Komang Tulku Rinpoche
- Birth and Recognition
- Early life and Dharma training
- Preserving the Dharma
- Caring for his people
- Line of past lives
Birth and Recognition
Komang Tulku Rinpoche was born on the 29th day of the 9th month of the 16th century according to the Tibetan calendar, (1973 in the western calendar). Rinpoche was born to Tenzin Dradhul and Chözom in Kharak place at Komang village in upper Dolpo, a beautiful blessed land surrounded by indestructible rocky hills and a harmonious river whose pure water alleviate all sort of illnesses.
MaYum (mother) Choezom got a dream about a sun ray that came from Pema Myuktse hills which is on the east of Komang village. Soon after, she got pregnant with Komang Rinpoche. Then when she was around 3 months pregnant she got another dream where a beautiful woman very cleanly dressed offered her a statue of a temple.
Later on, when she was around 7 months pregnant, a Bon lama Dupthop Rinpoche from Pugmo village came and told her directly: “You have a son in your womb, you have to be very careful with everything because he is very special, not like others. If you give him dharma teaching then he will become very helpful to all sentient beings in this world and if you give him education then he will become a leader who will rule the Dolpo area.”
On the day of Rinpoche’s birth, flowers bloomed and melodious sounds were heard from above the sky as an auspicious sign by all the inhabitants present at that time which is still asserted by the elderly people again and again.
Rinpoche grew up very fast compared to children of his same age. He behaved very kindly to old people around, he would bring them home and ask his mother to feed them and always pretend to pray and ask his father to take him to the monastery.
Due to these unusual expressions coming from imprints of previous lives, people took him to His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche whose primordial wisdom eye, without any deception, recognized in him the reincarnation of Doltul Pema Khyentse Dorje.
His Holiness bestowed him with blessings to overcome the obstacles to work towards the proliferation of the Buddha Dharma and the welfare of all sentient beings. He also provided him with the written approval of recognition with His Holiness stamp.
Early life and Dharma training
At five, Komang Tulku Rinpoche followed his uncle and teacher Karma Lhundup who taught him reading and writing, rites and ritual, the art of mandala, medical, and astrology.
When Rinpoche was twelve following his uncle’s instruction, he followed and trained with impartial lamas namely His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, H.H Drubwang Pema Norbu, H.H. Trulshik Rinpoche, H.H. Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche, H.H. Chatral Sangye Dorjee, Dungse Trinley Norbu, Shechen Rabjam, Sangye Pema Shepa reincarnation of Dudjom, Sangye Nyanpa Rinpoche, Tulku Rigzin Pema, Lopön Gyurme Longdol, Tsogkhang Tulku Tsewang Dorje, Karti Lachung, etc.
Similarly, he trained with many teachers from Dolpo like Dolpo Thriphug Sönam Chökyab, Dolpo Margom Tsering Tashi, Dolpo Jigme Throgyal, Dolpo Lhünpal, Dolpo Jamyang Tsultrim, Dolpo Karma Lhundup, and Dolpo Yönten. They pass back to him the teachings that Rinpoche’s previous incarnation, Doltul Pema Khentse Dorjee, passed on to them.
He received the tantric ngakpa layman ordination from his root guru the late Khanteng Tsering Tashi Rinpoche who was not only highly accustomed to the view, meditation, and conduct for the sake of individual benefit but also spread his marvelous deeds all over the world for the sake of other beings welfare. He empowered him with initiations for illuminating other beings, teachings for self-enlightening, and their reliable scriptural supports and gave him the name Dorje Tsewang.
Komang Tulku Rinpoche had the opportunity to receive many sutra and tantric teachings, especially the three fundamental texts of the generation and completion stage and the Dzogchen tradition of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. He also received the empowerments of sacred mantras and their respective oral transmissions.
Furthermore, Rinpoche spent nearly ten years practicing Terchö (Treasure Teachings). He performed the preliminary practices (ngondro) three times, a wrathful preliminary, its Ladzok-Thug-Sum and the three roots of the heart-essence (Nyingthig-Tsa-Sum), Drag-Khyung-Ladrup, Namchö Dhechen Shing, Tsoglae Rinchen Threngva, and Konchok Chidhue preliminary.
