Tibetan Renaissance Seminar > participants> Alison Melnick

Karma Monastery

Alison Melnick 2007

NameKarma ཀར་མ།
Period12th Century
Transliteration formkar ma
Sectarian affiliationKarma Kagyu
Source of informationDavidson, Ronald M. Tibetan Renaissance: Tantric Buddhism in the Rebirth of Tibetan Culture. Columbia University Press, 2005. Gardner, Alexander "Khams pa Histories: Visions of People, Place, and Authority." In The Tibet Journal Vol. XXVIII, no. 3 Autumn 2003 pp. 61-96 Roerich, George N. The Blue Annals Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi 1996 (Reprint) Snellgrove, David, and Hugh Richardson. A Cultural History of Tibet Shambhala Press, Boston and London, 1995.
LocationLower Kham (eastern Tibet)
Cultural locationKham
Location's languageKham dialect
Date founded1147
FounderThe Tirst Karmapa, Dusum Khyenpa (dus gsum mkhyen pa 1110-1193).
Blue Annals References490, 492, 494, 500, 505, 506, 507, 510, 512, 514, 550

Karma Monastery and the Blue Annals

Karma monastery was founded during the ten year period that the First Karmapa traveled through Kham. Snellgrove and Richardson conjecture that the title 'Karmapa' (the name of the foremost reincarnation lineage in the Karma Kagyu tradition) is derived from the group's association with this monastery (Snellgrove and Richardson, pg. 285). It is notable that, throughout the Blue Annals, the monastery is generally mentioned in the same breath as Tsurphu, the other monastery founded by the First Karmapa. It is frequently mentioned along with Tsurphu Monastery as a place visited by eminent monks as well as a monastery where important rituals and teachings took place, although the author focuses more on Tsurphu than Karma. Throughout the Blue Annals, the monastery is described as beneficial for the entire surrounding region. Highly realized practitioners who travel there also assist the local community by quelling drought, famine, and epidemics (R500, 514). The appearance of these practitioners in the region is also associated with miraculous occurrences (for example, the birth of mthong ba don ldan, 1416. See Roerich, pg. 512).

return to Alison Melnick