The Shamar Rinpoches
Shamar Rinpoche (zhwa dmar), an important lineage of Karma Kagyu masters very closely associated with the Karmapas. The masters of the Shamar lineage, and others, are responsible for the continuation of the Karma Kagyu lineage in the absence and during the minority of the Karmapas. They were in the posession of a red crown, much like the black crown of the Karmapas, hence the name Shamar - Red Hat. Their seat was the monastery of Yangpachen (dpal yangs pa can) until it was impounded and converted by the Lhasa government. There is much political controversy around the lineage of the Shamar Rinpoches.
- A. bkra shis grags pa (d.1282) Even though he is counted among the lineage of the Shamar, it is only the next one that was officially named as the '1st' Shamar Rinpoche
- 1st Shamar Rinpoche, grags pa seng ge (1283-1349)
- 2nd Shamar Rinpoche, mkha' spyod dbang po (1350-1405)
- 3rd Shamar Rinpoche, chos dpal ye shes (1406-1452)
- 4th Shamar Rinpoche, chos grags ye shes (1453-1524)
- 5th Shamar Rinpoche, dkon mchog yan lag, (1525-1583)
- 6th Shamar Rinpoche, gar dbang chos kyi dbang phyug (1584-1630)
- 7th Shamar Rinpoche, ye shes snyin po (1631-1694)
- 8th Shamar Rinpoche, dpal chen chos kyi don grub (1695-1732)
- 9th Shamar Rinpoche, dkon mchog dge ba'i 'byung gnas, (1733?-1741)
- 9th Shamar Trizur, zhwa dmar khri zur gar dbang rgya mtsho, (b.1735?). For very unclear political reasons he had to 'abdicate' the throne of the Shamar lineage, hence the name khri zur, and went into life-long retreat. Nothing more seems to be known about him but that he became an exceptionally realized master.
- 10th Shamar Rinpoche, chos grub rgya mtsho, also known as dkon mchog chos kyi nyi ma (1742-1792). Because of the alleged complicity of Chodrub Gyatso in the Nepalese invasion of Tibet, his monastery Yangpachen and the entire property of the Shamar Labrang (bla brang) were impounded by the Lhasa goverment. The recognition of further reincarnations of Shamar Tulku was prohibited. Therefore there is a large gap in years between the 10th and 11th incarnations. Apparently incarnations did appear, but were not officially recognized and lived out there lives in seclusion. They were exceptionally accomplished masters. The 16th Karmapa commented on this period: "Merit was becoming smaller and smaller. There was much political interference. Black was becoming white. The real was becoming unreal. At that time it was not practicable [sic] to have any Shamarpa recognised or enthroned. Everything was kept secret. The incarnations appeared, but were not revealed"
- 11th Shamar Rinpoche, 'jam dbyangs rin po che (a son of the 15th Karmapa Kakhyab Dorje, d.1947?)
- 12th Shamar Rinpoche, an infant who was never named, (b.1948?)
- 13th Shamar Rinpoche, mi pham smra ba'i go cha, (b.1952)