Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen

(1619 – 1656)

They had banned the search for his reincarnation to this day.

They had dismantled and destroyed his ladrang until not a trace of him remained.

They had even tried to “kill him off” many times over.

This most uncommon lama is none other than Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen.

Now, let us take a good look at the illustrious lineage that this Lama stemmed from, as sourced from – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulku_Drakpa_Gyaltsen

His short “incarnation lineage” includes:

  1. Buton Rinchen Drub (1291-1364)
  2. Panchen Sonam Drakpa (1478-1554)
  3. Sonam Yeshe Wangpo (1556-92)
  4. Sonam Gelek Palzang (1594-1615)
  5. Tulku Dragka Gyaltsen (1619-56)

Here, it is important to highlight that Panchen Sonam Dragpa had been, among other things, a tutor to the 3rd Dalai Lama. Hence, Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen’s incarnation lineage is anything but ordinary. The above lineage tree represents a line of highly attained Lamas or Enlightened Minds.

It was said that after Sonam Gelek Palzang passed away, a very unusual child of about 2 or 3 years of age started speaking and playing ritual instruments. It was also said that rainbows, lights and auspicious signs appeared around the house where this child lived.

At a very tender age, this child could remember his previous lives, recite prayers from memory, and remembered his gurus. It was said that whatever texts you gave this child, he would memorise them instantly. This amazing child was Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen.

By 9 years of age, Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen was writing commentaries and giving teachings.

By 18, he had already meditated in hundreds of caves, and his students said that he could see the yidams directly.

Whenever Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen went to meditate in a cave, people would often gather at the said cave in order to make offerings and receive blessings. The crowds became so overwhelming that Tulku Drakpa could not perform his meditations and had to move from one cave to another. Hence, he moved to hundreds of caves, because he was so sought after even though he was still very young.

It was a well-known fact that Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen was not interested in fame, or to be revered by people or have many students. In fact, he did not want to be worshipped or to become famous, or meet with sponsors etc. However it is due to his extraordinary scholarly knowledge and spiritual practice that people came from far and wide to meet him. Even, the Chinese emperor would send offerings to him and meet with him.

Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen was born during the time when the Tibetan Government was looking for the incarnation of the 4th Dalai Lama. As he showed signs of a most high incarnate Lama when he was put under various tests, he was considered as possible candidate for the 5th Dalai Lama. However, there was another candidate, Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso, who was also identified as a possible incarnation of the 4th Dalai Lama. Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso eventually was chosen to become the 5th Dalai Lama. The Tibetan Government then recognised Tulku Drakpa as one of the Drakpa lineage and enthroned him as such.

5th dalai lama in beijing

Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen was a contemporary of the 5th Dalai Lama, Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso. They were both of the same age and were students of the 4th Panchen Lama, Losang Chokyi Gyeltsen. They studied together, debated with one another and spent quite a lot of time together. They both resided in Drepung monastery. Tulku Drakpa lived in the “Upper House” and the 5th Dalai Lama lived in the “Lower House”. Their ladrangs were named as such due to the actual locations of their household.

At this time, the Potala Palace was not yet built and Tibet was going through a period of unrest. Hence, something was needed desperately to unite the country, the people and strengthen the power of a central government. He was the first Dalai Lama to wield effective political power over central Tibet, and is frequently referred to as the “Great Fifth Dalai Lama”.

This installation of power took place at a politically vulnerable time in Tibet. As such, all perceived threats were considered serious potential threats to the Dalai Lama and they had to be removed immediately.

As Tulku Drakpa’s fame grew, it eclipsed the Dalai Lama’s. Tulku Drakpa was often considered to be more popular because he received more sponsorships and had more students than the 5th Dalai Lama. Many people and royalty from all over Tibet, Mongolia and China would come to pay their respects to Tulku Drakpa, and request teachings from him.

As both Tulku Drakpa and the 5th Dalai Lama both resided in Drepung, the attention Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen was receiving was very obvious to the Dalai Lama’s household. It began to cause a lot of jealousy and tension among the attendants of the 5th Dalai Lama. One in particular was Sonam Rabten / Sonam Chopel. He was the regent during the 5th Dalai Lama’s time and became very concerned about his master’s position in Tibet as he was very devoted to the 5th Dalai Lama. Hence, he believed that something had to be done. This led him to plot the murder of Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen without the Dalai Lama’s knowledge.

Sonam Rabten/Sonam Chopel and his protégé, Norbu, tried to kill Tulku Drakpa many times without any success. They tried to poison him and stab him but all attempts were unsuccessful. Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen simply did not have the karma to be killed.
When they tried to poision Tulku Drakpa, the poison would be dispelled from his body because his attainments would not allow the poison to affect his body. When they tried to stab him, eyes appeared in the places where they have stabbed him and these eyes would stare back at them.

Finally, it was Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen who told his assailants how he could be killed. He revealed to them that he could only be killed by stuffing a khatak down his throat. In this manner, Tulku Drakpa was murdered.

Tulku Drakpa revealed the method to his death because he wanted to fulfil his earlier promise to Nechung to arise as an “Uncommon Protector”.

After his death, Sonam Rabten/Sonam Chopel and Norbu made sure that every trace of this esteemed Lama was removed and future traces of him would never be found. They eradicated Tulku Drakpa’s achievements, “doctored” official documents containing his past incarnations and removed them from his lineage prayer.

Sonam Rabten/Sonam Chopel and Norbu further ordered the assassination of Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen’s family members and seized their properties and lands. To ensure that there would not be a future search for his reincarnation, they banned the search and dismantled his ladrang at Drepung. Even his holy relics were thrown into the river. Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen’s existence has been largely ignored in Tibetan history until today.

After his death, the Lama, Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen arose as Dorje Shugden, The Protector. It was a choice he made. It was a sacrifice he was willing to fulfil and uphold in order to become the Protector of Our Time.

This Enlightened Mind cannot be silenced.


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2 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. …what more than this?

  2. I rejoice for our good fortune to be connected to such a holy being! May Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen’s lineage shine for ever more!

    Tulku Drakpa Gyeltsen made a promise in a previous life and he kept it. He even told his murderers the only way they would be able to kill him. After his death, all his belongings were destroyed. Even his family members were killed and their properties were taken by the murderers! Can you believe this??

    May we be connected to holy Dorje Shugden who gave his life and everything for the holy Dharma

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.…Instead of turning away people who practise Dorje Shugden, we should be kind to them. Give them logic and wisdom without fear, then in time they give up the ‘wrong’ practice. Actually Shugden practitioners are not doing anything wrong. But hypothetically, if they are, wouldn’t it be more Buddhistic to be accepting? So those who have views against Dorje Shugden should contemplate this. Those practicing Dorje Shugden should forbear with extreme patience, fortitude and keep your commitments. The time will come as predicted that Dorje Shugden’s practice and it’s terrific quick benefits will be embraced by the world and it will be a practice of many beings.

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