15th Karmapa, Khakhyab Dorje


From his very recognition and enthronement as the Fifteenth Karmapa, Khakhyab Dorje continued his previous incarnation’s ties to the Rimé Movement of eastern Tibet. Khakhyab Dorje was identified by a group of lamas that included two of the main figures driving the movement: Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo (1820–1892) and Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye. From an early age, Khakhyab Dorje directed his energies to his education, seeking out the most learned teachers and applying himself to his studies with great results. At the age of 15, he traveled from Tsurphu to Palpung Monastery to meet Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye, from whom he received the entire Kagyu transmission and Lodrö Thaye’s own vast collection known as the Five Treasuries. From there, the Fifteenth Karmapa began traveling across eastern Tibet seeking out other transmissions and teachers—Sakya, Nyingma, Drukpa Kagyu, Shangpa Kagyu and his own Karma Kagyu. In this way, Khakhyab Dorje fully embodied the spirit of inclusiveness and openness that characterized the Rimé movement.

The Rimé movement went well beyond mere tolerance of other sects, to become an active embracing of the wisdom that other lineages had preserved. Coming as it did after centuries of sectarian strife that placed many lineages at risk of extinction, one of the chief aims of the movement was to share transmissions to ensure they continued. Rimé was thus infused with the active wish to care for one another, for the well-being of all.