A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE ZIGAR DRUKPA KARGYUD
The lineage of the Drukpa Kargyud is from the great Vajradhara, to Tilopa, to Naropa, to Marpa, to Milarepa, to Gampopa (who founded all the Kagyud orders), to Phagmo Drupa, to Linchen Repa, to Tsangpa Gyarey (who gave the name ¡§Drukpa¡¨ Kargyud), and from him the Drukpa Kargyud order continues.
The 1st Zigar Rinpoche Sonam Gyatsho, (1608-1669) was manifestation of Guru Padma Sambhawa. Historically, according to Rinchen Terzod (Terchen 128), all the Zigar Rinpoches were incarnations of King Trisong Detsen, who was considered an emanation of Manjushri (the manifestation of the wisdom Buddhas).
The 2nd Zigar Rinpoche Gelek Chokdrub Tenzing. (1672-1719)
The 3rd Zigar Rinpoche Mipham Trinley Paljor. (1720-1740)
The 4th Zigar Rinpoche Rigzing Dorje Drakpo. (1740-1797)
The 5th Zigar Rinpoche Mipham Choekyi Nyima. (1798-1850)
The 6th Zigar Rinpoche Ngawang Tenpei Nyima. (1852-1890)
The 7th Zigar Rinpoche Ngawang Tenzing Palzang. (1892-1937)
The 8th Zigar Rinpoche Rigzing Lhachok Dorje. (1938-1959)
The present His Eminence the 9th Zigar Choktrul Rinpoche, Karma Tenpa Gyurme Gocha Trinley Kunchap Palzangpo was born in Bhutan in 1961 with many wonderful signs. Rinpoche was born in a family of sincerely Buddhist practitioners, father's name was Lodoe Wangchuk from Gangtey and mother's name was Tshomo from Bumthang. Rinpoche was officially recognized as the reincarnation of previous Zigar Rinpoche by H.H. the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa who predicted clearly about his parents name, the birthplace, the sign of the year and so on. Rinpoche was formally enthroned celebrated in Thimphu by H.H. the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, many other Rinpoches, Lamas and lay disciples.
His Gurus are H.H. the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, H.H. the 68th Je Khenpo Tenzin Dhondrub Rinpoche, H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, H.E. the 8th Khamtul Rinpoche Dongyud Nyima and H.E. the 8th Trulshik Adeu Rinpoche.
Rinpoche spent his childhood at Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim (the seat of H.H. the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa). He started his education such as Buddhist rituals and scriptures under his tutor Lama Gyatso Mipham, the attendant of his previous incarnations. After that Rinpoche studied Buddhist philosophy and literature at Khampagar Drukpa Kargyud Institute for Higher Buddhist Studies at Tashi Jong, in northern India under the guidance of Venerable Sakya Khenpo Rinchen, Venerable Khenpo Khedrub and many other learned Khenpos.
Rinpoche received many teachings and initiations of Karma Kagyud lineage from H.H. the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa and H.E. Nenang Pawo Rinpoche and received Shangpa Kagyud lineage teachings from H.E. Kalu Rinpoche. Drukpa Kargyud lineage teachings and initiations complete three times from H.H. the 68th Je Khenpo Tenzin Dhondrub Rinpoche, H.E. the 8th Khamtrul Rinpoche and H.E. the 8th Trulshik Adeu Rinpoche. He received Mahamudra, six Yogas of Naropa and important Drukpa Kargyud lineage teachings from H.H. the 68th Je Khenpo Tenzin Dhondrub Rinpoche. Rinpoche also received Dam-Ngagzod, Rinchen Terzod and numerous Nyingma lineage teachings, initiations and instructions from H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.
Rinpoche visited Tibet in 1991 for the first time and rebuild the Zigar Tashi Thubten Choekhor Gephel Ling Monastery, in Kham, Eastern Tibet. Over thirteen branch monastries, nunneries and retreat centers of the Zigar Drukpa Kargyud lineage in Kham region. Rinpoche also established there Shedra and Drubdra (Institute for Buddhist Studies and Retreat Center). At present, there are about three-hundred monks. He arranged the facility of livelihood for the monks. Besides, Rinpoche also built a matchless new monastery at Tshopema which is a holy place of Guru Padma Sambhava in India. In 1985, HRH Ashi Phuntsho Choden Wangchuck (the late Royal Grand Mother of Bhutan) since she had devotion in the previous Zigar Rinpoche Ngawang Tenzing Palzang and she offered present Rinpoche a monastery at Darjeeling in India.
Present Rinpoche also speaks rarely. He is so kind, gentle and humanitarian towards all beings. Rinpoche spends most of his time for practice and also he has travelled to many countries to give Dharma teachings and initiations. He is one of the most erudite and respected Rinpoche of the Drukpa Kargyud lineage.