His Eminence the Terchen Terton Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche
His Eminence Kyabje Terton Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche is the 4th and present throne-holder of the Ripa family lineage, and the supreme head of the Ripa Lineage, in the Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism. His Eminence is a brilliant teacher, a practitioner, a master of profound hidden Treasure-teachings (Terma), deeply immersed in the lineage of formal practice and realization. His followers throughout the world hold him in high esteem for his supreme realization, his wisdom, and for the power of his practices for healing, divination, and the pacification of obstacles.
His Eminence was born in 1939 to his father Ripa Jigme Tsewang Chokdup (the 3rd Ripa Lineage Holder) and his mother Mayum Palden Tsomo, one of the great grand daughters of Drubwang Shakya Shri. Drubwang Shakya Shri’s son and spiritual heir Dungsey Phakchok Dorje recognized him as being the rebirth of the master and visionary saint Terton Yongey Mingyur Dorje (1628/41-1708) and gave him the Candali long-life empowerment and named him Namkha Drimed Rabjam. He was also recognized by Nyakrong Terton Jigme Choejung Lingpa as an emanation of Do-Khyentse Yeshe Dorje.
At the age of nine, he was enthroned as the 4th Ripa lineage-holder, and at the age of thirteen he had a direct vision of Guru Rinpoche who gave him the empowerment of the display of awareness and the secret name Dorje-Zijid-Tsal. Thus empowered as the Guru’s regent, he thereafter revealed Mind Treasures of the awareness display. He repeatedly saw visions of Gesar of Ling and, being the reincarnation of Gesar’s elder brother Gyatsa Shalkar, clearly remembers his former life. Serving many great masters, including his father, the Yogi of clear light Great Perfection, Jigme Choejung Lingpa, the sixth Taksham Tulku Karma Sangngak Tenzin Dorje, Basha Lama Tashi, and so forth, he practiced the cycle of Taksham teachings in general, and in particular, the extensive practices of the Lama Norbu (Guru Saddhana), beginning from yogic exercises of the channels and winds up through the main practices on Trekcho and Togal, through which he perfected the Four Visions. Similarly, while in Tibet, His Eminence received the entire lineage of Rinchen Terdzod from the Vidyadhara Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche.
As the future circumstances of Tibet being clearly set forth in prophecy, in 1958 Rinpoche, together with his retinue of attendants and disciples, escorted by Dharma protectors, traveled safely through the hidden land of Pemako and eventually settled at the Phuntsok Ling Tibetan Settlement in Orissa. In order to preserve the tradition of the Ripa Lineage, and the Profound Treasure Teachings of the great Tertön Taksham Nuden Dorje, together with is elder brother, Drubwang Adzin Rinpoche, he founded a temple in the 1970’s for the benefit of the Sangha, and the restoration of Tibet’s rich spiritual heritage in exile, India. The new Temple was inaugurated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and given the name Rigon Thubten Mindroling. Today, there are around 200 monks in residence as well as several hundred lay practitioners within the Tibetan communities. Many of the great realized masters of Tibetan Buddhism composed praises and salutations to His Eminence, and His Eminence has in turn received Empowerments, and the Oral Transmissions of Kama and Terma, from Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche, Chatrel Rinpoche, Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche and others, particularly the ‘Treasure Trove of Precious Hidden Teachings.’
