The Karmapas were traditionally the teachers of the successive Ming dynasty Emperors of China. When the 5th Karmapa, Dezhin Shegpa, met the Yongle Emperor, the Emperor, through his devotion and spiritual realization, was able to perceive Karmapa in the Sambhogakaya form of Vajradhara (Tib. Dorje Chang), wearing a black crown on his head. The Karmapa explained to the Emperor that he could see the 'Vajra Crown', the power-field of wisdom-energy that always stays above the Karmapa's head. The emperor offered to have a physical replica made so that others could receive its blessing.
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