Karma Pakshi was the 2nd Gyalwa Karmapa. He was a child prodigy who had already acquired a broad understanding of Dharma philosophy and meditation by the age of ten. The second Karmapa spent much of the first half of his life in meditation retreat. He also visited and restored the monasteries established by the first Karmapa.
He also played an important role as a peacemaker. Over the next ten years the Karmapa traveled widely in China, Mongolia and Tibet and became a teacher of the greatest renown. For eleven years Karma Pakshi studied with Pomdragpa, specializing in the Mahamudra teachings of Saraha and Gampopa, and received the entire Kagyu transmission. Karma Pakshi also travelled in Kham.
In Kham, Karma Pakshi built new monasteries, restored old ones, and engaged in intensive meditation practice. In time, he became renowned for his powers. He was invited to his court by the Mongolian Prince Kublai. Over the years, Karma Pakshi became the teacher of Mongka Khan and Kublai Khan and travelled widely throughout the northern and eastern part of Tibet. In time, he attracted many students throughout Tibet, China and Mongolia. Before his death, Karma Pakshi transmitted the lineage to his student Drubtob Urgyenpa and informed him that his next incarnation would come from western Tibet.