His Eminence’s teachers include His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, His Holiness the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche, Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Dodrubchen Rinpoche, Drukpa Thugsey Rinpoche, Neydo Karma Chagmed Rinpoche, Drubwang Penor Rinpoche, Chatrel Sangye Dorje Rinpoche, Trulshik Rinpoche, Kalu Rinpoche, Dhungsey Thrinley Norbu Rinpoche, Nyakrong Lama Rigzin Gyatso Rinpoche and others. His Eminence has engaged in obstacle clearing rituals against such calamities as disease, famine and war, as well as natural disasters of the four elements such as windstorms and drought in various places, including the Orissan Tibetan Community, the Maratika Cave in Nepal, and in the West. He has command over the local deities, Nagas and Guardian deities in these places and through engaging in the pacifying rituals to clear away the negativities, is able to confer joy and peace among the inhabitants of such locales. With respect to his mind Termas, in the The Story of the Secret Key, Padmasambhava says:
In that turbulent degenerating time I Lotus-born Guru will promulgate for the benefit of future generations Various Sadhana practices appropriate to the times. For the purpose of Pacifying, Enriching, Magnetizing and Destroying, Particularly, wrathful rites for averting armies at the border. According to the King Gesar of Ling, a heroic tamer of negative forces.”
In accordance with the unfailing Vajra words of Guru Rinpoche, when the appropriate circumstances have come together, in the hidden land of Pemako, in Orissa, in Darjeeling, and at Paro Taktsang, Rinpoche has received and revealed mind treasures, including teachings from the cycle called ‘Jeweled Mind Treasury of the Three Families’ (Rig-Sum-Norbue-Gong-Dzod). He has received treasures concerning the complete aspects of the Gesar of the Three Roots, and of the accomplishment of the Four Activities combined together, as well as Phurba, Yeshe Tsogyal, Dorje Drolo, the heart practice of the Guru, Dzogchen, and so forth. He has received these many profound Dharma treasures at the appropriate time in order to clear the degeneration of the Dharma and of beings, and up until the present moment, he has revealed the auspicious number of eight volumes of terma.
Kyabje Dudjom Jigdral Yeshe Dorje in the colophon to the long life prayer that he composed for Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche wrote:
“May the treasure revealer who has discovered the authentic and profound Dharma of the cycle of teachings of the Heart Treasury of the Three Families live long!”
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche wrote:
“Through the enlightened intent of the
Heruka Pema Gyalpo (Guru Rinpoche),
and through the power of aspiration of Dorje Ziji Tsal,
the great lion (Gesar), of the Jewel Treasury of the Three Families,. May it Bring benefit and happiness to the teachings, And beings in this degenerate Time!”
Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche Jamyang Dorje, in the colophon to Supplication to the Great Tertön, The Chariot that Leads to Devotion, wrote:
Upon the occasion of having the fortune to receive the ripening empowerment and liberating instruction of the quintessence of Guru Pema’s profound Dharma, the profound mind treasure received at the appropriate time by Tertön Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche, the cycle of teachings of the Jeweled Mind Treasury of the Three Families, supplicating with great faith and certainty will pacify all of the harm that may come to sentient beings in this turbulent degenerate time, and will spread the activity of the profound Dharma throughout the reaches of space.
Thus all of these accomplished masters and great beings, having found certainty in his profound Terma teachings, have praised H.E. Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche with their authentic speech. In many lands he has opened the door of the profound and vast Dharma. Having founded the Ripa Ladrang Foundation in the U.S.A. and thinking that this would bring further benefit and happiness to beings, Rinpoche laid the foundation of his vision of Rigon Tashi Choeling Monastery and residence for the Sangha at Yangleshod (Pharping), in Nepal.
In the tradition of larger monasteries with smaller branches, just as was previously the case in Tibet, with great kindness Rinpoche built this monastery as a means to ensure the continuity of empowerment and instruction of the teachings in general, and particularly of the glorious Ripa tradition. H.E. Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche, amongst his many and various skills and abilities to compassionately benefit sentient beings, is also a renowned divination master. While his enlightened activity for the profound Dharma is spreading, his life remains secured in the expanse of the seven-pointed vajra nature.
