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Created on 06 November 2012
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H.E. 8th Garchen Triptül Rinpoche

 

Introduction.

The Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism has been inherited by highly accomplished lamas. This is particularly true of the Drikung Kagyu lineage, which was founded by Kyobpa Jigten Sumgon, whose main disciple was Nyun Gar Chusum. The details of this lineage and its significance are described in The Drikung's Golden History.

 

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His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche is one of the important masters in the Drikung Kagyu order. His lineage of incarnation can be traced to Gardampa Chödengpa, a disciple of the great Kyobpa Jigten Sumgön.

 

His Eminence's incarnation as Gardampa Chödengpa was born in 1180 A.D., and he was recognized to have been an incarnation of the Acharya Aryadeva Bodhisattva, a disciple of Nagarjuna. At birth he was able to hold a staff, and he chanted the six syllable mantra. His mother was too frightened to tell others of her son's abilities. Later, he practiced Mantrayana at Tsari, Tibet. While residing at a cave of Gar at Dagpo, all the gods and demons of Tibet gathered round him. At first they drew sharp weapons and wounded him, but later took refuge in him, offering the mantras of their lives.

 

When Gardampa Chödenpa was young, he heard of the glorious accomplishments of the Mahasiddha Kyobpa Jigten Sungon. So he decided to make his way to Drikung. He then stayed there and received many teachings and practiced under the guidance of his guru, Kyobpa Jigten Sumgon. Very soon he was able to attain complete realization, and he became one of the three important Mahasiddhas - Gar, Nyo, and Chosum of Kyobpa Jigten Sumgön. Gardampa exhibited miraculous powers on many occasions and through his profound teachings initiated numerous sentient beings on the path of Dharma.

 

Many disciples started gathering around him, but it was too early still, so he scolded them to leave.
He founded the monastery of Lung-shod Dar-Chödeng at Drikung. Eventually, so many monks
gathered around him, he moved away to found the monastery Phur-gon Rinchen-ling.

 

Succeeding Incarnations

 

Among the succeeding incarnations of Gardampa Chödenpa, Gar Tenpa Gyaltsen became the regent of Their Holinesses the two Drikung Kyabgons (lineage holders). In that capacity he benefited all beings.

 

Another incarnation, Gar Choekyi Nyima, chanted the Chakrasamvara mantra more than 13 billion times and became a Mahasiddha. He could perform great miracles, such as curing diseases, preventing wars, eliminating hunger, etc.

 

From the first Gar Tenzin Phuntsok to the present 8th Gar Konchok Nyeton Tenpei Nyima, all the succeeding lamas have been the supreme personal guru of the Nangchen kings.

 

The Biography of the Present

 

His Eminence 8th Gar Konchok Nyetong Tenpei Nyima Choekyi Palsangye was born in 1936 in Nangchen Kham. The King of Nangchen personally took responsibility for searching for the reincarnation of the 7th Gar Tinley Yonkyab. Rinpoche was recognized and enthroned by His Holiness the late Drikung Kyabgon Shiwei Lodoe.

 

At the age of seven Rinpoche was brought to Lho Miyalgon, where he was offered ceremonial clothes and other items. He pointed to a painting of the Drikung lineage's founder, Jigten Sumgon, and proved his authenticity as the reincarnation by saying, "He is my Guru." This made people around him confident that he was the true reincarnation.

 

From that time until the age of 22, Rinpoche lived at and administered this monastery. Under the tutelage of Chime Dorjee, Garchen Rinpoche received many teachings. At the age of 13, he received the Drikung Kagyu lineage teachings from Lho Thubten Nyingpo Rinpoche of Lho Lungkar Gön. He received oral transmission, explanation and empowerment for Mahamudra and the Six Yogas of Naropa. He completed Ngondro practice and went into a three year retreat. He later was imprisoned for twenty years during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. During which time, he met Khenpo Munsel, a great disciple of the renowned Nyingmapa Khenpo Ngagchung. From Khenpo Munsel, he received Dzogchen teachings and practiced secretly. Khenpo Munsel was astonished at Rinpoche's great
achievement and commented of him: "He is an emanation of a Bodhisattva."

 

Since 1979, His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche has been looking after the welfare of his monastery. He has been gracious and kind to poor people. He has given all the offerings he received to the monastery and has decided not to use anything for himself, his relatives, or his mother.

 

In recent years, Garchen Rinpoche has shouldered responsibility for rebuilding all of the Drikung Kagyu monasteries in Eastern Tibet, while at the same time wholeheartedly giving profound teachings of the lineage to others. In addition, His Holiness Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche received the empowerment and transmission (lung) of Yamantaka (Jampel Shinje) from Garchen Rinpoche, and composed a long life prayer for him. In prayer, H.H. Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang
Rinpoche regards Garchen Rinpoche as a great Drikung Kagyu yogi of the present time.

 

His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche is very considerate and humble to all people regardless of position, age or gender. His advice for people who drink, smoke, gamble and engage in other wrongdoings has been very effective in correcting their behavior. By nature he is able to work for the benefit of others and has earned great respect from the public. His Eminence has never betrayed the expectations of his disciples or others. He is extraordinary in this age of degeneration.

 

This brief biography was compiled by His Eminence's disciple Konchok Toga, Abo, Bu Nyima, in consultation with the present Garchen Rinpoche. This is like a drop of water out of his accomplishments, which are as vast as the ocean.


This originally was completed on the 17th of September, 1996.