Chogye Trichen, 18th

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Wylie bco brgyad khri chen
English Phonetics His Eminence Chogye Trichen Rinpoche, Ngawang Khyenrab Thupten Lekshe Gyatso
Sort Name Chogye Trichen, 18th
Birth:   1919
Death:   2007
Place of birth:   Central Tibet

Tibetan calendar dates

Contact information

Website:   Khacho Yulo Ling Buddhist Center
Religious Affiliation

Biographical information

A modern Tibetan biography is available on BDRC W1KG17214 : bco brgyad khri chen rin po che'i mdzad rnam mdor bsdus. Edited by Yon tan bzang po (P5949). Kathmandu, Nepal: Sachen International, 2008.

His Eminence Chogye Trichen Rinpoche, Ngawang Khyenrab Thupten Lekshe Gyatso, is the most senior Sakya Lama and the head of the Tsar sub-school of Sakya tradition. His Eminence is a renowned tantric master, a dedicated practitioner, an outstanding scholar, an eloquent poet, and embodies the wisdom, spirit and activities of the holy Dharma. His Eminence is a master of masters as most Tibetan Buddhist lineage holders are his disciples. Amongst these disciples are His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, and His Holiness the 41st Sakya Trizin, Ngawang Kunga, and His Eminence is regarded as the definitive authority on Kalacakra Tantra. In addition to His Eminence's stature among Tibetan lamas, the late King Birendra of Nepal awarded His Eminence "Gorkha Dakshin Babu", a tribute which has never been awarded to a Buddhist monk in Nepal before.

Born in 1919 in the Tsang province of Central Tibet into the Zhalu Kushang family of the Che clan, a lineage descended from the clear light gods, he was recognized as the reincarnation of the previous Chogye Rinpoche of Nalendra Monastery by the 13th Dalai Lama, Thupten Gyatso. Many auspicious and marveleous signs accompanied His Eminence's birth. His Eminence is the 26th patriarch of Phenpo Nalendra Monastery, North of Lhasa. Founded by Rongton Sheja Kunrig (1367-1449), Nalendra is one of the most important Sakya monasteries in Tibet. Wondrously, each generation of the Kushang family has produced no less than four sons, most of who have served as throne holders of many important monasteries including Nalendra, Zhalu and Ngor.

The name "Kushang" meaning 'royal maternal uncle' derived from the fact that many daughters from the family were married to numerous Sakya throne holders, one of whom, Drogon Chagna, was supreme ruler of Tibet, who succeeded Chogyal Phakpa.

The name "Chogye" means 'Eighteen' and comes from the time of Khyenrab Choje, the 8th abbot of Nalendra who also belonged to the aristocratic Kushang family. Khyenrab Choje, a great teacher possessing the direct lineage of Kalacakra received from Vajrayogini, was invited to be the abbot of Nalendra by Sakya Trizin Dagchen Lodro Gyaltsen (1444-1495). Khyenrab Choje visited the Emperor of China who was greatly impressed by the tantric scholar from Tibet and bestowed on him 'eighteen' precious gifts. From Khyenrab Choje the lineage of Chogye Rinpoches began.

At the age of twelve His Eminence was officially enthroned at the Phenpo Nalendra Monastery. In these early years he studied intensively all the basic liturgies and rituals of Nalendra Monastery. His two main root Gurus were the 4th Zimwog Tulku, Ngawang Tenzin Thrinley Norbu Palzangpo, the other main incarnate lama of Nalendra Monastery, and Dampa Rinpoche Shenphen Nyingpo of Ngor Ewam. From these two great teachers His Eminence recieved all the major and minor teachings of Sakya such as the two Lamdre Traditions, the Greater and Lesser Mahakalas, the Four Tantras, the Thirteen Golden Dharmas, Kalacakra, etc. His Eminence completed extensive studies in all major fields of study taught in Lord Buddha's teachings. His Eminence becomes a master in both Sutrayana and Mantrayana teachings. His Eminence is also a great scholar of literature, poetry, history and Buddhist metaphysics and a highly accomplished poet. (Source Accessed June 16, 2020)

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