The Tantra of Kalachakra is the basis of Tibetan astronomy. It explains some phenomena in a similar manner as modern astronomy science. Hence, Sun eclipse is described as the Moon passing between the Sun and the Earth.
In 1318, the 3rd Karmapa received vision of Kalachakra which he used to introduce a revised system of astronomy and astrology named the "Tsurphu Tradition of Astrology" (Tibetan: Tsur-tsi) which is still used in the Karma Kagyu school for the calculation of the Tibetan calendar.
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 Kagyu, Kagyü, or Kagyud school, 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. Marpa's student Milarepa was also an influential poet and teacher.
The Shamarpa, also known as Shamar Rinpoche, or more formally Künzig Shamar Rinpoche, is a lineage holder of the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism and is regarded to be the mind manifestation of Amitābha. He is traditionally associated with Yangpachen Monastery near Lhasa.
Ole Nydahl, also known as Lama Ole, is a lama providing Mahamudra teachings in the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism. Since the early 1970s, Nydahl has toured the world giving lectures and meditation courses. With his wife, Hannah Nydahl (1946-2007), he founded Diamond Way Buddhism, a worldwide Karma Kagyu Buddhist organization with over 600 centers for lay practitioners.
Rumtek Monastery, also called the Dharma Chakra Centre, is a gompa located in the Indian state of Sikkim near the capital Gangtok. It is the seat-in-exile of the Gyalwang Karmapa, inaugurated in 1966 by the 16th Karmapa. It is also a focal point for the sectarian tensions within the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism that characterize the 17th Karmapa controversy.
There are currently two separately enthroned 17th Gyalwang Karmapas: Ogyen Trinley Dorje and Trinley Thaye Dorje. The Karmapa is the spiritual leader of the 900-year-old Karma Kagyu lineage of the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism.
Thrangu Rinpoche was born in 1933 in Kham, Tibet. He is deemed to be a prominent tulku in the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism, the ninth reincarnation in his particular line. His full name and title is the Very Venerable Ninth Khenchen Thrangu Tulku, Karma Lodrö Lungrik Maway Senge. "Khenchen" denotes great scholarly accomplishment, and the term "Rinpoche" is an honorific title commonly afforded to Tibetan lamas.
The sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje was the spiritual leader of the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism and part of the oldest line of reincarnate lamas in Vajrayana Buddhism known as the Karmapas whose coming was predicted by the Buddha in the Samadhiraja Sutra. The 16th Karmapa was considered to be a "living Buddha" and was deeply involved in the transmission of the Vajrayana Buddhism to Europe and North America following the Chinese invasion of Tibet. He had many monikers, including “King of the Yogis”, and is the subject of numerous books and films.
Jamgön Kongtrül Lodrö Thayé, also known as Jamgön Kongtrül the Great, was a Tibetan Buddhist scholar, poet, artist, physician, tertön and polymath. He was one of the most prominent Tibetan Buddhists of the 19th century and he is credited as one of the founders of the Rimé movement (non-sectarian), compiling what is known as the "Five Great Treasuries". He achieved great renown as a scholar and writer, especially among the Nyingma and Kagyu lineages and composed over 90 volumes of Buddhist writing, including his magnum opus, The Treasury of Knowledge.
Karma Kagyu, or Kamtsang Kagyu, is a widely practiced and probably the second-largest lineage within the Kagyu school, one of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. The lineage has long-standing monasteries in Tibet, China, Russia, Mongolia, India, Nepal and Bhutan, with current centres in over 60 countries. The spiritual head of the Karma Kagyu is the Gyalwa Karmapa; the 2nd through 10th Karmapas were principal spiritual advisors to successive emperors of China. The Karma Kagyu are sometimes called the "Black Hat" lamas, in reference to the Black Crown worn by the Karmapa.
The 7th Dzogchen Ponlop is an abbot of Dzogchen Monastery, founder and spiritual director of Nalandabodhi, founder of Nītārtha Institute for Higher Buddhist Studies, a leading Tibetan Buddhist scholar, and a meditation master. He is one of the highest tülkus in the Nyingma lineage and an accomplished Karma Kagyu lineage holder.
Diamond Way Buddhism is a lay organization within the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism. The first Diamond Way Buddhist center was founded in 1972 by Hannah Nydahl and Ole Nydahl in Copenhagen under the guidance of Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, 16th Karmapa. Today there are approximately 650 centers worldwide, directed by Ole Nydahl under the guidance of Trinley Thaye Dorje, one of two claimants to the title of the 17th Karmapa. Buddhist teachers such as Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche and Lama Jigme Rinpoche visit Diamond Way Buddhist centers and large meditation courses.
Mipham Chokyi Lodro, also known as Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche, was the 14th Shamarpa of the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism. The Shamarpa is the second most important teacher of the Karma Kagyu school after the Karmapa. The Karmapas are sometimes referred to as the Black Hat Lamas, referring to their Black Crown.
Rangjung Dorje (1284–1339) was the third Karmapa and an important figure in the history of Tibetan Buddhism, who helped to spread Buddha-nature teachings in Tibetan Buddhism.
Tsurphu Monastery (Tibetan: མཚུར་ཕུ་དགོན་པ or Tölung Tsurphu is a gompa which serves as the traditional seat of the Karmapa, the head of the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. It is located in Gurum in Doilungdêqên District, Tibet Autonomous Region, China, 70 kilometres from Lhasa.
The Black Crown is an important symbol of the Karmapa, the Lama who heads the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism. The crown signifies his power to benefit all sentient beings. Similar crowns in red are worn by the Shamarpa and the Tai Situpa, while Goshir Gyaltsab wears an orange crown. These crowns were bestowed by the Karmapa.
Nenang Pawo is one of the highest lamas of the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism. The Pawos form a lineage of tulkus, of which the first was born in 1440. They were traditionally the heads of Nenang Monastery in Ü-Tsang.
Chödrak Gyatso (1454–1506), also Chödrag Gyamtso, was the seventh Karmapa, head of the Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism.
Dakpo Tashi Namgyal was a lineage holder of the Dagpo Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. He was also trained in the Sakya lineage, and "was renowned as both a scholar and yogi."
Pema Dönyö Nyinje Wylie: pad+ma don yod nyin byed , born 1954 is the 12th Tai Situpa, a tulku in Tibetan Buddhism, and one of the leading figures of the Karma Kagyu school. He is the head of Palpung Monastery.
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