The Himalayan Art Resource website recently posted a picture of this marvellous 18th century thangka painting (click to enlarge) of Mipam Chokyi Wangchuk, The 6th Shamarpa (1584-1629). The 6th Shamarpa is an exceptionally important figure in the Karma Kagyu school, holding the lineage between the 9th and 10th Karmapas. His debating skills were so extraordinary that he was known as the “Pandita of the North, the Omniscient Shamarpa in whom Manjushri delights”. Famed for his deep insight, he had memorised fifty volumes of sutras and tantras by the age of seventeen, and was later to write ten texts explaining both the sutra and tantra traditions. He was the teacher of Desi Tsangpa, who ruled central Tibet, and it was while he was travelling in east Tibet – successfully playing the mediator in a regional disturbance – that he recognised and became the teacher of the 10th Karmapa, Choying Dorje. Subsequent travels took him to Nepal, where he taught Buddhism in the original Sanskrit to the king, Laxman Naran Singh, and to other devotees, and where he eventually died in the Helambu mountains, near a cave in which Milarepa, Tibet’s great yogi, had once meditated.