THE 5TH SHAMARPA
SHAMAR KÖNCHO YENLAK
Gaden Kongsar was a very unpretentious little Tibetan trading post north of the Indian border, where hunters sometimes brought in raw hides in exchange for paints and dyes to put on their naked bodies. Their ways were so little understood that people, without malice, called them barbarians. It was, in fact, a place of sanctity where Gampopa’s tooth was enshrined in a Stupa. It was further sanctified when the 4th Shamarpa chose it for his next re-birth.
When the 5th Shamarpa was born in the depths of winter, a profusion of flowers blossomed through the snow. The new-born baby sat up ejaculating “Ah Hung” three times, expressing the inexpressible. It was a spontaneous assertion of the unborn nature in the new-born. For Ah Hung is the vocal expression of the unborn nature in every phenomenon.
It was not until the age of two, when the Karmapa was in Tsari, a neighbouring province to Gaden Kongsar, Kongpo, that the Shamarpa was to meet the Karmapa. The Karmapa joyfully opened his arms to the delighted infant-Rinpoche, exclaiming in wonder: “So this is how the Shamarpa returns!” He put him on the lap, cutting a lock of his hair, as the first step to his future ordination.
The Shamarpa was given the name of Köncho Yenlak and in due course, his Red Crown was returned to him, ceremoniously.
The Shamarpa remained with the Karmapa until the age of twelve, receiving the Six Teachings of Naropa, The Mahamudra and many other teachings of the Kagyü Lineage.
It was said that the 8th Karmapa had two outstanding disciples, in Tsukla Trengwa, the 2nd Pawo Rinpoche; and in Shamar Rimpoche, a sun-like disciple, who propagated the Dharma vigorously through the three great cycles of activities, learning and meditating; on the practical plane, he persued tiredlessly every course, opened to a better understanding of Buddha Dharma, including the building of monasteries. When the 8th Karmapa had passed away, the solemn and difficult task of identifying the future reincarnate was to a great extent lightened by a precise letter of prediction left by the Karmapa.
The 9th Karmapa was duly enthroned with the Shamarpa as his Root-Guru, who as Holder of the Kagyü Lineage and Teachings, passed on all the teachings in his safe keeping, to the youthful and receptive Karmapa.