The lineage of the Kagyu emphasizes the continuity of oral instructions passed on from master to student. This emphasis is reflected in the literal meaning of “Kagyu.” The first syllable “Ka” refers to the scriptures of the Buddha and the oral instructions of the guru. “Ka” has the sense both of the enlightened meaning conveyed by the words of the teacher, as well as the force which such words of insight carries. The second syllable “gyu” means lineage or tradition. Together, these syllables mean “the lineage of the oral instructions.”
Vajradhara, Tilopa, Naropa, Marpa, Milarepa, Gampopa, Phagmo Drukpa, and Lord Drikungpa. This is the line of the precious golden rosary lineage of the incomparable Drikung Kagyupas. This line is continued unbroken by a stream of realized masters to this very day.