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The Sacred Letter of Prediction of His Holiness the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa

(1981; found 1990)

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The Letter of Prediction
by His Holiness the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa

Emaho.
Self-awareness is always bliss;
The dharmadhatu[1] has no center nor edge.
From here to the north [in] the
east of [the land] of snow
Is a country where divine thunder
spontaneously blazes[2]
[In] a beautiful nomad’s place with
the sign of a cow[3],
The method is Döndrub and the
wisdom is Lolaga[4].
[Born in] the year of the one
used for the earth[5]
[With] the miraculous, far-reaching sound
of the white one[6];
[This] is the one known as Karmapa.
His is sustained by Lord Donyö Drupa;
Being nonsectarian, he pervades all directions;
Not staying close to some and distant from others, he is the protector of all beings:
The sun of the Buddha’s Dharma that benefits others always blazes.

[1]Chos kyi dhying, the expanse of all phenomena and equivalent to sunyata or emptiness.
[2]The Seventeenth Karmapa’s place of birth is Lhathok: “Lha” means divine and “thok” means thunder. In the text, thunder is poetically called “gnam chags” or “sky iron.”
[3]The name of the nomadic community where the Karmapa was born is Bakor; “ba” means “cow,” and the Dharma term for cow, “dodjo,” is used in the text.
[4]Method refers to the father and wisdom to the mother.
[5]His Holiness was born in the Wood Ox year; a tree lives from the earth and an ox is used to plow it.
[6]This refers to the sound of the conch shell that miraculously resounded in the air for about an hour after His Holiness’ birth.

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