[Main ROKPA Homepage]

The aims of our charitable Trusts. How we started.
Kagy Samye Ling and Kagyu Samye Dzong centres in Europe and Africa
Resident and visiting lamas. Other lineage teachers and dharma helpers.
HH the 17th Gyalwa Karma, Urgyen Tinley Dorje. The illustrious Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism.
A useful collection of Buddhist teachings - theory and meditation.

The Indian Patriarchs who founded the Kagyu lineage Mahamudra and the Six Yogas, the sublime content of the Kagyu lineage
This section: the Tibetan masters of the Karma Kagyu lineageThe Gyalwa Karmapas, supreme masters of the Karma Kagyu lineage

Kagyu Samye Ling thangka of , by Master Artist Sherapalden Beru
Click on image of master for his biography.

The Tibetan Patriarchs of the Kagyu Lineage

Detailed hagiographies can be had by clicking on the image of the master in the thangka above, or else on the hyperlink in the very brief resume which follows.

Marpa was the Tibetan who spent over 20 years in India, studying under the great masters Naropa and Maitripa, in order to bring the Kagyu teachings to Tibet. The wealth of yogic and mahamudra teachings he gathered, mastered and translated were transmitted in their entirety to Jetsun Milarepa, famous for his arduous practice in icy mountain caves. His main disciple was Gampopa, the emanation of a very great bodhisattva. Gampopa combined the special teachings of Marpa's lineage with those of the Khadampa tradition and established the first Kagyu monastery in Tibet. Of his four main disciples, the most illustrious was the first Gyalwa Karmapa, Dusum Chenpa, an emanation of Buddha activity itself. Since then, Karmapas have emanated 16 more times in Tibet to assure the integral transmission of the lineage, i.e. the Kagyu teachings of mahamudra and the six yogas, as well as those of all the other lineages which have since been integrated in the Karma Kamtsang tradition.

Mahapandita Naropa, perfect scholar and yogin Tilopa Prajnabadra, great mahasiddha HH the 16th Karmapa - click for all Karmapa lineage Gampopa, who combined the Khadampa and Kagyu lineages Milarepa, the great yogi Marpa the Translator, 1st Tibetan patriarch The 1st Gyalwa Karmapa, Dusum Chenpa