Khakyab Dorje, 15th Karmapa Lama

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15th Karmapa
Date of birth: 1871
Place of birth: Sheikor, Tsang, Tibet
Birth name: Khakyab Dorje
Date of death: 1922
Place of death:  ?
School: Vajrayana
Practice School: Kagyu
Lineage: Karma Kagyu
Order: N/A
Titles/Honours: Karmapa, Lama, Rinpoche.
Quote:  ?

The fifteenth Karmapa, Khakyab Dorje (1871–1922), spoke the mantra of Chenrezig "Om mani peme hung" at his birth in Sheikor village in Tsang province in Central Tibet.[1] Five years later he was able to read the scriptures.

Recognised and enthroned by the ninth Kyabgon Drukchen, Khakyab Dorje was given the Kagyu teachings by Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye. Khenchen Tashi Ozer and other masters completed his education.

He was enthroned at Tsurphu Monastery when he was six years old.[2] He went on to teach and give empowerments throughout Tibet, and preserved many rare texts by having them reprinted.

In 1898 he travelled to Bhutan bestowing many transmissions. On his return to Tibet he took several consorts as his guru had predicted.[3] In some rare cases, bhikshus are given permission by their lamas to do consort practices, but only lamas who have attained realisations may do so.[citation needed]

Unlike the previous Karmapas, Khakyab Dorje married Khandro Ugyen Tsomo, and fathered three sons, one of whom was recognised as the second Jamgon Kongtrul[4] and another the twelfth Shamarpa, Jamyang Rinpoche.[5]

Among his closest students were Situ Pema Wangchok Gyalpo (who Karmapa had recognised as the Tai Situpa reincarnation),[citation needed] Jamgon Palden Khyentse Ozer, the First Beru Khyentse and Lodro Mizay Jampa'i Gocha.

A few years before he passed into parinirvana at the age of fifty-one he entrusted a letter containing a prediction regarding his rebirth to an attendant.[4]


  1. ^ Martin (2004), p. 289.
  2. ^ Naher (2004), p. 221.
  3. ^ Naher (2004), p. 222.
  4. ^ a b Martin (2004), p. 290.
  5. ^ The Sharmapa Incarnations


  • Lama Kunsang, Lama Pemo, Marie Aubèle (2012). History of the Karmapas: The Odyssey of the Tibetan Masters with the Black Crown. Snow Lion Publications, Ithaca, New York. ISBN 1-55939-390-4.
  • Martin, Michele (2003). Music in the Sky: The Life, Art, and Teachings of the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa Orgyen Trinle Dorje. Snow Lion Publications, Ithaca, New York. ISBN 1-55939-195-2
  • Naher, Gaby (2004). Wrestling the Dragon: In Search of the Boy Lama Who Defied China. Rider, London. ISBN 1-84413-231-5.
  • Thinley, Karma (2008). The History of Sixteen Karmapas of Tibet (in English). USA: Prajna Press. p. 150. ISBN 1-57062-644-8. 

External links[edit]

  • "THE FIFTEENTH GYALWA KARMAPA, Khakhyab Dorje". [1]
Preceded by
Thekchok Dorje
Reincarnation of the Karmapa Succeeded by
Rangjung Rigpe Dorje