Introduction to the Tulkus of Gardampa Chodengpa

H.E. Garchen Triptül - H.H. Drikung Kyabgon - H.E. Gar Namrol

Brief history of the first Gar Rinpoche.

The first Gar Rinpoche Gardampa Chodengpa 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 Dhagpo, 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 Chodengpa was young, he heard of the glorious accomplishments of the mahasiddha Kyobpa Jigten Sumgyi Gönpo. So he decided to make his way to Drigung. He then stayed there and received many teachings and practiced under the guidance of his guru, Kyobpa Jigten Sumgyi Gönpo. Very soon he was able to attain complete realization, and he became one of the three important mahasiddhas -- Gar, Nyö, and Chösum -- of Kyobpa Jigten Sumgyi Gönpo. 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-Chodengpa at Drigung. Eventually, so many monks gathered around him, he moved away to found the monastery Phur-Gön Rinchen-ling. 


Gar Gön Monastery has been built more than eight hundred years ago. Its founder was Gardampa Chodengpa, the chief disciple of Drigung Kagyu founder Kyobpa Jigten Sumgön. Succeeding reincarnation, his three virtues of body, speech and mind namely: Gar Mingyur Tulku, Gar Namrol Tulku and Garchen Triptul Tulku. Hence, the three reincarnated Tulkus’ became master and disciple to each other in the Gar-Gön Monastery for generations, and inherited Gar-Gön Monastery as Dharma Preceptors and continue to benefit disciples there.

GAR MIGYUR RINPOCHE the 8th was born in 1939, in Nangchen County, Kham Province. He became a monk when he was five years old. During Chinese Cultural Revolution, he suffered great pain and endured humiliation. After his release, he took charge of the Gar-Gön Monastery. Together with Garchen Triptul Rinpoche, he reconstructed the existing retreat center and main monastery. The monastery now can hold up to two hundred monks and Gar Mingyur Rinpoche is the abbot of Gar-Gön Monastery.

GARCHEN TRIPTUL RINPOCHE the 8th was born in 1938 in Nangchen County, Kham Province. He was jailed in labour camp with many other Rinpoches during Chinese Cultural Revolution. At that time, many inmates died of starvation. They only had a little steamed bun a day. Garchen Rinpoche would not let them die of starvation and gave his share to everyone else. He went on fasts for 90 days and was laboured assiduously. He understood the meaning of Precious Human Life and the nature of Suffering in the Cyclic Existence and that all livings beings without exception suffer and life was precious. During twenty years in labour camp, he slept without blanket and practised the Dharma with due diligence. He is one of the most precious Masters of our era. Currently Rinpoche travels extensively around the world propagating the Dharma to those interested and sets his base in Arizona in the United States.
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GAR NAMROL RINPOCHE the 8th was born in 1972 in Nangchen County, Kham Province. From an early age, he chose to live a tranquil and simple life. When Rinpoche was fifteen, he studies in the Five Wisdom Buddhist College (Sertha Shedra) under the supervision of Khenpo Jigme Phuntsog Rinpoche. Winter in Sichuan was extremely harsh, and despite of the cold winter, Rinpoche bundled up his blanket and slept without blanket for three consecutive years. The reason that Rinpoche chose to do so is to follow the spirit of great ascetic Milarepa. During his college years, on numerous nights Rinpoche studied under the dim light of a coal-fire.

Through pure vision, Rinpoche saw a Buddhist College on the 4000-meter snowy mountain of Qinghai. This vision continued to appear especially during meditation and studying of Buddhist scriptures. In order to identify the visions Rinpoche draws the image so that he could consult with realized masters in future to determine the true meaning. Deep down in his heart, Rinpoche wanted so much to have such a school in the snowy highland so that the monks from poor families could further their studies. 

Difficult times strengthened Rinpoche’s will. The urge to build the Buddhist College grew stronger and stronger. Everyday Rinpoche reminded himself that he would put this vision into action after he finished his studies. He undertook the responsibility to search for benevolent people to assist in the construction and hence named it “Project of Hope.” Aspiration to build the Gar Monastery College of Buddhist Studies is initiated 

Later on when Rinpoche left school, Khenpo Jigme Phuntsog who resides in Sichuan prophesied that he would have great Dharma achievement (Project of Hope) in this very lifetime, and the Buddhist College will be completed successfully. Khenpo also said that even the Dharma Protectors would protect those who participated in this project and blessing to the project completion. Furthermore, Khenpo repeatedly said that the achievement of this project would require assistance from people of distant land. He is now the permanent abbot to the “Mahamudra Institute of Buddhist Studies” in Taiwan.

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