Komang Tulku Rinpoche spent a total of 17 years in retreat, 11 of them in retreat continuously.
Three great Dolpo Lamas; Jigme Throgyal Rinpoche, Komang Rinpoche, and Khanteng Rinpoche
Most recently, in 2018, Komang Rinpoche received Guru Nyangdak teaching from Dolpo Jigme Throgyal Rinpoche, received Nyingthik Yabshi from Sangye Nyanpa Rinpoche, and also received the Paltrul Khabum, Jikling Khabum and many wang and lung from Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche.
Moreover, Komang Tulku Rinpoche is multitalented since his childhood. Over the years he has learned and mastered many skills such as Thanka Painting, carpentry, house-building, design, tailoring, etc. He is also a qualified Tibetan Medicine Doctor (Amchi) and a well-respected Dharma Teacher and Tantric practitioner.
Preserving the Buddha Dharma and culture of Dolpo region
“It required a huge amount of potential for a person of low caliber like me to venture for the welfare or Buddhism and other beings. But, by holding the advice of my revered Guru Khanteng Tsering Tashi Rinpoche as guidance, I have been putting my energies for the proliferation of spiritual teachings to benefit the whole world.”
At the same time as when Rinpoche was on retreat, he shared his knowledge with many monks more than 30 monks (from 7 to 29 years old) at the monastery. “I taught and shared with them what I learn during my 10 years of study and retreat, even how to paint, handwriting, read, prayers, meditation... everything.”
Komang Tulku Rinpoche have been holding the throne of tantric master at the monasteries of Komang, Yantser, Khanteng, Saldang and Samye Chöling. Every year he teaches and gives initiations in many places like Mandrub, Tsechu, Guktor, etc, tirelessly preserving and passing many precious dharma lineages onto the Lamas and people of Upper Dolpo. This is a small list of the latest dharma activities of Rinpoche in upper Dolpo.
- Rinpoche offered the whole initiation and reading transmission of Jhatsön Pödug to Lama Jigmey Throgyal along with his followers at Jangchup Gephel monastery (Nyisal in Upper Dolpo).
- Likewise, at Hrap Tashi Choeling monastery (in Namdo) he taught the commentary to the Dhom-Sum by H.H. Jigdral Yeshe Dorjee to Margom Rinpoche and his disciples.
- He gave the reading transmission of the three sacred books (Bhum-Gye-Dring-Dhü-Sum) at Phu monastery of Shimen, the initiation and reading transmission of “Dudjom Sacred Text” and commentary to the “Teaching of Wisdom of gurus” to the monks of Thakar monastery in Shimen.
- He also taught the commentary to the “Words of my perfect teacher” and a Dudjom text (yum-ka) that related to the three fundamentally independent components of our body (energy channels, winds & drops) to the devotees of Komang Thegchen Jangchup Chöling monastery.
- Rinpoche passed the commentary, initiation, and oral transmission of Dudjom Sacred Text to the gathering at Shugtser monastery in upper Dolpo, and gave the initiation and reading transmissions of “Dudjom Tersar” together with a long life initiation to the people at Dolpo Tarap Ribhum monastery (in Do Tarap).
- More importantly, Komang Rinpoche is the teacher who brought the Nyinktik Yabzhi teachings to Dolpo at the request of Jigme Rinpoche. These are very sacred teachings, and accordingly, he passed them on to many lamas, Rinpoches, and monks with pure Samaya. It was the first time these profound teachings come to the Dolpo area.
Establishing and caring for Dolpo monasteries
Komang Tulku Rinpoche founded 3 monasteries, Phu Monastery, Kharak Dekyid Phodang Ling, and Thekchen Jangchup Choeling. He provides monastic education to many monks and guidance to yogis on retreat.
1) Phu monastery is considered part of Shimen and it is located between Shimen village and Tinje village around one and a half hours walk from Shimen village.
Shimen is the birthplace of the great Dolpopa “The Buddha of Dolpo” (Kunkhyen Dolpo Sangye). Shimen people offered Rinpoche the monastery because they considered him the reincarnation of Kunkhyen Dolpo Sherab Gyaltsen Dolpopa and so Rinpoche build this monastery with his late uncle Amchi-la, right in the birth-place of the great Dolpopa.
