Mingyur Dorje Rinpoche
Mingyur Rinpoche's 'emanation-basis'
is Vajrapani, the Lord of Secrets, who in the realm of Chang Lochen is the
single embodiment of all buddhas' power, strength and ability; the noble
being Niruddha, who at the Vajra Throne had the most eminent power over
miracles among the disciples of Buddha Shakyamuni; in the snowy ranges of
Tibet, he was the eldest son of King Trisong Deutsen, the Dharma ruler
prince Mutri Tsenpo, who was one of the twenty-five disciples. Who can fully
describe all their successive emanations who appeared in Tibet to spread the
Buddha's teachings as emissaries of Padmasambhava?
To mention a few: The great
vidyadhara Gökyi Demtruchen, who among the regents of Padmasambhava appeared,
in the center and four directions, as the treasure revealers with the name
Lingpa who had the nature of the five buddha families, as well as those in
the four intermediate directions. Among these were Terchen Dorje Lingpa in
the East, Pema Lingpa in the West, and Shikpo Lingpa in an intermediate
direction. There was also Rinchen Püntsok, the great tertön of Drigung, the
vidyadhara Jatsön Nyingpo, and Namchö Mingyur Dorje. Among their following
reincarnations were twenty-one major tertöns with the name Nüden, among
which was the first incarnation of Yongey Mingyur Dorje. Born in the Lhatok
region of Kham, in his early years he had visions of Padmasambhava, Karma
Pakshi, Hayagriva, Vajra Varahi and Mahakala and composed a guru sadhana for
Karma Pakshi fashioned as a mind treasure received in a pure vision.
The 10th Karmapa, Chöying
Dorje, gave him the name Rigdzin Mingyur Dorje Drakpo Nüden Tsal. He also
became a learned and highly accomplished master through his scrupulous
studies of Sutra, Tantra and the general sciences.
On one occasion the Kagyü
lineage was severely weakened due to invasion, as well as outer, inner and
innermost obstacles. At that time, in accordance with Guru Rinpoche's
prediction, Yongey Mingyur Dorje revealed the complete teaching cycle of
Guru Dorje Drolö which he then offered, in secret, to the 10th Karmapa,
Chöying Dorje. This lord himself also applied it in practice. The great
tertön personally practiced the approach, accomplishment and activity
applications of Dorje Drolö for nine months and by doing so vanquished the
outer, inner and innermost unfavorable circumstances and obstacles,
including the invading army. Thus he caused the Kagyü teachings to shine
like the rising sun.
In the later part of his
life, he followed the yogic lifestyle of a mahasiddha. He subjugated and
brought to the path of liberation many samaya violators, evil influences and
obstructing forces who harm the Buddhadharma and sentient beings. In
particular, he bound under oath the Nine Demon Brothers and their retinues,
evil forces that wreak disaster in the world. In these ways, he assisted the
Dharma and beings immensely.
Yongey Mingyur Dorje's
other terma teachings included the Peaceful and Wrathful Padma Vajra and the
longevity sadhana known as Tabshey Khajor, the Union of Means and Knowledge.
These were his three main termas and they include many subsidiary activity
practices and so forth.
Directly and indirectly a
great number of noble beings, lamas, tulkus and sangha of all schools
received his terma teachings. But his primary recipients for these teachings
were predicted in his own revelations and were the sublime Tai Situ Künkhyen
Chökyi Jungney and tertön Kuchok Dorje. To quote his terma prediction:
In the Uta valley Tai Situ will wield the vajra copper sword in the sky
In a future time of strife, when the five degenerations are rampant,
First entrust this to your Dharma heir Amita,
Then soon after to the one called Parni.
Entrust it without keeping secret and the ruler's dispute will subside.
This describes the recipient of the teachings. To continue:
You are an emanation of the Lord of Secrets.
I am the buddhas of the three times, as well as Shakyamuni,
Who protects with compassionate light rays the beings of the dark age.
