The 2nd Shamarpa, with a retentive power to his previous learnings, taught at the age of three. Self-declared, the acknowledged Shamarpa Incarnate was enthroned by Rolpe Dorje the 4th Karmapa, at the age of six. In due course, he took monastic ordination, rigorously observing his Pratikmoksha Vows and the Bodhdisattva Vow, as he had done in his previous incarnation, also as he shall continue to do in all the incarnations to come. The Karmapa gave him the Authentic Vajrayana Empowerment, whereby one penetrates into the true nature of all phenomena. From the Karmapa he also received the Mahamudra, The Six Teachings of Naropa as well as the treasured “Whispered Transmission” – the intimate and direct passing on, from guru to disciple, of the most profound of instructions of the Kagyu Lineage. The Shamarpa also studied the sutras and the tantras with numerous great lamas and siddhas. He made every demand on himself in practice, setting a difficult pace for the fervent to follow, while spurring the sluggish minds of the more indolent to greater diligence. As for the Shamarpa himself, having reached the ultimate in realization many kalpas ago, what more was there for him to attain?
In an age of spiritual decline, the Shamarpa had grave misgivings that future generations of faltering faith and diminishing capacity in practice, may not be able to preserve in tact, the Whispered Transmission, orally, for posterity. He supplicated all the Lineage Gurus through the ages, and all Dakinis custodial to the Transmission, to grant him the permission to record some of the vital instructions in writing. In a clear vision, all the Lineage Gurus and all guardian Dakinis gave their unanimous consent to his urgent request. It was to be on the strictest condition that these instructions may never be in the hands of those whose interests in life are mainly for worldly gains. Thus were these instructions put into writing by the Shamarpa. They formed one of eight volumes — the written legacy of the 2nd Shamarpa.
The Karmapa after having ceremoniously returned to the 2nd Shamarpa, the Ruby-Red Crown, mentioned the prediction made by the 2nd Karmapa, Karma Pakshi, in which future Karmapas were foreseen to manifest in two separate Nirmanakaya forms. “You are the one manifestation”. The Karmapa affirmed, “While I am the other. The responsibility therefore, rests equally on me as it is on you, in up-holding the line of continuity in the Kagyü Teachings.” The Karmapa formally made him his deputy, both temporally and ecclesiastically.
When the 4th Karmapa passed away, The Shamarpa held the honorary title of the Holder of the Kagyü Teachings, which he truly was, enthroning the 5th Karmapa and transmitting all the profound instructions to him, in the fullness of time.
For the Shamarpa, there were many worthy disciples. One, in particular, Sokwön Rigpe Raldri, was to become a guru of the 6th Karmapa.