Ven. Dagpo Rinpoche

Dagpo Rinpoche

Dagpo Rinpoche

Venerable Dagpo Rinpoche, also known as Bamchoe Rinpoche, was born in 1932 in the region of Kongpo, in southeastern Tibet.  At the age of two, he was recognised by the Thirteenth Dalai Lama as the reincarnation of Dagpo Lama Jampel Lhundrup. At six, Rinpoche entered Bamchoe Monastery to study the basics of sutra and tantra, and by the age of 13, he entered Dagpo Shedrup Ling (or Dagpo Dratsang), a monastic college founded by Je Tsongkhapa’s sixth successor, Jey Lodroe Tenpa.  Its standard of education was very high in all fields, and speciai attention was given to Lam Rim or the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment.

Dagpo Rinpoche has followed thirty-four Buddhist masters and holds a large number of transmissions of the Buddha’s teachings. Among the many illustrious teachers he has studied under are the two tutors of His Holiness 14th Dalai Lama, His Holiness himself and Mongolian master Geshe Ngawang Nyima. Dagpo Rinpoche was educated in the purest and strictest monastic tradition. Under their guidance Rinpoche studied the Five Great Texts, Tantra (Rinpoche received many initiations and performed many retreats) and astrology, grammar, poetry and history.

Dagpo Rinpoche

The lineage of Dagpo Rinpoche’s previous incarnations goes far back into the past.  It includes masters such as the famous Taktunu who in the previous Buddha’s time sold a piece of his own flesh to make offerings to his spiritual master.  It also includes the Indian yogi Virupa, the scholar Gunaprabha and Atisha’s main spiritual guide: the great Suvarnadvipa Dharmakirti (Serlingpa).

Suvarnadvipa gave Atisha the transmission of the teaching on bodhicitta whose lineage issues from Maitreya called “The Seven Point Instruction for the Generation of Bodhicitta” as well as one from Manjushri known as “Exchanging Self and Other”.  The two masters found themselves together again in the same master-disciple relationship in more recent times when Atisha was born as Pabongkha Rinpoche and received teachings on bodhicitta from Dagpo Jamphel Lhundrup, Dagpo Rinpoche’s predecessor.

Dagpo Rinpoche

In Tibet, other better known masters in the lineage of Dagpo Rinpoche’s previous incarnations include the great fifth century translator Marpa Lotsawa, who founded the Kagyu school of Buddhism and Longdeul Lama Rinpoche Ngawang Losang (1719-1805), the 7th Dalai Lama’s disciple. He is famous as the teacher who guided Jetsun Milarepa to Enlightenment by very severe training.  In more recent times, we count several abbots of Dagpo Shedrup Ling Monastery among Dagpo Rinpoche’s previous incarnations.

His most famous disciple, Pabongkha Rinpoche authored the definitive text, Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand.

Rinpoche remained in Gomang Dratsang until the communist invasion in 1959 when he followed His Holiness the Dalai Lama into exile in India.  Less than a year later he was invited to France to assist French tibetologists in their scientific research. From 1961 until his retirement in 1993 Rinpoche taught Tibetan language and civilisation and Buddhism at the School of Oriental Studies, (I.Na.L.C.O.) a part of the Sorbonne. He has co-authored a number of books on Tibet and on Buddhism.

In 1978, he founded his main Buddhist Dharma center, Guepele Tchantchoup Ling, in Paris where he has given extensive teachings since. Dagpo Rinpoche is often invited to teach in Dharma centres in Italy, Switzerland, Holland, Belgium, France, England, Canada, U.S.A., India, Indonesia and Malaysia. His main centre in Europe, Ganden Ling Institute, is located near Paris, at Veneux-les-Sablons.

Dagpo Rinpoche

Now retired, he continues his personal research, practice and studies. In 1978 Rinpoche founded a Dharma centre in France, which received Buddhist congregation status from the French state and became Ganden Ling Institute in 1995. In 2005 a new temple was opened in Veneux-les-Sablons, where study weekends and retreats under the guidance of Dagpo Rinpoche are organized regularly.

