The qualities of the Gyalwa Karmapa are immeasurable and limitless.
Summarized hereafter into 15 particulars by his Vajradhara Guru, the XIIth Khenting Tai Situpa
- The Gyalwa Karmapa is the embodiment of all the activities of the past, present and future Buddhas of all directions. All directions are described as the 10 directions.
- The Gyalwa Karmapa is the source of all the 84,000 Dharmas, which manifested as part of the enlightenment of the Buddha Sakyamuni. In the same way, a manifestation of the source of all the limitless immeasurable teachings of the Buddhas of the three times. The past Buddhas, the present Buddhas and the future Buddhas.
- The Gyalwa Karmapa is the Supreme Master, the Supreme Lord of all the Sangha, which means the ordinary Sangha, as well as the extraordinary Sangha. The extraordinary Sangha are the Bodhisattvas. Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva, whose manifestation is the Gyalwa Karmapa, is the father of all the Bodhisattvas and the father of all the Buddhas. This is so because without the compassion, which is represented by Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva, there will be no Buddha, there will be no Sangha, therefore the Gyalwa Karmapa is the supreme master, the supreme lord of all the Sangha.
- The Gyalwa Karmapa is the lord of all beings, because all sentient beings need protection. There is not one sentient being who does not need protection, and there is nothing that can protect them without compassion. So the embodiment of compassion is the protector of all beings, the lord of all beings.
- The Gyalwa Karmapa is the father and mother of all sentient beings, the parent of all sentient beings. The parent nurtures the child and brings up the maturity of the child step by step, from a very helpless and innocent newborn to a fully matured, self-standing, capable adult. In this way the Gyalwa Karmapa, the embodiment of compassion, is the father and mother who matures all sentient beings… that is from ignorant sentient beings to enlightened sentient beings that are equal to him, equal to Avalokiteshvara, equal to Buddha. So he will bring each and every one of the sentient beings to his own level of realization, the level of realization, which is the Buddha’s realization.
- The Gyalwa Karmapa is the sailor who sails the ship across the ocean of Samsara, liberating sentient beings from the sufferings of the ocean of Samsara. The Gyalwa Karmapa is the sailor who sails them from danger to safety. So he is the great Bodhisattva, who is like a sailor.
- The Gyalwa Karmapa is the shepherd, who takes care of his herd. When his herd needs water, the shepherd will take it to the water, when it needs to be grazed, the shepherd will lead it to the grassland, and when it needs shade, he will take the herd to a shady place, when it needs sun, he will bring it to the sun, when it is threatened and endangered by predators, the shepherd will protect the herd. The same way Gyalwa Karmapa protects all sentient beings from the suffering of Samsara, so he is the shepherd.
- The Gyalwa Karmapa is the healer, the medicine man, and the doctor. When all sentient beings are suffering with the sickness of the three poisons: ignorance, attachment and anger, the Gyalwa Karmapa with great, limitless compassion heals them of this suffering, these three poisons. He is the healer, the medicine man, and the doctor.
- The Gyalwa Karmapa is the moon. The moon is cooling. When sentient beings are suffering and burning with defilements, the Gyalwa Karmapa is the moon that shines and leads them from the suffering of the heat of the defilements.
- The Gyalwa Karmapa is like the sun. When sentient beings are suffering from lack of discrimination, the basic ignorance of all sentient beings to grasp at an ego, a self, called dualistic grasping, they are blind, they cannot see - they cannot see what is good for them, they cannot see what is bad for them, they cannot see what is good for others and bad for others. Therefore the Gyalwa Karmapa is the sun that shines and allows every sentient being to see what is right and what is wrong, and finally overcome the deep shadow of this ignorance, this grasping at a self.
- The Gyalwa Karmapa is the friend and companion who will help and assist anybody to do good, anybody who wishes to overcome their pain, their suffering and their shortcomings. He is the friend who assists and helps them. To those who wish to do good, and those who wish to progress, the Gyalwa Karmapa is the friend and companion who will assist and help them to achieve those wonderful, noble aspirations.
- The Gyalwa Karmapa is the embodiment of the ocean of Gurus. Because the Gyalwa Karmapa is the embodiment of compassion of all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas that is what makes the master. The Master by definition is one who transmits the precious lineage of Lord Buddha's teaching, which is derived from limitless compassion. The Gyalwa Karmapa is the embodiment of the ocean of all the masters - the master of the lineage, the master of the enlightenment of Buddha Sakyamuni, as well as the master of the enlightenment itself, which includes the master of the Buddha Sakyamuni himself.
- The Gyalwa Karmapa is the crown deity of all the oceans of deities. The Gyalwa Karmapa is the activity of the Buddhas. All of the deities are the activities of the Buddha, as the Sambhogakaya of the Buddha. Therefore the source of all the deities is the enlightenment of the Buddha. Enlightenment of the Buddha is the fulfilment of the Buddha's aspiration to attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings. That is limitless compassion; therefore the Gyalwa Karmapa is the crown jewel of the ocean of deities.
- The Gyalwa Karmapa is the Lord of the ocean of protectors. All the protectors, the Dakas and Dakinis, all are there to fulfil the activities of the Buddha. The Gyalwa Karmapa is the embodiment of the activities of all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. All the protectors, all the Dakas, all the Dakinis are there to fulfil the activity of the Buddha, and the Gyalwa Karmapa is the master, the lord of all the protectors, the ocean of protectors. These three above particulars (12-14) are known as the three oceans: The ocean of the Guru, the ocean of the deities, and the ocean of the protectors.
- The Gyalwa Karmapa is the embodiment of the great Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara. The great Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara has taken the vow to not attain Buddhahood until all sentient beings are liberated from the suffering of Samsara and have attained Buddhahood. Therefore, until the last sentient beings have attained Buddhahood, the Gyalwa Karmapa’s activity will continue, and his manifestation, in the form of limitless compassion, will continue.
This is a very simple way to describe the limitless immeasurable qualities of the Gyalwa Karmapa. This is like trying to describe the limitless space by describing the space in our own hand, which is very limited, although it somehow describes, because space in our own hand is consistent of the qualities of the limitless space itself. So this simple way, in fifteen particulars of the Gyalwa Karmapa's limitless qualities are briefly and simply described.