The sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje was spiritual leader of the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. He was born in Denkhok in the Dergé district of Kham, near the Dri Chu or Yangtze River.
The Karmapa is the head of the Karma Kagyu, the largest sub-school of the Kagyu, itself one of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism.
Karmapa was Tibet's first consciously incarnating lama.
The historical seat of the Karmapas is Tsurphu Monastery in the Tolung valley of Tibet.
The Karmapa's principal seat in exile is the Dharma Chakra Centre at Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim, India.
His regional monastic seats are Karma Triyana Dharmachakra in New York and Dhagpo Kagyu .
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 .