8th Lho Kunsang Chöchog Dorje Rinpoche

Brief Biography

Lho Kunsang Rinpoche was born in the sheep water year (1942) in Anchung Phuk of Bumzong, a holy place in the Eastern Tibet. His father was Bon Yungtrung Gyaltsen of the Dorong family lineage, and his mother was Lhamo, the cousin of Khyen-trul Kunsang Drodul (a great Lama). At the time of Rinpoche's birth, there were many auspicious signs accompanying it such as bucket of water transforming into milk, bright celestial light hovering above and many others.

When he was five years old, His Holiness The 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, Khyentril Kunsang Drodul and many others recognized Rinpoche as the successive eighth reincarnation of previous famous Lho Konchog Trinlay Namgyal Rinpoche. The origination of Rinpoche's successive incarnation is traced back to Palgyi Yeshe, one of the 25 disciples of Guru Rinpoche.

Successive reincarnation;
Emanation of Palgyi Yeshe (one of 25 disciples of Padmasambhava)
1. Lho Konchog Thrinley Namgyal
2. Lho Kunzang Dhondup
3. Lho Kunzang Tinlay Dhargye (one of the foremost disciple of Drikung Dharmakirti) / Lho Nangchen Kunsang (who was born into the family of the Nangchen King)
4. Lhotul Namkha Kunchap / Jished Kunzang 
5. Lhotul Kunsang Thrinley Kunchab
6. Lhotul Konchog Tendzin Thrinley Rabgye
7. Lhotul Chong Phug Kunzang
8. Lho Kunzang Chöchog Dorje Rinpoche (present)

The present 8th incarnation was enthroned when he was nine at his previous monastery Palme Gonpa and re-established his commitment and continue to guide all his previous followers. Many representative from different monastery participated the auspicious event including the King of Nangchen. All the abbots, monks and local folks celebrated joyously for many days.

Rinpoche studied under the guidance of many great masters. At the age of 11 to 16, Ripoche attended the Buddhist Shreda (Collage) where he studied the vast knowledge of Buddhist philosophy in both the Sutra and Tantra systems. To name a few of Rinpoche's spiritual guidance namely; Khenpo Khyenrab, Khenpo Lektse, On Acho, Khenpo Kungo Namgyal, Dzurmang Khenchen Sangye Gyatso, 2nd Jamgon Kongtrul, Khyentse Özer, and many others. During this time Rinpoche also studied many other subjects such as astrology, poetry, art, ritual performance and appropriate placement of religious structures.

The next chapter of Rinpoche's life was a difficult transition. During the Cultural Revolution in China, a highly learned and skilled in the Dharma individual were put in labor camps while many others were imprisoned and subject to harsh treatment. Rinpoche endured great hunger and physical hardship like many other inmates in the prison. During the day he was forced to work as a blacksmith, carpenter and tailor. But at might he would forego sleep and continue his Buddhist studies and practice.

With great care and without concern for his own welfare and safety, Rinpoche would hide relics from destroyed monasteries, Buddhist texts, statue of devotions and stupas. At the end of the cultural revolution, Rinpoche retrieve those hidden sacred items and brought them to Palme Gonpa Monastery. One of the most precious hidden item was a Buddha Statue which was warm at the heart area, also the is the collected teachings of the Drikung Dharmakirti consisting of about 15 volumes in total and many stupas including the Stupa of Enlightenment. Were it not because of Rinpoche, these precious and rare relics and scriptures might be lost forever but instead it survive the ripples of life and stayed in Palme Gonpa Monastery till this date.

Rinpoche's family had for generations been a distinguished tradition of Tibetan Medicine practitioners. Rinpoche studied the 4 Tantras of Tibetan Medicine under the guidance of great medical doctor Bon Thupten. Rinpoche became an expert in the practice of healing and medicine having been trained in all aspects of medicinal treatment including acupuncture, cupping, bloodletting and so forth. Being a revered master of Tantric Buddhist practice and is renowned for his encyclopedic knowledge of Tibetan Medicine. Through His accomplishments, his daily practice of Buddhism and His all-encompassing benevolence and compassion He has become a beacon for all sentient beings. Today wherever Rinpoche travels, many are benefited from Rinpoche's expertise in medicine and healing with great compassion and loving kindness.

Now Rinpoche's main concern is to reconstruct Palme Gonpa Monastery in Chinghai, China. Reconstruction began in 1979 when Rinpoche was 37 years old. The lower portion os the temple is a two storey structure that includes a large Buddha Statue, a bronze statue of Padmasambhava, and many other deities. There is also 25 meditation rooms and at the basement of the monastery is a school with 16 rooms. In the entire complex mandala are seven monasteries and three retreat centres. In one retreat centre there are 16 nuns undergoing their 3 years retreat program studying the teachings with The Very Venerable Khyentrul Kunsang Drodul Rinpoche. Reconstruction effort continues today.

Masters of Mei Chen Palme Monastery Chinghai
Lho Kunzang - Palme Khyentse - Gyaltsen Rinpoche

Stories Told by devotees.

Mute Boy
One proven case where Rinpoche's healing power occurred when a group of religious pilgrims including Rinpoche was travelling to one of Sikkim's mountain monastery. They by chance meet upon a father and his son who were also performing their pilgrimage to sacred Buddhist places. They came to learned that the son was mute and his speech problem wasn't a birth defect in which he became mute for unknown reasons. Many doctors had treated this boy but to no avail. On meeting Rinpoche who felt all-encompassing compassion for the boy. When walking Rinpoche always placed His arm on the boy's shoulder. On one occasion during a rest while on pilgrimage, Rinpoche took out a bottle of mineral water and chanted some mantra over it, gave it to the boy and asked him to recite the mantra of Manjushri. Miraculously, the mute boy suddenly was able to recite the mantra and began talking again. Miracles of this nature are not uncommon with Rinpoche.

Seeing celestial lights and beams
Rinpoche spent 3 months on a pilgrimage to the holy places in Nepal and India and on the request of his disciples Rinpoche had visited Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia. These travels further generate recognition of Rinpoche's qualities. Another example was when Rinpoche is in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia, his students requested Rinpoche to lead them in a Chöd practice in the cemetery. There were about 50 person participating and in the practice everyone were either contemplating, meditating or simply listening to the chant and sound of Damaru and Bell. The group notice some kind of unusual circle of bright lights over the sky, some saw it with 3 colors while others saw 5 different colors. There was this monk amongst the group who saw the circle of lights and became so moved and devoted until he wasn't able to give any explanation to the vision. From this point move devotion were planted within those who saw and no long the news spread through words of mouth and more are seeking Rinpoche's spiritual advise and instruction as well as healings. More and more disciples gather around Rinpoche and words of accomplishment spread to Europe and North America too.

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