As a sublime incarnate master who ranks among the highest masters of awareness, he continuously bestows ripening empowerments, liberating teachings and spiritual advice to countless beings that are to be guided in these ways. His continual efforts to secure the Buddha Dharma extend through his compassionate Dharma Projects for the Tibetan refugee communities as well as to the building of the Ripa monasteries in India, Tibet and Nepal. His unceasing efforts to carry out enlightened activities in any way that will guide beings thus ensures that a rain of benefit and well being, in both the short term and the long term, will fall in a vast range of realms, establishing beings in the state of liberation. His Eminence is renowned as a divination master, which is called an ‘Arrow Divination’ based on the enlightened warrior King Gesar of Ling. His divination could clearly and reliably predict the likelihood of success or failure, or the positive or negative likely outcome, of any situation arising in one’s life. See for more: Divinations .
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Dungsey Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche
Dungsey Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche was born in India in 1970, the tenth day of the sixth month of the year of the Earth Monkey, on the anniversary of Guru Rinpoche’s birth. He is the son and spiritual heir of His Eminence Terton Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche, holder and supreme head of the Ripa lineage. His mother Khandro Chime Dolkar, also descends from a noble family of Bhutanese descent. Kyabje Chatrel Rinpoche has said to Jigme Rinpoche that he is the “son of a father who resembles a tiger and of a mother who resembles a leopard.” Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche is the 6th throne-holder of the Ripa lineage or hereditary line, into which he was born, and which he will hold in future as heir.
He is also serving as the 5th incarnation of the Terton Pema Lingpa, head of the Pema Lingpa lineage of Gyeyling Orgyan Mindrolling monastery in the hidden land of Pemako, which he carries forward from his previous life, as Tulku (emanation body).He was recognized at the age of three by His Holiness Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche, the supreme head of the Nyingma lineage, as the reincarnation of Gyeyling Yonten Lhundrub Gyatso Rinpoche, a manifestation of the Bhutanese Terton Pema Lingpa, one of the five principle or emperor Tertons of Vajrayana Buddhism.
He was enthroned at the age of five, at Rigon Thubten Mindrolling monastery in Orissa, India. Upon enthronement, H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche, gave him the name Gyetrul Jigme Lodoe Thaye Norbu Rinpoche. Rinpoche’s other previous lives include: Manjushrimitra (Jampel Shenyen), one of the great eight Vidyadharas from India, and master of the Dzogchen lineage. During the time of Guru Rinpoche in Tibet, he was the daughter of the King Trisong Deutsen, the Princess Pema Sal.
At the age of eight, Rinpoche went to study for six years at a modern school in Darjeeling, outside the monastery, so that he could both learn English and have contact with the outside world. During these six years, he led a normal boy’s life. Rinpoche considers this to have been a very precious period in his life, since he was able to enjoy a normal life, play with others, have normal relations, and be with life in an ordinary human way, which he considers to have brought him great riches. Nevertheless, just as he was enjoying this ordinary life, he received a letter to return to the monastery, and return to the traditional course of studies.
At seventeen, Rinpoche attended the Nyingma Institute of Higher Studies and Research, Ngagyur Dojo Ling in Bouddanath, Nepal, founded by H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche, and in 1993 he received his doctoral degree in Buddhist Sutra and Tantra Studies, where he studied with the erudite Khetsun Sangpo Rinpoche. Rinpoche’s primary spiritual teachers have been: H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche, and in this life, his father and root teacher, His Eminence Terton Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche. H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche was also Jigme Rinpoche’s root teacher in his previous life.
From these teachers he has received all of the principal Nyingma transmitted teachings, the Taksham Cycle of Transmitted teachings, including especially the practice of Tamdrin and Lama Norbu, and the unbroken Vidhyadhara transmissions of the Ripa lineage, including the Mahasadhanas of: Thugdrub Lama Norbu (The Heart Practice of Lama Norbu), Yidam Gongdu Drubchen (Compilation of the Intentions of all Meditation Deities),the Dorsem Nyingthing (The Heart Essence of Vajrasattva), and the Guru Kilkilaya or Lama Phurpa, as well as the entire ‘Cycle of Gesar Mind Treasures.’ Other teachers also include: H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Kalu Rinpoche, and His Eminence Khatog Moksa Rinpoche. Moreover, Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche is the great, great grandson of the renowned Yogin Drubwang Shakya Shri, who was considered to be the greatest Siddha of his time. He has studied with and received transmissions from the Drukpa Kagyu tradition teachers, especially those of the Shakya Shri lineage: the 12th Gyalwang Drukpa Rinpoche and Kyabje Thuksay Rinpoche.
