Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche
| Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche, who is considered to be an emanation of Buddha Amitabha, follows Gyalwa Karmapa in the spiritual hierarchy of the Karma-Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism. The 2nd Karmapa predicted that, "for the benefit of all sentient beings, in the future the Karmapas will manifest in two human forms and they should not be considered as one, but neither should they be considered as separate". The first Shamar Rinpoche, Khedrup Trakpe Senge, was the principle disciple of the 3rd Karmapa. His 2nd reincarnation received the Red Hat, an exact replica of Karmapa's Black Crown, from the 4th Karmapa. This crown is the symbol of their inseparability. In the same way it was Karmapa who bestowed on him the name of "Shamarpa - the One with the Red Crown". Since then the Karma-Kagyu texts speak of two Karmapas, the one with the Black Crown and the one with the Red Crown, who have alternated as master and disciple throughout their successive reincarnations. As Buddha Shakyamuni predicted, "in the future a great Bodhisattva with a ruby red crown will come to the suffering multitude and lead them out of their cyclic confusion and misery". The Buddha's prediction was fulfilled in Shamarpa.
The present 14th Shamarpa, Mipham Chokyi Lodro, was born in 1952 in Derge (Tibet) as the nephew of the 16th Karmapa, who recognised him formally at the age of four. In 1959, Karmapa and Shamarpa had to flee their native land as the result of the Chinese invasion and they took refuge in Sikkim (India). In the following years, in Rumtek Monastery, Shamarpa received the complete transmission of the teachings of the Kagyu Lineage from Karmapa and other recognised Tibetan masters. After the death of the 16th Karmapa, in 1981, Shamar Rinpoche has devoted all his efforts to complete numerous projects which had been initiated by His Holiness Karmapa. Apart from his tireless activities all over the world, Rinpoche has supervised the reprinting of the Tengyur, which encompasses 214 volumes in which illustrious Tibetan and Indian masters comment on Buddha's Teachings.
In accordance with the tradition, in March 1994, Shamar Rinpoche formally recognised the 17th Karmapa, Trinlay Thaye Dorje. At the present moment, Shamar Rinpoche devotes most of his time to imparting Dharma teachings all over the world.
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