In a post on facebook (maintained by “close disciples” Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche reports his visit to Karmapa, Thaye Dorje. Great that now more and more great masters acknowledge the 17th Karmapa, Thaye Dorje.
In 1964, Shamar Rinpoche was officially enthroned. The 16th Karmapa elevated him publicly to the highest position after himself within the Karma Kagyu order and appointed him as “sovereign” or “holder” (tib.: tenpa) of the lineager. The 16th Karmapa addressed at this occasion aprayer of long life to the Shamarpa in which he wrote:
“The most exalted, the lord of the lands of snow is Avalokiteśvara.
The coalescence of his essence is the glorious Karmapa.
Is his manifestation, the great emanation; the majestic sun,
Whom I invest now sovereign of the practice lineage’s order.
By the power of scattering auspicious flowers of excellent virtue
Combined with the true words of the riṣhi’s truthfulness
May he successfully and everlastingly be the sovereign of the order”
 Body, speach and mind of a Buddha.
 Vajrapāni, Avalokiteśvara and Mañjuśrī.
Tibetan original from the bschu drug pa rig pa’i dor je gsung ‘bum, the collected works of the 16th Karmapa:
Photo: The 16th Karmapa and Shamarpa in 1979.
There was too much fighting in the Karma Kagyu lineage after the inbelievable life of the 16th Karmapa. He conquered the world. Where the late Karmapa went, the Dharma florished. After his death the fight began.
For me there is no problem if people have different believes. Me myself I have many. The whole thing with the two 17th Karmapas at least teaches us that we cannot ever be sure about what we think to be true. But when people start lying in order to “proove” their point of view, my tolerance is really on trial. Instead of adding emotions, I will try to analize the statements of the official website of His Holiness Ogyen Trinley Dorje.
Below the original statements from their webside – and in italics my commentaries:
Traditional Materials on Recognition of the 17th Karmapa
A Song (appx. 1940)
In approximately 1940, at the age of 17, His Holiness Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, the Sixteenth Karmapa, composed a song entitled simply A Song.
On the corresponding page kagyuoffice states that the 16th Karmapa predicts that Situpa will again be his root Lama. But actually he only wishs to meet his teacher “again and again” – which is quite normal, as he has received a lot of Dharma and blessing from him. Later the 16th Karmapa installed Shamarpa as “Souvereign of the lineage”, which prooves that Situpa was not the one and only choosen heart son of the late Karmapa.
The Melodious Hum of the Bee (1944)
In 1944, the 16th Karmapa published another song foreseeing the flight from Tibet, expressing his sadness at being forced to leave the glorious seat of the Kagyu at Tsurphu Monastery.
Background: Songs of the 16th Karmapa
An the corresponding page kagyuoffice writes:
Thrangu Rinpoche interprets the prediction: ”The Lord of the Path” refers to the astrological path or cycle of twelve years and the “king of birds” refers to the year of the bird, when the XVIIth Karmapa will be back in his monastery, beginning his activity again.
Actually Karmapa Thaye Dorje reached his monastery – the KIBI in Delhi – in the bird year which includes the january 1994 when he reached India, not Ogyen Trinle, who reached Tsurphu in the monkey year 1992. See detailed analysis here.
Blissful Roar Of Melodius Experience (1961-62)
In 1961-62, upon his arrival in India, the 16th praised Tsurphu Monastery and spoke of returning to that “pure realm,” but evidenced no intention to return during his lifetime. After his passing, it gradually became clear that the 16th Karmapa’s reference to his return to Tsurphu was a prediction about the 17th Karmapa.
Background: Songs of the 16th Karmapa
The poem was published in 1962, but written in Tsurphu and doesn’t predict that he would return there at all.
Vision of Chogyur Dechen Lingpa (mid-19th century)
Details of the Seventeenth Karmapa’s life were foretold with startling prescience in the vision of Chogyur Dechen Lingpa (1829-1870), a great nonsectarian master and one of the most renowned discoverers (“tertöns”) of sacred hidden texts of the last few centuries.
Background: Vision of Chogyur Dechen Lingpa
This is more complicated. The prediction reffered to was copied by hand in the 80ies. There are differend versions of the prophecy. Sylvia Wong pesents another version which seems to proove that Lingpa might have meant the 16th Karmapa when he spoke about the 17th: The first 15th Karmapa died early and was not included in the golden rosary of the Karmapas – and not count neither. That means that the predictions of Chokgyur Lingpa could actually decribe the 16th Karmapa’s life. More about that here.
A Prophecy of the Fifth Karmapa (early 15th century)
Some of the details of the Seventeenth Karmapa’s life were foretold in the prophecy of the Fifth Karmapa, who predicted that the 17th Karmapa would triumph over obstacles which would threaten the continuity of the Kagyu lineage.
