Chokling Jigme Palden Rinpoche
For the benefit of the disciples of my father, I (his son) am here presenting a short description of his life.
Chokling Jigmed PaldenRinpoche was born in 1936, the year of the Ox, in eastern Tibet on the day of Lha Bab Duchen, the day of the Buddha’s descent from the gods’ realms to the human realm, which commemorates Buddha Sakyamuni’s return from Tushita Heaven after giving Dharma teaching to his mother and other heavenly beings.
Rinpoche’s supreme root gurus, H.H. 16th Gyalwa Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, H.H. 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche (Vajradhara in person), H.H. Adzom Drugpa Rinpoche and H.H. Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche, Tenzin Gyaltsen, head of the Taklung lineage, all recognized in their same supreme wisdom that he is the incarnation of Chokgyur Lingpa.
Chokgyur Lingpa was a great Terton in the 19th century and is considered a mind incarnation of Guru Rinpoche and body incarnation of Murub Tsenpo, the second son of King Trisong Deutsen. Chokgyur Lingpa’s combined terma revelations contain more than 40 volumes, some of which are widely practiced nowadays. Together with Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and Jamgon Kongtrul the Great, the three masters are collectively known as “Khyen Kon Chok Sum”.
Rinpoche had dedicated 8 years of activities to Dharma study, and work at Taklung monastery when he was enthroned. The ceremony took place in Taklung Dorje Den, monastery near Lhasa, which is the headquarters of all the Taklung lineages. The ceremony was performed by the very honourable H.H. Taklung Tsetul Tendzin Gyatsho Rinpoche, chief of all the Taklung lineages, and was attended by many other Rinpoches and Khenpos, as well as sangha members along with many students from different countries.
Rinpoche’s family name is Khamritshang. The origin of this family goes back about 800 years and is known as a Lawrang (Lama) family. His father and uncle were both highly regarded Buddhist masters.
At the age of eight, Rinpoche went to Taklung Dratsang, also known as Riwoche Monastery, and began to study the sutras and tantras of Tibetan Buddhism.
In 1959 he immigrated to India, where he also followed many gurus, but his supreme root guru was H.H. 16th Gyalwa Karmapa. Later, H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche also became his root guru. From them and other high lamas he received many precious teachings, oral transmissions and empowerments, including Mahamudra and Dzogpa Chenpo.
Following their advice Rinpoche went to retreat at various holy places. He went to Pema Kod when he was 25 years old. Later he also went to retreat at Asura Cave in Nepal, Tsopema in India, as well as to Samye Chimpu, Yamalong, Yalung Sherag, Tsering Jong, Drag Yerpa, Tendrel Phug, Tendrel Phug, Dawa Phug, Dranang Gompa in Tibet. He spent a total of more than 9 years in retreat.
On the first morning of the Tibetan New Year in 1979, he was together with H.H. Gyalwa Karmapa and the four lineage holders. That was a very important meeting for him. In a few words: they all ate Drotsa together when Karmapa announced that my father, Jigmed Palden inpoche, was his very close disciple and sponsor, and this should be deeply understood and never forgotten, whatever would happen in the future.
At that time, H.H. Gyalwa Karmapa also told my father many things about his life, his Karma and the importance of a retreat. Karmapa gave my father precious advices as well as a Tara and a Buddha statue made by himself, including black pills, Rinsel (relics), clothes and texts of previous Karmapas.
According to Khyentse Rinpoche’s advice, Rinpoche went in February 1984 to retreat for three years based on the Longchen Nyingthig tradition. He began with the Longchen Nyingthig Ngöndro. Every year Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche came for about ten days to transmit teachings and empowerments. During that time, he received the complete teachings of Dzogpa Chenpo. Continually he practiced step by step up to the practices of Kadag Trekchöd and Lhundrup Thögal. After the completion of all main practices, he was examined by his root guru.
Upon completion of the tree year retreat, an enthronement ceremony took place in Asura. Rinpoche offered his body, speech, mind and all his possessions to his guru. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche gave my father as an honour to his great realization, his own life “Usha” (pema thongdrol, dharma hat), a pair of Bumpas, three thangkas depicting the three roots of the Longchen Nyingthig lineage, Rigdzin Jigmed Lingpa’s Ka Bum in 14 volumes, Longchen Rabjam’s 7 Dzod Dun, along with many other precious dharma gifts. Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche also gave my father his Penteta “Pesha Nyaring” (dharmahat) symbolizing great activity.
Before Khyentse Rinpoche and Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche passed away they asked my father to give teachings all over the world for the benefit of all sentient beings. Fulfilling their request he started to teach in Europe, Asia and United States from 1990 onwards.
Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche asked my father to support the Samye monastery, which is the oldest monastery in Tibet, built by Padmasambhava, “Guru Rinpoche” himself. Since my father has, from his previous lives, a close connection to Guru Rinpoche, he started to rebuild it in 1995. He is also supporting the monks and nuns who are living there. There are also other projects in Nepal and Tibet.
With the reconstruction of such holy places, monks and nuns will have the opportunity to strengthen and deepen their own realization in Buddhism so they can grow up to become qualified Dharma teachers.