Never missing the right time, the power of true aspirations,
Birth after birth, the guru will speak to you.
Pray and don't hold back your faith and devotion.
Keep this in your heart, my worthy noble son.
Strong is your samaya, princely ruler;
You will greatly serve the Buddha's teachings.
In this way his activity to benefit beings was truly in accordance with the
predictions of the master of Uddiyana.
Yongey Mingyur Dorje's
second incarnation was born into the Batok family in the Lhatok region. He
was known as Three-Eyed Yongey and was an extraordinary individual who had
three eyes and the signs of the five buddha families on his body. It was as
if an emanation of Guru Dorje Drolö had appeared in person. Through his
three qualities of being learned, virtuous and noble-minded he vastly
benefited the Dharma and sentient beings.
The third incarnation was
also born into the Batok family. The fourth incarnation took birth in Derge,
in the Dalang family. The fifth incarnation was born in Derge in the Shakhar
family. The sixth incarnation took birth in Derge at Meshö into the Nera
family and was known by the name Nera Mingyur Dorje. All these incarnations
studied, reflected upon and practiced Sutra, Tantra and the sciences so that
for themselves they discovered perfect wisdom and hence captured the
dharmakaya throne of nonmeditation. For the benefit of others, through the
three qualities of wisdom, compassion and capability they accomplished an
immense benefit of the Buddhadharma and sentient beings.
Yongey Mingyur Dorje's
present incarnation is the seventh in this string of incarnations and was
born in 1976. His father was the eminent Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche from the
divine Tsangsar bloodline of Nangchen. His mother is Sönam Chödrön, a
descendant of the two Tibetan kings Songtsen Gampo and Trisong Deutsen.
Before Mingyur Rinpoche was
born, his father Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche dreamt that a lama of majestic
presence dressed in white ngakpa robes appeared and said, "I am Yongey
Mingyur Dorje. I have come to borrow a dwelling in your home." About one
month before his birth the moon was seen to be connected to the house by a
white beam of light. It connected to the front and roof so many times that
the local people were amazed and commented on it.
His father gave him the
name Lhündrub Dorje. Rigpey Dorje, the sixteenth Karmapa, identified him as
being the authentic reincarnation of the previous Yongey Mingyur Dorje and
bestowed upon him the name Karma Gyurmey Tendzin Chökyi Dorje.
Around the age of six he thoroughly learned and mastered reading and writing.
Around then, Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche told his grandfather, Lama Tashi
Dorje, and his parents, "This child is Mingyur Dorje's reincarnation as the
Karmapa says. But he is also the rebirth of the tertön Kangyur Rinpoche,
Longchen Yeshe Dorje. How? The previous Mingyur Rinpoche and the former
Kangyur Rinpoche both have the same emanation basis, thus these two lamas
have now incarnated in a single form and come as this rebirth. This is
similar to myself, for instance, as I am regarded as a tulku of three
different lamas." Accordingly, the children and disciples of the previous
Kangyur Rinpoche trust this to be true.
In 1984, at the age of nine,
according to the Tibetan way of counting, he moved to the hermitage of Nagi
Gompa to study with his father, the eminent Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche. There, in
the manner of guidance through personal experience, he studied, over a
period of approximately two and a half years, such Mahamudra teachings as
the Four Dharmas of the peerless Gampopa, as well as instructions on the
Trekchö and Tögal aspects of Dzogchen. Even though a given teaching may have
been quite short, he trained by practicing each point for several days.
At the age of eleven, he
was prompted by the eminent Jamgön Tai Situ Rinpoche to come to Sherab Ling
which is like a second Palpung. There he learned from the master's own tutor,
the retreat lama Tsültrim, the practical applications of the daily rituals
of Karma Kamtsang and the tantras according to the tradition of Marpa.
Studying these with great perseverance he learned them thoroughly. From
Jamgön Tai Situ Rinpoche and the eminent tulku Saljey Rinpoche, he received
over a stretch of one year the empowerments, reading transmissions and
guiding instructions of the Kamtsang system.
