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His Holiness Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche
His Holiness Drikung Kyabgon Chungtsang Rinpoche
His Eminence Choje Todgan Rinpoche
His Eminence Kyabjé Garchen Triptrül Rinpoche
His Eminence Thritsab Gyabra Rinpoche
His Eminence Nubpa Konchok Tenzin Rinpoche
Venerable Drikung Lamchen Gyalpo Rinpoche
Venerable Khenchen Konchog Gyaltshen Rinpoche
His Eminence Dagpo Chenga Rinpoche
Venerable Rabsang Tulku Rinpoche
Venerable Drubpon Kunsang Rinpoche
Venerable Drubpon Tsering Rinpoche
Venerable Khenchen Nyima Gyaltsen Rinpoche
Venerable Drubpon Trinley Yeshi Rinpoche
Venerable Khenpo Konchok Tamphel
Venerable Khenpo Konchok Choskyab



Short Biography of H.H. Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche TOP

dkpa.jpg (39994 bytes) H.H. Drikung Kyabgon Chungtsang Rinpoche (on your left)

H.H. Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche   (on you right)


His Holiness Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche

Short Biography

 His Holiness Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang, the 37th throne holder of the Drikung Kagyu Lineage and 7th reincarnation of the Chetsang Rinpoche is a manifestation of Chenrezig (Avalokiteshvara).

 Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang, Konchog Tenzin Kunsang Thrinle Lhundrup, was born on the 4th day of the 6th Tibetan month of the Fire-Dog-Year 1946 into the aristocratic family of Tsarong in Lhasa. This auspicious day marks the anniversary of the Buddha’s first turning of the Wheel of Dharma. Many prodigious signs and visions accompanied his birth. His grandfather, Dasang Damdul Tsarong (1888-1959), has been the favorite of the 13th Dalai Lama (1876-1933), Commander General of the Tibetan army and one of the most influential political figures in the early 20th century in Tibet. Chetsangs father, Dundul Namgyal Tsarong (b. 1920), held a high office in the Tibetan Government and he was still active in important positions for the Exile Government in Dharamsala after the escape of the Dalai Lama and the cabinet ministers. His mother, Yangchen Dolkar, is from the noble house of Ragashar, which descended from the ancient royal dynasty.

 Few years after the passing of the previous Drikung Kyabgon, Shiwe Lodro (1886-1943), two parties began to look for his reincarnation throughout Tibet. Based on a vision of the Drikung regent Tritsab Gyabra Rinpoche (1924-1979) at the oracular lake Lhamo Latso and on many additional divinatory signs, in 1950 the son of the Tsarong family was recognized as the reincarnation of the Drikung Kyabgon. The boy subsequently passed numerous tests, such as identifying religious items and ritual objects of his former incarnations. His incarnation was further confirmed by divinations performed by Taktra Rinpoche (the Regent of Tibet), H.H. the 16th Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, and H.H. Taklung Matrul.

 In the fall of 1950 the formal enthronement as Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang took place at Drikung Thil, the main monastery of the Drikung Kagyu order. Immediately thereafter the first Chinese invasion of Tibet took place. Rinpoche was allowed to travel to Kalimpong in Northern India with his family, in order to stay in a safe place. His older brother and his two sisters were attending boarding-schools in Darjeeling. After some months Rinpoche was met by a delegation from the Drikung monastery and brought back to Tibet.

 According to ancient tradition, Chetsang Rinpoche resided in turns in one of the four main monasteries: In the spring in Drikung Tse, during the summer in Yangrigar, in autumn in Drikung Thil, and during the winter in Drikung Dzong, which also served as the administrative center of Drikung. His spiritual instructors (yongzin), Tritsab Gyabra Rinpoche and Ayang Thubten Rinpoche (1899-1966), were responsible for his education. His curriculum included reading, writing, memorizing, astrology, and grammar. From his yongzin and from Bhalok Thupten Chodrak Rinpoche, Lho Bongtrul Rinpoche, and Nyidzong Tripa he received the basic empowerments, transmissions, and teachings of the Kagyu tradition and the Drikung Kagyu tradition in particular.

 At the age of eleven, Drikung Kyabgon gave his first public teaching and transmission, a long-life empowerment, during the 1956 Monkey Year ceremonies of the Great Drikung Phowa. Subsequently he began his philosophical studies at the Nyima Changra monastic college of Drikung. Although he was four years younger he studied together with the second Drikung lineage holder, Chungtsang Rinpoche. His instructor was Bopa Tulku Dongag Tenpa (1907-1959), introducing him to the philosophy of Madhyamaka. He first studied basic texts, like The 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva by Ngulchu Thogme Zangpo  and Introduction to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life (Bodhicharyāvatāra) by Shāntideva.

 Soon thereafter Tibet underwent a great upheaval. In the wake of the Tibetan uprising of 1959, as many Tibetans fled the country, among them the Dalai Lama, the cabinet ministers and a host of spiritual dignitaries, several attempts were launched to bring Chetsang Rinpoche and Chungtsang Rinpoche out of Tibet into safety. These attempts failed because of the inexorable resistance of the monastery manager. Rinpoche’s family had already fled to India in 1956.

The monks in the Drikung monastery were put under house arrest, and Chetsang Rinpoche had to endure with them for months Communist indoctrinations. After some month Tritsab Gyabra, who had left the monastery some years before, took Rinpoche to live with him in Lhasa under rather dismal conditions. In 1960, Drikung Kyabgon was admitted into an elementary school in Lhasa. In very short time he mastered the subject matters of several classes, being able to finish the six years of education in only three years. Thereafter he was admitted to the Jerag Lingka middle school. The subjects there included Chinese, natural sciences, history, and biology. Chetsang Rinpoche excelled in his studies, especially in Chinese. He also became a keen athlete and a passionate and brilliant soccer player.

 When the Red Guards infiltrated the schools at the onset of the Cultural Revolution in 1966, Chetsang Rinpoche found himself caught up in the midst of the factional fighting of two opposing groups of Red Guards. Classes and business came to a halt. Many aristocrats and Rinpoches had to undergo brutal “people’s tribunals” known as struggle sessions. Chetsang could no longer stay with Tritsab Gyabra, who had fallen from grace. He lived at the school, where he cooked for the few remaining schoolmates and studied the books he found in the school’s library. Lhasa sank into chaos. In this atmosphere of anarchy Rinpoche several times was saved by a fraction from certain death.

 In 1969, he was assigned to a commune in the countryside, where he had to carry out the hardest physical labor. A partly decayed verminous shack on top of a sheep pen was his shelter. He did not own more than a pot and a cup and some slats to sleep on. An uncle, who came to visit him one day, struggled against his tears, stunned that his nephew was living in such squalor. But Chetsang Rinpoche always reacted with great equanimity to all the many upheavals in his live. When the uncle became aware of the serene calmness pervading every aspect of Chetsang’s being, he compared him with Milarepa, who lived in comfortless caves and outwardly austere, but inwardly excessively rich spiritual life.

 In the spring and in summer Chetsang Rinpoche drudged on the fields of the work unit. In autumn he had to climb high mountains to cut firewood for the commune and carry home heavy loads. In the winter he had to shovel out the sewage from the cesspits in Lhasa and carry it to the farm. Despite the strenuous labor, Chetsang helped others, whenever he could. Nobody knew that he was the Drikung Kyabgon Rinpoche, but his extraordinary deeds amazed many.

 Due to his class background as aristocrat and high incarnate lama there was no prospect for Chetsang in Communist occupied Tibet. After meticulous planning, he finally found a means of escape in 1975. This was at a time when China had established a tight system of spies and informers all over Tibet and the military had a close grip of control, so that only few succeeded to take flight. He set out alone and without help to cross the border of Tibet into Nepal across high passes and glaciers. The Drikung Kyabgon accomplished what was thought to be impossible. Unscathed he reached Nepal and eventually the residence of the Dalai Lama at Dharamsala.

 Rinpoche conceded to the appeals of the Drikung lamas in exile and so he was again symbolically enthroned as the Drikung Kyabgon during a ceremony with the Dalai Lama. By this act he expressed the promise to take responsibility for the lineage in the future. Initially though, he traveled to the USA, where his parents had in the meantime emigrated to. There he learned English, while earning his living as a part-time at a McDonald's and other restaurants.

 During the third year of his stay he received a very rare ancient Tibetan text uncovered in Nepal dealing with the history of the throne holders of the Drikung Order and written by his former incarnation, the 4th Chetsang Peme Gyaltsen (1770-1826). He started analyzing this work and studying the history of Tibet, of the Drikung Kagyu, and of his former incarnations. Shortly thereafter he returned to India in 1978, to take on the lead of the Drikung Kagyu Lineage as its throne holder.

 For many years in occupied Tibet and in the USA, Drikung Kyabgon had outwardly led the life of a layman. Nonetheless he had always strictly kept his monk’s vows. Now he resumed his monastic lifestyle once again and took up residence at Phyang Monastery in Ladakh. Instantly he entered a traditional three year retreat at Lamayuru Monastery under the guidance of the stern meditation master Kyunga Sodpa Gyatso (1911-1980).

 Drikung Kyabgon studied with numerous highly accomplished lamas and Rinpoches of different traditions and received from them teachings and initiations. He regards Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche (1910-1991) as one of his most important teachers. He received from him the essential teachings of the Eight Practice Lineages of Tibetan Buddhism (Dam Ngag Dzo), the highest Dzogchen teachings (Nyingtig Yashi), as well as the collected writings of Jamgon Kongtrul (Gyachen Kadzo) and the treasury of the oral Kagyu transmissions (Kagyu Ngag Dzo). In addition he received precious teachings and empowerments from H.H. the Dalai Lama (Chakrasamvara, Kālachakra, and Yamantāka), from H.H. the 16th Karmapa (Six Yogas of Nāropa, Milarepa), from H.H. Taklung Shabdrung Rinpoche (transmission of the Taklung Kagyu teachings) and from H.H. Taklung Tsetrul the Northern Treasures. He studied Buddhist philosophy under Khenpo Noryang in the Drukpa Kagyu monastery Sangnag Choling in Bhutan, who gave him teachings on the Bodhicharyāvatāra by Shāntideva, the Madhyamakāvatāra by Chandrakīrti and on the Uttara Tantra. Khenpo Noryang also transmitted to him teachings of the general Kagyu tradition and the particular teachings of the Drukpa Kagyu on Mahāmudrā. Moreover Chetsang Rinpoche received important Drikung Kagyu empowerments and teachings on Mahāmudrā from H.E. Garchen Rinpoche and Drubwang Konchog Norbu.