In addition to fulfilling his role as a spiritual teacher, Rinpoche began his spiritual career in September 1993 in Orissa, India, to fulfill his humanitarian role as a socially engaged Buddhist, a term he is happy to be known by, and which has become a central part of his life’s work. Being born in India, Rinpoche has firsthand experience of the plight of Tibetan refugees and local villagers alike in finding and retrieving potable water. This inspired him to found the Safe Drinking Water Project for which he received great admiration and a citation from His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government in Exile.
Having already worked to implement five water projects within his own local refugee community, as well as a sixth local Indian village, and having seen the enormous benefits that this has brought, he became inspired to aid others, in order to reduce their suffering, knowing that all it takes is a little planning, generosity, work, and education. Having seen the communities come together, and how easy it is to make a difference, has been very rewarding and has become a key part of his work in this life. Other projects he also directs include the setting up of a Malaria Prevention and Treatment Program (Malaria Control Projects), Education & Scholarship, Eco-Dharma Projects related to an awareness of the environment, Health Awareness, as well as directing programs to support orphans, schoolchildren, monks andan old age home.
Rinpoche has spent time in retreats ranging from three months to one year. His principle teaching includes practices for the deities: Yeshe Tsogyal, Guru Rinpoche, Medicine Buddha, and Chenrezig, as well as the deities of the Taksham Cycle of Teachings of the Ripa tradition, including especially the New Treasures Cycle of Gesar Teachings, from the revealed treasures or Termas of His Eminence Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche. In addition, he also has close affinities with the deities Manjushri and Gesar.
Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche first travelled to Western countries in 1996, giving his first teachings in Europe. Since then, he established Padma Ling Centers, a network of Dharma Organizations in – Switzerland, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain, Germany, the UK, as well as a center in Japan. Rinpoche is known for his fluency in English and his lively, direct, fluid, humorous and down to earth teaching style. His clear and fresh outlook very quickly cuts through cultural and personal misperceptions about the Buddha Dharma, East and West, ancient ways and modern life, and individual confusion. His experience and understanding of modern life bring humor and liveliness to the timeless truths of the Buddhist tradition.
Rinpoche’s teachings focus on the themes of openness, and a clear perception of life in its immediacy, unadorned by interpretation and judgment. Rinpoche travels between the East and the West. In the East he oversees the continuation and work of the sacred tradition in exile, including leading and caring for the Ripa Monasteries in both Nepal and India, along with their growing monastic communities, as well as looking after the Tibetan community in exile. As heir to the Ripa hereditary lineage holder, Rinpoche has taken on the administration, supervision, and realization of the New Treasures Project conceived by his father and root teacher H.E. Terton Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche. In the West he continues his teachings through the various international Padma Ling organizations, the Ripa Ladrang Foundation, and Ripa Russia, and is actively building the community and its foundation.
In 2012 one of the most important long-term visions of Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche has been accomplished under the blessings of his father H.E. Terton Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche. The vision was to build the ‘Ripa International Center ‘ for the benefit of the Sanghas throughout the world. The first Ripa Center in the West was completed in July 2012, located just outside of Bern, Switzerland. This newly acquired Seat was inaugurated and blessed by the three lineage Masters, H.E. Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche, Dungsey Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche and Dungsey Lhuntrul Dechen Gyurmey Rinpoche, in the presence of numerous representatives including public authorities, dignitaries, and organizations. This Center in the West is the Seat, where all the spiritual activities of the Ripa lineage in Europe take place. As an abode of peace and inspiration, the center strives to provide a wide range of educational opportunities that aim to sharpen our senses and minds for what is essential, as well as to facilitate confrontation with the timeless truths of Buddhism.