Then, in 1988, the first
retreat was about to begin at the retreat center at Sherab Ling. Though
Mingyur Rinpoche was only thirteen at the time, he expressed his wish and
determination to enter the retreat and Situ Rinpoche's gladly gave his
approval. So for the next three years, he practiced the pithy instructions
of the ocean of Kagyü siddhas, ranging from the preliminary practices
through the main part of development stage for the deities such as Gyalwa
Gyamtso, Chakrasamvara and Vajra Varahi; through the completion stages
involving the path of means of Naropa's six doctrines; to the path of
liberation which includes the profound practice of Mahamudra. In short, he
practiced with tremendous perseverance, whether day or night, development
stage, completion stage and the path of liberation resulting in an
extraordinary level of experience and realization being born in his stream
In his seventeenth year,
Mingyur Rinpoche came out of retreat in the first Tibetan month and soon
after was told by Situ Rinpoche that he must assume the position of retreat
master for the second retreat which was about to begin. Accordingly, in that
year, to the approximately fifteen monks and thirteen nuns who were entering
their respective retreats, he gave the empowerments, reading transmissions
and instructions for both the preliminary practices as well as the main
part. While acting as the retreat master, he personally did what corresponds
to several years of retreat in the monks' practice center.
At the end of his
nineteenth year, he joined the Dzongsar monastic college. Under the tutelage
of Khenpo Kunga Wangchuk, he studied, among other topics, the Abhisamaya
Lamkara and Prajnaparamita.
In his twentieth year, Situ
Rinpoche told him to assume the responsibility of being his representative
at the monastic seat Sherab Ling and in that year Mingyur Rinpoche became
the main person responsible at Sherab Ling. During this time he established
a new monastic college where he also personally studied.
Beginning in his
twenty-first year, he worked as the assistant teacher in Sherab Ling's
monastic college while simultaneously carrying out the task of being retreat
master for a third retreat of another 30 or so monks and nuns. He continued
to do this until he was twenty-five, though often remained in retreat for
one to three months at a time.
For one hundred days,
stretched over the next several years, Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche passed on to
Mingyur Rinpoche the Hearing Lineage of Trekchö and Tögal, primordial purity
and spontaneous presence, a lineage that bears the seal of secrecy and is
passed on to only one person at a time. Each day, without break, there was
one teaching session after which he practiced the meaning. In this way he
fully received the pith instructions known as The Great Guidance through
He has also received the
Chokling Tersar from Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, and the Damngak Dzö from
Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche.
As Jamgön Tai Situ Rinpoche
was unable to visit India, Mingyur Rinpoche continued supervising all the
affairs of Sherab Ling's college and retreat centers. There, over a period
of seven years, he studied with great diligence and mastered the topics of
Madhyamika, Prajnaparamita, Abhidharma, Pramana and Vinaya, in short, the
five traditional volumes of authoritative scriptures with their subsidiary
topics. Moreover, though he now is extremely learned, he continues his
personal studies and practice, and also teaches, writes and engages in
debate, to benefit others.
Rinpoche is the youngest of
six brothers, who are all tulkus in their own right. The eldest is Choökyi
Nyima Rinpoche, a Kagyu master who is the abbot of Ka-Nying Shedrup Ling
Monastery in Boudhanath, Nepal. The second brother is Chokling Rinpoche, a
Nyingmapa master who lives in Boudhanath, Nepal and is the father of the
present incarnation of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. Tenpa, the third brother, is
the General Secretary to Tenga Rinpoche. The fourth brother Orgyen Jigme has
chosen not to follow the path of a tulku, although he was formally
recognized. The fifth brother is Tsoknyi Rinpoche, who is a Drukpa Kagyu
master and has a monastery in Swayambhunath, Nepal. He teaches throughout
the world and is the closest to Mingyur Rinpoche.