Karmapa 03 Rangjung Dorje (1284-1339)
  See it in the Museum
Orientation 2
Furniture 2

ABS 075

 Code: ABS 075

  Country: Tibet (central)


  Date: 1500 - 1600

  Dimensions in cm WxHxD: 20.9 x 31.4 x 15.7

  Materials: Gilt copper

Rangjung Dorje (1284-1339), the Third Karmapa
The statue represents the Third Karmapa Rangjung Dorje (1284-1339) seated in meditation on a double lotus pedestal with both his hands resting on his knees in the gesture of touching the ground. He wears the triple monastic garment and is clad in a thick woolen cloak, the borders of which are decorated with engraved floral textile patterns. His head is crowned with the distinctive black hat proper to the Karmapa hierarchs. An inscription written on the pedestal identifies him as “the invincible lord of Dharma, lake-born vajra who spontaneously appeared by himself” (Rangjung Dorje).
Like his predecessor, the third Karmapa was a great meditator, a polymath, and a prolific author. The lineage of Karmapa identified as successive reincarnations apparently begins with him. Trained by great masters of various traditions, he organized a vast number of teachings. He especially codified Karma Kagyü school teachings and practices. Very close to the Nyingma school and a Dzogchen practitioner himself, he mixed this tradition with Mahamudra. Exchanging views with his contemporaries, he kept company with the Jonang master Dölpopa Sherap Gyaltsen (1292–1361), sharing his very particular views on emptiness. His fame went beyond Tibetan borders, and he was invited by the last Mongol emperor of China, Toghon Temür. He ended his days in the imperial capital, his face appearing in the full moon after his death.