 In 1985, Drikung Kyabgon received full monk's ordination from His Holiness the Dalai Lama, during the Kalachakra initiation in Bodhgaya. He mastered all challenges with remarkable ease. Since 1987 Chetsang Rinpoche began to give teachings in many countries throughout the world. At the same time he started to rebuild the weakened Drikung Lineage with great energy. In Dehra Dun, India, he established a monastery and an educational center, attracting many monks from Tibet and Buddhist practitioners from many countries: the Drikung Kagyu Institute. In the beginning it consisted of the monastery Jangchubling and the retreat center and nunnery Samtenling. The Drikung Kagyu Institute is an education center, which emphasizes both the traditional monastic education, as well as present-day training to meet the needs of these times. Special consideration is also placed on discipline, meditation practice and the specialties of the Drikung Kagyu teachings. In 2003 Chetsang Rinpoche established near his monastery a magnificent edifice: the Songtsen Library, a center for Tibetan and Himalayan studies. A building epitomizing in content, function and form the essence of his vision as a treasury and think tank for the cultural and spiritual identity of the peoples of the Himalayan region and of the Drikung Lineage in particular. It contains rare texts about all subjects of the Himalayan region, works on Tibetan culture, tradition and geography, and of course the Buddhist texts of all schools. It houses an important collection about the famous Dunhuang manuscripts unearthed along the Silk Road. There, an unimaginable wealth of texts in various languages dating from the 4th to the 11th centuries was discovered. The Tibetan corpus alone includes thousands of manuscripts of all kinds, including the earliest Tibetan medical drawing known at present. Thus these ancient texts provide the researcher with a vast array of source material on the earliest period of Tibet, which Chetsang Rinpoche would like to make accessible in its entirety, as his scope encompasses the preservation of Tibetan culture and religion.

 In 2005 close to the Songtsen Library, Drikung Kyabgon built a large College for Higher Buddhist Studies, the Kagyu College. With its inauguration the new Drikung Mandala in Dehra Dun has been completed.

His Holiness now resides primarily at JangChub Ling in Dehra Dun, Northern India. Located at Drikung Kagyu Institute, P.O. Box 48, Sahastradhara Road, Dehra Dun, U.P. India 248001


Long Life Prayer for H.H. Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche

Embodiment of the three precious jewels,
Padmapani, who holds the teachings of the Victorious One,
Seeing the all-goodness meaning with the wisdom eye,
May you who are Spontaneously Established Activities live long for hundred of kalpas!


Short Biography of H.H. Drikung Kyabgon Chungtsang Rinpoche TOP

His Holiness Drikung Kyabgon Chungtsang, the 36th throne holder of the Drikung Kagyu Lineage and the 8th reincarnation of the Chungtsang Rinpoche is a manifestation of Manjushri.

Drikung Kyabgon Chungtsang, Tenzin Chokyi Nangwa, was born in the Water-Horse-Year 1942 in Lhokha as the youngest of five sons into the prominent aristocratic Lhagyari family. His father was Trichen Kelsang Nyendrak and his mother Rigzin Chodzom. The Lhagyari family is one of the oldest noble houses of Tibet descending from the ancient royal dynasty. The family branch is called Dewa Lhagyari Trichen.

After the untimely passing of the 7th Chungtsang Rinpoche, Tenzin Chökyi Jungne (1909-1940), the youngest son of the Lhagyari family was recognized as the reincarnation of the Chungtsang Rinpoche in 1946 and was enthroned in Drikung Thil Monastery. There were many signs, divinations and consultations of oracles that confirmed his reincarnation. Gyabra Tritsab had a vision at Lake Lhamo Latso which was substantiated by further divinations by H.H. the 16th Karmapa and by H.H. Taklung Matrul. The Tibetan Government authenticated the reincarnation as well, and Chungtsang passed the traditional test of selecting religious items belonging to former reincarnations.

At the age of eight years he started to learn to read and write, memorize texts, and to perform rites and rituals. His main spiritual instructor (yongzin) was first Gar Khensur Tsangyang Norbu Rinpoche, from 1955 onwards Tritsab Gyabra Rinpoche and Ayang Thubten Rinpoche. He received transmissions, empowerments, and teachings of the Kagyu tradition and the Drikung Kagyu tradition in particular by Tritsab Gyabra, Ayang Thubten, Lho Bongtrul Rinpoche, and other eminent Lamas.

In 1959 after the Tibetan Uprising, Chungtsang Rinpoche had to undergo Communist indoctrinations and severe struggle sessions at Nyima Changra Shedra, where the Chinese Army had established their regional headquarters. He was badly mistreated and in December 1959 he was put in jail. Chungtsang Rinpoche remained imprisoned for 23 years until 1982. Especially during the times of the Cultural Revolution he had to undergo harsh re-education programs and to perform forced labor. At that time he was transferred to the infamous prison camp at Kongpo Ningtri. There he had to cut down trees in the woods. One day he was hit by a falling tree and badly injured. It was said that he only survived because he was the Kyabgon Rinpoche.

Eventually he was released from prison in the course of the political liberalization of 1983 in China and was given a post in the Regional People’s Congress and subsequently a leading position in the Department of Religious Affairs of the Tibet Autonomous Region.

In 1985 for the first time Chungtsang Rinpoche was allowed to travel to India to meet his brothers who had left the country. He also came to visit the Drikung monasteries in Ladakh and there he met Chetsang Rinpoche again after 26 years. The second time he was allowed to travel abroad was in 1992. Chungtsang Rinpoche came for the inauguration of Drikung Kagyu Institute’s Jangchubling Monastery to Dehra Dun. As it was a Monkey Year, he gave the traditional Monkey Year Teachings together with Chetsang Rinpoche. For the Drikungpa the sun and the moon had finally conjoined again. At that time Chungtsang Rinpoche was promoted to deputy secretary general of the Office of Religious Affairs in Lhasa, a post that he still holds today.

Long Life Prayer for H.H. Drikung Kyabgon Chungtsang Rinpoche

Noble Manjushri, the Lord of Speech,

who manifests to hold the teachings of the Triple Gem,
Who raises the lamp of the Sage's teachings,
May you who are the Light of the Dharma live long for hundreds of kalpas!




His Eminence Garchen Triptrül Rinpoche TOP  HOME

 More about His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche

The successive line of Kyabje Garchen Triptrul Rinpoche

Limitless eons in the past, in this world there appeared a powerful Chakravartin king called Tsib-Kyi Mu-Khyü, who established the sentient beings in his realm on the path of the ten virtues. He was the father of a thousand fine princes. Finally, the king became a monk, attained enlightenment, and became the Tathāgata Light of the Nāgas. This Buddha turned the Wheel of Dharma extensively and ripened and liberated countless sentient beings with and without form. His thousand sons all became monks and gave rise to bodhichitta, except for the youngest, who was attached to royal life. Their father made a prophecy foretelling the enlightenment of his sons and which buddha they would become, each one's family, name, and realm to tame beings. With the intention of establishing his youngest son on the path of enlightenment, the Tathāgata emanated two monks and sent them off to him. Chanting sweet songs that taught renunciation, the monks came to the place where the prince was indulging himself in sensual pleasures. By the power of the Buddha's compassion, everything in the palace and the trees outside began to echo the sound of Dharma. The prince's mind changed and he gave rise to disenchantment with saṃsāra. Then he prepared golden parasols bedecked with jewels and offered one to his father, the Buddha, and one to each of his brothers. He gave rise to bodhichitta and became a monk. The Tathāgata Light of the Nāgas made a prophecy that in a future aeon his thousand sons would become the thousand buddhas of a fortunate eon. The youngest son will be this eon’s last buddha, the Buddha Infinite Aspiration. This Buddha's enlightened activities should exceed those of all the previous buddhas.

Lord Jigten Sumgön said,  "At that time I was the Tathāgata Light of the Nāgas and you, Gar Chödingpa, were my youngest son, attached to royal life." By the power of the auspicious aspirations of the Tathāgata Light of the Nāgas and his son in the past, father and son appeared again together in India as Āchārya Nāgārjuna and his disciple Aryadeva, and again in Tibet as Lord Jigten Sumgön and his disciple Gar Chödingpa. Furthermore, Garchen Rinpoche appeared at the time of the Dharma King Songtsen Gampo as his minister Gar Tongtsen; and as Chogro Lui Gyaltsen, the disciple of the second Buddha, Padmasambhava; and as Milarepa's heart-son Rechung Dorje Dragpa. Many of his emanations have also appeared in pure lands, such as the land of Uddiyāna, the Lion Island, Shambhala, and so forth, where he acted for the purpose of sentient beings.

When Gar Chödingpa was born as Gar Tongtsen, he brought back the daughter of the Chinese King Thangthai Dzung as a queen for King Songtsen Gampo. Together the minister and princess brought a special prayer wheel. Minister Gar preserved the wheel and, looking into the future, he concealed it at Sha'ug Tago and sealed it with a prayer that he reveal and retain it again in the future. Later Gar Chödingpa revealed the prayer wheel and set it up in a temple in Pumu Phulung below Vajra Rock. Due to the installation of the prayer wheel, the Phulung monastery started there. He preserved the welfare of beings for eight incarnations at that place. His eight incarnation at Phalung Monastery was also his first incarnation at Gar Monastery, as Gar Tenzin Phüntsog, the son of the king of Nangchen, Karma Rabten. The 20th throne holder in the Drikung succession relied on the peerless Dharma King Tenzin Phüntsog as his guru. Achi Chökyi Drölma prophesied to the sacred master: "Hide the precious prayer wheel in the North at a white rock in the shape of a lion leaping up into the sky." Following the prophecy of Achi, who knew that this master and the holy object would bring about the vast benefit of beings, he traveled from Pumu to Nangchen. As the Sky Fortress of the Lion in Nangchen was consistent with the prophecy, and because he saw that that place was endowed with auspicious signs, he settled there. Thus the Gar Monastery, Sky Fortress of the Lion, was established.

According to Guru Padmasabhava's prophecy in the great Guhyasamaja Terma revealed by Ratna Lingpa, Tenzin Phüntsog was an emanation of Avalokiteśvara. Furthermore, it states that if the cycle of Guhyasamaja teachings and the sacred objects contained in the terma reached Tenzin Phüntsog's hands, he would bring vast benefit to the sentient beings of future generations in this world. As the instructions were clearly defined in the terma, Ratna Lingpa's son Tsewang Dragpa collected the terma objects and set out to travel from Central Tibet to the Eastern region of Kham, in search of Tenzin Phüntsog. When they met, he offered the terma objects into his hands. Tenzin Phüntsog was overjoyed and spoke, "It seems that Guru Padmasambhava's prophecy corresponds with my name, me an old man." He ate a small piece of the terma substances and his feet began to hover above the ground. Ever since, Guhyasamaja Drubchens have been practiced regularly at Gar Monastery, the Sky Fortress of the Lion, and the precious prayer wheel began to spin there incessantly. Thus, signs that he would bring about the vast benefit of sentient beings became apparent. The assembly grew enormously at this place.  Gar Tenzin Phüntsog was appointed the main guru of the king of Nangchen, and from that time onwards every incarnation of Garchen Rinpoche became the main guru of the king of Nangchen.

