In Tibetan Buddhism, the Karma Kagyu School is renowned as the Practice Lineage.
"Kagyu" means "whispered teaching" from the mouth of the guru into the ear of the disciples.
The name Karma Kagyu is based on the fact that the Lineage is founded by the Karmapa (the 1st Karmapa, Dusum Khyenpa, who lives between 1110 and 1193 AD), which means "the one who acts for the benefit of all sentient beings". The present Karmapa is the seventeenth reincarnation of Dusum Khyenpa in the line of succession.
However, at this particular juncture of our continuous existence, 'two Karmapas' will be present in Bodhgaya at about the same time.
One may be forgiven therefore to feel puzzled by this phenomenon, which has no precedents before. "What is happening?" one may well ask. "With no knowledge or reference, who should we follow?" With these questions, one senses that the future of the Lineage is at a cross-road ...
— from prologue of the book