Orgyen Tobgyal and Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche’s doubts about the authenticity of the “Sacred Letter of Prediction” but trust Karmapa Ogyen Trinley

Orgyen Tobgyal Rinpoche talks about Karmapa’s fake Prediction Letter by Situ Rinpoche[1]


Orgyen Tobgyal Rinpoche (b.1951)
Orgyen Tobgyal Rinpoche


Orgyen (Ugyen) Tobgyal Rinpoche clearly expresses that he as well as Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche believe that the “Sacred Letter of Prophecy” is fake, but still believe Ogyen Rinpoche was an authentic reincarnation of the 16th Karmapa. Situpa fabricated the letter in a 1992 meeting, claiming that the 16th Karmapa’s gave it to him containing the indications concerning his rebirth.

Orgyen Tobgyal Rinpoche talks about the time of the cremation of HH the 16th Karmapa in December 1981

The failure was on both sides [followers of Thaye Dorje and Ogyen Trinley]: The day after the cremation was a meeting. At that time the Rinpoches of all Kagyü schools were there. They excluded all the elders from the meeting and said „only we, the four [regents Shamar, Situ, Kongtrül and Gyaltsab Rinpoche] will decide!“ about the reincarnation of the 16th Karmapa.

Nobody knew what they did, they kept it secret. General Secretary Damchö Yongdu decided that there should be a rotation of the four regents, beginning with Shamar Rinpoche. A similar thing never had happened before. It was not the wish of the 16th Karmapa, but as the General Secretary had huge power in Rumtek, nobody objected.


About the events during and after the meeting of the four regents in 1992 when Situpa presented his „prediction letter“

Later [in 1992] when they showed the letter, even without looking at it Shamarpa didn’t accept it. Then they had a huge problem. Actually, Jamgön Kongtrül didn’t accept it neither.

They kicked out Shamarpa, decided to put the letter in a box, let Sakya Trizin open it and filmed it.[2]

Jamgön Kongtrül wanted to go to Tibet to analyze the letter, but he died before [in a car accident]. The biggest mistake was that they excluded the old Lamas [from the search for the reincarnation], as they would at least have said: „Don’t fight!“

[Shamarpa asked Situpa:] „Why did you hide the letter for years? You always have lied!“ Shamarpa left the room.

Situpa rejoiced. Jamgön Kongtrül had a doubt but said: „Let’s go and see!“ Everybody had a photocopy of the letter.

But I think Karmapa’s Tulku is good. I shouldn’t talk to much about.

Shamarpa’s uncle [he speaks maybe of his cousin Topga Rinpoche] had written a really intensive refutation of the letter. I’ve read it. The Karmapa Papers I’ve read from front to back.

Before the dispute I did a comment: I don’t trust the letter but I think the reincarnation is fine. We did a drupchö [practice retreat] in Bhutan in front of Dilgo Khyentse’s kudung. Photocopies of the letter were distributed. [in November 1991][3].

He speaks about Dzogsar Khyentse, who translates, for this he says “I”:

Than he showed me a photo of the boy, the 17th Karmapa, and the letter, I read it quite carefully, than I put it under my pillow. Then I slept for about one hour. Then when woke up, I said: ‚That letter is fake, but the Tulku is not fake!” Then he said: ‚This is you being crazy!” he said: ‚You shouldn’t have said such thing!” ….., but wether you like it or not, that is what I thought, that is what I said.’ Immediately I called Tashi Namgyal and said: „You should make an arrangement of Mandala Offering to the Karmapa.“ I did actually! I actually even sent a long letter, when he was enthroned, to Tsurphu. Later Situ Rinpoche asked: What did Dzongsar Rinpoche say? „Well, Dzongsar Rinpoche read the letter, he put it under the pillow, he slept and then he woke up and he said: ‘The letter is fake, but the tulku is right!’“ he did tell that Situ Rinpoche. Situ Rinpoche said: „He shouldn’t have said that!”

Tashi Namgyal, who was my attendant at the time and the uncle of Shamar Rinpoche wasn’t happy that I said this. He said what I said is pointless, it doesn’t make sense, when you say the letter is fake, how the Tulku can be right?

Again Orgyen Tobgyal Rinpoche

The term heart son didn’t exist before the 16th Karmapa. Shamarpa didn’t exist for 300 years. Pawo was very significant, as they say Karmapa black head, red head, stripe head, which is the head of the Nenang Pawos. At that Pawo was still there, but he was in retreat. Kalu Rinpoche was still alive.

Two book s prove that the letter is false. They wanted to test the letter, but Situpa objected. Now when you ask for the original, they say it is already in a statue. First in every corner of the Rumtek the searched and didn’t find. When they said there is no letter, people said you cannot say this, and than they inveted all kind of excuses. (Than he speaks about the things happening during 1989-1992).

About connection between Chokyur Lingpa and Orgyen Tobgyal Rinpoche, whos considered an emanation of the first:

I told Shamarpa: „We are different – When Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and Chokgyur Lingpa flourished, you didn’t even exist [the Geluk government banned the enthronement of the Shamarpas], whereas Situpa existed, so no matter what is right or wrong, my loyality will always be with Situpa. Shamarpa is a very high Lama, but we have no connection. In the whole tersar teachings of Chokgyur Lingpa there is not even a sloka [verse] related to Shamarpa.

About Chokgyur Lingpa’s prophecy:

This thangka existed in Gelak monastery and Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche saw a copy, I saw it as well.

Situpa knew of this thangka and commanded me to bring the thangka [to India]. I took it, showed it to the Dalai Lama and gave it to Situpa who printed it and distributed largely the copies. It became an important factor. Many people followed the Thangka and its prophecy – Thrangu, Tenga, Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, to them it was more important than the opinion of Shamarpa or Situpa, all of them.”[4]

[But the prophecy is not at all clear, as is shown on:

[1]          To be heard on

[2]             After Situpa presented the letter, it was put in the personal Gau (reliquary treasure box) of the late Karmapa. Shamar Rinpoche: “Moreover, in the month of May 1992, Situ Rinpoche and Gyaltsab Rinpoche along with the Ecclesiastical Department invited His Holiness Sakya Trichen Rinpoche and opened the treasure box located in the room where the Vajra Crown is kept and took out the precious Gau. Then they opened the Gau, removed the letter and produced the letter for Sakya Trichen Rinpoche to read and even published the letter in the newspapers.”

[3]             All this does not really make sense, as the meeting where Situpa showed the letter was in march 1992 and Ogyen Trinle was only found later in spring 1992, so all this could not have happened during the cremation of Dilgo Khyentse who was cremated in November 1991, but rather at the cremation of Jamgön Kongtrül III., where actually all those things were distributed.

[4]        Ugyen Tobgay talk about Karmapa’s fake Prediction Letter by Situ Rinpoche,