Kagyu Pa also known as White-hat-Sect or Whispered Transmission. It was formed during the “Latter Period” of Tibetan Buddhism (960 AD to 1279 AD) and was initiated by a master Marba . It focuses on the experiential dimension of meditation and a strong emphasis on Guru Devotion, Yoga and the personal transmission of esoteric instructions from master to disciple. Its early tradition rose from many independent sub-sects.
Tsang Pa Khan (King of Tsang Pa) Phun-tsog Ramgyal Worship Kagyu Pa. But he hated the emerging Gelug Pa. In 1617, followers of the Gelug Pa in the Kharkha and Mongolia once formed a coalition to attack Tsang Pa Khan. In 1618, Karmapa (the head lama of Kagyu) sent more than 10,000 people to rescue, and defeated the Gelug Pa coalition, then occupied Lhasa, the remaining Gelug monks fled to the north. As a result, Kagyu became the national key religion in the ancient Tibet, and move the capital from Shigatse to Lhasa. Therefore, 1618 AD is regarded as the beginning of Tsang Pa Khan to replace Pakhu regime ruling Tibet under the support of Kagyu monks
The main doctrine of the Kagyu school is Madhyamaka, focus on tantra, and adopt the word of mouth teaching method. It once incorporated the teachings of the Kadang school. In practice, the Kagyu school focused on self-cultivation and majored in Mahamudra, which sorted by Esoteric Buddhism and Exotoric Buddhism.
The Mahamudra of Exotoric Buddhism is the method of spiritual cultivation, mainly on Mahamudra of “emptiness”. It requires the practitioner to Live in one’s heart, and not to distinguish between good, evil, beauty, and ugliness in order to attain meditation.
The Mahamudra of Esoteric Buddhism is the method of self-cultivation, The main purpose is to achieve a highest state through the cultivation of the human body’s breathing, pulse, and bright point (heart).
Although each of the two has almost all the same teachings, howver, it also has a different way of carrying forward, but as a whole, it is the teachings of the Kagyu Pa