The second incarnation, Gar Tenzin Dragpa, was recognized by the omniscient Lord Chökyi Dragpa, as the incarnation of the previous Gar. From the 24th throne holder in the Drikung succession, Je Trinlé Sangpo, Gar Tenzin Dragpa received and practiced all the profound Drikung teachings. According to the intention of Mahākāla, as the assembly at the Upper Monastery became too large, the Lower Monastery Jangchubling was established; it flourished and prospered.

The third incarnation, Gar Chökyi Nyima, became the heart-disciple of the 2nd Kyabgön Chungtsang Döndrup Chögyal, the 25th throne holder in the Drikung succession. He reached high levels of attainment through depending on the practice of Chakrasamvara. He displayed many signs of accomplishment, such as flying in the sky, hanging his robe on a sunray, leaving foot and hand prints in rocks, and so forth. Although he exclusively remained in meditation retreat, he gathered a great assembly of disciples. The 27th throne holder in the Drikung succession, Kyabgön Chökyi Nyima, received his instructions of the ultimate lineage. Thus he became the the sublime lord of the family and his contributions to the Drikung Kagyü teachings were tremendous. His heart-disciples were Kyabgön Chökyi Nyima and the senior Lamas - Mingyur and Namröl - and he had many more extraordinary disciples as well.

The fourth incarnation, Gar Tingdzin Jangchub Wangpo, received, studied,  practiced, and mastered many profound teachings, such as the Fivefold Path of Mahāmudrā and the Six Yogas of Naropa, according to the Drikung lineage, as well as the Yangzab and Yamāntaka cycles from Tendzin Chökyi Gyaltsen, the 4th Kyabgön Chungtsang Rinpoche and 29th throne holder in the Drikung succession, and Hlo Chökyi Gyaltsen. Then he offered many profound Drikung teachings to Chönyi Norbu, the 5th Kyabgön Chungtsang Rinpoche and 30th throne holder in the Drikung succession. Thus his activities were extensive.

The fifth incarnation, Garchen Tenpé Dzegyen, also called Tenpé Gyaltsen, was ordained in the presence of Dilyag Datrül, and he received, studied, and practiced many empowerments and teachings of the Drikung lineage, in particular the Yangzab cycle, from the 31st throne holder in the Drikung succession, Kyabgön Thugjé Nyima. He was a great monk, and held the three sets of vows. Bestowing the bodhisattva vows and most empowerments and teachings of the Drikung lineage to the great Tertön Hlo Bongtrül Nüden Dorje, he became the lord of the lineage.

The sixth incarnation, Garchen Pemé Gyaltsen, was recognized by the 31st throne holder in the Drikung succession, Kyabgön Thugjé Nyima, as the incarnation of the previous Gar. However, he passed away shortly thereafter.

The seventh incarnation, Garchen Trinlé Yongkhyab, was recognized by the 32nd throne holder in the Drikung succession, Kyabgön Chökyi Lodrö. From Hlo Bongtrül Nüden Dorje he received most of the empowerments and teachings of the Drikung lineage, as well as empowerments and transmissions of several of the tertön's terma teachings. From Gar Ajin he received the Fivefold Path of Mahāmudrā and the Six Yogas of Naropa. He practiced and mastered them and attained the state of accomplishment. He took Karzang Chödrön as his consort. His main disciple was the Siddha Chime Dorje, and many other disciples from various places who also attained accomplishments, such as Palmé Khyentrül Künzang Drodül, Rathro Tertön Tashi Namgyal, and Drubwang Gejung. Because he took another consort it became troublesome to stay at the monastery, and thus he had to move elsewhere. However, two years later, he was invited back to live at the monastery again.

The eight incarnation, Garchen Könchog Ngedön Tenpé Nyima, was born in 1936. At the age of seven, at the order of the king of Nangchen, he was recognized by Kyabgön Shiwé Lodrö as the incarnation of Gar Trinley Yongkhyab. At the age of thirteen he entered Hlo Lungkar Monastery where he remained for for eleven years. From Hlo Bongtrül Tendzin Drodül and the Supreme Emanation Thubten Nyingpo he received many empowerments and transmissions of the new and old classes of tantra, and in particular, according to their own lineage: empowerments and transmissions of the Eight Herukas, Assemblage of Realization, and Vajrakīlaya, as well as the Dechen Nyingpo. From Drubwang Gejung he received the Fivefold Path of Mahāmudrā and the Six Yogas of Naropa. Furthermore, from the Siddha Chime Dorje and the senior Lama Tengye he received many empowerments and teachings according to the Drikung lineage. Although he entered the traditional three-year retreat, he was abruptly forced to end his retreat due to the eruption of political turmoil. At the age of 22, Rinpoche was forced to engage in warfare, and was finally arrested. He spent twenty years in prison, where he was forced to do hard labor and subject to bitter hardships. However, his mind remained pure and never wavered from his altruistic wish to help others. He was liked by all his fellow prisoners and became an exemplary role model of an honorable man. During his time in prison he secretly received teachings on Dzogchen from Khenpo Münsel. He practiced with fierce determination and he became the heart-son upon whom Khenpo Münsel transferred ultimate lineage.  Khenpo Münsel. praised him with the words: "Gar Rinpoche is the emanation of a bodhisattva". Through twenty years of imprisonment and hardships, Rinpoche was able to transform his body, speech and mind and emerged as a selfless master of vast compassion and wisdom.

In 1980 Rinpoche was released from prison. On his way to Pemagö to meet his mother, he gathered holy objects that had been contained in the representations of enlightened body, speech, and mind that were demolished in Central Tibet. Then he returned to the monastery, and together with Mingyur Rinpoche he began to rebuild the monastery from the foundation, and thus they reinstated Gar Monastery again. Day and night he fulfilled the hopes and needs of faithful ones from far and wide. Completely forsaking his own purpose, he devoted himself solely to the purpose of others. His renown as a great bodhisattva spread like the wind. The government of Qinghai province granted him the honorary title of: "One Who Always Holds the Intention to Benefit the People." Rinpoche tried to help ease the lives of others in many different ways. As his mind was always filled with the wisdom of perfect bodhichitta, he even granted the gift of fearless refuge to wild animals. He received various other honors due to his extraordinary accomplishments. Not only did he take on responsibility for his own monastery, Rinpoche has devoted himself wholeheartedly to the task of passing on the teachings of the lineage. He supported the entirety of the teachings and all beings in general, and in particular he helped rebuild all the twenty-seven Drikung monasteries in the Kham region and helped them extensively by offering Dharma and material help, directly, indirectly, and in many other ways. In addition, Mingyur Rinpoche kindly began to extensively bestow the Getsül and Gelong monastic vows in various monasteries.

When Rinpoche visited Drubwang Pachung Rinpoche in Drikung Thil, with great delight Drubwang Pachung Rinpoche placed both his hands onto Garchen Rinpoche's crown and spoke, "As I am passing the ultimate lineage to you, you must serve the teachings of the Drikung lineage."

Rinpoche re-established Gar Monastery from a mere cornerstone and developed it into a monastery even greater than before. He also reinstated the regular ceremonies that had declined, and the practices flourished again.

In 1997 Rinpoche traveled to India and offered several empowerments and teachings to the supreme Drikung Kyabgön Chetsang Rinpoche. In addition, Rinpoche bestowed various empowerments and teachings according to the Drikung lineage at the main seat of Drikung, Jangchubling, to assemblies of hundreds of disciples on several separate occasions.

In 1997, Rinpoche first visited the West and then Rinpoche traveled around the world and turned the Wheel of Dharma for many faithful disciples according to their needs. Rinpoche teahces especially on the infallible law of karma cause and effect and the essence teachings of the Thirty-Seven Practices of Bodhisattvas, a commentary written by the Bodhisattva Ngulchu Thogme Zangpo.. So far Rinpoche has traveled to thirty-three countries . Only a fraction of his enlightened activities can be mentioned here. Rinpoche has opened more than twenty dharma centers around the world; in Kham Rinpoche still supports the Drikung monasteries extensively; he has established a stable, steadfast and perfectly completed ground by rebuilding the Upper and Lower Monasteries, as well as the nunnery; and in addition, he has established a retreat center, a college, and a clinic. Furthermore, he founded schools at five places affiliated with him.

Garchen Rinpoche’s vast realization, love and compassion with the sole wish to benefit all beings without exception are highly revered not only by masters and disciples of his own lineage but also masters and disciples of other traditions as well. He always holds a prayer wheel in his hand, continuously spins the wheel to pray for, and to radiate compassionate energy to benefit all beings. The great compassionate Tara is Garchen Rinpoche’s main yidam deity and his aspiration is to follow in her footsteps to bring love and compassion to all.


Long Life Prayer for His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche


Unchanging great bliss, Dharmakāya;

unceasing manifold creativity, Sambhogakāya;

dance of non-objectifying compassion, Nirmanakāya

protector, in nature the indivisible three kāyas,

protect us!


In the center of a white lotus, sixteen*, complete

with all qualities, white as an autumn moon,

holding an utpala, protecting from the eight fears

– mother of the three times’ victors –

Wish-fulfilling wheel, bestow immortal life!


The one known in the Holy Land as Āryadeva

emanated into the Gar clan in Dokham as

Chödingpa, the heart son of JigtenSumgön.

May the life of glorious Garchen remain steadfast

for a hundred aeons!


The full moon, ornament of the three jewels’

teaching, clearly arisen above the shoulder of the

eastern mountains; yet its cool rays nurture the

white lilies of the lower slopes. May the life of Garchen, the

moon that benefits others, remain steadfast!


Casting to the wind three concerns for food, clothing

and fame, wearing the three armor of accomplished wisdom,

virtue and a good heart. The three samadhis as firm

as the deep ocean – May the life of Garchen, lampflame

of definitive meaning, remain steadfast!


In this age of degeneration when the Victor’s teaching

is feeble, through his powerful, vajra-like conduct,

he takes on heavy responsibility of the unbiased teaching.

May the life of Garchen, the sun of the teaching, remain steadfast!


There is no chance for demonic obstacles to affect

the three secrets of the lama who possesses blessings;

yet, in accord with the principle of dependent origination,

this supplication of the wish-fulfilling jewel is marvelous!


By the power of the compassionate truth

of the three jewels and three roots, and through the might

of Mahākala and ChökyiDrölma, may these words

of benediction made with pure heart be accordingly

and spontaneously accomplished without hindrance!

