We are sad to report the passing of Shamar Rinpoche, the 14th Sharmapa. His death was announced by Trinley Thaye Dorje, whom Shamar Rinpoche recognized as the 17th Karmapa. His death occurred in the last few days, though details have not yet been made available.
The Shamarpa is the second-highest position in the Kagyu lineage after the Karmapa. The first Shamarpa (1283–1349) received a red crown — an exact replica of Karmapa’s black crown — from the 3rd Karmapa. The 14th Shamarpa, Mipham Chokyi Lodro, was born in 1952 in Tibet and was trained in the Kagyu teachings by the 16th Karmapa in India. Shamar Rinpoche founded the Bodhi Path Buddhist Centers, which employ a nonsectarian approach to Buddhism, in 1996. In 2005 he established Shar Minub, a retreat center stressing vinaya practice, in Kathmandu, Nepal. And in 2009 he founded the Infinite Compassion Foundation for the promotion of animal rights. He was the author of Boundless Awakening, a meditation manual, and A Golden Swan in Turbulent Waters, a biography of the Tenth Karmapa, Choying Dorje.
Following the death of the 16th Karmapa in 1981, Shamar Rinpoche was one of four important tulkus who took control of the Kagyu lineage and led the search for the Karmapa’s reincarnation. While the vast majority of Kagyu leaders and the Dalai Lama recognized Ogyen Trinley Dorje as the 17th Karmapa, Shamar Rinpoche and his supporters promoted Trinley Thaye Dorje.
Click here to visit the Shamarpa’s official website.