The 12th Nubpa Tulku, Konchok Tenzin Rinpoche
A Brief biography
After the Lord Buddha's teaching flourished in Tibet, the New Secret Mantra Doctrine developed. This Doctrine was based on the Lord Buddha's Teaching. The great translator, Marpa, developed the Kagyu lineage during this "New Secret Mantra Doctrine" period. The Kagyu lineage then flourished in Tibet. From this very lineage there have been many highly accomplished masters and yogis, such as the Great Yogi, Milarepa; Dagpo Rinpoche; and Phagmo Drubpa. The main disciple of Phagmo Drubpa was Lord Jigten Sumgon (1143 to 1217). He is the founder of the Drikung Kagyu Lineage. 
At the age of 37, Lord Jigten Sumgon established Drikung Thil Monastery, the head monastery of the entire Drikung Kagyu Lineage. Lord Jigten Sumgon had countless followers. Previously, a Dharma King of Tibet (blood lineage) had come from western Tibet {Ngari} to the Drikung region and had settled there. One of the descendants of this king took his novice ordination vows from Lord Jigten Sumgon. His name was Nangso Lhopon.

At that time, and up until this day, there were two sections in the Drikung Thil Monastic Community. One is known as Ling Tod, and the other as Ling Med, which literally means "upper continent" and "lower continent", respectively. Nangso Lhopon became the spiritual master of Ling Med. He guided the monks spiritually, as well as provided for their daily needs. During the lifetime of Nangso Lhopon, both Drikung Thil Monastic Communities had abbots, spiritual masters, and a disciplinarian.
The residential palace of Nangso Lhopon, "Nubpa Lhadrang", was located west of the main shrine hall of the Drikung Thil Monastery. He thus became known as Nubpa Rinpoche, which means "precious one of the west" in Tibetan.

From Nangso Lhopan, or Nubpa Rinpoche, there has been a continuous line of reincarnations right up until this present age, which is known as the "Degeneration Era".

One of the reincarnations of Nangso Lhopon, Jamyang Rinchen, was born at the time of the 16th Drikung Throne Holder, Gyalwang Kunga Rinchen (1475 to 1527). This Throne Holder, Gyalwang Kunga Rinchen, was recognized as the reincarnation of Lord Jigten Sumgon.

Jamyang Rinchen became the main disciple of Gyalwang Kunga Rinchen. As in his former life, Jamyang Rinchen again took care of and guided the monks at Drikung Ling Med. The important accomplishment of constructing Achi Prayer Hall (known today as Achi Khang) was one of his many virtuous deeds and activities.

Jamyang Rinchen's brother, Gonpo Gyaltsen, was the military commander of the Drikung region, while Gyalwang Kunga Rinchen remained the spiritual leader.

At that time in Tibet there were a multitude of regions, and with each region having its own king, battles were common. As military commander, Gonpo Gyaltsen had been involved in much warfare. He was responsible for defeating the opponents of the Dharma in the surrounding regions. He saved Drikung Thil Monastery and its contents of sacred Buddhist scriptures from destruction. During battle Gonpo Gyaltsen appeared to some in the form of the four-armed Mahakala, black faced and terrifying. He is therefore seen as a real manifestation of the four-armed Mahakala.

Gonpo Gyaltsen performed many great Dharma activities as well. He built the four-armed Mahakala statue at Nubpa Lhadrang, and during the consecration of this statue he offered his battle sword and placed it at the level of Mahakala's heart. Thereafter the Mahakala statue became very powerful and effective for those who worshiped there. In the past and to this day, there are many emanations of Mahakala in the form of black crows, snow lions, etc.

Nowadays we can see the natural body shape of these emanations on the rocks around the Mahakala Shrine Hall. A very special aspect of this four- armed Mahakala statue is that no particle of dust has ever settled on it; it remains perpetually shiny and clean -- a perfect representation of Divine Wisdom. Whomever sleeps even one night at the Nubpa Lhadrang is said to be blessed with what amounts to the Complete Accomplishment Practice of the four-armed Mahakala.

The two brothers have been reincarnates from that time until this "Degeneration Era". The present Nubpa Rinpoche is the reincarnation of Gonpo Gyaltsen, the emanation of four-armed Mahakala. He is also the reincarnation of the 11th Nubpa, Konchok Tenzin Mepham Gopo.

Our present Rinpoche, the 12th Nubpa Rinpoche, was recognized (while still in his mother's womb) by the 34th Drikung Throne Holder, His Holiness Shewe Lodro (1874-1945). Rinpoche was enthroned when he was only five years old and started formal studies at the age of six. He learned Tibetan scripture and ritual practices from Pasang until the age of 14. At 15, he joined the Sun-ray Garden Institute (Nyichang Shedra, located near Drikung Thil Monastery) for higher Buddhist philosophical and Tantric studies.
Nubpa Rinpoche has received all of the Drikung Protector initiations and transmissions from H.E. Lho Drongtul Rinpoche. He has received all of the Fifty Collections of Initiation, the Treasure of Kagyu Instructions, the Treasure Discoverer Yangzab teaching (by Gyalwang Rinchen Phuntsok), and the Yamantaka from Regent H.E. Tritsab Rinpoche, as well as the Nyingma Collection of Initiations from the previous H.E. Nyizong Tripa Rinpoche.

By 1959, Rinpoche had mastered the Chinese language. By 1966, due to the political changes in Tibet, he had learned the ways of the farmer. Returning to Lhasa in 1974, he found work as a stone mason, but in 1979, Rinpoche resumed his academic career as the editor of the magazine, the "Tibetan Buddhist Association". In 1989, under the arrangement of the 10th Pachen Lama, Rinpoche joined the Peking Buddhist College of Higher Studies and there received his academic degree.

Rinpoche always says that his time spent learning about Buddhist teachings was very precious, as were the oral transmissions he received from Pachung Vajradhara, Khenchen Jigmey Phuntsok, and Gyendun Gyatso, among others.

In 1992, he arrived in India to serve His Holiness Drikung Kyabgon Trinley Lhundub, his root Guru, who was then working to preserve the Drikung Lineage. While there, Rinpoche became the supervisor for the re-publications of the 24th Drikung Throne Holder's, His Holiness Kunkhen Ringzen Chodrak's (1595 to 1659), fifteen volume compendium of transcribed oral instructions from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition {Kabum}. Rinpoche has received many authentic teachings and oral transmissions from those living and parinirvana masters.

Since that time, Rinpoche has conducted retreats whenever possible in Labchi, the holiest place of Yogi Jetsun Milarepa. These retreats involve an arduous, week-long journey by foot. Rinpoche made one extended retreat for more than three years and has since made four additional journeys there.Today, due to Rinpoche's altruistic mind of enlightenment, over thirty practitioners have gathered on "conduct" retreats under his guidance in that holy place. As a result of his loving kindness and compassion, there are plans to build a monastery in Kathmandu, Nepal for the sake of all Dharma practitioners.

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