Message from Rinpoche
Khamtrul Rinpoche Kinnaur Visit (19 June - 5 July 2010)

Dear Friends,

It brings me immense joy to share with you about the recent visit by Kyabje Khamtrul Rinpoche to Kinnaur, my beloved homeland in the remote valleys of Himalaya. The visit was an unprecedented success and fulfilled the long desired wishes of thousands of devotees in that region.

Khamtul Rinpoche giving blessing to the Sangha and lay attendants Nako.jpg Khamtul Rinpoche and Somang Tulku conducting Naga Puja at Nako Lake.jpg

Previous Khamtrul Rinpoche's dharma activities in the region have left a monumental imprint in the Himalayan areas, more than any other Drukpa Kagyu masters of recent times.

The 6th Khamtrul Tenpe Nyima too was very renowned across the Himalayas from Bhutan to Ladakh through two of his eminent disciples Tokden Shakya Shri and 8th Choegon Rinpoche, Thutop Choeki Gyamtso. Thutop Choekyi Gyamtso (8th Choegon Rinpoche) was responsible to hold the lineage empowerments and transmission to all the Drukpa Kagyu masters; while Shakya Shri assume the responsibility to instruct the Six Yogas of Naropa to meditators. The 6th Khamtrul Rinpoche himself was the disciple of Yongzin Sheja Kunchen (the 7th Yongzin Rinpoche), Shedrup Choekyi Nyinje (the 7th Choegon Rinpoche) and Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo.

Later Choekyi Gyamtso (the 8th Choegon Rinpoche) became the root guru to both the 7th, 8th Khamtrul Rinpoches and 8th Adeu Rinpoche. He transmitted the entire teachings of Drukpa Kagyu to these two heart sons, who were liken the sun and moon to our lineage after the Cultural Revolution in China and Tibet.

The 8th Khamtrul Rinpoche, Dongyud Nyima
The 8th Drukpa Choegon Rinpoche, Thutop Choekyi Gyamtso
The 8th Trulshik Adeu Rinpoche

I in turn was extremely fortunate to receive the complete teachings and empowerments of Drukpa Kagyu from these two great masters: 8th Khamtrul Rinpoche and 8th Adeu Rinpoche, the much extolled heart sons of the previous Choegon Rinpoche.

8th Khamtrul Rinpoche and 8th Adeu Rinpoche are unquestionably the pillars and strength of our lineage. No other masters in our lineage have had greater impact than them in the 20th century. They are the greatest example of the enlightened masters who had dedicated their whole life to Dharma - entire life spent solely in practicing, upholding, propagating and reviving the genuine Dharma; totally and fully awake to the vanity of worldly pursuits. The truly great and incomparable Vajra Masters of Drukpa Kagyu.

Both of them have also visited various places including Bhutan, and propagate the lineage teachings of Drukpa Kagyu across all regions from Tibet to Bhutan, India and Nepal.

Shakya Shri who was also one of the heart sons of 6th Khamtrul Rinpoche, were also widely known in the entire Himalayan region. Shakya Shri had hundreds of great yogi disciples, among them are Lama Sonam Zangpo of Bhutan, Tripon Pema Choegyal of Ladakh and Lama Kunga of Lahaul. They were instrumental in spreading the Mahamudra Lineage across the Himalayan regions from Ladakh to Bhutan. In fact many of the renown yogis in Tashi Jong and Nangchen Garh (Tsechu Monastery of Adeu Rinpoche) were also lineage holder of Shakya Shri and Thutop Choekyi Gyamtso (8th Choegon Rinpoche).

Therefore Khamtrul Rinpoche is widely known in this region as Tenpe Nyima Rinpoche, instead of Khamtrul Rinpoche.

Matter of fact my late father was also a yogi in Dechen Choekhor and was the disciple of Tripon Pema Choegyal and the 8th Choegon Rinpoche. He spent more than twenty years in retreat in Dechen Choekhor. 'Tri' means instructions; 'Pon' means leader. Therefore 'Tripon' denotes 'the one who leads the instructions' to disciples. It simply means, Tripon Pema Choegyal, one of the heart disciple of Shakya Shri assumes the responsibility of Shakya Shri to lead the instructions (Six Yogas of Naropa) to disciples (meditators) after the passing of Shakya Shri.

Even though 8th Khamtrul Rinpoche is very renowned and greatly respected in this part of the world and was invited numerous times to Ladakh and Kinnaur, unfortunately he had never been able to visit Ladakh; and had only visited Kinnaur twice. His first visit to Kinnaur was to meet with his root guru, the 8th Choegon Rinpoche. The subsequent visit was shortly thereafter and incidentally it's also related to his root guru, but instead, the purpose of the second visit was to find his root guru's reincarnation i.e. the 9th Choegon Rinpoche.

It has been 38 years since the previous Khamtrul Dongyud Nyima visited this region. You can therefore naturally understand the overwhelming joy, gladness, appreciation and honor it has brought to the local people to have him return to this valley after such a long wait. It's like a parched desert that has been blessed with the joyful rain drops of his visit.

People of Nako presenting cultural performances to Khamtul Rinpoche.jpg People of Jangi giving warm welcome to Khamtul Rinpoche.jpg
Sanghas and laymen from Jangi receiving Longevity Initiation from Khamtul Rinpoche.jpg Faithful sangha of Pooh offering Long Life Puja to Khamtul Rinpoche.jpg

Rinpoche is continuing in the footsteps of his predecessors including the 6th Khamtrul Tenpe Nyima who had first spread the dharma in this region approximately one hundred years ago. In this trip, Rinpoche only managed to visit about eight villages including Nako, Pooh, Labrang, and Jangi.

In Nako, Rinpoche held his teachings in Kalalchakra Temple where H.H. Dalai Lama held the Kala Chakra initiation a couple of years ago. This village is very famous with over a thousand years history of Buddha Dharma. The historical famous ancient monastery there was built by Rinchen Zangpo in the 10th century. There are also Rinchen Zangpo's temples in Pooh and stupas in Labrang Village.  They were too built in the 10th century. All these old temples draw a lot of attention from both followers as well as researchers worldwide since most of the ancient Buddhist temples have been destroyed in other part of India.

Rinpoche had conferred lots of precious teachings and empowerments to thousands of people in each village. And some of them have joyfully called me up and told me how grateful and overjoyed they were.

We hope that Rinpoche will grace our villages again in the future and bless our people as his predecessors have been graciously doing for the longest time.

Drukpa Choegon Rinpoche, 5th August 2010

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