Thongwa Dönden, 6th Karmapa Lama


Thongwa Dönden (1416–1453) or Tongwa Donden (Wylie: kar ma pa 06 mthong ba don ldan), was the sixth Karmapa, head of the Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism.

Thongwa Dönden was born in Ngomto Shakyam near Karma Gon in Kham. He was recognized during his first visit at the Karma Gon monastery and joined the monastery to be taught by the Shamarpa.

Up to then the Kagyu lineage had mainly given emphasis on meditation and considered rituals and prayers of lesser importance and therefore it had been neglected. Thongwa Dönden therefore set out to write many prayers and form many rituals. He was also very active with the printing and copying of Buddhist texts and the founding of a Buddhist university. Thongwa strengthened the lineage by having the Shangpa and Shijay lineage join their lineage and making sure that the different teachings were compatible with each other.[1][2][3]


  1. ^ "The Sixth Karmapa, Tongwa Donden". The Treasury of Lives: Biographies of Himalayan Religious Masters. Retrieved 2013-08-11. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "Thongwa Dönden - Sixth Karmapa". Drupon Rinpoche. Retrieved 2013-08-11. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "The Sixth Karmapa Thongwa Donden". Karma Triyana Dharmachakra. Retrieved 2013-08-11. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

Further readingEdit

  • Thinley, Karma (2008). The History of Sixteen Karmapas of Tibet. USA: Prajna Press. p. 150. ISBN 1-57062-644-8.
  • Lama Kunsang, Lama Pemo, Marie Aubèle (2012). History of the Karmapas: The Odyssey of the Tibetan Masters with the Black Crown. Snow Lion Publications, Ithaca, New York. ISBN 1-55939-390-4.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Deshin Shekpa
Reincarnation of the Karmapa Succeeded by
Chödrak Gyatso