*sixteen” refers to Tara’s age

 At the request of the monks Karma Drodül and Drukseng of Lho Lungkar Monastery and others, this was composed on the 29th dayofthe12thmonth

Of the water-monkey year in the 17thcycle in accord with all aspirations by Könchog Tenzin Künzang Trinle Lhündrub, the one blessed with the name of the Victorious Drigungpa. May it bring virtue.

This prayer was translated from the Tibetan by Jakob Leschly in 1998, with slight adaptions by Jan-Ulrich Sobisch in 2015.



His Eminence Thritsab Gyabra Rinpoche TOP



His Eminence Thritsab Gyabra Rinpoche is a reincarnation of the second Drikung Kagyu Throne Holder Khenchen Tsultrim Dorje (Vow Vajra, 1154-1221). Khenchen Tsultrim Dorje was ordained at a very young age and at the age of forty-six he traveled to Drikung Thil Monastery in Tibet to pay his respects to Lord Jigten Sumgon. Upon meeting with Lord Jigten Sumgon, he felt an immediate strong connection with Lord Jigten Sumgon. From then onwards, he stayed by Lord Jigten Sumgon's side and obtained all the essential teachings from Lord Jigten Sumgon.

His Eminence Thritsab Gyabra Rinpoche's last reincarnation Gyabra Thubten (1921-1979) was the heart disciple of His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche and His Holiness Drikung Kyabgon Chungtsang Rinpoche of that time. After the two Holinesses passed away, he became the acting head of the Drikung Kagyu Order of Tibetan Buddhism. Upon the recognition of the reincarnation of the two present Holinesses, he became responsible for their education. Thritsab Rinpoche also transmitted all the dharma teachings, empowerments and practices of the Drikung Kagyu lineage to the two reincarnated Holinesses and other Lamas. In the history of the Drikung Kagyu lineage, His Eminence Thritsab Gyabra Rinpoche can be considered one of the teachers who have made the greatest contribution to the Drikung Kagyu lineage.

The present Thritsab Rinpoche (the seventh reincarnation) was born in India on 10 February 1981. H.E. Thritsab Rinpoche was recognized by His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche in 1986 and was officially enthroned on the 14th January (Tibetan calendar) in 1990. Following the footsteps of the great masters of the past, he did his three year retreat during the period 1996-1999 in order to undertake the task to benefit all sentient beings.

His Eminence Thritsab Gyabra Rinpoche took full monastic ordination in front of His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche and other Khenpos and masters in 2001. In the same year, His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche also announced that His Eminence Thritsab Gyabra Rinpoche would be representing him in handling all the matters in Drikung Kagyu Lineage in future.


His Eminence the 12th Nubpa Konchok Tenzin Rinpoche TOP

  After the Lord Buddha's teaching flourished in Tibet, the New Secret Mantra Doctrine developed. This Doctrine was based on the Lord Buddha's Teaching. The great translator, Marpa, developed the Kagyu lineage during this "New Secret Mantra Doctrine" period. The Kagyu lineage then flourished in Tibet. From this very lineage there have been many highly accomplished masters and yogis, such as the Great Yogi, Milarepa; Dagpo Rinpoche; and Phagmo Drubpa. The main disciple of Phagmo Drubpa was Lord Jigten Sumgon (1143 to 1217). He is the founder of the Drikung Kagyu Lineage.

At the age of 37, Lord Jigten Sumgon established Drikung Thil Monastery, the head monastery of the entire Drikung Kagyu Lineage. Lord Jigten Sumgon had countless followers. Previously, a Dharma King of Tibet (blood lineage) had come from western Tibet {Ngari} to the Drikung region and had settled there. One of the descendants of this king took his novice ordination vows from Lord Jigten Sumgon. His name was Nangso Lhopon.

At that time, and up until this day, there were two sections in the Drikung Thil Monastic Community. One is known as Ling Tod, and the other as Ling Med, which literally means "upper continent" and "lower continent", respectively. Nangso Lhopon became the spiritual master of Ling Med. He guided the monks spiritually, as well as provided for their daily needs. During the lifetime of Nangso Lhopon, both Drikung Thil Monastic Communities had abbots, spiritual masters, and a disciplinarian.

The residential palace of Nangso Lhopon, "Nubpa Lhadrang", was located west of the main shrine hall of the Drikung Thil Monastery. He thus became known as Nubpa Rinpoche, which means "precious one of the west" in Tibetan. From Nangso Lhopan, or Nubpa Rinpoche, there has been a continuous line of reincarnations right up until this present age, which is known as the "Degeneration Era".


One of the reincarnations of Nangso Lhopon, Jamyang Rinchen, was born at the time of the 16th Drikung Throne Holder, Gyalwang Kunga Rinchen (1475 to 1527). This Throne Holder, Gyalwang Kunga Rinchen, was recognized as the reincarnation of Lord Jigten Sumgon.

Jamyang Rinchen became the main disciple of Gyalwang Kunga Rinchen. As in his former life, Jamyang Rinchen again took care of and guided the monks at Drikung Ling Med. The important accomplishment of constructing Achi Prayer Hall (known today as Achi Khang) was one of his many virtuous deeds and activities.

Jamyang Rinchen's brother, Gonpo Gyaltsen, was the military commander of the Drikung region, while Gyalwang Kunga Rinchen remained the spiritual leader. At that time in Tibet there were a multitude of regions, and with each region having its own king, battles were common. As military commander, Gonpo Gyaltsen had been involved in much warfare. He was responsible for defeating the opponents of the Dharma in the surrounding regions. He saved Drikung Thil Monastery and its contents of sacred Buddhist scriptures from destruction. During battle Gonpo Gyaltsen appeared to some in the form of the four-armed Mahakala, black faced and terrifying. He is therefore seen as a real manifestation of the four-armed Mahakala.

Gonpo Gyaltsen performed many great Dharma activities as well. He built the four-armed Mahakala statue at Nubpa Lhadrang, and during the consecration of this statue he offered his battle sword and placed it at the level of Mahakala's heart. Thereafter the Mahakala statue became very powerful and effective for those who worshiped there. In the past and to this day, there are many emanations of Mahakala in the form of black crows, snow lions, etc.

Nowadays we can see the natural body shape of these emanations on the rocks around the Mahakala Shrine Hall. A very special aspect of this four- armed Mahakala statue is that no particle of dust has ever settled on it; it remains perpetually shiny and clean -- a perfect representation of Divine Wisdom. Whomever sleeps even one night at the Nubpa Lhadrang is said to be blessed with what amounts to the Complete Accomplishment Practice of the four-armed Mahakala.

The two brothers have been reincarnates from that time until this "Degeneration Era". The present Nubpa Rinpoche is the reincarnation of Gonpo Gyaltsen, the emanation of four-armed Mahakala. He is also the reincarnation of the 11th Nubpa, Konchok Tenzin Mepham Gopo.

Our present Rinpoche, the 12th Nubpa Konchok Tenzin Rinpoche,


was born in 1942 and was recognized (while still in his mother's womb) by the 34th Drikung Throne Holder, His Holiness Shewe Lodro (1874-1945). Rinpoche was enthroned when he was only five years old and started formal studies at the age of six. He learned Tibetan scripture and ritual practices from Pasang until the age of 14. At 15, he joined the Sun-ray Garden Institute (Nyichang Shedra, located near Drikung Thil Monastery) for higher Buddhist philosophical and Tantric studies.

Nubpa Rinpoche has received all of the Drikung Protector initiations and transmissions from H.E. Lho Drongtul Rinpoche. He has received all of the Fifty Collections of Initiation, the Treasure of Kagyu Instructions, the Treasure Discoverer Yangzab teaching (by Gyalwang Rinchen Phuntsok), and the Yamantaka from Regent H.E. Tritsab Rinpoche, as well as the Nyingma Collection of Initiations from the previous H.E. Nyizong Tripa Rinpoche.

By 1959, Rinpoche had mastered the Chinese language. By 1966, due to the political changes in Tibet, he had learned the ways of the farmer. Returning to Lhasa in 1974, he found work as a stone mason, but in 1979, Rinpoche resumed his academic career as the editor of the magazine, the "Tibetan Buddhist Association". In 1989, under the arrangement of the 10th Pachen Lama, Rinpoche joined the Peking Buddhist College of Higher Studies and there received his academic degree.

Rinpoche always says that his time spent learning about Buddhist teachings was very precious, as were the oral transmissions he received from Pachung Vajradhara, Khenchen Jigmey Phuntsok, and Gyendun Gyatso, among others.

In 1992, he arrived in India to serve His Holiness Drikung Kyabgon Trinley Lhundub, his root Guru, who was then working to preserve the Drikung Lineage. While there, Rinpoche became the supervisor for the re-publications of the 24th Drikung Throne Holder's, His Holiness Kunkhen Ringzen Chodrak's (1595 to 1659), fifteen volume compendium of transcribed oral instructions from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition {Kabum}. Rinpoche was also appointed as the headmaster for the Drikung Kagyu Institute, JangChubLing. Rinpoche has received many authentic teachings and oral transmissions from those living and parinirvana masters.

When Rinpoche first visited Lapchi in 1998, he had planned to undergo long periods of retreat there. However, when he found out about the difficulties faced by the monks, practitioners and villagers in Lapchi, he could not bear to see this holy place decline. Hence, out of great compassion, Rinpoche decided to undergo short periods of retreat in Lapchi for the time being, so that he could propagate the Dharma to benefit sentient beings and to work on the restoration of Lapchi at the same time. Up to 2010, Rinpoche has completed an extended retreat of four years in Lapchi (the holiest place of Yogi Jetsun Milarepa) and spent a total of seven years there. Due to Rinpoche's altruistic mind of enlightenment, over thirty practitioners have gathered on "conduct" retreats under his guidance in that holy place.


As a result of the late H.E. Drubwang Konchok Norbu Rinpoche's and H.E. Nubpa Rinpoche's loving kindness and compassion, the building of the Drikung Kagyu Rinchen Ling Monastery in Nayapati, Nepal has also been inaugurated for the sake of all Dharma practitioners in 2009. Drikung Kagyu Rinchen Ling Monastery and all Drikung retreat places in Lapchi are cuurently under the care and guidance of H.E. Nubpa Rinpoche.


In October 2011, The Hundred Thousand Milarepa Boom Tsog in Lapchi led by H.E. Nubpa Rinpochea was attended by a total of around 100 persons including 42 foreigners, 11 monks from Rinchen Ling Monastery, 18 retreatants from lapchi, 5 monks from Chora Gephel Ling Monastery, 24 sanghas from nepal and overseas and Tibetan pilgrims from around the area. Again in March - The documentary film of the event can be found here. April 2015, led by His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche tnd H.E. Nubpa Rinpoche, many devotees from all over the world had the fortune to complete the Hundred Thousand Milarepa Boom Tsog in Lapchi. The documentary film of the event can be found here.

