TOGDAN TULKUS

Rinpoche is the 9th Togdan Tulku. The Togdan tulku are believed to be the successive incarnations of the Indian Mahasiddha Hungchen Kara (Hungkara), one of the Eight Great Vidyadharas. The other Eight Vidyadharas include Nagarjuna, Manjushrimitra and Vimalamitra.

Himself known as the Vidyadhara of the Mind, Hungkara’s lineage Vissudha Heruka, was transmitted in 8th century to Namkhai Nyingpo who was sent by Padmasambhava to receive pure tantric teachings from India in support to Buddhism flourishing in Tibet.

Approximately 800 years ago Master Hungkara was incarnated as Kongpo Togdan Tulku, the 1st Togdan Tulku and a disciple of the great Drikung Terton of Dzogchen Yangzab, also known as Gyalwang Rinchen Phuntsog.

Master Hungkara is one of the Eight Mahasiddha

Sometime during the 19th century the 6th incarnation Tenzin Chodrak reintroduced the influence of Drikungpa lineage in Ladakh. It was the first time that a tulku of the Togdan lineage would leave central Tibet. He settled in Phyang Monastery for a long time, where he became the teacher of two kings of Ladakh.

After having the first seven of the Togdan tulku born in Tibet, the 8th was born in Ladakh. At that time it was decided that the successive incarnations would be appointed as the Chöjes for Ladakh. Chöje means “Dharma Master”. They were traditionally sent from Drikung Thil Monastery in Tibet to places such as Mt. Kailash, Tsari, Lapchi, and Ladakh.

The 8th Togdan Tulku from Ladakh

The 8th Togdan Ngawang Lodro Gyaltsen was the son of Jigme Kunga Namgyal, the prince of Ladakh. He received his monastic training in Yangrigar Monastery, which was located 10 km from Lhasa.

At Tarsing Karmo, Dharma Protector Tseringma in the form of a bird stayed in the retreat cave with Rinpoche for one night

As the 9th Togdan Rinpoche, Rinpoche was given the leadership of the unbroken Drikung tradition in Ladakh. This included the responsibility for over 50 monasteries and the cultivation of the Drikung tradition in the region.

Successive re-incarnations:

  1. Togdan Kongbo Bari
  2. Togden Tashi Phuntsog
  3. Togden Rinchen Wangchuk
  4. Togden Stanzin Namgyal
  5. Togden Choskyi Lodros
  6. Togden Stanzin Chosdraks
  7. Togden Nawang Gelek Wangchuk
  8. Togden Konchok Stanzin Tamchos Gyurmet
  9. Togden Konchok Thubstan Tenpai Gyaltsen