Religious Ranking of the Karma Kagyu School

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[English translation of the tibetan original document sealed by H.H. 16th Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpae Dorje in 1967]

“The list below gives the status of religious dignitaries of the Kagyu School in the order of their importance. It has been written on the fifteenth day of the twelve-month of the Fire Sheep Year according to the Tsurphu Calendar. I have listed below the names according tot the importance of the status of the reincarnated masters that have been able to leave Tibet for India.

Heads of the Kagyu School of the Tibetan Buddhism 
1. Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche
2. Khyenzig Drugchen Rinpoche*
3. Tsungme Jamgon Situ Rinpoche
4. Tsungme Chogtrul Taglung Rinpoche*

The second ranking religious dignitaries of the Kagyu School 
1. Chogtrul Jamgon Rinpoche
2. Chogtrul Gyaltsab Rinpoche
3. Chogtrul Pawo Rinpoche

The third ranking religious dignitaries of the Kagyu school 
1. Chortle Joe Won Ponlop Rinpoche
2. Chortle Palpung Khyentse Rinpoche
3. Chogtrul Drungsar Khyentse Rinpoche
4. Chogtrul Surmang Rinpoche
5. Chogtrul Palpung Ongen Rinpoche
6. Chogtrul Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche
7. Chogtrul Traleg Rinpoche
8. Chogtrul Surmang Trungpa Rinpoche
9. Chogtrul Decho Yangdzin Rinpoche
10. Chogtrul Dilyag Dabsang Rinpoche
11. Garchen Tripa Dorje Lopon (however, the Garchen Tripa Dorje Lopon can also be included within the group of second ranking religious dignitaries, because in the same way as the Garchen Tripa in the Gelug School is the status of the head of the main seat of that school, like wise Garchen Tripa Dorje Lopon is the head of the main seat of the Kagyu school.

The fourth ranking religious dignitaries of the Kagyu school
1. Khentrul Thrangu Rinpoche ( the present Thrangu Tulku has been given the status Garchen Khenchen
2. Bagyo Trulku Rinpoche
3. Drupon Tulku Rinpoche
4. Dilyag Urgen Rinpoche
5. Dilyag Sabchu Rinpoche
6. Tulku Ongen Mingyur Rinpoche
7. Chogling Tulku Rinpoche
8. Gyalse Tulku Rinpoche

The fifth ranking religious dignitaries of the Kagyu school
1. Salche Tulku
2. Tenga Tulku (the present Tenga Tulku has been given the Garchen Dorje Lopon status)
3. Palme Tulku
4. Bardo Tulku
5. Drung Tulku
6. Tragar Tulku
7. Yoldrag Tulku
Etc. there are many more lower reincarnations.

Signed and sealed by H.H. 16th Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpae Dorje in 1967″

*note 1: At that time head of the Dringung Kagyu and the head of the Taglung Kagyu had not been able to come to India. For that reason, they are not included in the list given below.

* Note 2: Drukchen Rinpoche and Taklung Rinpoche are the Supreme Heads of the Drukpa Kagyu School and the Taklung Kagyu School. As a matter of courtesy the status ‘spiritual leader of Karma Kagyu’ was offered to them.



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