Rinpoche is well-versed and thoroughly realized on the teachings in Sutra text, Abhidharma and Mahamudra.  His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche has mentioned that H.E. Nubpa Rinpoche is the heart son of the late Mahasiddha, His Eminence Drubwang Konchok Norbu Rinpoche. The most Venerable Drubwang Rinpoche himself has also mentioned that His Eminence Nubpa Rinpoche is an authentic practitioner of the Buddha Dharma whom we can trust and seek advice on our Dharma practice.  Those who are most fortunate to have met and received teachings from Rinpoche would have experienced the trust, tranquility and geniune compassion that Rinpoche emitted from his activities and conduct.

H.E. Garchen Rinpoche recently communicated the following about Nubpa Rinpoche:

“He is one of the most special gurus in the Drikung Kagyu lineage and became the main successor of Drubwang Rinpoche after his passing. I met Nubpa Rinpoche for the first time in 1980 after I was released from prison. He then went to Jangchub Ling and served as a great scholar, and after that he completed many years of retreat in Lapchi where he mastered meditation practice. He is thus an accomplished master and also a great scholar of Buddhist scriptures. In terms of practice, he is the successor of Drubwang Rinpoche.

“We have tried to invite him to our center for many years, but only this year has it become possible for him to grant us a visit. It is thus extremely important that all Dharma friends come from all over to meet and learn from him and be able to practice with him.”

Like Drubwang Rinpoche, Nubpa Rinpoche is an extraordinary Chenrezig practitioner, and it is Nubpa Rinpoche who wrote the seven-line prayer for Garchen Rinpoche that is included in Rinpoche’s Guru Yoga sadhana, “Light Amassment of Blessings.”


Long Life Prayer for His Eminence Nubpa Rinpoche


Om Svasti.



In the land of India you were born as Great Mahasidha Tog Tsepa.



In the land of snow at the place of Drikung Thil,



you have emanated as victory Kunga Thinley.



May you, Nubpa Konchok Tenzin Rinpoche, remain steadfast for hundreds of econs.



You have culminated all the knowledge of scriptures and science,



you are a presence in the world with great hidden yogic accomplishment.



You are the victory banner of the lineage in this degeneration time.



May you, Nubpa Konchok Tenzin Rinpoche, remain steadfast for hundreds of econs.


This long life prayer was composed on the 15th day of the 6th lunar month (2006) by Konchok Tenzin Kunzang Thinley Lhundrub who is blessed with the name of Gyalwa Drikungpa. It was requested by monk Zodpa. Translated by Lama Nyandak.


More about His Eminence Nubpa Rinpoche can be found here

Biography in Swedish

Hans Eminens Nubpa Konchok Tenzin Rinpoche igenkändes som den 12:e Nubpa Rinpoche (redan innan födseln i livmodern) av den 34:e Drikung troninnehavaren Hans Helighet Shewe Lodro (1874 – 1945).  Rinpoche kröntes när han var bara fem år gammal och påbörjade formella studier vid 6 års ålder. Han lärde sig tibetanska skrifter och rituella utövningar av Pasang Rinpoche tills han var fjorton år.  Därefter började han vid Nyichang Shedra (intill klostret i Drikung Thil) för högre studier i buddhistisk filosofi och tantriska studier.

Nubpa Rinpoche har mottaget alla Drikung-beskyddarnas initieringar och överföringar från Hans Eminens Lho Drongtul Rinpoche.  Han har fått motta Fifty Collections of Initiation, Treasure of Kagyu Instructions och Treasure Discoverer Yangzab från Gyalwang Rinchen Phuntsok samt Yamantaka ifrån Regent Hans Eminens Tritsab Rinpoche såväl som Nyingma Collection of Initiations ifrån den förre Hans Eminens Nyizong Tripa Rinpoche.

Rinpoche hade lärt sig att behärska det kinesiska språket 1959.  På grund av de politiska förändringarna i Tibet hade han skolat sig till jordbrukare 1966.  Vid återkomsten till Lhasa 1974 fann han arbete som stenhuggare men återupptog 1979 sin akademiska karriär som redaktör för tidskriften Tibetan Buddhist Association.  Med stöd av 10:e Pachen Lama kunde Rinpoche 1989 börja vid Peking Buddhist College of Higher Studies där han sedan fick en akademisk examen.

Rinpoche betonar alltid hur värdefull tiden var som han ägnat åt att studera Dharma liksom de muntliga överföringarna som han mottog från Pachung Vajradhara, Khenchen Jigmey Phuntsok, Gyendun Gyatso och många andra.

1992 anlände Rinpoche till Indien för att assistera Hans Helighet Drikung Kyabgon Trinley Lhundub (hans rot-lama) som då arbetade med att bevara Drikung-traditionen.  Rinpoche fick ansvaret att överse nyutgivningen av den 24:e Drikung-tronhållaren Hans Helighet Kunkhen Ringzen Chodraks (1595 – 1659) femton volymers kompendium med nedskrivna muntliga instruktioner från den tibetanska buddhistiska traditionen (Kabum). Rinpoche har mottaget många autentiska undervisningar och muntliga överföringar från såväl levande som mästare i parinirvana. 

Sedan denna tid har Rinpoche tagit varje möjlighet att göra retreater i Labchi, den heligaste platsen av Yogin Jetsun Milarepa.  Retreaterna innefattar en mycket ansträngande veckolång vandring för att nå Labchi.  Rinpoche gjorde en längre retreat där som varade i mer än tre år och därefter ytterligare fyra besök.  Tack vare Rinpoches altruistiska bodhicitta samlas idag fler än trettio utövare för ”conduct” retreater under Rinpoches ledning på denna heliga plats.


Venerable Rabsang Tulku Rinpoche TOP

Rabsang Tulku Rinpoche


Rabsang Rinpoche is the reincarnation of Drubwang Rabsang Rinpoche who was born in a nomad's family in Traga district of Tibet, and was ordained as Konchok Rabsang. As a young monk, Drubwang Rabsang Rinpoche learnt Tibetan and various texts and rituals. He received various transmissions and empowerments of the Drigung lineage from the two His Holiness Drigung Kyabgon Chungtsang Rinpoche Chokyi Lodro and Chetsang Rinpoche Zhiwe Lodro. From the Drigung Thil Monastery retreat master, Drubwang Triyin Osel, he received the Five Limbs of Mahamudra and the Six Yogas of Naropa and went into a strict retreat. After that he received from his teacher Tulku Jamyang Wangje the transmissions and empowerments of thirteen classes as well as the Longchen Nyingthig. Drubwang Rabsang Rinpoche then went again into long term retreat in the practice of Mahamudra, and also the profound path of perfection, gaining a very high realization. Many tulkus of that time made the journey to see him to receive instructions on the profound path of perfection. When he passed on at over 70 years of age, Drubwang Rabsang Rinpoche's body shrank tremendously. When his body was finally laid to rest in the mountains, it reduced itself to nothing but hair and nails, an evident sign that he has achieved the rainbow light body.


The current reincarnation, Rabsang Rinpoche, Konchok Tsultrim Rabsel, was born in 1973, the Water Ox year in a village in Tashi Jung, near the Drigung Thil Monastery. His father Konchok Thinley and mother Laisang, saw various auspicious signs during his birth. Since he was a young child, Rabsang Rinpoche has always been very compassionate to all animals, and very devoted to the Dharma, always asking his parents to visit the monasteries. Hence, his parents brought him before the great Drubwang Pachung Rinpoche, who told them:" this child has a very meritorious and virtuous connection, his wisdom will manifest in the future once he has been ordained." So Rabsang Rinpoche was ordained at Drigung Thil Monastery under Pachung Rinpoche, and was named Konchok Tsultrim. He studied intensely the various teachings and rituals, subsequently, visiting HH the 14th Dalai Lama as well as the two HH Drigung Kyabgon Rinpoches. He has also studied Sutras and Tantras at the Drigung Institute and Thrangu Institute.


In 1999, during the Snake Year Drigung Prayer Festival, HH the Drigung Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche recognized Rabsang Rinpoche as the reincarnation of Drubwang Rabsang Rinpoche and named him Konchok Gyurme Rabsel. He was also enthroned then. Since then, Rabsang Rinpoche received many teachings, transmissions and empowerments from the two HH Drigung Kyabgon Rinpoches, HE Drubwang Konchok Norbu Rinpoche, HE Thrangu Rinpoche, HE  Nubpa Rinpoche, HE Khenchen Konchok Gyaltsen Rinpoche and many other great teachers. Rabsang Rinpoche currently resides in Rinchen Ling Monastery, Nepal and actively taking care of the monks and monastery.

Following the footsteps of late HE Drubwang Konchok Norbu Rinpoche, Rinpoche regularly visits a few countries abroad, especially Singapore and Malaysia, leading the 100 million Mani Recitation Retreat that was consecrated by HE Drubwang Konchok Norbu Rinpoche and bestowing Dharma teachings. Rinpoche has already led and attended 100 million Mani Recitation Retreat for more than twenty times in Nepal and abroad. 

Venerable Drubpon Trinley Yeshi Rinpoche TOP

Gelong Yeshi

 Drubpon Trinley Yeshi Rinpoche has in the past served as the head retreat master at the Drikung Kagyu Institute in India. He was born at Drikung Yangre Gar in 1941, near the village of Trolung. His father is Dang Drung and his mother is Dolma. At the age of 12 he took the novice monk vows from H.E. Thritsab Thubten Wangpo (the former Thritsab Rinpoche). Afterwards he became perfectly well trained on how to play ritual instruments, how to chant, perform ritual ceremony, and the traditional Lama dance. At the age of thirty he took the full ordination vows from late master Pachung Rinpoche; hence he has received many teachings from Pachung Rinpoche and his close disciple, fully ordained Tenzin Nyima Rinpoche. Under the guidance of Pachung Rinpoche and Tenzin Nyima Rinpoche, he has perfectly completed his three-year retreat on the Five-fold path of Mahamudra and Six yoga’s of Naropa at Drikung Thil Monastery.

After his beloved Pachung Rinpoche passed away, he constructed a commemoration Stupa for his teacher. He has also performed many ritual ceremonies for his teacher through his body, speech and mind, uninterruptedly. Rinpoche is someone who was able to please his teacher with his enthusiasm in the practice of Dharma. For three years he has done a strict sealed retreat on Mahamudra, day and night.

During 1992, Rinpoche received all the Drikung Kagyu lineage empowerments and oral transmissions from various Drikung Kagyu masters, in particular from H.H. Chetsang Rinpoche during the Monkey Year teachings. He has also received teachings from different masters, in particular from H.H. Dalai Lama. Afterwards he went on a pilgrimage to holy places of the Buddha in India. Then H.H. Chetsang Rinpoche asked him to lead the Three-year retreat for Rinpoche’s monks and nuns. Meanwhile His Holiness appointed Rinpoche as one of the head retreat masters in the Drikung Kagyu Lineage. At that time, he was also appointed as Dorzin (The representative of the head of lineage) for the holy place of Labchi.

