The Highest Buddhist Masters Today

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Masters Recommended  
Sakya Brief
Kagyu Brief
Gelug Brief
Jonang Brief
Kagyu Lineage - True Buddhas and Bodhisattvas with Realization
  • Kagyu lineage contains Shangpa Kagyu founded by Khyungpo Naljor and Dagpo Kagyu founded by Marpa, Milarepa, and Gampopa.
  • A well-know luminary in Shangpa Kagyu is Tangtong Gyalpo who was recognized “the Father of lifetime meritorious service” by the people in Tibet. Guru Padmasambhava personally transmitted Tangtong Gyalpo the highest Vajrayana Dharma and longevity Dharma. He resided 125 years in this world and created numerous wealth for the living beings. He was respected by the land of snows in Tibet. Almost every family offered sacrifices in worshiping this great Bodhisattva. The Shangpa Kagyu lineage was slowed down in a later time. With the efforts and promotion of the 1st Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche of Karma Kagyu, Shangpa Kagyu is growing up. So far, the well-know Shangpa Kagyu masters are the 16th Tangtong Gyalpo and the 2nd Kalu Rinpoche.
Tangtong Gyalpo Kalu Rinpoche
Tangtong Gyalpo
the 2nd Kalu Rinpoche
  • Dagpo Kagyu was developed into famous four major and eight minor Kagyu lineages. The four major lineages are Karma Kagyu, Tsalpa Kagyu, Babrom Kagyu and Pagdru Kagyu. The eight minor lineages that were originated from Pagdru Kagyu are Drikung Kagyu, Drukpa Kagyu, Taglung Kagyu, Yazang Kagyu, Trophu Kagyu, Shugseb Kagyu, Yerpa Kagyu, and Martsang Kagyu. Karma Kagyu, Drukpa Kagyu and Drikung Kagyu are existed in today's world. Although some articles mentioned the existence of Taglung Kagyu, we can not find detail and approval information.
The Karmapa Maharatna Dharma Raja
Urgyen Trinley Dorje
Thaye Dorje
Urgyen Trinley Dorje
Thaye Dorje
H.H. the Karmapa Dharma King is the leader in Karmapa Kagyu and sometimes known as Black Crown Dharma king. Under the leadership of Black Crown Dharma king, there are Ruby-red Crown Dharma king and Orange Crown Dharma king. There are two current the 17th Karmapa who are Urgyen Trinley Dorje and Thaye Dorje. Although both are support by their disciples, they are still in the learning curve stage.
Gyalwang Drukpa Dharma King
Gyalwang Drukpa
H.H. Gyalwang Drukpa Dharma King is the leader in Drukpa Kagyu. The 1st Gyalwang Drukpa Dharma king is known as an incarnation of Songtsän Gampo. H.H. Jigme Pema Wangchen living in Darjeeling India is the 12th Gyalwang Drukpa Dharma king in Drukpa Kagyu. Based on Gyalwang Drukpa biographies, we know that H.H. Gyalwang Drukpa Dharma king was and is pursuing some well-known Dharma kings and Rinpoches who are Dudjom Dharma king, Ontrul Dharma king, Trulshig Dharma king, Dodrupchen Dharma kings and others. His Holiness is also traveling around the world to prompt Dharma for the benefit of living beings.
Shamar Rinpoche
Shamar Rinpoche
Shamar Rinpoche is also known as Ruby-red Crown Dharma king. Based on the records in history, the 1st Dharma king Düsum Khyenpa predicted that his reincarnation would manifest in two forms at this world after His Holiness passed away. They are Karmapa and Shamarpa. They are master-disciple relationship respectively through generational incarnation. They transmitted Dharma to another respectively in order to maintain the continuity of Buddha Dharma in the world. While Karmapa is not in this world, Shamarpa Rinpoche will be the first regent to execute the authority in administration and Buddha Dharma. The current Shamarpa Rinpoche is the 14th Ruby-red Crown Dharma king.
Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche
Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang
Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang Dharma king is the 37th Dharma king in Drikung Kagyu. His Holiness was born in a noble family in Lhasa Tibet in 1946. At four and half years old, H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama held the ceremony to tonsure His Holiness and gave the Dharma name to His Holiness. Then, the officially enthronement ceremony was held at Drikung Monastery. H.H. Dharma king received transmissions and lineage teachings from various masters. H.H. Dharma king taught himself enduringly during the political disorder period in China since 1959. When he left China in 1975, H.H. Dharma king continues pursuing Buddha Dharma. Since 1987, H.H. Dharma king has started officially prompting Dharma around the world.
Goshir Rinpoche
HH Goshir
Goshir Rinpoche is also known as Orange Crown Dharma king. Goshir Rinpoche is an incarnation of Mahasthama. Goshir Rinpoche focuses on both theory and practice. All of his disciples have to pass additional realization test after they complete the retreat for three years and three months. If someone can not pass the test, the disciples have to continue the retreat until they succeed the examination. The title of “National Preceptor” was named for the 1st generation of Goshir Rinpoche by Emperor Jingzong in Ming Dynasty. After that, Goshir Rinpoche was a Regent and National Preceptor all the time. In addition to the ceremony of Goshir Rinpoche's enthronement, an additional ceremony has to be held for the installation of the Regent and National Preceptor. This is an honor that other Rinpoches do not have. Current H.H. the 17th Karmapa Dharma king Urgyen Trinley Dorje is mainly learning Dharma from Goshir Rinpoche. Goshir Rinpoche has transferred him more than 60 doctrines that are relevant to Karmapa. If the doctrines are not related to Karmapa, those will be selectively transmitted. Goshir Rinpoche is also known as an Orange Crown Dharma king.
Tai Situ Rinpoche
Tai Situ Rinpoche
In the history, Tai Situ Rinpoche is an incarnation of Dongbi Hevajra. In 1407, Emperor Yongle in Ming Dynasty offered the honorific title “Guang Ding Tai Situ” to Chokyi Gyaltsen who was a closest disciple of the 5th Karmapa. This title means “highest, most stable, greatest master and commond holder”. This is the 1st Tai Situ. The 9th Karmapa Dharma king offered Ruby-red Crown to the 5th Tai Situ Rinpoche. Therefor, Tai Situ Rinpoche became the second Ruby-red Crown Dharm king. The current Tai Situ Rinpoche is the 12th Tai Situ Rinpoche.
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