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 .
Karma Kagyu lamas are recognized for being masters of the practice of Mahamudra, a mystical path of Tibetan Buddhism that aims to achieve enlightenment by realizing the essence of mind.
They are often referred to as the "whisperers of Mahamudra," in reference to the oral transmission of these teachings which is done confidentially and intimately between the teacher and student.
Origin of the Karma Kagyu lineage
The Kagyu school, also transliterated as Kagyü, or Kagyud, which translates .