the great tantric master of India, Guru Padmasambhava. Throughout the centuries, Karmapas have been the central figure in the continuation of the vajrayana lineage in general and Kagyu lineage in particular, and have played a very important role in the preservation of the study and practice lineages of Buddhism.(For more on the Karmapas prior to the Seventeenth, see the section at this website on the
Seventeen Karmapas.)

Birth and Early Years of the 17th Karmapa
In 1985 a male infant was born into a nomad family in the Lhatok region of Eastern Tibet. In the months prior to his birth, his mother had wonderful dreams during her pregnancy. On the day of his birth, a cuckoo landed on the tent in which he was born, and a mysterious conch-like sound was heard by many throughout the valley in which the family of the infant lived.

In Tibet, such events are considered auspicious portents of the birth of an enlightened teacher.

The young nomad was called Apo Gaga. While his early years seemed, to his family, full of blessing, Apo Gaga did not talk of any connection to the Karmapas. However, in 1992, he asked his family to move the location of their nomadic home to another valley, and told them to expect a visit from traveling monks. Soon after setting up their home in the new location, followers of the Sixteenth Karmapa came to that valley pursuant to the secret instructions of the Sixteenth Karmapa, contained in his
letter of prediction. The birth and the other details of Apo Gaga,s life matched the predictions of the letter. Apo Gaga was discovered to be the Seventeenth Karmapa, Ogyen Drodul Trinley Dorje.

In addition to his letter of prediction, the Sixteenth Karmapa wrote many poems, or songs, predicting that though he would leave his traditional main seat in Tsurphu, Tibet, he would soon return to Tsurphu again, that his root teacher would be HE Situ Rinpoche, and that he would study in India. After the death of the 16th Karmapa, it became clear that these predictions applied to his successor. Furthermore, the 19th Century master Chogyur Lingpa made a number of predictions about the lives of the Karmapas, and for the 17th, Chogyur Lingpa,s predictions matched the details of His Holiness,s birth. Since these predictions were to be fulfilled in themselves without recognition by any other master, it is traditionally said that the Karmapa is "self-recognized." (These points are discussed in detail in the section on the
Background of the Karmapa.)

In His Holiness,s historic return to Tsurphu Monastery, Tibet in June 1992, he donned ritual clothing and approached on horseback

The Karmapa,s Return To Tsurphu In Tibet, The Historic Seat Of The Karmapas

The Seventeenth Karmapa did in fact return to Tolung Tsurphu Monastery in Central Tibet in 1992, where he was enthroned on September 27, 1992, with the permission of the Chinese government.

At Tsurphu, over 20,000 supplicants assembled to witness the return of His Holiness Karmapa. The following morning, some 25,000 people filed before His Holiness to receive a personal blessing.

At Tsurphu, the Karmapa studied the Buddhist sciences of mind, learned ritual, and practiced sacred arts, such as dance. Each day he received hundreds of visitors from throughout Tibet and around the world. He eventually began to offer empowerments and participated in various rituals at the monastery. At the age of about 10, His Holiness recognized the rebirth of reincarnate teachers, including such eminent teachers as Pawo Rinpoche, Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche and the Dabzang Rinpoche.

While His Holiness was at Tsurphu, the monastery underwent extensive rebuilding to restore the temples, shrines, stupas, a shedra, and residences that had severely decayed and been neglected over the years, fulfilling one of the main duties of a Karmapa. As the years went by, however, His Holiness sought to receive the empowerments and transmissions of the lineage, but was unable to do so fully because many of the Kagyu lineage teachers remained in India. To fulfill his spiritual duty, he and a handful of attendants left Tibet for India. (Details of this time period are covered in the section of this website about the Karmapa in Tibet.)

Holiness the Gyalwang Karmapa meets His Holiness the Dalai Lama for the first time upon his arrival in Dharamsala on January 5, 2000

Karmapa,s Journey to India
After months of careful planning, on December 28, the fourteen-year-old Karmapa pretended to enter into a solitary retreat, instead donned civilian garb, and slipped out a window. Leaving Tsurphu Monastery with a handful of attendants, he began a daring journey by car, foot, horseback, helicopter, train and taxi, a heroic journey which was to become the stuff of headlines throughout the world. On January 5, 2000 he arrived, to the great surprise and overwhelming joy of the world, in Dharamsala, India, where he was met by His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama. He received refugee status from the government of India in 2001. Details of his remarkable journey from Tibet to India are

From 2000 through 2007, His Holiness continued to live near Dharamsala. He has been permitted by Indian governmental authorities to engage in tours to Buddhist sites in India, and annually traveled to Bodhgaya and Sarnath for important Kagyu ceremonies over which he presides. He has also travelled to Ladakh, Tibetan settlements in southern India, Calcutta and elsewhere in Himachal area. His Holiness still awaits permission from the Indian authorities to leave Dharamsala and return to
Rumtek Monastery,
the traditional seat of the Karmapas in India. In 2008, His Holiness received permission to travel to the United States to teach the dharma for his first time in the West. Information about His Holiness historic first visit to the West is at

Information about His Holiness,s extensive activities since his arrival and his current schedule are also available at this website. An index of activities in Indiaprovides chronological links to detailed information about His Holiness,s travels.

An index to the extensive biographical information about His Holiness at this website is available from here.




尊貴的第十七世大寶法王--烏金聽列多傑,1985年誕生於西藏東部拉埵區、一個名為巴果的牧民區內。1992年 6 月,法王八歲時,被認證為藏傳佛教噶瑪噶舉傳承的最高法王、第十六世噶瑪巴讓炯立佩多傑的轉世,並於同年 9月27 日楚布寺舉行坐床典禮,正式成為第十七世大寶法王。

噶舉派,西藏佛教四大傳承之一,又稱為「白教」,由馬爾巴譯師在十一世紀創立,後由弟子密勒日巴繼承,再傳崗波巴大師,成為藏傳佛教中的重要教派,其支系眾多,有噶舉「四大八小」之說。噶瑪噶舉派就是其中重要的一支, 也是西藏佛教中最早實行轉世制度的教派。



大寶法王的父親名頓珠, 母親名洛嘉,家中成員共十一 位,除雙親外,有六位姊姊和三位弟兄。由於人口眾多,一 家人的生活並不富裕,不像別的牧民蓋有自己的房子,全家人都在一個傳統的帳篷中居住 。1985年 6月26日,法王就在這頂黑帳篷降生了。當時剛好是清晨,各種瑞相出生。例如帳篷的上空出現無數的彩虹, 父親頓珠與許多村民也聽到四周傳出法螺與號角的音聲。