In 1981, the revered 16th Karmapa, head of the Karma Kagyu sect of Tibetan Buddhism, passed away. His death set n motion a process to identify his reincarnated successor that originated 900 years ago with the 1st Karmapa who was the first Tibetan Buddhist master ever to reincarnate.
Since the early 1990's, the identification of the 17th Karmapa has been mired in controversy; causing a schism in the Karma Kagyu sect. two competing factions within the sect have recognized different candidates.
To help sort out the competing claims, Sylvia Wong believes that an unbiased voice can be found in the past - namely, in the prophetic words of previous Karmapas. Not only does she offer the Karmapas' words, but using a combination of accurate translations, sound interpretation, proper historical research, and investigative reporting, she also marshals new evidence and analysis to show that those predictions have come true in our time.
In addition, author corrects recent publications' linguistic and historical errors that contribute to the Karmapa controversy. She believes that an accurate account of Karma Kagyu history ought to be of equal importance to both 17th Karmapas and their followers. With the help of respected translators, author presents for the first time in English, many key Tibetan writings that reveal the relevant Karma Kagyu history.
In Part - One of her ground breaking study, Wong presents the true voices of the 5th and 16th Karmapas through their writings, namely, their prophecies that forewarned of treachery not unlike the present schism in the Karma Kagyu. Wong also examines the predictions of Guru rinpoche found in scripts from tibetant made available only in early 008.
To reveal the true meanings of all these prophecies, an in-depth analysis by Geshe Dawa Gyaltsen, a Gelugpa scholar, accompanies each prophecy. Part - Two refutes misruths about Tibetan history that several recent publications have spread. If left uncorrected, they can damage the reputation of Karma Kagyu - a risk forewarned in the prophecies
Part - Three presents the first-person account by the present Shamarpa, about events just prior to the 16th Karmapa's passing and until his own recognition of the 17th Karmapa Thaye Dorje. It reveals the divisive forces that have undermined the 16th Karmapa's administration
Part - Four, the concluding section examines the key figures and their master plan in the takeover of Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim, on August 2, 1993. Today none of the two 17th karmapas can set foot in Rumtek, as their predecessor foresaw.
Table of Contents:
- Part one: On Prophecies and Visions
- Part Two: Clarification of History
- Part Three: Karmapa’s Administration at Risk
- Part Four: The 17th Karmapa Controversy
- Appendix A: Letters and References
- Appendix B: Karmapa Charitable Trust Letters and Minutes on Tashi Choling
- Appendix C: Court Decisions and Reports on Rumtek Monastery
- Appendix D: Tibetan Originals of the Prophecies
About the Author:
Sylvia Wong, a long-time practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism, is an editor of Buddhist teachings published in Buddhist magazines and websites. She lives in Toronto, Canada.