Second Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche (1893-1959)
"Kyabje Khyentse Chokyi Lodro of Dzongsar was the greatest master of many lineages of this century."
Conditions for His Birth
He was born in the Water Snake year of the fifteenth Rabjung (1893) at Rekhe Ajam near Kathok Monastery. His father was a tantric master called Gyurme Tsewang Gyatso, the grandson of Terton Dudul Rolpatsal of Ser Valley of Amdo, and his mother was Tsultrim Tso of Ser Valley of Amdo. His father named him Jamyang Chokyi Lodro. At the age of six, Khyentse Rinpoche learned to read texts with his uncle with little effort.
When he was seven, Kathok Situ Chokyi Gyatso, the nephew of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, brought him to Kathok Monastery and recognized him as the activity-manifestation of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, as prophesied by Kongtrul Yonten Gyatso. Kathok Situ performed the hair-cutting ceremony and named him Jamyang Lodro Gyatso.
His Receiving Teachings
Kathok Situ assigned his own tutor, Khenpo Thupten Rigdzin, to Khyentse, and under his tutorship, Khyentse Rinpoche studied prayers, grammar, astrology, Sanskrit, and many scriptures. From The Second Kathok Situ, he received the transmission of Nyingthig Yabzhi, Longsal cycles, and many other scriptures, and Situ became the most important person for his spiritual path and secular life.
From Adzom Drukpa in Trom Valley he received Longchen Nyingthig, Gongpa Zangthal, Lama Yangtig transmissions, and the introduction to Trekcho meditation.
When Khyentse Rinpoche was thirteen, his tutor passed away and so he studied Domsum, Yonten Dzo Yizhin Dzo Khenjuk, and the texts by Asanga with Kathok Situ, Khenpo Kunpal, and many others.
When he was fifteen, because of the death of the young Khyentse Tulku at Dzongsar Monastery, Chokyi Lodro moved his residence to Dzongsar, the seat of Khyentse Wangpo. With Khenpo Champa Wangchuk he studied Abhidharma, Abhisamayalamkara, and Madhyamakavatara. Soon he himself started to teach many texts to selected students at Dzongsar.
At seventeen, from Thartse Ponlop Loter Wangpo he received the Sakya transmissions of Lamdre Lopshe, the tantra of Hevajra, and other scriptures. At eighteen, from his father he received the transmissions of Rinchen Terdzo and the terma teachings of Chokling. At nineteen, from Khenpo Samten Lodro he received Drupthap Kuntu and other transmissions.
At twenty-six, he went to Dzogchen Monastery and received ordination as a monk from Khenpo Jigme Pema Losal. Also, from Shechen Gyaltsap he received transmissions of Chang ter, Minling ter, and many other teachings. That same year, he established a shedra called Khamche at Dzongsar Monastery. He invited Shenphen Chokyi Nangwa (aka Zhen-ga, 1871-1927) of Dzogchen Monastery as the first khenpo to teach at the new shedra. Later it became a famous institution from which many great scholars emerged.
At twenty-eight, he went to Golok for many months' visit to see the third Dodrupchen, Jigme Tenpe Nyima, son of the famous terton Dudjom Lingpa. He received the empowerments of Rigdzin Dupa and Ladrup Thigle Gyachen. He also received teachings on Yeshe Lama, Longchen Nyingthig, and The Outline of Guhyagarbha-mayajala-tantra. From Konme Khenpo of Dodrupchen Monastery he received the transmissions of the Damcho Dechen Lamchok cycle discovered by the first Dodrupchen as a terma. From Terton Sogyal he received Vajrakila and Trolihik transmissions.
At thirty-two, at Shechen Monastery, he again received many transmissions, including Dam-ngak Dzo and Changter from Shechen Gyaltsap Pema Namgyal, who became one of his important teachers.
At thirty-three, he went on a pilgrimage to Central Tibet. At Mindroling Monastery he took the ordination of a monk from Khenpo Ngawang Thupten Norbu for the second time, as his predecessor had been ordained at this monastery in the lower Vinaya lineage.
Just before his return from Central Tibet, Kathok Situ died. After that, for about fifteen years, Khyentse also looked after the administration of Kathok Monastery. He built many religious monuments, restrengthened the scriptural college, and enthroned the new tulku of Kathok Situ, as recognized by the fifth Dzogchen Rinpoche.
From Kathok Khenpo Ngawang Palzang he received transmissions of the Khandro Yangtig, Longsal, and Dudul cycles. In total, he studied with about eighty masters from all the different traditions of Tibetan Buddhism.
His Great Realizations
He accomplished many meditations and recitation of numerous sadhanas of both Old and New traditions of tantra, including the fivefold hundred-thousand accumulation of ngondro (for prostrations he did only forty thousand accumulations) and the recitation of the sadhanas of Takhyung Barwa, Sengdongma, Ladrup Thigle Gyachen, Vajrakila, Tara and Palchen Dupa of Longchen Nyingthig, and the Ladrup of Khandro Yangtig.
"He had many visions, accomplished many attainments, and manifested many spiritual powers."
There were many incidents of his displaying powers. Once he blessed a new image, and it became hot to the touch. When he blessed the Mahakala image of the Dzang Mahakala temple, the image moved as if it were alive. When he prepared ambrosia, beams of light arched around the temple. At the time of an empowerment of Vaishravana, gold dust rained through the air. Many times the distribution of a small amount of blessing pills or nectar became an inexhaustible supply for a huge assembly of devotees.
His Great Activities
He gave numerous transmissions of Nyingma, Sakya, and Kagyu teachings to disciples of various Buddhist traditions of Tibet, including the empowerments of Yabzhi three times and of Longchen Nyingthig many times and teaching on Yonten Dzo three times.
His main Nyingma disciples included: Kyabje Dudjom Jigdral Yeshe Dorje, Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Kyabje Chadral Sangye Dorje Rinpoche, Kyabje Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, Kyabje Dungsay Thinley Norbu Rinpoche, Ven. Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche, Ven. Sogyal Rinpoche, among others. His main Sakya disciples were Kyabje Dezhung Rinpoche and H. H. Sakya Trizin. His main Kagyu disciples included the second Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche, Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche, and his main Gelug disciple was Kyili Kyabgon Rinpoche.
At the age of sixty-three, travelling through Lhasa he reached India. He went on a pilgrimage to all the sacred places of Buddhism in India and Nepal. Then he made the Palace Chapel of the king of Sikkim his main temporary residence and continued to give endless teachings and transmissions to devotees from all walks of life.
His Entering into Parinirvana
At the age of sixty-seven, on the sixth day of the fifth month of the Earth Pig year of the sixteenth Rabjung (1959), he passed away amid signs of lights, earthquakes and sounds. Today most of his remains are preserved in a small golden stupa at the Royal Chapel of Sikkim.
With Courtesy from Rangjung Yeshe Publications and Khyentse Foundation.
Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche Chokyi Lodro Biography
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