The Tibetan institution of reincarnating lamas (sprul sku; pronounced tülku) began in the thirteenth century when Rangjung Dorje (Rang ’byung rdo rje, 1284-1339) was recognized as the rebirth (yang srid) of Karma Pakshi (1204/6-1283) and thus became the third Gyelwa Karmapa (rGyal dbang Karmapa). There were previous examples of people being identified with deceased masters and some unofficial recognitions of rebirths, but this was the first case of a such a recognition of a child. In making this move, the Karma Kagyu (Karma bKa’ brgyud) order was taking a significant gamble: if the boy had turned out to be a reprobate or a fool – or even if he were merely of mediocre abilities and unable to meet the high expectations expected of Karma Pakshi’s successor – it could have been disastrous for them.
|Title of host publication||The Buddhist World|
|Place of Publication||Abingdon and New York|
|Publication status||Published - 2016|