My father is a Dzogchen Master Zhichen Bairochana, nowadays people commonly call him Bairo Rinpoche. My mother Kelsang Yudron, commonly known as Mayumla, was from Lhodrak southern Tibet. They met there for the first time when my mother was nineteen years old and they met again in a sacred place of Guru Padmasambhava known as Beyul (Hidden valley) on the Tibet and Bhutanese border after three years.

I was born in Guru Padmasambhava's sacred place known as Tso Pema, (Rewalsar) Himachal Pradesh, when my parents were on their pilgrimage in India. The birth took place during a major ceremony of lama dances and a holy feast or ganachakra celebrating the birthday of Guru Padmasambhava under the guidance of the late HH Dudjom Yeshe Dorje, who was a realized and great renowned master of this age. It is unfortunate that my memory cannot go back all the way to the moment of my birth. According to the stories that I did gather from others, it was one of those rare, magnificent and unforgettably precious days that we can only expect once in a while. Most of the great realized Dzogchen masters who had just fled from Tibet not long before were present at that time, celebrating the birthday of Guru Padmasambhava with holy dances, along with cultural dances by the young boys and girls adorned with all sorts of colorful costumes, and accompanying an enormous feast or ganachakra with thousands of devotees and pilgrims from all over the Himalayan region. I am, as you might say, proud to be born on that particular day and in that particular place with the sublime support of my beloved parents. My name, Djigme Padma Aungchen was given by the holy Master Dudjom Yeshe Dorje with his traditional congratulations and divine blessings. Ever since then, I am blessed and entirely protected by him and Guru Padmasambhava forever.

 At the age of four, I was taken to Darjeeling, where my main monastery is, as a reincarnation of the 11th Gyalwang Drukpa. It was said that I could recognise some of the servants who had served the 11th Drukpa as soon as they came to visit me. I do not remember these things any more. However, I remember saying to my parents two days before the late Thuksey Rinpoche came to see us that "a white bearded man will come soon to pick me up". I really do not know why, but I also remember that I was very happy to be taken as a reincarnation with the late Thuksey Rinpoche. Some say jokingly that it was because I had been the biological father of the late Thuksey Rinpoche, and therefore I was obviously happy to be back with my son, meaning that Thuksey Rinpoche was the only son of the 10th Gyalwang Drukpa. Whatever the reason, I felt very much at home when I was with Thuksey Rinpoche, who was my first and profound spiritual master and emotional support. I do not really care about whatever it was that made me feel that way. It is past and the thing that I need to be considering is the future and the present time, whether or not to be able to practice as this master wished me to do. Nonetheless, I still believe that it would have been much easier for my parents and especially for me as a small boy to grow up in an ordinary way.

However, I was put through the learning process of all the traditional rituals as well as the memorization of volumes of Buddhist spiritual teachings, among others, from the early age of six. Most of my traditional study and memorization was completed by the age of 13. My most difficult period of life is over. I had a very difficult upbringing between the ages of  5 and 13. The traditional way of educating a child is not an easy thing at all. It is indeed a difficult pipe to squeeze oneself through but I am glad that I have made it, and I found out that it gave me a tremendously long-lasting impact and security so as to appreciate the rest of the time in my life quite contentedly. It is unlike many of those modern children who are raised in a princely or princess-like style and who spend the rest of their lives as beggars who beg for comfort and happiness, those who suffer immensely from dissatisfaction every day and night. What I memorized and learned in that period of time does not count much to me but the experience of the hard time I went through is a great help for me now. I really feel that it was a treatment that was badly needed. No wonder my parents ignored my request to help me by asking those teachers to treat me softly. I always felt that I had nobody out there to cry to for support, not even my own parents, which I lately realized gave me a tremendous confidence in the development of self-strength.

I was keen on learning further the commentaries of the philosophy of the Buddhist tradition as well as others. Thanks to our karma, we had a great abbot known as Noryang from Zigar Monastery in eastern Tibet, who had infinite knowledge of everything that is possible to understand in this universe. He was indeed a great dictionary of the entire universe. If you knew the way to ask a question, he always had the right answer, not only on religious and spiritual things but also on global knowledge, such as politics, economics, science and sport, if asked. Unlike most of us, he had no pride in himself whatsoever. He was always a great example for humankind. His unique presentation and humility combined with all the knowledge was really magnificent.

I requested him through my parents to be my tutor but he did not desire the name of "tutor" or positions of any sort, yet he accepted the request to teach me whatever would be appropriate, and only if I so wanted. Therefore, I had the golden opportunity to study all the external and inner as well as the secret knowledge of the philosophy of the universe with him for about eight years. Even though, regretfully enough, due to my own ignorance and wildness, as well as the usual laziness of teenage years, I did not get to utilize the golden opportunity as fully I could have, though indeed I feel very fortunate to have had that glimpse of karma in his presence just before he expired at the age of 73. After his parinirvana, I realized that I had much more to learn and, in fact, I sort of achieved a kind of realization that the learning process in this world should never be ending until the great enlightenment.

