The Venerable Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche
Thrangu Rinpoche was born in Kham in 1933. At the age of five he was formally recognized by the Sixteenth Karmapa and the previous Situ Rinpoche as the ninth incarnation of the great Thrangu tulku. Entering Thrangu monastery, from the ages of seven to sixteen he studied reading, writing, grammar, poetry, and astrology, memorized ritual texts, and completed two preliminary retreats. At sixteen, under the direction of Khenpo Lodro Rabsel, he began the study of the three vehicles of Buddhism while staying in retreat.
At twenty-three Rinpoche received full ordination from the Karmapa. When he was twenty-seven he left Tibet for India at the time of the Communist military takeover. He was called to Rumtek, Sikkim where the Karmapa had his seat in exile. At thirty-five Rinpoche took the geshe examination before 1500 monks at Buxador monastic refugee camp in Bengal and was awarded the degree of Geshe Lharampa. On his return to Rumtek he was named Abbot of Rumtek monastery and the Nalanda Institute for Higher Buddhist studies at Rumtek. He has been the personal teacher of the four principal Karma Kagyu tulkus: Shamar Rinpoche, Situ Rinpoche, Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche, and Gyaltsab Rinpoche. Because of his vast knowledge of the Dharma, Rinpoche was appointed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama to be the personal tutor for the Seventeenth Gyalwang Karmapa.
Rinpoche has centers in Asia, Europe, and North America and has traveled extensively throughout the world to teach. In 1984 he spent several months in Tibet where he ordained over 100 monks and nuns and visited several monasteries. In Nepal, Rinpoche founded the Thrangu Tashi Choling monastery and the Shree Mangal Dvip boarding school, for the general education of lay children and young monks, in Boudha; Thrangu Tara Abbey, a monastic college for nuns, in Swayambhunath; the Thrangu Tashi Yangtse monastic college and retreat center at Namo Buddha, east of the Kathmandu Valley; and the Thrangu Shekhar retreat center in Bhaktapur, just below a cave where Tibetan yogi Milarepa practiced. In India, he has completed the Vajra Vidya monastic college near Deer Park in Sarnath, where Shakyamuni Buddha gave his first teaching on the Four Noble Truths. In North America, Rinpoche is the abbot of Gampo Abbey, Nova Scotia, Canada and has established the Thrangu monastery in Vancouver, B.C., Canada and the Vajra Vidya retreat center in Crestone, Colorado, USA.
Thrangu Rinpoche is one of the most highly regarded masters of Mahamudra meditation. He has touched the lives of students from all parts of the world through his compassionate presence, his immense knowledge, and his way of making even
complex teachings attainable.