The 14th Shamarpa died this week. He is one of the oldest known reincarnate lamas (or tulkus) in the Karma Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, and very few Karma Kagyu members are talking about it.
The lineage split before I joined. The Shamarpa chose a different 17th Karmapa from the other side (the side I follow). Bad blood between both sides have occupied history like a soap opera.
I don’t follow soap operas, but I do embrace the Shamarpa fully as a significant lineage holder from my Karma Kagyu tradition.
At KTD, the place I have taken my bodhisattva vows, they are practicing a Buddha Amitahba puja. The Shamarpa is considered an emanation of Amitahba, so though I have heard zero news of the Shamarpa’s death from KTD blogs, I hope KTD is dedicating their merit to a swift rebirth of our great master, the 14th Shamar Rinpiche. If they are not including him in their practice, they have much negative karma to overcome.
The 17th Karmapa has, however, called upon at least one monastery to perform pujas for Shamarpa. That’s not enough, in my opinion. He must persist and ask all Karma Kagyu monasteries and practicing Buddhists to spend time devoting our practice to the Shamarpa. If this advice upsets the Karma Kagyu members who felt betrayed by the Shamarpa, then they have much to overcome as sentient beings. Here is an opportunity for all of the Karma Kagyu (no matter which Karmapa one follows) to take our practice a step further.
Om Ami Dewa Hri
May the dharma continue to flourish where it has not risen!
May reconciliation begin now!