One of the main students of Milarepa (Mi la ras pa) was Gampopa (sGam po pa), author of the Jewel ornament of liberation and founder of Dagpo Kagyu (Dwags po bka’ brgyud).
Four of Gampopa’s disciples founded four different Kagyu schools. Most famously the Karma Kagyu school was founded by Düsum Khyenpa (Dus gsum mkhyen pa). Düsum Khyenpa was the first to leave a letter containing details of his next rebirth and made predictions about the future Karmapas, of which he was the first.
In 1981 the 16th Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje (Rang ‘byung rig pa’i rdo rje) passed away in Illinois, USA during his tour through Europe and America.
After a lot of confusion the 14th Kunzig Shamarpa formally recognized Trinley Thaye Dorje (as the 17th Karmapa in 1994 during a special ceremony in the Karmapa International Buddhist Institute in Delhi, India.
His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje has been teaching Buddhadharma in both the east and west as well as giving initiations to his followers from all over the globe.
Recently his holiness gave teachings on The way of the Boddhisattva by Śāntideva during a public course at the KIBI. Over 400 people, laymen and monastics, attended.