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Khabje Dodrupchen Rinpoche

Khabje Thupten Thrinle Palzang, the fourth Dodrupchen Rinpoche, is a great master of Dzogpa Chenpo and a principal lineage holder and propagator of the Long Chen Nying Thig teachings. Rinpoche was born in the Fire Hare year of the sixteenth Rabjung in 1927 in the Tsi village in Serta valley of Golok of East Tibet. Between conception and the age of six, Rinpoche displayed many miraculous signs. Around the time he was conceived his father, had a dream that he was brandishing a crystal sword that was so long it’s tip was not visible in the sky. The year before Rinpoche’s birth almost every day rainbows appeared over the Tsi village. When Rinpoche was born before dawn, although it was still dark, things became light. Once when he was a baby, a big mani stone fell on him, and many of his bones appeared to have been broken, but after a few hours all trace of damage disappeared.

The birth of Khabje Dodrup Chen Rinpoche was prophesized by the fifth Dzogchen Rinpoche and the great Dzogchen Yogi Yukhok Chatralwa. The fifth Dzogchen Rinpoche ordered a search party to seek out Rinpoche. Before Rinpoche’s parents knew a search party was coming, Khabje Dodrup Chen Rinpoche sang happily, “Today guests are coming.” When Khabje Dodrup Chen Rinpoche was four-years-old a reception party came to Tsi village. He was enthroned with another emanation of Dodrupchen. Just after the entronement ceremonies were completed, Khabje Dodrup Chen Rinpoche stood up on the throne laughing and recited the Seven Line Prayer of Guru Rinpoche. He then went to the temple of the Dharma protectors, and from a huge volume of prayers, he extracted a brief one-page prayer. Although he could not read the letters, he recited the prayer by heart. When he was very young, his attendants would give him candy and ask him questions. For example: “Where do you come from?” R. “From Zangdok Palri.” “Who lives there?” “Guru Rinpoche.” “Who else?” “Chenrezig.”

From the age of four, when they were enthroned together until they were twenty, the two incarnations of the third Dodrupchen Rinpoche trained together. In 1937, when they were eleven years old they received the entrustment of the Long Chen Nying Thig and Nying Thig Yabzhi from Khenpo Kunpal, a student of Patrul Rinpoche. When he was fourteen, Rinpoche went to see Apang Terton, who gave him fermented beer to drink. At first Rinpoche hesitated, but then thought it must be a blessing of the Lama. He drank it all and experienced a profound awareness beyond concepts. Later when he went outside, he developed complete confidence that all appearances are like dreams. Apang Terton then advised Rinpoche to study with Yukhok Chatralwa. When he was twenty-four years old in 1950, he went to Yukhok Chatralwa who gave him the entire instructions of Trkcho an Thogyal of Dzogpa Chenpo. It was like filling one vase from another.

In the summer of 1956, Rinpoche gave the Rinchen Terzo empowerment at Dodrup Chen Monastery in Golok and gave individual instruction in Dzogchen to fortunate people. Soon, Rinpoche decided to leave Tibet because of the danger of the changing political situation. He arranged for three parties to leave, initially going to Lhasa, then Zhigatse. Later, with an invitation from Chogyal Palden Thondrup, Rinpoche came to Sikkim in October 1957. From then on, he made Sikkim one of the hidden lands of Guru Rinpoche, his permanent residence.

Since coming to India, Rinpoche has worked tirelessly to support Dharma projects and print the Dharma texts of the Long Chen Nying Thig. He built Chorten Gompa and provided for the welfare and education of thousands of monks. He has transmitted the profound empowerments of his lineage many times and has taught Dzogchen meditation in the tradition of Nyongtri, according to the experiences of the student.

In 1972 Rinpoche recognized the seventh Dzog Chen Rinpoche and arranged for his training. In the summer of 1973, Rinpoche visited the United States for the first time. He gave teachings and established the Mahasiddha Nyingmapa Center in Massachusetts. Some years later, he built a temple, a Chorten, and a small retreat cabin on the land in Massachuestts. Since 1984, Rinpoche has returned to his home valley in Golok and has given many empowerments and assisted with the reconstruction of Dodrupchen monastery. In 1994, Rinpoche bestowed the Rinchen Terdzo empowerment in Golok, and more than 7,000 people came.

The most impressive quality of Rinpoche is not how he looks, what he says, or even what he does, but what he is. He is a powerful and solid person of an utmost simple, most profound, and infinite presence. He does not want anyone to become attached or dependent on him and does not impose his authority on others because he is so unassuming. The goal of all his efforts is to serve others, to make a difference, and to make the Dharma accessible.

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