In the year 1996, he led the traditional three-year retreat, hands-on instruction from the late Drubwang Pachung Rinpoche to twenty-three monks and nuns including H.E. Thritsab Rinpoche, Senge Tenzin Rinpoche, Lama Kunsang Rinpoche, Konchog Khandro, Lama Konchog Sangya Rinpoche and so on at Almora, India. His Holiness stressed to all the practitioners who were in three-year retreat, that Drubpon Yeshi Rinpoche is someone who has perfected his understanding in the pith instructions and practice. After a successful three-year retreat, H.H. highly praised Drubpon Yeshi Rinpoche for his excellent duty in guiding the three-year retreat in a very skillful and enthusiastic way. In honor of all of his noble activities within the past many years, his many years of sincere practice, and his realization His Holiness honored him with a compliment letter and a recognition letter of being an authentic retreat master within the Drikung Lineage.

In Spring 2009, Rinpoche made his first European tour to confer Dharma teachings to European Dharma friends.  This is Rinpoche's second visit to Europe.


Venerable Drubpon Tsering Rinpoche TOP

Venerable Drubpon Tsering Rinpoche is the resident Lama of the Drikung Garchen Institute of the Drikung Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism.

At the age of eight, Rinpoche took refuge from His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche. Three years later, Tsering Rinpoche received his novice ordination, the Bodhisattva vow as well as Mahamudra instructions from the great Siddha Karma Norbu, from the Karma Kagyu School. Since his eleventh year, Rinpoche lived and studied under the guidance of His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche at Gar Monastery in East Tibet, where he completed the preliminary practices of the Drikung Dzogchen Yangzab and the Longchen Nyingthig tradition. At Gar Monastery, Tsering Rinpoche served as the shrine master for five years, and performed many ceremonies, rituals, and Drubchens with Garchen Rinpoche. Rinpoche learned and taught spiritual dances, the playing of ritual instruments, the making of sand Mandalas, Tormas and the like. Furthermore, he served as the chanting master, performing Pujas and Drubchens.

Drubpon Tsering Rinpoche received countless Abhishekas, pith instructions, and transmissions from H.E. Garchen Rinpoche, including the empowerments of the eight Herukas, the fifty empowerments of the Drikung Kagyü, of Chakrasamvara, Vajrayogini and the collections of Chöd practices, as well as the Rigtä of all Dharma protectors of the old and new transmissions. Khenpo Jigme Phuntshok bestowed on him the Abhisheka of Kalachakra.
Rinpoche also obtained instructions from Payül Khenpo Tenzin on the following scriptures: Bodhicharyavatara, the Thirtyseven Practices of a Bodhisattva, the Three Vows, and the Fifty Stanzas on the Spiritual Teacher. From Khenpo Yeshe of the Nyingmapas, he received the Ngag Chung Transmission (only by hearing), and instructions on the Aspiration Prayer of Ground, Path and Result. Under Khenpo Urgyen Rinpoche he studied Gampopas Jewel Ornament of Liberation, the Single Intent “Gong chig,” as well as Tibetan Grammar. In a hundred-day-retreat, Rinpoche practiced the Tonglen of the Six Realms, based on Patrul Rinpoche’s "Words of my perfect teacher." Tsering Rinpoche also received his Bodhisattva vow, instructions on the Aspiration Prayer of Sukhavati, the Nyingma Phowa and on Dzogchen Tregchöd, Thögal, Yeshe Lama, along with the practice of Khor-de-Rü-shen, and the Rigpätsäl empowerment from Khenpo Münsel. During his training, Rinpoche completed many retreats during which he practiced the long Sadhanas of Vajrakilaya, Yamantaka, Guru Drakpo, Vajrasattva, Ambithaba and White Tara, as well as Chöd, and one hundred sets of Nyungne. Furthermore, Ven. Tsering Rinpoche followed a traditional Three-Year, Three-Months and Three-Days Retreat, practicing the Fivefold Mahamudra known as “Chagchen Ngaden”, and the Six Yogas of Naropa, whose instructions he received from Lho Bongtrul Tenzin Nyinma.

In the year 2000, the year of the snake, Rinpoche received all Abhishekas and transmission of the Drikung Kagyü tradition from H.H. Drikung Kyabgön Chetsang in Dehradun, India. During the year of the monkey, in 2004, both H.H. Kyabgön Chetsang Rinpoche and H.E. Garchen Rinpoche conferred on him the title of Drubpon “Retreat Master.” In 2003, by the request of H.E. Garchen Rinpoche, Drupon Tsering Rinpoche became the Lama in residence at the Drikung Garchen Institute in Munich, where he represents H.E. Garchen Rinpoche in the whole of Europe.  HE Garchen Rinpoche said, “As I have passed on all responsibilities to him, I believe that he will become an authentic guide in terms of the true Dharma. As Lama Tsering has been with me from the age of eight until now, [I recognize] his wish and experience to bring benefit to others according to [the diverse kinds of] phenomena and individuals.”

Drubpon Tsering Rinpoche share his vast knowledge, wisdom and compassion selflessly with his infinite energy and patience to all.


In Swedish:

Vördade Drubpon Tsering Rinpoche leder sedan 2003 Drikung Garchen Institute i München inom Drikung Kagyu-traditionen i tibetansk Buddhism. När Rinpoche var bara åtta år sökte han tillflykt hos Hans Eminens Garchen Rinpoche. Tre år senare blev han ordinerad munk. Rinpoche mottog sin munk-ordination, avlade Bodhisattva-löftet inför och fick Mahamudra-instruktioner från den store Siddha Karma Norbu från Karma Kagyu-traditionen. Från 11 års ålder utövade och studerade Rinpoche under ledning av H.E. Garchen Rinpoche vid Gar kloster i Nangchen i östra Tibet, där han fullföljde de förberedande utövningarna av Drikung Dzogchen Yangzab och Longchen Nyingthig-traditionen. På Gar kloster tjänstgjorde Tsering Rinpoche som shrine master i fem år (och senare som chant master) och utförde många ceremonier, ritualer och Drubchen med H.E. Garchen Rinpoche. Rinpoche mottog många undervisningar och initieringar från många mästare såsom H.E. Garchen Rinpoche, Khenpo Jigme Phuntshok, Payül Khenpo Tenzin, Khenpo Yeshe, Khenpo Urgyen Rinpoche, Khenpo Münsel, Lho Bongtrul Tenzin Nyinma och Hans Helighet Drikung Kyabgön Chetsang Rinpoche. Under denna tid har Rinpoche fullföljt många korta retreater. Han har dessutom gjort flera långa retreater inklusive den traditionella treårs-retreaten.

2004 blev Rinpoche förlänad titeln Drubpon (retreatmästare) av Hans Helighet Chetsang Rinpoche och Hans Eminens Garchen Rinpoche. Sedan 2003 har Rinpoche lett Drikung Garchen Institute i München och är utsedd som Hans Eminens Garchen Rinpoches representant i Europa. Vi är väldigt hedrade att kunna motta undervisning av en så stor mästare som Drubpon Tsering Rinpoche.



His Eminence Dagpo Chenga Rinpoche TOP

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His Eminence Dagpo Chenga Rinpoche (Rase Konchok Gyatso Rinpoche)

His Eminence Dagpo Chenga Rinpoche was recognized as the 8th incarnation of Dagpo Chenga (the heart-disciple of Gampopa (1079 – 1153)) and carries the Tulku-name Konchok Tenzin Thrinle Lhündrup. Many of his books were published under the name Rase Konchok Gyatso.

His Eminence Dagpo Chenga Rinpoche was born in 1968 in the village below the monastery of Drikung Thel in Tibet. At young age, he revealed a virtuous personality as well as a sharp mind. In 1981, Drubwang Pachung Rinpoche (1901-1988) advised him to become a monk, gave him important teachings, and instructed him to study and practice The Four Dharmas of Gampopa and the Six Yogas of Naropa. Since then he studied under many great teachers.

His Eminence Dagpo Chenga Rinpoche studied at Drikung Buddhist College and at the Tibetan College in Lhasa. He also attended the Medical and Astrological College. He studied the Ten Aspects of Knowledge, as well as natural sciences, social sciences, and history. He became a scholar proficient in all fields and is recognized as one of the most erudite master in the Drikung Kagyü lineage.

Already as a young student, His Eminence Dagpo Chenga Rinpoche began writing papers on many subjects of Tibetan history and Tibetan Buddhism under the name Rase Konchok Gyatso. Among his books are The History of the Yangrigar Monastery, The Main Seat of Pagdru Kagyü, The Benefit of Being Vegetarian, and A Faithful Speech, which shows how to develop, improve and spread the Drikung Kagyü Dharma traditions in the future. He also wrote a book entitled The Mothers in the Land of Snows, about famous women in the history of Tibet.

In 2004 a great thangka painting master, Penpa Tsering’s famous disciple, Amdo Jampa, painted a series of sophisticated thangkas portraying the Drikung Kagyü lineage holders, as well as The Fivefold Path of Mahāmudrā thangka, The Twenty-Five Main Disciples of Milarepa, and The Eight Types of Incarnations of Kyobpa Jigten Sumgon. All the drawings were made in accordance with Dagpo Chenga's meticulous commentary on the iconography.

His most important publication is The History of Drikung ('bri gung chos' byung), which was published in 2004. In 2007, he published The Ornament of Gongchig, a praise of the famous Gongchig teachings of Kyobpa Jigten Sumgon (1143-1217) bestowed upon his disciple Chenga Sherab Jungne (1187-1241), as well as a refutation of criticisms brought forward against the Gongchig. In addition, he authored several short texts on Lord Jigten Sumgon, Achi Chokyi Dolma, Angon Rinpoche, the history of Drikung Thel Monastery, and an introduction to the Drikung sky burial ground (Durto Tenchag), and a booklet on the holy places in the Drikung area.

Rase Konchok Gyatso also published some texts on Buddhist studies, among them are the commentaries on the Fivefold Path of Mahāmudrā and the Essence of the Three Vows (sdom pa gsum).  He compiled the daily rituals of Drikung in two volumes and authored many articles about special Drikung teachings, including a Phowa text of the Drikung tradition called The Color of the Rainbow.

To rescue the most important works on the Drikung Kagyü lineage, for nearly a decade, Rase Konchok Gyatso has collaborated with His Eminence Drikung Angon Rinpocche and some monks from the Drikung Thel Monastery, gathering, combining and editing. The Great Treasury of Drikung Kagyü has now reached 150 volumes. Under the organization of Balok Rinpoche, Drikung Kagyü Marpa Translation Center is currently translating these sacred articles into Chinese and English.

