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Materials about the Seventeenth Karmapa in Tibet


The Seventeenth Karmapa In Tibet

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The identity of a Karmapa is not decided by a popular vote or a debate between groups. It is decided only by the prediction of the previous Karmapa. The 16th Karmapa's sacred letter of prediction stated that he would be reborn "to the north in the east of the land of snow." This was interpreted at the March 1992 meeting of the council of the four seat holders to mean that he would be reborn in eastern Tibet (north of Rumtek). In May, the Karmapa was officially located in the Lhotak region of Tibet.
The Early Years
As predicted in the 16th Karmapa's letter, the Seventeenth Gyalwang Karmapa was born in the nomad community of Bakor, eastern Tibet, on the eighth day of the fifth Tibetan month, year of the Wood Ox (June 26, 1985). His father is Karma Döndrub and mother is Loga. He has six sisters and three brothers. The village in which he was born had about 72 nomadic families, comprising about 430 people.
After consideration of the evidence and additional meetings with Their Eminences Tai Situ Rinpoche, Tsurphu Gyaltsab Rinpoche and Shamar Rinpoche, His Holiness the Dalai Lama granted the Buktham Rinpoche, the official notification of the Dalai Lama's approval of the identity of His Holiness the Seventeenth Karmapa.
Return to Tsurphu
(June 15, 1992)
As dancing and singing in the courtyard continued for many hours into the late evening, opera singers resplendent in their colorful costumes and masks together with some other singers celebrated the historic arrival of the XVIIth Karmapa to Tsurphu Monastery--home and original seat of all the glorious Karmapas on June 15, 1992.
(September 27, 1992)
In the traditional Ngasol ceremony, the Karmapa was consecrated the seven year old Karmapa with the eight precious ingredients, the eight auspicious symbols and the seven possessions of universal monarchs. His Holiness the Seventeenth Karmapa had fulfilled the prediction of the Sixteenth, returning to the seat of the Karmapas.
Rebuilding Tsurphu
Though isolated parts of Tsurphu Monastery had been repaired after the destruction of the 1960s, the return of the Seventeenth Karmapa brought reconstruction of Tsurphu Monastery to a completely different level. Most of the original Tsurphu complex was restored, and new buildings, such as the shedra, or monastic college, were added.

The Early Years