A Tribute to His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche

H.H. Ling Rinpoche, H.H. the Dalai Lama and H.H. Trijang Rinpoche

Whenever we speak of Buddhism, we cannot avoid the names of a few Masters who achieved such tremendous feats that Buddhism will probably not be what it is today without their contribution.

We must start with Siddhartha’s charioteer whose great contribution was to take the Prince on the expedition of The Four Sights (the old man, the sick man, the corpse and the ascetic) to not only make the Prince witness, but also explain what the Prince saw. It was this expedition that awakened Prince Siddhartha to the truth of Samsara. After witnessing the four sights Siddhartha decided to renounce his throne and went on a spiritual journey that eventually saw the rise of The Victorious One.

Later on who can ignore Atisha, who manifested at the critical time when Buddhism and the corresponding human condition was in great decline. The great pandit who established Buddhism firmly in Tibet, Atisha eventually wrote Lamp Of The Path To Enlightenment which was to become the source for the great Pabongkha’s “Liberation In the Palm Of The Hand”.

Even before that, there was Chandrakirti. If Nagajurna whose writings are used as the main source on the teachings of “emptiness” in most Tibetan Monastic colleges, is regarded as a undeniable key figure in Buddhism, then it was Chandrakirti who received all of Nagajurna’s teachings and transmitted them forward in a number of important commentaries and works including the Pransangika Mandyamaka.

The greatness of these names and the significance of their contribution to the Dharma is unparalleled…and what is amazing is that the same mindstream, the same greatness in the Dharma, and the same immeasurable compassion continues to this day.

All the great Masters mentioned are past reincarnations of the illustrious Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang, the principle student of Pabongkha Rinpoche and the Master whom His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama – the emanation of Avaloketeshvara, considers to be his Root Guru. This is not the first time Trijang Rinpoche has performed the function of tutor the Dalai Lama.

In the 17th century, Trijang Rinpoche was the brilliant Zurchen Choying Rangdrol, one of the great 5th Dalai Lama’s principal Masters. And as the 69th Ganden Tripa, Trichen Jangjub Chopel, Trijang Rinpoche taught the 9th Dalai Lama. The great 5th, 9th and 14th Dalai Lamas acquired their knowledge and attainments from Trijang Rinpoche.

Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche divine greatness has been acknowledged by many Tibetan Buddhist Masters including Zong Rinpoche, Lama Yeshe, Geshe Rabten and Geshe Kelsang Gyatso and it is widely accepted that most modern day Masters owe their attainments to Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang, one way or another.

Today, this great mind-stream lives in the form of Choktrul Trijang Rinpoche as the world and all sentient beings wait with hope and anticipation for Trijang Rinpoche to turn the wheel of dharma, as he has done from the time of the Tathagatha, Buddha Shakyamuni.

We wish to share this biography with you so that you might rejoice in the great deeds of this living Buddha whose work to spread the Buddhadharma continues today in the form of Trijang Chocktrul Rinpoche, for whom the world and all sentient beings wait with hope and anticipation for Trijang Rinpoche to turn the wheel of dharma, as he has done from the time of the Tathagatha, Buddha Shakyamuni. May Trijang Rinpoche surpass the heights of his predecessors in the golden age of Buddhadharma.

For more information about this great master, check out these links:

The Third Trijang Rinpoche, Lobzang Yeshe Tendzin Gyatso

Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang

All of us at DorjeShugden.com make this virtual offering of a butterlamp to the incomparable master His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Dorjechang, requesting him to remain for another 1,000 years to continue turning the wheel of Dharma and benefiting countless beings.


Source: http://www.treasuryoflives.org/biographies/view/Trijang-03-Lobzang-Yeshe-Tendzin-Gyatso/4309

The Third Trijang, Lobzang Yeshe Tendzin Gyatso (khri byang 03 blo bzang ye shes bstan ‘dzin rgya mtsho) was born on March 10, 1901, in Gungtang (gung thang). His mother was Tsering Dolma (tshe ring sgrol ma, d.1956); his father, Tsering Dondrub (tshe ring don sgrub, d.u.), was a descendent of an uncle of the Seventh Dalai Lama, Kelzang Gyatso (bskal bzang rgya mtsho, 1708-1759).

Tsering Dondrub had previously been Tsering Dolma’s father-in-law, until they married after the death of his son, Tsering Dolma’s husband. Altogether Tsering Dondrub fathered children with three women, and in each case at least one male child was recognized as a tulku.

As a child he was recognized as the reincarnation of the Second Trijang, Lobzang Tsultrim Pelden (khri byang 02 blo bzang tshul khrims dpal ldan, 1939-1901), who served as the Eighty-fifth Ganden Trichen (dga’ ldan khri pa 85) from 1896 to c. 1899.