At the request of His Holiness Chungtsang Rinpoche, Rase Konchok Gyatso is currently composing  A Comprehensive Explanation of the Thirteen Major Subjects (gzhung chen bcu gsum) covering the thirteen major root texts of the Buddhist philosophy such as Vinaya, the bodhisattva trainings, Maitreya's five treatises, Abhidharma, Madhyamaka, and so on.

His Eminence Dagpo Chenga’s writings are same as his oral teachings, namely, very precise, direct, and clear. They stand out with very profound view and excellent knowledge. He continues to exert tireless effort writing texts in order to benefit Buddhism in general and the Drikung Kagyü lineage in particular.




Venerable Drubpon Kunsang Rinpoche TOP


Drubpon Kunsang Rinpoche was born in Ngari at the vicinity of Mt. Kailash in Tibet 1976. When he was six years old, he became monk and studied Dharma, rituals, prayers and so forth. As a little boy, he left Tibet to India and there he grew up.  In Dharamsala , he studied mandala and thanka painting. Then in the Drikung Monastery, he studied philosophy for seven years.  Afterwards he went into a three-year retreat in Amora, India completed the "Six Yogas of Naropa" and the "Five-Fold Path of Mahamudra. He received the award "Champion of the retreat." His main teacher H.H. Chetsang Rinpoche sent him to Nepal for another retreat for four years. Under the direction of His Holiness Dalai Lama, a group of representatives from all different religions came together and met with the scientists to discuss and exchange. Drubpon Kunsang Rinpoche was sent by the Tibetan Government in Dharamsala, India to Switzerland to take part in the project “Science Meets Dharma”. From 2001 to 2005, he studied natural sciences and training in intercultural relations in the Tibet Institute in Rikon in Switzerland. During that time, he met many people from Switzerland who were interested in the Dharma.  H.E. Garchen Rinpoche encouraged him to start a center in Switzerland to teach the Dhamra. In 2005, the Drikung Kagyu Ling Dorje center with Drubpon Kunsang Rinpoche as chief lama was inaugurated by his Eminence Garchen Rinpoche with the blessing of His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche.


Venerable Khenchen Nyima Gyaltsen Rinpoche TOP

Khenchen Nyima Gyaltshen Rinpoche was born in 1976. When he was nine, he received refuge vows from Kyabje Ontrul Rinpoche. At 12, he joined the Lho Lungkar Monastery in Kham, Tibet where he studied under monastery’s senior lamas Gongyam and Drugsing. At 18, he came to JangChubLing Monastery in Dehra Dun, India where he took the novice monk vows from His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche and studied for two years on the Essence of the Mahayana Teachings and the Single Intention under Khenchen Konchog Gyaltshen Rinpoche as well as major scriptures with the Khenpos and teachers there. Then he joined the Dzongsar College in Bihar to further study the major scriptures for seven years. In 1998, he received full monk’s ordination from Mewa Khenchen Thubten Ozer Rinpoche. Then he received oral transmission of the precious Kangyur of the Buddha from Choje Togden Rinpoche as well as the pig, snake and monkey year teachings from His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche.

In 2002, His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche authorized and instructed him to teach at the Kagyu College in JangChubLing. In 2004 during the Snake Year Teachings at Lumbini, he was enthroned as the Shedra Khenpo of the Drikung Kagyu College. Then, in 2006, Khenpo returned to Lho Lungkar Monastery to teach the monks and nuns of the monastic college and Jamyang Gatsel Ling Gampopa's Jewel Ornament of Liberation. Rinpoche has since 2005 been continuously residing and teaching at the Kagyu College sincerely and at the same time responsible for compiling texts, as well as assisting western translators. In October 2013, he received the title Khenpo Thripa (the one who takes charge of all the monasteries in exile) by His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche.

Khenchen Nyima Gyaltshen Rinpoche is an outstanding scholar of the Drikung tradition and has great ability to communicate complex and profound teachings in a readily comprehensible manner. All his students appreciate very much his sincere and clear teachings, his care and compassion towards each student’s need.


Venerable Khenpo Konchok Tamphel TOP

Venerable Khenpo Tamphel was born in 1975 in Ladakh, India. At age nine, he became a monk at Lamayuru Monastery, one of the three main Drikung Kagu monasteries in Ladakh. After completing his basic monastic education, he joined the Drikung Kagyu Institute in Dehra Dun in 1987 where he studied the various branches of Buddhist philosophy for nine years and received the degree of Acharya in 1997. Since then he has served as a translator for His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche and His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche, taught and worked as a research officer at the Songtsen Library (an important institution and resource for Buddhist Studies), taught at various Drikung Kagyu Dharma Centers worldwide, translated and published rare Drikung Kagyu texts from Tibetan to English. His translated works includes Water Crystal (based on a commentary of the Ganges Mahamudra by H.H. Chetsang Rinpoche), Introduction to Mahamudra the Co-emergent Unification by Lord Jigten Sumgön and Shamatha to Mahamudra by Yongzin Ngedon Gyatso. He earned his Khenpo degree in 2004. Since 2012, he has been heading the Ratnasri Translation Group for 84000 Dharma Translation. Since 2013, he has been teaching and assisting on research projects at the University of Vienna where he has worked as a researcher in the past project “Neue Erwägungen zur Buddha-Natur” (new considerations on Buddha nature) between Oct. 2015 and Sept. 2018.





Venerable  Khenpo Konchok Choskyab TOP

Khenpo Konchok Choskyab was born in 1977 in the village Umla in Ladakh. He took novice vows in Phyang Monastery when he was eleven years old. Together with Khenpo Rangdol and Khenpo Tamphel, he belonged to the first group of monks who studied Buddhist philosophy in the newly founded Drikung Kagyu Institute in Dehradun, in 1987. After nine years of study at the Drikung Kagyu Institute, with the support of His Holiness, he furthered his studies at the Sakya Dzongsar Institute for three more years. Then, he taught the monks and nuns at the Drikung Kagyu Institute and Samtenling nunnery. He jointly revised the collective work of Dharmakirti (Kunkhyen Rigzin Chödrak, 1595-1659) with His Eminence Nubpa Rinpoche, as well as the writings of Kyobpa Jigten Sumgon with His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang. During the Snake Year Winter Teachings in 2000/2001 he received the complete transmissions of the Drikung Kagyu tradition. During a two months stay in Bhutan he received teachings and transmissions from His Eminence Je Khenpo Rinpoche on Chakrasamvara (Khorlo Demchog). Subsequently he studied Buddhist logic, the Prajnaparamita sutras as well as the teachings of Madyamika philosophy with Je Rinpoche at Drepung Loseling Monastery in South India for another nine years. In 2009 he was made a Khenpo by His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang. At present, he is the Abbot of the Kagyu College.



His Eminence Choje Togdan Rinpoche TOP



His Eminence Choje Togdan Rinpoche is the Choje (Dharma Master), the spiritual leader of the Drikung Kagyu Tradition in Ladakh. The title Togdan means “endowed with realization”. Chojes were sent from Drikung Thil Monastery in Tibet to places such as Mt. Kailash, Tsari, Lapchi, and Ladakh. Since the previous incarnation of Togdan Rinpoche was from Ladakh, it became a tradition that his successive reincarnations would be appointed as the Chojes for Ladakh.

Rinpoche is the successive incarnations of the Indian Mahasiddha Hungchen Kara (Hungkara), (one of the Eight Great Vidyadharas), who centuries later incarnated as the Kongbo Togdan Tulku, a disciple of the 17th Drikung lineage holder Rinchen Phuntsog (1509-1557). The following seven reincarnations were born in Tibet and the 8th in Ladakh.

Rinpoche is also recognized as the manifestation of Nyang Tingdzin Zangpo, the Tibetan minister of religion in the 8th century, and a key figure in the establishment of Buddhism in Tibet. Nyang Tingdzin Zangpo was the first abbot of Samye Monastery, the heart disciple of the great guru Vimalamitra and have been credited for suggesting the king to invite Padmasambhava to Tibet. He was one of the few masters in history said to have attained the rainbow body, the highest achievement of Tibetan Buddhism’s Dzogchen practice.

The present Togdan with his religious name Konchog Tenzin Thubten Tenpe Gyaltsen it the 9th reincarnation. He was born into the poor family of Konchog Tsultrim and Kelsang Dolma in 1939 in Durbuk, a small village situated 110 km from Leh in Changthang. At the age of two years he lost his mother and was taken care of by his aunt. At the time of his mother’s death, the family goat gave birth to new offspring and Rinpoche could drink its milk. When he was one and a half years old he left a footprint on a bolder. Several miraculous happenings around his birth and afterwards clearly revealed his superior qualities.

The previous Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche, Shiwe Lodro (1886-1943) recognized the young boy as the incarnation of Togdan Tulku when he was only 18 months old. In 1943 he was enthroned as Choje Togdan Rinpoche in Sharchukhul Monastery, which is one of the three major monasteries of the Drikung sect in Ladakh. The monastery is located very close to his birthplace. He received the traditional education at a very young age. In 1951 he accompanied by his tutor Gegen Sonam, the young Rinpoche traveled through Sikkim over three weeks on horseback on his way to Drikung Thil Monastery in Tibet. There he started his training, receiving teachings from renown spiritual masters and completing many retreats. Till 1954 he studied in the Drikung Nyima Changra College for higher Buddhist studies. When China took over Tibet in 1959 he came back to Ladakh along with his tutor and many Ladakhi monks. Since then Rinpoche carried out his responsibilities for fifty Drikung monasteries in Ladakh while maintaining the Drikung Kagyu tradition there.

Rinpoche holds special Drikung Kagyu transmissions of Gongchig, Yamantaka, Phowa and Dharmapalas. He also holds the transmission of the Rinchen Terdzo. In 1960s, he met his root guru H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche in Kalimpong and in the beginning of 1967, Rinpoche arranged a great transmission of Rinchen Terdzod by Dudjom Rinpoche to be given at Tso Pema, Rewalsar, one of the most sacred places of Guru Rinpoche. H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche gave this empowerment to a large assembly of thirty Tulkus and several thousand people. Subsequently Dudjom Rinpoche initiated Togdan Rinpoche as his successor for imparting this great empowerment of Rinchen Terdzo.

Years later Rinpoche discovered several sacred “hidden places” and also revealed some mind treasure text (dgongs gter) His collected works comprising one volume include a short commentary on the Gongchig.

In the 1960s Rinpoche was the only spiritual leader of the Drikungpa school who held all kinds of oral and empowerment transmissions of the Drikung tradition. Therefore he gave several empowerments and oral transmissions to the Drikungpas living in India and abroad, including His Holiness Drikung Chetsang Rinpoche, whom he gave the oral transmission of Rigzin Chodrak’s (1595-1659) work.

