The Venerable Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche was born in Kham, Tibet, in 1933. At the age of five, he was formally recognized by His Holiness the Sixteenth Karmapa and Tai Situpa as the ninth incarnation of the great Thrangu tulku. He entered Thrangu monastery, where, 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 in retreat. At twenty-three he received full ordination from the Karmapa.
Because of the military takeover of Tibet, Thrangu Rinpoche, then twenty-seven, was forced to flee to India in 1959. He was called to Rumtek monastery in Sikkim, where the Karmapa has his seat in exile. Because of his great scholarship and unending diligence, Rinpoche was given the task of preserving the teachings of the Kagyu lineage; the lineage of Marpa, Milarepa, and Gampopa, so that one thousand years of profound Buddhist teachings would not be lost.
Rinpoche has now taught in over twenty-five countries and has seventeen centers in twelve countries. He is especially known for making complex teachings accessible to Western students. Thrangu Rinpoche is a recognized master of Mahamudra meditation.
Because of his vast knowledge of the Dharma and his skill as a teacher, he was appointed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama to be the personal tutor for His Holiness the Seventeenth Karmapa.
When he came to Nepal, Rinpoche understood the plight of Himalayan people. When the border was closed, it caused immense suffering because trade routes were cut, along with the people’s ties to their own language, culture and their Buddhist way of life—they became the forgotten people of the high Himalayas. Rinpoche has founded 11 institutions in Nepal, to help the people of this country. Rinpoche has seen to it that everyone in his care gets both a Buddhist and a secular education so that especially the young people can help themselves and their own people when they grow up.
For the full biopgraphy and current information and schedule of Thrangu Rinpoche, please visit Thrangu Rinpoche’s Official Website.