Background: Prophecy of the Fifth Karmapa
The prediction was translated wrongly. Michele Martin translated „Natha“, the troublemaker in the prophecy, as „nephew like relation“, which points to Shamarpa and Topga Rinpoche both the 16th Karmapa’s nephew. But there is no base whatsoever to translate „natha“ as nephew. Many have pointed out that the translation was erroneous. kagyuoffice can’t say they don’t know. To be sure they know I wrote them. Still the misinterpretation is on their website. For a detailed analysis see: here.
The Sacred Letter of Prediction (1981)
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.
Background: Sacred Letter of Prediction
The autheticity of the prediction letter was doubted by Shamar Rinpoche and Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche. See: here.
While living at Rumtek monastery in Sikkim, Shamar Rinpoche received this prediction letter from Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche in the late 1970’s.
Before writing this prediction, Trungpa Rinpoche did the practice of prasena for Dorje Yudronma, a female deity. He invoked Yudronma and asked her to give a prediction concerning the future life of Shamar Rinpoche. Then, following tradition, the text of the prediction appeared in a mirror. Trungpa Rinpoche copied the words in his own hand, composing the letter below.
Prediction about the life of Kyabje Shamar Rinpoche
The Vajra-Spring is permanent and unchanging.
Unobstructed Yudronma revealed through the list of verses profound, clear symbolic words.
The devi of long life who shines like an emerald,
Always keep at the center of your heart.
Youth is the messenger of the god of desire who will be burned by the fire of samadhi.
You should do the practice on the wrathful aspect of Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava).
You, the Ruby-crowned one, may burn away the darkness of the era.
In your 50th year,
Do the practice of the essence of the Buddha of Long Life and
The practice of Vajrakilaya to counter black magic.
Wash yourself with the water of Mamaki deities.
An elephant who has been intoxicated by poison will slander and create fighting within the lineage.
So take extreme caution against the corruption and trembling within the lineage.
The wealthy yellow dialecticians will harm the genuine lineage of the Kagyu dharma,
So you should strive to sharpen the spear-tip of your mind.
The Vajra-rock which is golden and shining is where you should abide in holy meditation.
You should do the three year, three month retreat.
Through the white luminosity of Vajrasattva you will go to the place of the Dharmakaya which is beyond meditation.
Keep that meaning in your heart.
 An aspect of Tara
 literally ‘Goddess’ – refers to Yudronma
 literally “burned by the fire at the end of the kalpa”. The oral explanation given by Shamar Rinpoche is that this is a warning to not follow the temptations of youthful desire, to avoid the trap of worldly life by means of the remedy of samadhi.
 Shamar Rinpoche: Sha=hat; mar=red
 literally “10 X 50 rounds”
 literally “…within.”
 According to the tradition of both the Kagyu and Nyingma schools, this term usually refers to the government of the Dalai Lama.
one of the most often heard argument why Ogyen Trinle was the “real” 17th Karmapa ist the fact that the Dalai Lama acknoledged him and nobody else. Already we have to recall that he was mislead by Situpa and Gyaltsab who told him that all the regents would agree in the choice of Ogyen Trinle. Than he had a prophetic dream, which indeed fits on many tibetan valleys – it is not precise at all.
On top of it unlike as so many rinpoches, lamas and true devotees of Tibetan Buddhism I have no confidence in the Dalai Lama’s statements about reincarnations. Why? Because since the third Dalai Lama he claims to know about reincarnations in order to reach his political aims. As we find in the book “The Story of Tibet: Conversations with the Dalai Lama” by Thomas Laird on page 145: “The Third Dalai Lama publicly proclaimed that he was a reincarnation of the priest Phagpa and that Altan was a reincarnation of Kublai Khan.” That’s Politics of reincarnation! Don’t think that the statements of the Dalai Lama about reincarnations are always true, otherwise he would be the reincarnation of the Sakya’s regent Phagpa…
In a letter titled “To the feet of Kyabje Shamar Rimpoche and Topga-la together“ Thrangu Rinpoche wrote on the 30th day of the 12th month of the Water Bird year (2nd Feb 1994):
“1 ) The Sixteenth Karmapa s prophecy clearly seeing the futur, (Song of the Right Moment, in the Melodious Hum of the Bee, in the year ot the Wood Monkey of the Sixteenth Rabjung (1944), at His residence Tashi Khangsar, printed in Gangtok Sikkim. From the first line to the second folio:
Renowned Rigdrol says: not staying Traveling-elsewhere.
Thus was it prophesied that He would not stay at the seat of Tsurphu. From the back of that folio, first line:
When the Lord of the Path is held by the King of Birds,
I aspire to come together happily;
In this life, take this as the essential (point) for one s ear.