After his recognition he was moved to Lhasa in 1904, first to Trijang Labrang (khri byang bla rang) and then to the Chuzang Ritro (chu bzang ri khrod) hermitage of the First Trijang, the sixty-ninth Ganden Tripa, Trichen Jangchub Chopel (dga’ ldan khri pa khri chen byang chub chos ‘phel, 1756-1838). Although the young tulku had been recognized by both the Nechung (gnas chung) and Gadong (dga’ gdong) state mediums, the title was contested by a rival candidate for some time.

It was during these early years that Tendzin Gyatso first met his would-be root guru Pabongkha Dechen Nyingpo (pha bong kha bde chen snying po, 1878-1941). Pabongkha spent a number of years at the hermitage and spent time playing and eating with his young student. He also received teachings from Pabongkha, such as the jenang (rjes gnang) empowerment related to Mañjūśrī, including Dharmarāja, and instructions on how to draw the hearth maṇḍalas for fire rituals.

HH Trijang Rinpoche

Tendzin Gyatso also studied with other teachers in his early youth. When he was eight he received the Kālachakra initiation from the famed yogi Serkong Dorjechang, Ngawang Tsultrim Donden (gser kong rdo rje ‘chang ngag dbang tshul khrims don ldan, 1856-1918). In 1907 he received novice ordination from the fourth Reting Rinpoche, Ngawang Lobzang Yeshe Tenpai Gyeltsen (rwa sgreng rin po che ngag dbang blo bzang ye shes bstan pa’i rgyal mtshan, d.u.).

His life was not without difficulties. When Tendzin Gyatso was five years old, his father took monastic vows, which eventually caused considerable difficulties for the family. His mother and her two other children were evicted from their house by the relatives who had been left to care for her, in a situation which Trijang Rinpoche compares in his autobiography to what happened to Milarepa’s (mi la ras pa, 1040-1123) mother. Tendzin Gyatso himself also often lived on the edges of poverty, at times going without sufficient food. To make things worse, during the brief Chinese occupation of Lhasa, which began in 1910, he contracted a severe case of smallpox. His brother, who also contracted smallpox during this epidemic, died.

When he was fourteen Tendzin Gyatso received numerous empowerments and teachings from Drepung Gomang’s Buldud Tulku Lobzang Yeshe Tenpai Gyeltsen (‘bul sdud sprul sku blo bzang ye shes bstan pa’i rgyal mtshan, d.u.), including those of Vajrabhairava (both Ekavira and Thirteen-Deity), Guhyasamāja Akṣobhyavajra, Luipa’s Sixty-two Deity Heruka Cakrasaṃvara, Ghaṇṭāpa’ Five-Deity Heruka and the initiation of The Great Compassionate One, Avalokiteśvara according to the lineage of Bhikṣuṇī Śrī Lakṣmī (alternatively Śrīmatī, 8th. century).

Most of Tendzin Gyatso’s youth was spent studying. He joined the Dokhang Khamtsen of Ganden Shartse Monastery (dga’ ldan shar rtse rdo khang khams tshan) and was tutored by Geshe Lobzang Tsultrim (dge bshes blo bzang tshul khrims, d. 1936). After concluding his study of the five topics of Pramāṇa, Mādhyamaka, Prajñāpāramitā, Vinaya and Abhidharma, in 1919 he received the Geshe Lharampa (dge shes lha rams pa) degree as well as full bhikṣu ordination from the Thirteenth Dalai Lama Tubten Gyatso (ta la’i bla ma 13 thub bstan rgya mtsho, 1876-1933). After this he entered Gyuto Monastery to engage in a detailed study of the tantras.

When he turned twenty-one, at Chuzang, he received from Pabongkha the jenang of the Mañjūśrī cycle again, as well as the Thirteen Golden Dharmas of the Sakyapas. He also received the four initiations into the sindhura maṇḍala of Vajrayogīni Naro Kechari, together with commentaries on the generation and completion stages, as well as the Thirteen Pure Visions of Takpu (stag phu’i dag snang bchu gsum), including Cittamaṇi Tārā.

Furthermore he received other teachings associated with the Ganden Nyengyu (dga’ ldan snyan rgyud), such as the Geluk Mahāmudrā and the First Panchen Lama Lobzang Chokyi Gyeltsen’s (pan chen bla ma 01 blo bzang chos kyi rgyal mtshan, 1570-1662) Guru Puja (bla ma mchod pa).

Meeting with HH the Pope

Tendzin Gyatso was Pabongkha’s closest student, the one to whom he passed all of his lineages. In his autobiography Trijang Rinpoche notes that during his time at Gyuto he would often travel to wherever Pabongkha was teaching to receive instruction and that he would spend his free time meditating on the Lamrim and completing the approximation retreats (las rung) of deities such as Vajrayoginī, Vajrabhairava Ekavira, Ghaṇṭāpa’s Five-Deity Heruka, Secret Hayagrīva and Bhikṣuṇī Śrī Lakