Kyabjé Trulshik Rinpoche Ngawang Chökyi Lodrö
Kyabjé Trulshik Rinpoche Ngawang Chökyi Lodrö, was born at Yardrok Taklung in Central Tibet in 1923/24.He was recognized in early childhood as the immediate re-embodiment of Terton Donga Longpa (Kunzang Thongdrol Dorje) a famous discoverer of spiritual treasures and is also considered as being the manifestaion of Lord Buddha’s disciple Ananda as well as of Aryadeva, Thumi Sambhotta, the abbot Shantarakshita, the translator Vairotsana and Rechung Dorjee Drakpa.
He received his early education from his predecessor’s foremost disciple, Ngawang Tenzing Norbu(1867-1942), who was known as the Buddha of Dza Rongphuk after his place of retreat and the monastery that he established on the northern slopes of Mount Everest. After Ngawang Tendzin Norbu passed away, Trulshik Rinpoche became the abbot of the monastic community, and following the tragic events of 1959 moved with his followers to safe haven in the valleys to the south of the Mount Everest area, among the Sherpa people of northeastern Nepal. Thupten Choling, the monastery that he founded there, is today renowned as a foremost centre for the monastic traditions of the Nyingmapa School of Tibetan Buddhism. Since he came out of Tibet, Rinpoche has ordained nearly ten thousand monks and nuns.
Besides his root-guru, Trulshik Rinpoche’s teachers have included Minling Chung Rinpoche and Dordzin Rinpoche, Dudjom Rinpoche, Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro and especially Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche of whom he was like a heart-son. Altogether he had some fifty masters representing all of the major lineages of Tibetan Buddhism. Over the years, he has also been offering many rare Nyingma teachings to His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Trulshik Rinpoche is also the unique heir to some of Tibet’s rarer traditions, for instance that of the “Pacification of Suffering” , first introduced in Tibet during the 11th century by the Indian yogin Padampa Sangye. As the present embodiment of a line of treasure-discoverers, he continues his predecessor’s teachings, especially those in relations to the great master Padmasambhava and the meditational teachings of the Great Perfection or Dzogchen. Trulshik Rinpoche’s unusually clear and spontaneous style of teaching is reflected in his accomplishments as a poet and master of all aspects of the monastic arts. His direction of the annual Mani Rimdu festival of masked dance-drama is documented in Richard Kohn’s film Lord of the Dance, Destroyer of Illusion (1986), the title of which is in part derived from his name, Trulshik Rinpoche, “the Precious Destroyer of Illusion.”
People of Sikkim were fortunate to receive his blessings during his visit to Sikkim during the summer of 2007. He performed rabney of 135 ft tall statue of Guru Padmasambhava “Guru Rinpoche” at Samdruptse, Namchi, Sikkim. He also visited the holy lake of Khecheopalri, Tashiding Monastery.
Kyabjé Trulshik Rinpoche’s previous incarnations
Kyabje Trulshik Rinpoche is said to have had thirty previous incarnations as eminent Buddhist masters, thirteen of which were born in India and seventeen in Tibet. Provided below are the list of his few incarnations.
- Mahasiddha Kanha (Tib. Nagpopa)
- Thönmi Sambhota (this incarnation preceded Shantarakshita, but was born in Tibet)
- Lhalung Palgyi Dorje
- Rongzom Chökyi Zangpo, aka Rongzom Mahapandita (11th century)
- Phamthing Jikmé Drakpa
- Rechung Dorje Drak (1084-1161)
- Sakya Pandita (1182-1251)
- Drupchen Melong Dorje (1243-1303)
- Longchenpa (1308-1364)
- Taranatha, aka Jonang Kunga Nyingpo (1575-1634)
- Minling Terchen Gyurme Dorje, aka Terdak Lingpa (1646-1714)
- Guying Lodetsal, aka Rigdzin Donyo Dorje
- Trulshik Dongak Lingpa, aka Kunzang Thongdrol Dorje (b. 19th century-d. 1922)
Kyabje Domang Yangthang Rinpoche Kunzang Jigme Dechen Hodsal Dorjee
As Pendita Bimala Mitra, the embodiment of Primordial Buddha, promised to appear in the Samsara once in every hundred years in person, theGreat Siddha Ngenlam Gyalwa Chokung and his manifested lineages through Gyalwa Lhatsun Chenpo and Terton(Treasure Discoverer) Dorjee Dechen Lingpa on wards have come to this world continuously for the benefit and protection of all sentient beings. In continuation of this incarnated lineage, we are fortunate to have Kyabje Yangthang Domang Rinpoche, Kunzang Jigme Dechen Hodsal Dorjee, as our destined protector and the saviour. Following are few excerpts, out of his ocean of biography, produced for the benefit of his followers and devotees.
Kyabje Yangthang Domang Rinpoche, Kunzang Jigme Dechen Hodsal Dorjee was born on the 10th day of 11th month according to lunar calendar of the Earth Snake year of 16th Rabjung of Buddhist era which corresponds to the year 1929 at Yangthang in West Sikkim with many miracles of divine signs and sound from the sky heralding his birth as “the stupa like white snowy mountain at the up interior, the great rivers with thundering sounds at the down base and on the Vajra like throne at the middle, exist I, the Dechen Dorjee Lingpa”. From all directions the sky in Sikkim resounded in thunder, “I am here!”. Rinpoche is born to father Lama Pema Drodul of Kham Dzokchen and mother Tenzin Choden, the daughter of Yangthang Athing Dakarpa family of Sikkim.
At the age of five, Rinpoche was recognized as the reincarnation of Terton (Great Treasure Discoverer) Dorjee Dechen Lingpa by 5th Dzoktrul Thupten Choikye Dorjee and Taklung Tsitrul Rinpoche. In 1942, he was invited to his monastery in Tibet, Domang Thupten Gyephel Ling Monastery in Dokham Tehor region of Kham, Tibet. He had his early education in that Monastery under the tutorship of his previous incarnation’s disciple, Domang Soktrul Rinpoche and many other highly learned Dharma Masters of Tibet. He was ordained by Kham Taklung Tsitrul Rinpoche and conferred the name as Kunzang Jigme Dechen Hodsal Dorjee. With growth in his age, he mastered in all Buddhist studies of Sudra and Tantra Yana under the spiritual guidance of his Monastery’s main Abbot Zekha Lama Tsulo and many other highly spiritualised Dharma Masters of that time. He also received many teachings and empowerments of secret Dharma lineages from Maha Siddha Lingtrul Rinpoche Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche and Kyabje Dilgo Khentse Rinpoche.
With his spiritual attainment of the highest level, he revealed the treasured Dharma texts of Guru Trakpo Drupthap and Ngaksungmai Solchoed prayers through his visionary power for the benefit of his disciples for practice.
In 1959, when the Communist Chinese invaded Tibet, Kyabje Yangthang Rinpoche fled Domang in Tibet. He was later captured by the Chinese, and imprisoned for 22 years. He helped many fellow prisoners who could not bear the hardship to die peacefully by performing Phowa, transferring their consciousness to Pure Lands. Though he witnessed and experienced much torture, he bears no resentment to his captors, only compassion. In fact, he became a spiritual advisor to some of the guards. When people express sympathy about his imprisonment, H.E Yangthang Rinpoche says that because of Dharma, his mind was more free in prison than worldly people experience in the best of circumstance.
Following the death of Mao Tse Tung he was released. He returned to Dhomang to find his monastery completely dismantled. He then obtained permission to go to Sikkim. As a simple yogi he traveled back and forth to Nepal and Bhutan, receiving transmissions and empowerments from His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and His Holiness Dodrubchen Rinpoche.
At the age of 82 now, Rinpoche still continue to give Dharma teachings and spiritual guidance, through empowerments, oral transmissions and practical instructions to many of his followers according to their level of spiritual attainment not only in Sikkim, but in many nparts of the world. In recent times he has traveled several times to the United States, Taiwan, where he has many devoted students.
Kyabje Domang Yangthang Rinpoche is one of the most renowned and highly spiritualised Dharma Masters of Sikkim. He is always there for us for blessings and protection, when in need and for the liberation from our sufferings in general. In particular, Kyabje Rinpoche upholds the banner of Dharma lineage professed by Gyalwa Lhatsun Chenpo in Sikkim for continuity as Gyalwa Lhatsun Chenpo’s true manifestation and in fulfillment of his destined mission as prophesised in the Dharma lineage texts.
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