In 1974 Togdan Rinpoche invited Kyunga Rinpoche (1911-1980) to Ladakh, where he started a meditation center at Chushul. Later this meditation center was moved to Lamayuru. After repairing the monastery of Atitse in 1981, Rinpoche established a school for young monks there. Atitse monastery is situated northwest of Lamayuru.

In 1978, under the supervision of Togdan Rinpoche a grand reception ceremony was held at Leh for His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche, after his escape from Tibet and his return from the USA. Since then it was for the first time that Chetsang Rinpoche and Togdan Rinpoche worked together for strengthening the Drikung Kagyu in Ladakh. In 1979, under both the spiritual leaders, the 800th anniversary of the founding of Drikung Thil Monastery was celebrated at Phyang Monastery.

Togdan Rinpoche was the president of Gompa Association from 1972 to 1975. During this period he attended international Buddhist conferences held in Taiwan, Spain, Germany, Switzerland and France.

In 1979 H.H. Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche and Togdan Rinpoche hosted a marvellous celebration for the 800th year anniversary of founding of the Drikung Thil monastery by Lord Jigten Sumgon, the founder of the Drikung lineage.

In 1985 Rinpoche hosted a historic meeting of three religious leaders of the Drikung lineage between H.H. Kyabgon Chetsang, H.H. Kyabgon Chungtsang and himself. Continuing the heritage of Drikungpa as a force for dharma propagation in Ladakh.

In 1981 Rinpoche built new temples such as Zang Dogparli and repaired many old monasteries, including the historical Atishe Monastery which houses an actual meditation chamber of Naropa

Social activities

Since 1959 Togdan Rinpoche has undertaken various religious as well as social welfare activities in Ladakh and became a popular leader. He worked tirelessly for raising the consciousness among the Ladakhi populace for the need of good education, succeeding in sending many students to Srinagar and Jammu. The main task for Togdan Rinpoche after his return from Tibet was to reorganize the approximately 50 various Drikung monasteries of Ladakh.

During the Snake year teachings in 2000 and 2001 at Drikung Kagyu Institute, Dehra Dun, he gave several precious oral transmissions. From 12th December 2002 until 19th February 2003, the 18th day of the last month of the Tibetan calendar, which happens to be an important auspicious day for Drikungpas, he bestowed the oral transmission of 101 volumes of Buddha’s precepts in the auspicious presence of H.H. Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche, Taklung Shabdrung Rinpoche, other Tulkus and Khenpos and an assembly of more than 400 monks, nuns, and lay people.

Political activities

In 1967 H.E. Togdan Rinpoche was elected as the chairman of the Ladakh Action Committee, furthering the demands of Ladakh with regard to the Indian government. Under his leadership the Committee was able to get ten demands accepted by the government. Thus Togdan Rinpoche became also a known political leader. For four years Togdan Rinpoche was also appointed as vice-chairman of the Ladakh Development Board. During this period several developmental schemes were executed in far-off places in Ladakh. Among the most prominent achievements were Durbuk canal, Alchi bridge, high schools and many lower schools, Medical Aid Centers at Temisgam, Sumoor, Man-Merak and Skurbuchen.

Togdan Rinpoche became also president of the National Conference Party, Leh, and he was nominated as MLC (Member of Legislative Council) in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly and later elevated to Minister of State for Ladakh Affairs and Planning in the cabinet of Honorable Chief Minister, Dr. Farooq Abdullah. As Minister of State for Ladakh Affairs and Planning, Togdan Rinpoche has taken various steps for a speedier development of Ladakh. He successfully tried his best to enhance budgetary grants for the region of Ladakh. He projected plans for the construction of an air strip in the remote Zanskar region and the Nimoo-Basgo hydroelectric plant. He also proposed to open the Kailash-Mansarovar road for pilgrims (Kailash Yatra), but unfortunately no action came forward until present.

In September 2002 Togdan Rinpoche resigned from his post as Minister of State for Ladakh Affairs and Planning, which he had held for six years. However, his selfless services still continue for the people of Ladakh and Tibetan society in particular and all living beings in general with his genuine dedication towards the Dharma.


Today, Rinpoche’s live achievements make him a model example for the dharma practitioner of the modern times; attaining excellence in both worldly and spiritual life. Rinpoche has been referenced to in many popular books and have appeared in two documentary films about Tibetan Buddhism.

Rinpoche’s complete name is H.E. 9th Choje Togdan Rinpoche, Terton Rigched Dorje, Konchog Tenzin Thupthen Tenpei Gyaltsen and he is the Drikung Dharma Lord (Choje) of Ladakh. He and his lovely wife Lha-cham have raised a dharma family of two sons and three daughters.

In a long-life prayer to Rinpoche, H.H Dudjom Rinpoche wrote that:

“he is the northern heavenly king and the bestower of glory…the river of nectar of the Nyingmapa tradition…the Bodhisattva akin to the youthful moon leading countless star constellations…the Vidyadhara of Long Life.”

In the current 9th incarnation of Togdan Rinpoche, is also included the manifestation of Rigzin Jatson Nyingpo.  A great terton master who spent 17 years in a sealed hermitage retreat and was the root guru of such renown masters as Kathog Dudul Dorje, Lhatsun Chenpo, 10th Karmapa, 1st Drikung Chungtsang, 5th Drugchen and many others during the 16th century.

Having been recognized by the 36th H.H. Kyabgon Chetsang as the 9th Togdan Rinpoche, Rinpoche was given the leadership of the unbroken Drikung tradition in Ladakh. This included the responsibility for over 50 monasteries and the cultivation of the Drikung tradition in the region.

His Eminence Choje Togdan Rinpoche appears in two documentary films below:

Yogis Of Tibet - Documentary - The Truth in The Dharma (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGKy2pN_d4k) – in this YouTube film (starting at 46:56 ), H.E. Togdan Rinpoche describes his childhood vision of Guru Padmasambhava when he also made a foot imprint in the solid rock at the site of the vision.

The Tibetan Book of the Dead A Way of Life (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gloEua0RSs) – this YouTube film (starting at 12:55) shows how H.E. Togdan Rinpoche serves his Buddhist communities in Ladakh and how he performed Phowa (consciousness transference ritual) for a deceased villager.

More about His Eminence Choje Togdan Rinpoche can be found at http://lotuskingtrust.com.



Venerable Drikung Lamchen Gyalpo Rinpoche TOP

LAMCHEN GYALPO RINPOCHE is recognized as an extraordinary scholar and practitioner possessing great realization of both Dzogchen and Mahamudra. He is uniquely qualified to transmit the Drikung Dzogchen teachings. He has studied extensively with some of the greatest masters of Tibetan Buddhism.

Rinpoche has received complete teachings from the generative stages to the completion stages of Yamantaka, Chakrasamvara, and Vajravarahi, among other practices, from many enlightened masters of the Drikung Kagyu Lineage.  Gyalpo Rinpoche went on retreats with his masters and received core teachings on Mahamudra, and the transfer of profound experiential insight by the Drikung Master, Gelong Pachung Rinpoche and Drubwang Kyunga Rinpoche.
From His Holiness the 16th Karmapa, Gyalpo Rinpoche received such profound teachings as Mahamudra, and Karmapa Rangjung Dorje's Tsig-chigma; from Situ Pema Wangchog, Abishekas, commentaries and experiential insight; from Zigar Kongtul Rinpoche, Rinchen Terzo and Abishekas, commentaries, and transfer of experiential insight on all Yidam deities; from Ripa Seljey Rinpoche, Karma Kagyu empowerments and teachings; and from Dilgo Khentse Rinpoche, Nyingmapa tantras, sadhanas, and experiential insight in general and Nyingthig Yabshi teachings in particular.

Gyalpo Rinpoche received from other such enlightened masters as Poli Khenchen Dorjechang, Nyoshul Khenpo Jampal Dorje and Khenpo Thubten Rinpoche numerous aspects of Dzogchen empowerments, teachings, and conveyance of experiential insights with special emphasis on Longchen Nyingthig. From former Drugpa Chogon, Drugchen Thamche Kyenpa, and Yoge Rigzin Gyalpo Rinpoche received thorough introduction to the very essence of Mahamudra and the Great Perfection and Drugpa teachings with special emphasis on Doha. From his root guru, Khunu Rinpoche Tenzin Gyaltsen - the lifeline of all Buddhist traditions - Gyalpo Rinpoche received profound teachings on the core of Mahamudra and the Great Perfection with special emphasis on tregchod and thogal. The teachings of such profound masters were practiced from the Preliminary to the stages of Arising and Completion, punctuated with retreats and propitiation of deities which included three Major retreats and Yidam Propitiations.

Lamchen Gyalpo Rinpoche was reborn into an aristocratic family in Tibet and is the incarnation of Lhama Phurga. After his escape from Tibet, he served in the Tibetan Parliament for 11 years as Senior Secretary to the Kashag in Dharamsala nd later as Executive Manager of Tibetan Self-Help Handicraft Center in Simla, India. His Holiness Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang convinced him to follow His Holiness to Dehra Dun.There he served as his Private Secretary and General Secretary of Drikung Kagyu Institute (Jangchubling) during the time of founding and registering of the Institute and contributed tiredlessly throughout the various stages of the building the seat of the Drikung Kagyu Tradition in exile that stands today. "The holder of the dharma's lifeline with the word 'Gyal' in his name refered to Gyalpo Rinpoche's contribution to the rekindling of the Drikung Kagyu Tradition in exile.

In a successful effort to reach out to Lineage followers, Gyalpo Rinpoche toured every single Drikung monastery from the regions in Eastern Tibet to Mt. Kailash. He also assisted His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Rinpoche with the history of Drikung and other such writings and helped to hang on to the "dharma lifeline" at such difficult times as in the beginning. Gyalpo Rinpoche also created the basic conditions to enable the establishment of the Seat of Dorje Drag - the lifeline of Nyingmapa Tradition - in Simla as well. Rinpoche is throne holder of Ka Tashi Thubten Rabgye Ling Monastery and is their reincarnate lama. 

"Presenting himself in many appearances" Gyalpo Rinpoche was a regional lord/administrator, he is also a Tulku, a monk, was a bureaucrat, a scholar and a lama in different aspects while dwelling in the same unchanging essence.

Later he established several Dharma centers in the United States and Taiwan. For the past years Rinpoche has been busy traveling around the world to share his extensive knowledge of the Dharma to his many students.

Lamchen Gyalpo Rinpoche is one of the highest and most important lamas of the Drikung Kagyu tradition. He holds the pith oral instructions of precious Dharma teachings for many lineages.

More on Rinpoche's biography

Last updated on 2018-12-13