H.E. 8th Garchen Triptül Rinpoche


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. 

Garchen Rinpoche is one of the important Master 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

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

8th Gar Konchok Nyetong Tenpei Nyima Choekyi Palsangye
His eminence 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 Dorje, 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 did twenty years of retreat, 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.

The Excellent Stream of the
Elixir of Immortality

a prayer for the long life of
H.E. Kyabje Garchen Triptul Rinpoche

Unchanging great bliss, dharmakaya,
Unobstructed skill, samboghakaya,
Dance of objectless compassion, nirmanakaya,
Protect me lord of the undivided three kayas!

In the center of a white lotus, complete with the sixteen aspects,
White as the autumn moon, holding an utpala flower,
Protecting from the eight fears, mother of the buddhas of the three times,
Wishfulfilling Chakra , bestow immortal life!

In the holy land you were known as Aryadeva,
In Dokham you manifested in the Gar family,
Heartson of Kyobpa Jigten Gonpö,
Glorious Garchen, for a hundred eons may your life remain firm!

Full moon, ornamenting the doctrine of the Three Jewels,
In the cave of the eastern mountain you attained sublimity,
And yet you stay as a kumuda in the cool rays of a low seat,
Garchen, moon of benefiting others, may your life remain firm!

Leaving aside the winds of food, clothing and talk,
Wearing the armor of learning, virtue and nobility,
Your three samadhis firm as the ocean-waters,
Garchen, light of certain meaning, may your life remain firm!

In this degenerate time, when the doctrine of the victorious ones is feeble,
Through your vajra-like discipline,
You carry the heavy burden of the unbiased teaching,
Garchen, sun of the doctrine, may your life remain firm!

Although the three secrets of a lama possessing blessing,
Cannot be assaulted by the obstructions of demons,
Yet according to the nature of dependent origination,
This wishfulfilling prayer is marvelous.

Through the blessing of Mahakala and Chöki Drölma,
May this pure prayer, made with a pure heart,
Be accomplished according to its meaning, spontaneously and without obstacles!

At the request of the monks Karma Drodül and Drukseng of Lho LungKar Gön monastery, this prayer was made by the one blessed with the name of the Glorious Drikungpa, Konchog Tenzin Kunsang Trinley Lhundrup. Written on the 29th of the second month, in the year of the water monkey [1992], in the 17th rabjung cycle, may this prayer bring virtue.

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