Thus the Reincarnation, who arrived safely at the Seat of Tsurphu in this Female Water-Bird year of 1993, had here given this lucid prophecy fifty years ahead of time, having known of this event through the foresight of wisdom.”1
Something similar Tenga Rinpoche wrote in a letter titled “To the one who clarifies the teachings of the practise Lineage, Khyabje Shamar Rinpoche and to Topgala”:
“About fifty years ago, the XVIth Karmapa, Rigpe Dordje, made a prediction about what would happen in the future, saying, “When the Lord of the Path (the twelve year cycle) is held by the kings of birds, I make the aspiration prayer that we gather in great joy “. Accordingly, in the year of the female water bird, the enthronement of the Karmapa took place at Tsurphu Monastery.”2
This sounds very convincing and convinced the disciples of both Thrangu and Tenga Rinpoche, two Rinpoches who are/were very influential in the West to follow them in their choice for the 17th Karmapa (which is Ogyen Trinle). There is only a slight mistake:
Karmapa candidate Ogyen Trinle was enthroned in Tsurpu in September 19923, in the Water-male-Monkey year.
The predictions of the 16th Karmapa’s poem instead fits to the following:
In January, 1994, the young Karmapa Thaye Dorje came to Delhi and met with Shamar Rinpoche and other followers of the late Karmapa. January 1994 corresponds to the 19th of the eleventh month to the 19th of the twefth month of the Water-female-Bird.4 Tenga and Thrangu Rinpoche agree, that the prediction of the 16th Karmapa foretells the meeting of the latters reincarnation with his main disciples. This thus became true when Karmapa Thaye Dorje met Shamar Rinpoche and other important disciples of the late Karmapa.
Thrangu signed his letter with the words “With silk scarf sent by Thrangu Tulku on the 30th day of the 1 2th month of the Water Bird year ((2nd Feb 1994). Tashi delek for the happy new Wood-Dog year.” Writing this words he shood have noticed his mistake, as the enthronement was already 1 1/2 year ago and couldn’t have happened in the Bird year. Did he write these lines deliberately to mislead his disciples?
Probably Thrangu Rinpoche is one of the sourses of these misleading informations. It was him who guided Michele Martin in her translation of the poem, which she published in April 1994.5 Thrangu is authored also the Footnote annotations6:
“”The Lord of the Path” refers to the astrological path or cycle of twelve years and the “king of birds” refers to the year of the bird, when the XVIIth Karmapa will be back in his monastery, beginning his activity again.”
Michele Martin later commented in Music in the Sky the lines “When the Lord of the Path is held by the king of birds, In prayer I aspire that we gather in great joy“ with the following words:
“The following two lines are quite remarkable as a vision of the future. The Lord of the Path refers to the astrological path or cycle of twelve years, each of which is related to a different animal. King of the birds refers to the Year of the Bird, when the Karmapa in his next incarnation as the seventeenth will be back at Tsurphu beginning his activity again and can gather in great joy with his disciples. Since the Karmapa knows that he will not be returning to Tsurphu until his next incarnation, he offers his people advice for this life and gives them a profound Dharma teaching.”7
Of course in the prophetic poem Tsurphu is not mentioned in this context at all. This, as well as in the case of her misleading translation of the 5th Karmapa’s prophecy, is a pure invention of her – done in the first case under the guidance of the great Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche.
The official homepage of Ogyen Trinle still today repeats both distortions (the wrong interpretation of both the 5th Karmapa’s predictions and the 16th Karmapa’s poem)8 and shows in this way that they are manipulating even the words of the Karmapa in order to make people believe that Ogyen Trinle is the rightful one and only 17th Karmapa. Bad Karma.9
2 Written in the „bird month of 1994“ (Sept. 1994.)
5 http://kagyuoffice.org/traditional-materials-on-recognition-of-the-17th-karmapa/the-song-whose-time-has-come-the-melodius-hum-of-a-bee/ we can read: Translated “under the guidance of Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche, translated by Michele Martin of New York © April 1994, 2000.”
7 Martin, Michelle: Music in the Sky. pg. 302
8 Kagyüoffice comments the poem: “After his passing, it gradually became clear that the 16th Karmapa’s reference to his return to Tsurphu was a prediction about the 17th Karmapa.” http://kagyuoffice.org/traditional-materials-on-recognition-of-the-17th-karmapa/
9 In the case of the prophecy of the 5th Karmapa: Martin translated the text in 1992 and people like Akong used it already in June 1992 when Ogyen Trinle arrived in Tsurphu ti discredit Shamarpa who had choosen another 17th Karmapa: “Er [Akong] berichtete noch von einer Prophezeiung, die besagt, daß es in der Zeit zwischen dem Tod des 16. und dem Erscheinen des 17. Karmapas ein Wesen geben würde, das mit ganz bestimmten Erkennungsmerkmalen ausgestattet viel Unheil anrichten würde und daß während dieser Zeit große Verwirrung herrschen würde.” Buddhismus Heute Nr. 9, ( 1992)