Prior to my nine golden years, I had humbly approached His Holiness Dalai Lama several times and discussed with him the issue of my further education. After a long discussion about who should be the one to continue such a great transmission of the entire universal truth with full humility and no contamination of ego, and especially without the sectarian prejudices amongst the different schools, His Holiness very kindly appointed one great Nyingma master known as Ontrul Rinpoche. He said that there were no masters like him in any orders or schools of the entire Tibetan Buddhist tradition, that is, he was one who had the entire knowledge of the universal philosophy and had no sectarian concept. However, it was evident that he was not so easy to get though to, because no schools, colleges or individuals until today succeeded to have him as a teacher. His Holiness told me I would have to be the most fortunate in order for him to accept my request. We decided to appeal to this master and His Holiness said that he would also be giving support to the idea that he be my teacher. Furthermore, I came to know that this master originally came from the same school and same monastery as my father. With a note from my father, I sent a letter of request to him with a great hope and fear. After a month or so of waiting anxiously for his reply, an extremely long and happy letter with very good news came from this master, saying that he was waiting for a predicted or prophesied student identified by his own Guru back in 1930. His Guru had said to him that towards the end of his life he would have the occasion to benefit an incarnated being and that he should not let this opportunity escape him when it happens. My sought- after teacher thought that this was the time for him to come and help me in order to fulfill the prophecy of his own Guru. Reading that letter was the most enjoyable moment I had ever experienced in my life.

Subsequently, from that moment, he was already my beloved and respected Master even though he was yet to be seen by me personally. After about a year, I started receiving teachings and guidance on various kinds of subjects from him for more than 9 years. He was the authentic "eye" for me, not only in religious and spiritual matters but in the everyday life as well. Though I had a strong wish to spend with him the rest of my life learning the boundless things of the vase which we call the universe, and serve him, it is said that, "The demon will be very active where the god is." Therefore, I had to discontinue the pleasure of being together with him, and instead roam the world doing my so-called "duty". I was always thinking of discontinuing these other activities soon after fulfilling certain aspects of service to the lineage and the people of my lineage, and then have this precious Master continuously for the rest of his or my life. However, as we all know, these fortunes should always be seized when they are available. It is never recommended to let them go, even for the price of one's life. Truly enough, my fortune of being with him and seeking the infinite blessings of his presence and teachings never came back to me. I am sure that he was not totally fulfilled by the time and effort that I could spare myself for his teachings. For that I am very sad and I will never get myself out of it. The only way to restore it is to attain the great enlightenment in this lifetime through the contemplation of his words and example that he had generously given me. I am working very hard on following what he really showed me as life's path. I will never forget his infinite kindness and sublime knowledge bestowed on me in those beautiful days when we were together having a fruitful time every day of the month and every hour of the day. This master was not only a great teacher when he gave me the oral teachings but every movement of his body and all the conversations, including the jokes and those worldly tales, whatever came out of his mouth, had a tremendous effect on my mind to improve myself and be compassionate. Additionally, the amount of joy that one can experience just from his sight is an immeasurable vase, and profound, which is the true influence of his own accomplished kindness and infinite love.

While I was learning from him, I never used to dream of him, and I used to think that it might mean he was inseparable from my heart and practice. However, one very early morning, without his physical presence, I saw him coming to me in a garden where we used to visit together and have Dharma chitchat. He was in a rush and said he was running late to fulfill the next commitment and came just to say goodbye to me. It was indeed a very kind of exciting and short dream, but after about a week, I got the news of his parinirvana. I realized that it was the first and final dream that he would ever come into; it was solely to tell me the final goodbye. He left me alone on this lonely, dreadful planet before I even knew how to walk properly. I know finally we all need to take our own liberty in leading our life but it was too short a time that I was given by my karma to spend with him. I really regret not being smart enough to renounce everything and hold the only opportunity of serving him that I could ever have been given in my thousands of lives of past, present, and future. I understand, though, when masters are left with not much spiritual interaction from students for a period of time, they tend to have no wish to live longer in this world, and switch their activities to another world to benefit its beings. I still hope with confidence that he understood that my karma did not allow me to accomplish the commitment that I have with him and that it was not because I was not interested in the spiritual path.

Furthermore, it is worth saying that although I had numerous amounts of masters from different schools of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition who were equally kind and precious to me, the late Ontrul Rinpoche was the one who truly made me a real person. I would say he was the fundamental master for me because due to his teachings and encouragement, I could appreciate the basic essence of all the masters. I did not have any negative thoughts towards those masters ever since he opened my spiritual eyes. I have not had any doubt in my practices ever since he gave me the skilful torch with which to work. With him I began to understand who I was on both the worldly and the spiritual levels due to his spontaneous example. I realized how much the masters meant to me through the simplicity in his everyday life. All the realizations that are possible there in my practices are based upon his kindness. Now that he is no longer there in his physical appearance it totally depends upon my own diligence and inner discipline.

That is all for now concerning my biography if you like. I jotted this down as it came into my mind. It may be a deteriorated version of my biography, which was previously seen on the web by many of you. Nonetheless, I am not interested in elaborating upon my daily emotional life, nor on my so-called Dharma activities because that is very relative and uninteresting, at least to me, to even think about. Good day and night to you all.

Stay Connected 1

Pel Drukpa Charitable Trust
D301 Sushant Arcade, Sushant Lok-1
Gurgaon 122001
Haryana, India
91 (0) 124 4115234
91 (0) 124 4115235
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.drukpa.org

Stay Connected 2

Druk Amitabha Mountain
GPO Box 6727, Kathmandu, Nepal
977 1 4281 051/2/3/4 Ext: 200 (office)
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.drukpa-nuns.org
The most reliable way to contact
is by email.

 

To receive news and updates, subscribe to the emailing list:

 
Twitter Facebook Instagram

We have 161 visitors online

© 2016 The Gyalwang Drukpa. All Rights Reserved. Unless specified otherwise, the copyright of all materials contained in this website belongs to the Gyalwang Drukpa. No part of this website may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the office of the Gyalwang Drukpa. For permission to reproduce any part of this website, please write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for request and assistance. In the event that permission is granted for reproduction for any part of this website, kindly make reference of source to www.drukpa.org. Your cooperation is deeply appreciated.