The Sacred Letter of Prediction of His Holiness the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa (1981-1992)
In January of 1981, the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa, gave to his heart son, the Xllth Tai Situpa, a sealed protection amulet with a brocade cover, and said, "This is your protection amulet. In the future, it will confer great benefit." Many years later, the amulet was discovered to contain the prediction letter for the rebirth of His Holiness.
Before the discovery of the letter, and after the 16th Karmapa had passed into parinvirana, one goal was uppermost in the mind of the Karmapa's disciples: locating his successor, the 17th Karmapa. Since a Karmapa typically provides instructions to a key disciple on how to locate the reincarnation, the years after 1981 were preoccupied with finding the 16th Karmapa's instructions. However, sometimes the location of such instructions is not so straightforward. Such was the case here.
Typically, protection amulets contain mantras, sacred pills or relics and are left sealed, since they do not contain anything inside which needs to be examined. When the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa had given the 12th Tai Situpa the protection amulet, he had not indicated that anything was inside the amulet needing examination. Situ Rinpoche took the sacred gift and wrapped the brocade around one of the holy instruments he always carried with him. Though he kept it with him day and night for many years as a sacred object from the Karmapa, he never opened it until many years later, after no prediction letter had been found. When HE Situ Rinpoche decided to open the amulet, inside he found the prediction letter!
On March 19th, 1992, the council of the four seat-holders of the Karmapa, Shamar Rinpoche, Situ Rinpoche, Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche and Gyaltsap Rinpoche, met to review the letter. The letter was subsequently translated as follows:
The identity of a Karmapa is determined by the prediction of his predecessor. After interpreting the letter of the 16th Karmapa, the council of seatholders interpreted the sentence in the letter stating "from here to the north [in] the east of [the land] of snow" to mean that His Holiness the 16th Karmapa had intended to indicate he would be reborn in Tibet. The council agreed to send a search party to Tibet, led by Jamgon Rinpoche, who was already scheduled to be in Tibet in June.
HH Gyalwa Karmapa
Detailed biographical information about His Holiness the 17th Karmapa is available from the drop down menus above. The materials are divided into:
17th Karmapa (His Holiness's current activities and schedule)
Background (Kagyu history regarding predictions about the 17th Karmapa)
In Tibet (His Holiness's early years, enthronement in Tibet and activity at Tsurphu Monastery)
In India (The Karmapa's escape to India and activities in India)
Reference (Official releases from the Kagyu Office and historical background documents referenced in other sections)
When not traveling, His Holiness holds regular public audiences at his temporary camp at the Gyuto Ramoche Tantric University in Dharamsala, HP, India
Kagyu Office of His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa (about the Kagyu Office)
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