In this spirit, the Center organizes regular meetings to practice together. These meetings are open to all. The practice contains specific forms from the teaching tradition of the Ripa lineage. Thus, for instance, visualization, mantra recitation and meditation are helpful means to bring us closer to our own spiritual nature. Accordingly, our ways of thinking and acting become calmer and clearer, and we develop a more open and more tolerant attitude towards ourselves and towards our fellow human beings. The center is also open to organizations with similar objectives to hold their courses, meetings, seminars here, or for other special occasions. Likewise, it offers a most suitable environment for individual retreats.
Dungsey Lhuntrul Dechen Gyurme Rinpoche
Dungsey Lhuntrul Dechen Gyurme Rinpoche was born in 1976 as the son of H.E. Terton Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche and Sangyum Chime Drolkar. He was recognized as the reincarnation of Jigme Tempay Gyeltsen, the 3rd Tamdrin Lhunpo Chogtrul by Kyabje Drubwang Penor Rinpoche. In conjunction with his recognition, he was enthroned at Namdroling Monastery in Mysore amidst an ocean of lamas, tulkus, and monks presided over by Kyabje Drupwang Penor Rimpoche, who bestowed upon him the name Gyurme Thegchog Shedrub Tenpay Gyaltsen.
At Ngagyur Nyingma College, Mysore, he completed the study and contemplation of Sutra, Tantra, and general liberal arts topics, and completed the full nine-year program. In the manner of a vessel filled to overflowing, from Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Kalu Rinpoche, and Kyabje Penor Rinpoche he received a sacred stream of initiations, scriptural transmissions, and instructions, consisting primarily of the Great Precious Treasury of Terma (Rinchen Terdzo) and from his father he received the teaching cycle of Taksham and the Gesar mind treasures.
He is widely renowned for the beneficial power of his ritual presence in many great ritual congregations of Drubchods and Drubchens performed annually at the Ripa Monasteries in India and Nepal, the beneficial power of his command in rites for the well-being of settlement members, and the like, and also for the beneficial power of his blessing on behalf of the infirmed. He currently resides ever expanding his positive deeds in the domains of teaching, practices, and the ritual arts.
Dungsey Tenzin Nyima Rinpoche
Ripa Dungsey Tenzin Nyima was born in 1959 as the son of Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche and Semo Tsewang Drolma of the Bonkar family. From his uncle, Drubwang Adzin Rinpcohe, and his father, H.E. Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche, he received the initiations, scriptural transmissions, and instructions of the Taksham cycle, the Precious Treasury of Terma (Rinchen Terdzo) and others.
He currently serves as the spiritual heart for Rigon Tashi Choeling monastery in Tibet and its surrounding population, promoting the three spheres of activity.
Drubwang Adzin Rinpoche: The Ripa Chogtrul Rigdzin Choegyal
Late Drubwang Adzin Rinpoche or Kyabje Ritrual Rigdzin Choegyal Rinpoche (1933-1997), was the 4th Ripa Chogtrul, and head of the Ripa family during his time. The entire Tibetan community had devotion to him, and the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, upheld him as a realized master of the Dzogchen teachings. He was born to Ripa Jangchub Shenphen and Mayum Palden Tsomo, with a tangle of long hair on his head.