Since the late seventies Rinpoche has shared his vast knowledge of Buddhism with a wide public. On their request he teaches in various European countries, in Asia and in the United States. He has founded Dharma centres in France, the Netherlands, Malaysia, Indonesia and India. He travels to India yearly to maintain contact with his teachers and monasteries.

In 2005 Dagpo Rinpoche completed a long term project, the reconstruction and transfer of the Dagpo Shedrub Ling monastery to the Kullu valley in Northwest India.

Le groupe d’étude Lho Gyu Shertchine Ling (
The Dagpo Education Fund (
Institut Ganden Ling & Institut Guepele (

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3 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. Dagpo Rinpoche is one of my heroes. He is an exceptional being. Born in 1932, in a country steeped in traditional ways, he had to adapt very fast to the modern world when he left Tibet for India at the age of 26 and moved to France. In his book “Le Lama venu du Tibet”, he talked about Pabongka Dorjechang who got up and cried when he saw him for the first time. Pabongka Rinpoche gave him a lot of advice and indicated to him precisely the masters from whom he should go to for initiations and transmissions. During his stay at Dagpo Datsang, Pabongka Rinpoche taught the lamrim to a large assembly of great masters, abbots and disciples of Dagpo Lama Rinpoche. When he had finished his teaching, he declared: “My first lesson in the Lamrim, I received in this monastery from Dagpo Lama Rinpoche, and now I’ve given it (the teaching) back to him”. Pabongka Rinpoche died soon after that, his mission accomplished. He had come to Dagpo Datsang to teach the Lamrim and to pass on the torch to the incarnation of his teacher and the sangha.

  2. Venerable Dagpo Rinpoche was in Malaysia recently and gave teachings, from 16th to 19th December 2010, on the Twelve Links of Dependent Arising. The 4-day teachings were conducted at the Kadam Tashi Choe Ling in Petaling Jaya, near Kuala Lumpur. Dagpo Rinpoche has devoted his whole life to the spread of Dharma and he has many followers.

  3. It is amazing, but one has to truly believe in the great compassion of these holy beings who will return again and again to spread the Dharma for the benefit of all beings.

    Venerable Dagpo Rinpoche’s previous incarnation was the highly attained master who taught Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche the Lamrim in that most meaningful experiential method of meditation and reflection on each topic of the Lamrim. (The Lamrim Chenmo was the work of great Je Tsongkhapa). Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche became the ‘living Lamrim’ and when he delivered the Lamrim teachings to his disciples, including the great Master of Masters Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang, his Lamrim was transcribed into a classic called ‘Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand’. Today thousands of people are accessing and studying Lamrim – Stages of the Path to Enlightenment ( which contains all of Lord Buddha’s 84000 teachings presented in a structured step-by-step manner)via ‘Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand’.

    The original work, before Lamrim, was a 3-folio text by the great Atisha , called ‘Lamp of the Path to Enlightenment”. Atisha, the Indian pandit who brought Buddhism to Tibet in a ‘second wave’ had united the two lineages of Method (from Maitreya) and Wisdom (from Manjushri) in this Lamp of the Path to Enlightenment. Atisha had earlier gone all the way from India to Indonesia to study under Suvarnadvipa, the foremost adept on ‘Bodhicitta’ and received from him a transmission of the teaching of 2 lineages on Bodhicitta issuing from Maitreya, called “ The Seven-Point Instruction for Generating Bodhicitta” as well as from Manjushri known as “Exchanging of Self with Others”.

    So now Suvarnadvipa returns as the earlier incarnation of Dagpo Rinpoche, Pabongka Rinpoche’s guru, who taught him the Lamrim. Atisha returns as Pabongka Rinpoche. And now again, Dagpo Rinpoche has returned to become the student of Pabongka Rinpoche, to study the Lamrim with him. Pabongka thus gives him the fruit of his mastery of the Lamrim from his teacher, the previous Dagpo Rinpoche.

    So now, Venerable Dagpo Rinpoche (in this age and time)has spread Dharma’s and Lamrim’s wings to Europe and the West, as well as to other countries, for the benefit of all beings!

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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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