Ven. Drubwang Konchok Norbu Rinpoche
Brief Biography

Drubwang Konchok Norbu Rinpoche was born in Drikung, Tibet in 1921. He entered Drikung Nyima Changra Buddhist Institute at a very young age, and studied Buddhist philosophy. After his graduation, Drubwang Konchok Norbu Rinpoche became the disciple of one of the foremost contemporary retreat masters of the Drikung Kagyu Lineage. The retreat masters's name was Drubwang Pachung Rinpoche (1901-1988). Under the guidance of Drubwang Pachung Rinpoche, Drubwang Konchok Norbu went on many years of retreat.

After the so-called Chinese Cultural Revolution, Drubwang Pachung Rinpoche sent Drubwang Konchok Norbu Rinpoche, once again, back to solitary retreat. This time for ten long years without a break. It was during this period that Drubwang Konchok Norbu Rinpoche gained the supreme experiential understanding of Mahamudra. Many times he saw His Holiness the Dalai Lama in his visions.

Drubwang Konchok Norbu Rinpoche currently lives in the Drikung Kagyu Institute in northern India. He is 79 years old. Some years ago, Drubwang Rinpoche forewarned that he would leave this world for the benefit of all sentient beings. It was because of H.H. Dalai Lama's request that Drubwang Rinpoche agreed to stay on for a few  more years. In September, 1999, His Holiness the Dalai Lama wrote a long life prayer for Drubwang Konchok Norbu Rinpoche at the request of the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang, the Supreme Co-Head of the Drikung Kagyu Lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. Drubwang Konchok Norbu Rinpoche does not give tantric empowerments or lofty teachings on Mahamudra, or on Mahasandhi. He encourages and inspires people to do the simplest of all dharma practices: extend kindness, and recite:
Om Ma Ni Pad Me Hung, and Om Ah Hung Vajra Guru Padma Siddhi Hung

A few stories about Drubwang Rinpoche
(As told by Lama Samten)

I will tell you a couple brief stories about Drubwang Rinpoche to try to give you a sense of why he is such an important lama. Drubwang Rinpoche spent many years in solitary retreat. During that time, his ordinary body, speech and mind transformed into the extraordinary body, speech and mind, which is why he is called the great realization meditator. When you attain enlightenment, there is only one Buddhahood. When you attain the realization of meditation, there is only one. Drubwang Rinpoche really reminds me of my teacher, Kungha Rinpoche. They are very similar in their actions of body, speech and mind. These lamas have no attachment to the material world. Their mind rests in total peace, filled with love and compassion, and caring for others. I can tell many stories about Kungha Rinpoche and Drubwang Rinpoche. Here I will focus on Drubwang Rinpoche’s life stories.

Some of the Buddhist philosophical texts explain that when you reach certain levels of realization you are able to perform miracles in order to train people who have pride and jealously. You can heal people who are sick and so forth. Drubwang Rinpoche has accomplished the highest state of meditative realization. Occasionally he has performed miracles in order to inspire the disciples of Lord Buddha Shakyamuni - especially for Vajrayana practitioners, and in particular for the Drikung Kagyu lineage.

The Drikung Kagyu lineage specializes in meditation. Lord Jigten Sumgon prophesied again and again, that "My lineage will continue to have the great realization yogis until the end of the Lord Buddha’s teachings". Even though China invaded Tibet, there are still many great Drikung Kagyu meditators, such as Pachung Rinpoche, Kungha Rinpoche, Drubwang Rinpoche, Tenzin Nima Rinpoche and other great teachers.

Drubwang Rinpoche stays in many different places in India, including Dharmasala and Dehra Dun, and every year he travels to Ladakh in the summer time. Thousands of Chenrezig mantras have been accumulated due to Drubwang Rinpoche’s visits to these different places. His Holiness the Dalai Lama is very pleased with Drubwang Rinpoche’s accomplishment of meditation. His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Drubwang Rinpoche have done an Achi meditation retreat together.