The monastery has a meditation center, retreat center, prayer hall, and a study hall. There are more than twenty-seven regular monks and four to five meditators and a Lama doing 3 years retreat in the monastery and meditation center
2) Kharak Dekyid Phodangling monastery is located in Komang village. This place is very precious because more than 11 great Lamas of Dolpo were born here. Most of them were great meditators, they stayed there in retreat and became special Dharma leaders. Two of these great yogis achieved the rainbow body after passing away, their bodies disappeared and left only hair and nails.
Kharak Dekid Phodang ling monastery is the place where Rinpoche does retreat every year during his leisure time. This monastery also holds nyungne, mani retreats, and other practices. Also, Rinpoche holds a very important dharma program 4 times per year here.
3) Thekchen Jangchup Choeling monastery is in Komang village too. This monastery was built with Amchi-la and 9 monks of Komang monastery. Rinpoche build this for Komang village so people consider this as the community monastery.
Caring for his people
Komang Tulku Rinpoche is a multitalented person since his childhood. Apart from his role and training as Dharma Teacher, over the years he has learned and mastered many different skills such as astrology, thanka painting, carpentry, house-building, design, tailoring, etc. More importantly, he is also a qualified Tibetan Medicine Doctor (Amchi) and people rely on him for treatment and consultation.
Due to the remote location of Komang and upper Dolpo, there is a big lack of basic resources in many important areas like health and education. Rinpoche continuously uses his skills and knowledge to help people in all aspects, physical, spiritual, and material. He also looks out for funding from both government and private donors who can help to improve the living conditions and preserve the culture and future of his people.
Establishing Komang primary school
To overcome the endemic crisis of illiteracy in his village Komang Tulku Rinpoche put his efforts into establishing a primary school as an initial step. Finally in 2008, together with Komang villagers and a generous sponsor succeeded in opening Komang village primary school with an active administration.
Trying to open a secondary school
During that time Rinpoche’s daughter Nyima who is a very kind multitalented, hardworking girl, started to help him and became Rinpoche’s right hand. She was only 15 years when she began helping Rinpoche by teaching and taking care of the children of the school.
They tried very hard to get permission to open a secondary school in the village but the government didn't allow them as they have less than 60 students. They faced a hard situation, the children who finished the 5th year, had to repeat or quit as their families didn't have the resources to send them to a secondary school far away.
Meeting generous sponsors and establishing HKH
Due to auspicious karma, Rinpoche met Arantza and Anton in Kathmandu. They began talking and the project to create a Hostel for the village children in Kathmandu started to unfold. They worked very hard to raise funds and find a suitable place to create the Himalayan Komang Hostel (HKH).
At last, we could succeed in giving life and education to many children. The first village children started to come down to Kathmandu for secondary and higher study in 2013. The first batch finished secondary school in 2018. Nyima is taking care of children in Kathmandu and generous NGOs from different countries are now giving us a hand.
Other community projects
- Rinpoche had built a place for the old people of the village. This way they can be taken care of during the day when their families are working on the field or stay there permanently if they need it.
- There is an urgent need to establish a permanent clinic, with first aid equipment and a nurse who can help with accidents happening during fieldwork and women giving birth. The closest basic hospital clinic is several days away by horse.
- Rinpoche is looking for a way to help young people to have higher education both monastic and lay, where they can become teachers, doctors, nurses, and so on, together with a dharma education. Then they could come back and help in the village. The fees for university or college in Nepal are very high totally out of reach for a semi-nomadic family from upper Dolpo.
- To manage and administer these projects, in 2013 Rinpoche established a non-profit Organization called Dolpo Komang Tulku Association for social help in society.
Line of past lives
Komang Tulku Rinpoche is the 8th reincarnation of a line of great teachers, mostly born in the region of Dolpo, starting with the great Jonangpa master Kunkhyen Dolpo Sherab Gyaltsen known as Dolpopa “The Buddha from Dolpo”.
1st - Kunkhyen Dolpo Sherab Gyaltsen - Dolpopa.
