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.
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.
8th Gar Konchok Nyetong Tenpei Nyima Choekyi
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
In the center of a white lotus, complete with
the sixteen aspects,
In the holy land you were known as Aryadeva,
Full moon, ornamenting the doctrine of the
Leaving aside the winds of food, clothing
In this degenerate time, when the doctrine
of the victorious ones is feeble,
Although the three secrets of a lama possessing
Through the blessing of Mahakala and Chöki
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 , in the 17th rabjung cycle,
may this prayer bring virtue.