One day Drubwang Rinpoche traveled with a couple of his attendants to the district of Manali, and visited some very remote places. One area he visited used to be a Buddhist place, but because it was so remote and had lots of snowfall in the winter, over time there were no longer any teachers or lamas available there to teach. It had become place unknown to Buddhists. He found that there were still some ancient temples walls, paintings and a prayer wheel there. However, the prayer wheel was no longer turning and the doors were all closed up by a stone wall. There were only these signs of the past Buddhist activities, but no longer were these temples or sacred prayer wheels being maintained or taken care of. When Drubwang Rinpoche arrived in this remote area, many people came to see him and receive his blessings. He asked them to open up the blocked windows and doors to reveal the old prayer wheel hidden inside. The people were very curious why he was opening up this old prayer wheel. After they had done as he asked, and everything had been cleared away, Drubwang Rinpoche sat down outside the doors to the large prayer wheel and he began to meditate. The people there also joined his meditation. After about 15 to 20 minutes, the prayer wheel began to spontaneously turn. The people began to make prostrations and their devotion to him began to increase. Drubwang Rinpoche stayed there for a couple of months and gave many teachings and personal advice to the people there. During that time the people were very devoted and made a lot of offerings to him. When it is was time for Drubwang Rinpoche to leave that place, he left all the donations he had received there to the people in order for them to restore the old monasteries and ancient prayer wheel.

When Drubwang Rinpoche visits Ladakh, many people come to see him. Sometime people come who are very seriously ill. One man, Tsewang Dorje, who lived in Leh, was very sick with liver problems. Tsewang Dorje had gone to Delhi to have an operation, but the doctor told him that he had only 3 weeks to live if he did not have the operation. The doctor told him that even with the operation, he would only have two months to live, and the operation was very risky. Tsewang really could not afford the operation, and so he went back home to Leh. Tsewang went to see Drubwang Rinpoche when Rinpoche came to Leh. Drubwang Rinpoche told him that in his previous life, Tsewang had killed four people and that was the cause of his current karmic situation. Drubwang Rinpoche gave him blessings and a specific Dharma practice to do. Rinpoche told Tsewang that after he was well, he must do volunteer work in the hospital and help many people in order to completely overcome his current illness. Tsewang did as he was instructed, and was completely healed.

This next story was told by Lama Rigzen about when Drubwang Rinpoche was staying at Phyang monastery. Phyang monastery is located near a large army camp . In Ladakh, the army is very helpful to the monastery and local people financially and in other beneficial ways. One day the monastery was visited by the Captain of the nearby army while Drubwang Rinpoche was there. The Captain was very curious and asked Drubwang Rinpoche about his long hair. Lama Rigzen answered that Drubwang Rinpoche has a great, accomplished meditation master. The Captain said that his wife seemed to be possessed by demons for the last two years. He had to hire someone to take care of her, and watch over her all of the time. He had taken her to psychologists, psychiatrists and so on, but no one had been able to help her. Lama Rigzen suggested that the Captain bring his wife to see Drubwang Rinpoche. The first time she came to visit Rinpoche, she was totally out of control, crying and did not want to really see him at all. Drubwang Rinpoche yelled at her face to face in Tibetan, not actually to her, but to what was within her, saying "It is such a shame to harm others and you should leave this sentient being alone. I am telling you to leave. If you do not listen, I will do something and you will loose your freedom". Then Drubwang Rinpoche’s face turned red, and he began to chant and pray. He continually blessed her by touching her head with his prayer text until she fell unconscious. When she regained her consciousness, she was totally a different
person. The Captain brought her several times to see Rinpoche, and each time she got a little better until she was finally back to normal again. The Captain and his wife were very grateful to Drubwang Rinpoche.

There are many other inspiring stores to tell, like when I was with Drubwang Rinpoche in Bodh Gaya and Varanassi. I hope I have the opportunity to share those another time --May all the great Kagyu masters fill your hearts with magnificent blessings.

Back to Content