Dolpopa was born in Dolpo. In 1309, when he was seventeen, he ran away from home to seek the Buddhist teachings, first in Mustang and then in Tibet.
He became the most important teacher of the Jonang school and the principal exponent of the view of Shenton or “other emptiness” based on the third turning of the wheel of dharma.
Dolpopa played a crucial role in the elucidation and dissemination of this particular doctrine and became a very influential teacher for other schools of Tibetan Buddhism whose fame spread in all three realms.
2nd - Drupchen Thangtong Gyalpo.
Also known as Chakzampa, the "Iron Bridge Maker".He was a great Buddhist adept, a Chöd master, yogi, physician, blacksmith, architect, and a pioneering civil engineer. He is considered a mind emanation of Padmasambhava and a reincarnation of Dolpopa Sherab Gyaltsen.
Thangtong Gyalpo is said to have built 58 iron chain suspension bridges around Tibet and Bhutan, several of which are still in use today. He also designed and built several large stupas of unusual design including the great Kumbum at Chung Riwoche, Tibet; established Gonchen Monastery in Derge; and is considered to be the father of a style of Tibetan opera called Lhamo.
Associated with the Shangpa Kagyu, Nyingma, and Sakya traditions of Tibetan Buddhism, and with the tradition of "mad yogis" known as nyönpa, Thang Tong Gyalpo is also known as a sorcerer character in the popular Tibetan story of Gesar. In addition, he is believed to be the most widely traveled person in Tibetan history.
3rd - Dolpo Chökyab Palzang
Born in Dolpo, he was a great teacher and accomplished meditator who practiced the Sakya, Kagyu, and Nyingma traditions. His main teacher was Nyorchen Sonam Lodoe the abbot of Margom monastery. He meditated for many years in caves and hermitages around Dolpo and gave many teachings and initiations to the people of the region.
Dolpo Chokyab Palzang founded the Yangtser Monastery which is the biggest monastery in Dolpo and had many disciples. He left his footprint on a stone which still can be seen today. After his paranirvana, he remained 4 weeks in meditation resting in the clear light.
4th - Khyenchen Tsultrim Namgyal
Born in Komang-Kharak of upper Dolpo and practiced in the Sakya, Kagyu, and Nyingma schools. He studied in Yangtser Monastery and became a fully ordained monk and scholar who had many disciples and taught the dharma extensively in the Dolpo region.
After he passed away his disciples built his statue in Yangtser monastery. Years later when a lama of wrong actions took the power of the monastery the statue began shedding tears spontaneously. We still can see the tears in the statue today. After his paranirvana, he stayed one week in meditation.
5th - Dolpo Lodoe Namgyal
Also born in Dolpo Komang-Kharak and trained in the three schools of Sakya, Kagyu, and Nyingma in Yangtser monastery. He left one footprint in Komang.
When he reached old age, he gave up his responsibilities to his disciple and came back to Komang-Kharak to give teachings on impermanence to Komang villagers for 3 days. On the morning of the 10th, he entered paranirvana while repeating Ogyen, Ogyen, Ogyen… (the name of Padmasambhava) and remained for two weeks in meditation.
6th - Dolpo Gonpo Chophel
Born in Namdo village he trained in Drukpa Kagyu and Nyingma schools. His main Lamas were Dolpo Tenpa Rinpoche and 15th Karmapa Kyakyab Dorje.
He was a great accomplished yogi and founded a monastery in Namdo called Dechen Lhadrang Monastery. He stayed one week in tuk-dam (post-mortem meditation) after parinirvana.
7th - Doltrul Pema Khyentse Dorje
Born in Komang Kharak he was a great Nyingma yogi and practitioner. He stayed one year studying in India with Chakduk Rinpoche and spent 6 months with H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche.
He established the lineage of the Dudjom Tersar (New Treasures of Dudjom) in Dolpo and went to many places around Dolpo area and Tibet spreading these precious teachings.
He was requested to stay at Dechen Lhadrang Monastery by Namdo villagers many times and so he gave many teachings to the people of Namdo. He pass into parinirvina at Yangtser Monastery and stayed 19 days in meditation.
Download here Rinpoche’s Long-Life Prayer