Himalayan Art Resources

Incarnation Lineage: Tai Situ Main Page

Tai Situ Main Page | Karma Kagyu Main Page

Subjects & Topics:
- Tai Situ Explanation (below)
- Tai Situ Incarnations
- Tai Situpa (Black Hat)
- Karma Kagyu Hats
- Situ Panchen Chokyi Jungne Page, 8th Situpa (1700-1774)
- Masterworks
- Confusions
- Others...

- 1st Tai Situ, Chokyi Gyaltsen (1377-1448) Biographical details
- 2nd Tai Situ, Tashi Namgyal (1450-1497) Biographical details
- 3rd Tai Situ, Tashi Paljor (1498-1541) Biographical details
- 4th Tai Situ, Chokyi Gocha (1542-1585) Biographical details
- 5th Tai Situ, Chokyi Gyaltsen Palzang (1586-1657) Biographical details
- 6th Tai Situ, Mipham Chogyal Rabten (1658-1682) Biographical details
- 7th Tai Situ, Mawe Nyima (1683-1698) Biographical details
- 8th Tai Situ, Chokyi Jungne (1700-1774) Biographical details
- 9th Tai Situ, Pema Nyingche Wangpo (1774-1853) Biographical details
- 10th Tai Situ, Pema Kunzang Chogyal (1854-1885) Biographical details
- 11th Tai Situ, Pema Wangchug Gyalpo (1886-1952) Biographical details
- 12th Tai Situ, Pema Donyo Nyingje (1954-present) Biographical details

Chokyi Gyaltsen (1337-1448), of the Karma Kagyu tradition, was the first to bear the title of Kenting Tai Situ, which was given to him by the Chinese emperor Yung Lo of the Ming Dynasty. He was a close disciple of the Fifth Karmapa who appointed him as the head teacher at Karma Gon Monastery in Eastern Tibet (Kham). All of these title holders were related family members. Karma Gon remained the official seat of the successive teachers that bore the title of Tai Situ until the eighteenth century when the eighth holder, Situ Panchen Chokyi Jungne, moved his monastic seat to the newly built Palpung Monastery in the Dege area of Kham province.

The 5th Tai Situ is very significant as he was the first of the Situ's to receive from the Karmapa the gift of an orange hat similar in style to the famous black hat of the Karmapa. Also, up until this time the Tai Situ tradition was an uncle nephew transmission of authority and had not yet been established as an incarnation lineage. The 5th Tai Situ was the last of the family tradition and the 6th Situ, outside of the traditional Karma Gon family line, was recognized as the incarnation of the previous 5th. Later, a very complex and detailed pre-incarnation lineage was developed during the life of the 8th Situ Chokyi Jungne.

Chokyi Jungne was also important in the development of 18th century eastern Tibetan art as a sponsor in the commissioning of painting sets and in the creation of new compositions.

There can be confusion when distinguishing between the figures in painting and sculpture of Shamar, Situ and Gyaltsab as their red or orange hats can appear very similar.

Jeff Watt 10-2004 [updated 12-2016, updated 5-2017, 7-2018]