Dzogchen Ponlop, The 7th

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English Phonetics Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche
Dzogchen Ponlop
Alternate names
  • Karma Sungrap Ngedön Tenpa Gyaltsen
Birth:   1965
Place of birth:   Sikkim, India

Tibetan calendar dates

Primary Affiliation (Workplace)
Secondary Affiliation
Nitartha International; Nitartha Institute; Bodhi Seeds
Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche (his root guru) · The 16th Gyalwang Karmapa · Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche · Kalu Rinpoche · Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche · Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche (chief abbot of the Kagyu lineage) · Alak Zenkar Rinpoche

Biographical information

The 7th Dzogchen Ponlop (Karma Sungrap Ngedön Tenpa Gyaltsen, born 1965) is an abbot of Dzogchen Monastery, founder and spiritual director of Nalandabodhi, founder of Nītārtha Institute for Higher Buddhist Studies, a leading Tibetan Buddhist scholar, and a meditation master. He is one of the highest tülkus in the Nyingma lineage and an accomplished Karma Kagyu lineage holder.

Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche was born in 1965 at Rumtek Monastery (Dharma Chakra Center) in Sikkim, India. His birth was prophesied by the supreme head of the Kagyu lineage, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, 16th Karmapa, to Ponlop Rinpoche's parents, Dhamchö Yongdu, the General Secretary of the Sixteenth Gyalwang Karmapa, and his wife, Lekshey Drolma. Upon his birth, he was recognized by the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa as the seventh in the line of Dzogchen Ponlop incarnations and was formally enthroned as the Seventh Dzogchen Ponlop at Rumtek Monastery in 1968.[1]

After receiving Buddhist refuge and bodhisattva vows from the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa, Dzogchen Ponlop was ordained as a novice monk in 1974. He subsequently received full ordination and became a bhikṣu, although he later returned his vows and is now a lay teacher.

Rinpoche received teachings and empowerments from the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa, Dilgo Khyentse, Kalu Rinpoche, Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche (chief Abbot of the Kagyu lineage), Alak Zenkar Rinpoche, and Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, his root guru.

Ponlop Rinpoche began studying Buddhist philosophy at the primary school in Rumtek at age 12. In 1979 (when Rinpoche was fourteen), the 16th Karmapa proclaimed Ponlop Rinpoche to be a heart son of the Gyalwang Karmapa and a holder of his Karma Kagyu lineage. In 1980 on his first trip to the West, he accompanied the Sixteenth Gyalwang Karmapa to Europe, United States, Canada, and Southeast Asia. While serving as the Karmapa's attendant, he also gave dharma teachings and assisted in ceremonial roles during these travels.[2]

In 1981, he entered the monastic college at Rumtek, Karma Shri Nalanda Institute for Higher Buddhist Studies where he studied the fields of Buddhist philosophy, psychology, logic, and debate. During his time at Rumtek, Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche worked for the Students' Welfare Union, served as head librarian, and was the chief-editor of the Nalandakirti Journal, an annual publication which brings together Eastern and Western views on Buddhism. Rinpoche graduated in 1990 as Ka-rabjampa from Karma Shri Nalanda Institute for Higher Buddhist Studies in Rumtek Monastery. (Ka-rabjampa means "one with unobstructed knowledge of scriptures", the Kagyu equivalent of the Sakya and Gelug's geshe degree.) He simultaneously earned the degree of Acharya, or Master of Buddhist Philosophy, from Sampurnanant Sanskrit University. Dzogchen Ponlop has also completed studies in English and comparative religion at Columbia University in New York City. (Source Accessed Nov 19, 2019)

For further information about Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, visit his Official Website

Wiki Pages

Buddha Nature Project
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Causal nature of the vajrapāda

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Other Transliterations in use:


b. 1965 in Sikkim, Northern India - presently resides in Seattle, WA, USA


Nyingma and Kagyu

Dzogchen Monastery, Khams

Founder of Nalandabodhi, Nitartha Institute, Nalandabodhi International, Nitartha Translation Network.

Other Biographical Information[edit]

Longevity Supplication for the Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche

Previous Incarnations[edit]


Biography of The 7th Dzogchen Ponlop, Rinpoche (Karma Sungrap Ngedon Tenpa Gyaltsen)
DPR Homepage
Nalandabodhi - the Sangha of Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche
Nalandabodhi Canada - the Sangha of Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche in Canada
Nitartha Institute - A yearly academic program held in Canada

Main Students[edit]

Main Teachers[edit]


Let go and relax.

Writings About Dzogchen Ponlop, The 7th[edit]

Other Books[edit]

2003: "Brief Histories of the Sixteen Karmapas". In: Music in the Sky: The Life, Art & Teachings of the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje. Snow Lion Publications, U.S.A. First Indian Reprint: New Age Books, New Delh. (2004). ISBN 81-7822-193-4.
2003: Wild Awakening: The Heart of Mahamudra and Dzogchen. ISBN 1590300963 (SP)
2006: Penetrating Wisdom: the Aspiration of Samantabhadra. ISBN 1559392665 (SLP)
2007: Mind Beyond Death. ISBN 1559392762 (SLP)


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