Announcements

A Message from Phakchok Rinpoche in Celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Birth of Kyabje Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche

Today, February 6, 2021, is the anniversary of Kyabje Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, the great-grandson of the great treasure revealer, Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa. Rinpoche was an emanation of Nupchen Sangyé Yeshé, one of the twenty-five disciples of Mahaguru Padmasambhava. Furthermore, there are many accounts of great masters seeing Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche as Marpa Lotsawa. The great Polu Khenchen saw Rinpoche as Chokgyur Lingpa, and some saw him as Guru Chowang. The 15th Karmapa recognized Rinpoche as a rebirth of the tertön Guru Chökyi Wangchuk.

Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche was born in 1920, and we are just at the end of the Tibetan calendar year marking the 100th anniversary since Rinpoche’s birth. Around 45 years ago, Rinpoche made 1200 Guru Rinpoche statues at Nagi Gompa, his mountain hermitage and nunnery.

Now, in celebration of the anniversary of 100 years since Rinpoche’s birth, we were very fortunate to find the original mold which Kyabje Rinpoche used. And with the help of our monks, we auspiciously replicated the statue of Guru Rinpoche into 1000-fold, consecrated them with great blessings, and offered them to the sangha of Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling on the final day of the Kusum Rigdu puja (Essence of Three Kayas) on the Full Moon day of January 28th.

Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, a holder of the golden thread of the Chokling Tersar lineage, was an upholder of the teachings and empowerments of the great treasure revealer, Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa. Here, I have accounts from Kyabje Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche and my father, Kyabje Tsikey Chokling Rinpoche, on the life of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche.

An excerpt from “To Nourish Faith: A Brief Account of the Wisdom Deeds of Our Root Guru, the Omnipresent Sovereign Tulku Urgyen Rinpoché” by Kyapjé Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche

For more than twenty-one years, one-pointedly, Rinpoché practiced the profound yogas of the two stages, in Kham, Tsurphu, Sikkim, and Nepal, at Nagi Gompa nunnery, and other places. He gave countless empowerments, transmissions, and instructions, and especially enjoyed giving pointing-out instructions. But in all these circumstances he kept a low profile.

Tulku Urgyen Rinpoché showed great affection for everyone he met, not just lamas and monastics but lay men and women too, and he treated everyone with respect. He didn’t like to give “hand-blessings” – the custom of blessing people by placing one’s hand on their heads – but preferred to touch foreheads with everyone. In all circumstances, he would stay humble, keeping pure perception towards all.

Again and again, he bestowed empowerments, transmissions, and instructions on large gatherings of lamas and tulkus, practitioners and public, always without sectarian bias. He did this for most of the major Kagyü lamas and tulkus, such as the four Kagyü Regents, and likewise for the major Nyingma lineage holders. He taught all sorts of people from different backgrounds––lamas, tulkus, khenpos, monastics, and laypeople from different schools and sects. He also traveled overseas, throughout the East and West, to give teachings, empowerments, and instructions there.

Click here for the complete version of this life story account on the Lhasey Lotsawa website.

An excerpt from  “An Account of the Life of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoché” by Tsiké Chokling Mingyur Dewé Dorjé Rinpoché
(Extracted from The Great Tertön: The Life and Activities of Chokgyur Lingpa)

I would like to tell you about the outer, inner, and innermost life story of my father and guru—Tulku Urgyen Rinpoché. Starting with his early years and continuing until his advanced old age of seventy-six, I will depict what I have heard with my own ears and seen with my own eyes. Of course, I didn’t meet him when he was young, but I have heard many stories from those times. It was the latter part of his life that I personally witnessed.

One of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoché’s unique qualities was his warmth; his heart was full of great love and compassion. In terms of ordinary social conventions, he had a truly good character. He had no intention other than to help beings. He was open-minded, possessing a vast, all-encompassing frame of mind. This was how any normal worldly person would describe him.

When Rinpoché was a young child, he received the pointing-out instruction on the nature of mind from his father, Chimé Dorjé. About this, he said, “I truly realized the natural face of mind.”

Tulku Urgyen Rinpoché had an extraordinary level of respect for the Three Jewels. He said that the first among all Buddhist masters to catch hold of his attention and inspire him with faith and devotion was Buddha Shakyamuni. He was moved by the Dharma, by the teachings he had been given, and he had a high regard for the Sangha, as it is they who maintain the practice of these teachings.

Click here for the complete version of this life story account (Extracted from The Great Tertön: The Life and Activities of Chokgyur Lingpa).

Making aspirations for the fulfillment of my Father’s aspiration to benefit beings, uphold the dharma, and serve the activity of Mahaguru Padmasambhava through the propagation of the Chokling Tersar.

May all be Auspicious.

Translations

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Suggested Reading

Dudjom Rinpoche, The Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism, trans. and ed. by Gyurme Dorje and Matthew Kapstein (Boston: Wisdom Publications, 1991), vol. 1, pages 468–474.

Ngawang Zangpo, Guru Rinpoche: His Life and Times, Ithaca: Snow Lion, 2002.

Nyoshul Khenpo, A Marvelous Garland of Rare Gems: Biographies of Masters of Awareness in the Dzogchen Lineage, trans. Richard Barron (Junction City: Padma Publishing, 2005), pages 41–48.

Padmasambhava, Legend of the Great Stupa, Berkeley: Dharma Publishing, 1973

Padmasambhava & Jamgön Kongtrul, The Light of Wisdom, trans. by Erik Pema Kunsang (Boudhanath: Rangjung Yeshe Publications, 1986-1999), pages 43-47 & Appendix 5.

Taranatha, The Life of Padmasambhava, Shang Shung Edizioni, 2005

Tulku Thondup, Masters of Meditation and Miracles, Shambhala, 1996.

Yeshe Tsogyal, Life and Liberation of Padmasambhava, translated by Kenneth Douglas and Gwendolyn Bays (Emeryville: Dharma Publishing, 1978, republished 2008).

Yeshe Tsogyal, Lotus Born: The Life Story of Padmasambhava, Rangjung Yeshe Publications, 2004.

‘The Life of Guru Padmasambhava’ in A Great Treasure of Blessings, The Tertön Sogyal Trust, 2004.