Kunzig Shamarpa Rinpoche, Buddha Amitabha emanation, – is the next Lama after Gyalwa Karmapa in the spiritual hierarchy of Karma Kagyu tradition. The first Shamarpa Rinpoche, Khedrup Dragpa Senge (1283-1349), was a principal student of the 3d Karmapa Randjung Dorje. His second incarnation Kacho Wangpo received Red crown from the 4th Karmapa Rolpe Dorje – a precise copy of the Karmapa’s black crown. He also then acquired a title , “Shamarpa”, meaning “the one who wears Red Crown”. During several centuries these Lamas take turns in teaching each other, though it is believed that their minds are inseparable.

14th Kunzig Shamarpa Mipham Chokyi Lodre was born in 1952 in Derge (Tibet). He is 16th Karmapa’s nephew. Being 6 years old he was recognised as the incarnation of Shamarpa and was then brought to Yang Chen monastery – Shamarpas’ main residence in Tibet. When he was nine he left Tibet to Sikkim (India) as part of Karmapa’s cortege where he continued his education.

In Sikkim, Rumtek monastery, Kunzig Shamarpa Rinpoche received a full transmission of Karma Kagyu tradition from the 16thKarmapa. After Karmapa’s death Shamarpa Rinpoche realized KIBI (Karmapa’s International Buddhist Institute) project in New Delhi (India). In March 1994 he officially recognised 17th Karmapa in Trinley Thaye Dorje. Shamarpa Rinpoche spends most of his time traveling around the world and transmitting Buddhist teachings.