A tulku is a reincarnate custodian of a specific lineage of teachings in Tibetan Buddhism who is given empowerments and trained from a young age by students of his or her predecessor.
Historically, the tulku system of preserving Dharma lineages operated in Tibet with the first being the Karmapas.
After the first Karmapa died in 1193, a lama had recurrent visions of a particular child as his rebirth.
This child (born ca. 1205) was recognized as .
In Vajrayana Buddhism's Tantric teachings, the rituals require the guidance of a teacher.
The teacher is considered essential and to the Buddhist devotee, the guru is the "enlightened teacher and ritual master".
The teacher is known as the vajra guru (literally "diamond .
Origin of the Karma Kagyu lineage
The Kagyu school, also transliterated as Kagyü, or Kagyud, which translates to "Oral Lineage" or "Whispered Transmission" school, is one of the main schools of Himalayan or Tibetan Buddhism.
The Kagyu lineages trace themselves back to the 11th century Indian Mahasiddhas Naropa, Maitripa and the yogini Niguma, via their student Marpa Lotsawa (1012–1097), who brought their teachings to Tibet.
The Karma Kagyu was founded by Düsum Khyenpa, 1st Karmapa Lama. It .