Around 500 BC.

According to the Buddhist tradition, prince Siddhartha is enlightened and becomes the first Buddha. He predicts that a great religious leader will be born 1600 years after him. He would be a master of miracles and prophecies, and he would be called Karmapa.


Karmapa is born. He becomes the leader of the buddhist Karma Kagyü tradition. The second Karmapa (1204 - 1283) is the first living buddha to be reborn into the same mission, initiating the tradition of reincarnating religious leaders.


1st Dalai Lama is born and assumes the leadership of the Buddhist Gelugpa sect. The sect gradually grows into the most extensive tradition of Tibetan Buddhism and Dalai Lama becomes Tibet's spiritual ruler.


China occupies Tibet. Tibet's spiritual ruler the 14th Dalai Lama and the third highest authority, the 16th Karmapa, go into exile with a number of other Buddhist.

Tibet's second highest spiritual authority, the 10th Panchen Lama, is imprisoned by the Chinese. He is isolated and "reprogrammed" during a longer period. The practice of Buddhism is beginning to be restricted in Tibet.


The head of the Karma Kagyü sect, the 16th Karmapa, dies in the United States. The search committee responsible for the election of a reincarnation will not find a new candidate.


The 14th Dalai Lama receives the Nobel Peace Prize. The 10th Panchen Lama dies in Beijing.


In cooperation with the Chinese government two members of the search committee find a new 17th Karmapa, who is the first high religious leader to stay in Tibet since 1959.

China cooperates with the 17th Karmapa, challenging through him the position of the Dalai Lama as the head of Tibetan Buddhism. Through a living Buddha of its own China infiltrates into the selection process of Tibet's spiritual rulers.


The third member of the search committee does not back up the Karmapa in Tibet. He finds another candidate, which is also enthroned as the 17th Karmapa, in India.

The situation with the two Karmapas sparks off outbursts of violence within Buddhism.


A search committee authorized by the Dalai Lama finds a reincarnation of the 10th Panchen Lama in Tibet. China rejects the choice. The 6-year old boy is taken to Beijing and held under arrest. China appoints its own 11th Panchen Lama.

China announces that the appointment of future spiritual leaders in Tibet will have to be endorsed by the Chinese central government. Their obvious intention is to install their own Dalai Lama when the present Dalai Lama dies.


In the turn of the millennium the Karmapa who had lived in Tibet fled from the restrictive and oppressive policy of China, leaving the Tsurphu Monastery. Due to this event the whole future of Tibet and the Chinese Tibetan policy is now faced with a new situation.