Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche


When the seventh Gyalwa Karmapa Chodrak Gyatso (1454-1506), visited the region of Thrangu in Tibet, he established Thrangu Monastery and enthroned Sherap Gyaltsen as the first Thrangu Rinpoche, recognizing him as the re-established emanation of Shubu Palgyi Senge, one of the twenty-five great siddha disciples of Guru Padmasambhava.

The present, ninth incarnation of Thrangu Rinpoche is an eminent scholar. Khenpo Thrangu Rinpoche was born in Tibet in 1933. When he was four, H.H. the Gyalwa Karmapa and Palpung Situ Rinpoche recognized him as the incarnation of Thrangu Tulku by prophesying the names of his parents and the place of his birth.

From age seven he studied reading and writing, grammar, poetry, astrology, etc., memorized pujas and studied their practices, and completed two ngondros. At the age of sixteen he began his studies of inner knowledge and philosophy. He made a precise study of the necessary texts with Lama Khenpo Lodro Rapsel. At the age of twenty-three he received gelong ordination from H.H Karmapa, along with Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and Surmang Garwang Rinpoche. He was introduced to the Absolute Nature by Lama Khenpo Gangshar Wangpo. At the age of twenty-seven he arrived in India and, under orders from H.H. Karmapa, went to Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim. At the age of thirty-five he was given the geshe examination on sutra, tantra, and the Kagyu tradition in the presence of 1500 monks, all of different sects, in Baksa, India, and was given the degree of Geshe Rabjam.

Thrangu Rinpoche is a holder of the zhentong lineage handed down by Jamgon Kongtrul the Great.

Upon his return to Rumtek he was named Khenpo (abbot) of Rumtek and the Kagyu sect. Since then he has been the personal tutor of the four main great Karma Kagyu tulkus. Thrangu Rinpoche, along with Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, he serves as the head Khenpo of the Nalanda Institute for Higher Buddhist Studies at Rumtek Monastery.

In 1976 he founded the retreat center Namo Buddha in Nepal, and in 1981 he started to build his own shedra (college), Thrangu Tashi Choling, in Boudhanath, Kathmandu. In 1986 Thrangu Rinpoche accepted Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche's invitation to be the Abbot of Gampo Abbey in Nova Scotia, Canada, Thrangu Rinpoche's first monastery in North America.

Source of information: Densal, Volume 10, Number 1, 1989, Published by Karma Triyana Dharmachakra.
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