Twelfth Karmapa Changchub Dorje was born in Dege region in Kham, Eastern Tibet in the year of Water Sheep (1703).His village was located on the bank Golden river, as it was pointed out by Yeshe Dorje in his prediction letter. Shortly before his birth, tertön Minjur Dorje noticed his father that something very auspicious is expected in their family. The family of Changchub Dorje was from a clan of descendants of the great king Trisong Detsen.
It is said that at age of two months the boy declared:
- I am Karmapa!