In connection with his recognition by Dzongsar Kyentse Chokyi Lodro as the reincarnation of the 3rd Ripa Tulku, Pema Dondrub Gyaltsen, he was given the name Ritrual Rigdzin Choegyal. From Khewang Lama Tsethar, a student of Dzogchen Khenpo Shenga, he studied many common and uncommon Buddhist sciences as well as the practices of ritual dance, financial administration and liturgical chanting, belonging to the Ripa tradition. He received the entirety of the Ripa Lineage ripening initiations, liberating instructions, and oral transmissions from Ripa Jigme Tsewang Chokdrub and the 6th Taksham Rinpoche. Moreover, from Nyagrong Tertön Jigme Chojung Lingpa, Kyabje Dudjom Jidral Yeshe Dorje, Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Shechen Kongtrul Pema Drime, Drubwang Shakya Shri’s son Dungsey Pakchok Dorje, as well as Apo Rinpoche Ngawang Yeshe Rangdro and others, he received a vast array of ripening and liberating teachings, without regard to sectarian distinctions between the New or Old Translation Schools, such as the Precious Treasury of Terma (Rinchen Terdzo), the Heart-essence of the Great Expanse (Longchen Nyingthig), the Nyingma Transmitted canonical teaching (Nyingma Kama), the Seven Treasuries of Longchen Rabjam (Dzod Dun), the Collected Works of Drubwang Shakya Shri, along with all its supplementary commentaries and pith-instructions. Then for many years he resided in strict meditation practice in retreat.
When the times were about to change, together with his younger brother H.E. Terton Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche, his immediate family circle, and several attendants and monks from his community, he eventually made his way to the settlement of Orissa, India, passing through the hidden land of Pemako along the way. After he arrived in Odisha (also known as Orissa), along with his younger brother, he performed number of ongoing projects. Among other activities, he mass printed the only manuscript available of Tagsham Samten Lingpa in India – the “Collected Intentions of all the Meditation Deities of Tagsham” (Tagsham-Yidam-Gongdu), having borrowed it from Kyabje Chatral Rinpoche. He oversaw the construction of Rigon Thubtan Mindroling Monastery, and instituted a community of ordained monks. Thus he acted as a lifeline to ensure that the continuity of the Buddha Dharma would not decline while in exile. During annual fasting practices, recitation sessions, Maha-Sadhana Ritual Practices, and Lama Dance ceremonies, Rinpoche gave advice on how to be virtuous in this and future lives and gave profound instructions on the path to all the laity and ordained that were present. The power of his compassion was immense; he performed many rites and supportive teachings for the well-being of both the deceased and living, as well as for the infirm. Out of his great love and compassion, he cared for the underprivileged, aging, and people suffering with incurable illnesses. For these and other reasons, the entire population of the settlement had fervent devotion and respect for him.
For three years, beginning in 1973, Drubwang Azin Rinpoche accepted the responsibility of being the Nyingma representative for the 5th Assembly of Tibetan People’s Deputies, for the Tibetan Parliament in Exile. Not only did he share a warm and close relationship with H.H. the Dalai Lama, but His Holiness also upheld him as the epitome of the Great Perfection tradition, and repeatedly tossed flowers of praise upon him. Rinpoche’s students invited him to India, Bhutan, Switzerland, and other countries, but aside from temporarily fulfilling each of their expectations, he continuously dwelled in a state of single-pointed concentration on the practice, as though he was spending his life in retreat. Without attachment, hope, or fear for anything whatsoever, with few needs, and in an open state of carefree ease, he actualized the intent of undifferentiated self-appearance, the Great Perfection Dzogchen. He thus lived as an actual great practitioner of renunciation.
Finally, on the 6th of June 1997, the 29th day of the Saga Dawa month in the Tibetan Fire-Ox year, on the Anniversary day of Jamgon Mipham, Azin Rinpoche demonstrated the manner in which enlightened intent comes to rest in the expanse of reality. He remained in an upright meditation posture for three days. Then, when his family and disciples, led by Kyabje Chagme Rinpoche and Kyabje Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche, were cremating his precious remains, there was an infinite appearance of signs that he was perfectly enlightened on the primordial level, such as rainbows dawning in the direction of his reliquary, the appearance of relics of five-colors, and so forth, which were verified as visual objects for all.