"In this feud of Byzantine complexity, Mick Brown gains unique access to both sides, following each twist in the tale with clarity and zest. Here are stories of miracles and allegations of murder, political conspiracy and the settling of two hundred-year-old scores. Piety jostles with greed, truth with falsehood, the strength of human aspiration with the frailty of human nature. And at the centre of it all is the extraordinary figure of one of the great spiritual teachers of the coming age: the 17th Karmapa."--Jacket. "Fascinated by this charismatic young figure, Mick Brown travelled to Dharamsala to meet him, and found himself drawn into the labyrinthine - not to say surreal - web of intrigue surrounding the 17th Karmapa's recognition and young life. The Karmapas traditionally leave a letter before they die, predicting exactly where their next incarnation will be found. The discovery of the 17th in 1992 shook the foundations of the Karmapa lineage, and was followed by the appearance of a contestant to his throne." "In January 2000, an Ambassador taxi twisted its way up the narrow road leading towards Dharamsala in the Himalayan foothills of northern India - the home-in-exile of the Dalai Lama. Inside was a fourteen-year-old boy, the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, one of the most important figures in Tibetan Buddhism. His arrival was the culmination of an extraordinary escape that had brought him 900 miles across the Himalayas, in conditions of high danger, from the monastery in Tibet where he had lived since he was seven years old." "The Karmapas, the great wisdom teachers and miracle workers of Tibetan Buddhism, are the oldest line of identifiable reincarnates in Tibet, older even than the Dalai Lamas. When the 17th suddenly appeared in Dharamsala, everyone was taken by surprise - the global media, the Chinese government, his devotees around the world."