Now and then the ambition of human beings gives rise to discord.  Such a situation was foretold by Dezhin Shegpa, the Fifth Gyalwa Karmapa, concerning events in our time.

              Prediction of The Fifth Karmapa, Dezhin Shegpa

After the Sixteenth in the rosary of Karmapa
Before the Seventeenth, an incarnation of a demon
One spoken of as relation
Will arise in this seat, Sacho.

By the power of the person's perverted aspirations,
The Karmapa lineage will be near destruction.

At that time, one having true aspirations from a previous life,
A heart emanation of Padmasambhava,
From the Western direction [with Lhasa as the Center].
One with a necklace of moles, fierce and wrathful
Whose mouth speaks wrathful speech,
Having dark maroon colour [like the wrathful aspect of Padmasambhava] and eyes protruding 

This one will subdue the incarnation of the samaya breaker,
He will protect Tibet and Kham for a while.
At that time happiness, like beholding the sun
In this Tibet will occur, I think.

Without this, even if karmically virtuous ones come
The dharma will wane downwards,
As fruit of the negative aspirations of the demon.
It will be difficult for happiness to arise.

From the inside, the king of the centre will be defiled
The emanation of demon, an officer of high rank [also, minister] coming from Kong,
Will disturb the center and destroy the center's domain [also, territory or kingdom].

Many outsiders not existing before [not on the scene before],

[Not knowing] what has arisen, will conceal [the meaning is clearer if the line
following it is taken in context

The beings of the degenerate times, will be seduced [also, duped] by the demon.
Not having faith in Dharma, will become full of suffering.

Upper, lower and middle, in all three regions,
Blood of disturbances and arguments will rain.

From quarrels, disturbances and debates,
There will be no place of peace even for awhile.

Except for this very tormented fetters [bonds, whether material or moral,]
There is no liberty.

Three precious ones, the three Roots and the Dharma Protectors,
It is not that they don't have compassion.

Due to the Karma of beings and the power of aspirations of the demon,
A time will arrive of a downward decrease.

At that time the Secret Lineage Dharma,
Will have more power and bring swift blessings.

Translated by Michele Martin.  1998, Karma Triyana Dharmachakra. All rights reserved. 


  1. Keith Dowman's "The Discovery of the New Karmapa" (NY: Tricycle, 1992.)
  2. Definitive overview by the seat of the Karma Kagyu order of 2004 litigation,  including (#10):

  "The issue, if any, of the recognition of the 17th Karmapa is now a matter of history and remains only of academic interest. The confirmation and proclamation by H.H. The Dalai Lama in 1992 was that Orgyen Trinley Dorje is the 17th Karmapa. All the followers of the Karma Kagyu and other Buddhist traditions, including Shamar Rinpoche (d.11 June 2014), accepted the same.  [However] In 1994, Shamar Rinpoche propounded [another person] is the 17th Karmapa and requested H.H. The Dalai Lama to similarly recognize [him]. H.H. The Dalai Lama flatly refused, by a letter dated 3rd February 1997 . . .   .  The matter of the recognition and identity of the 17th Karmapa is now conclusively closed and rests there."

If you believe, as does any reasonable person, that "The proof of the pudding is in the eating," then there is absolutely no doubt as to the Gyalwa Karmapa. 

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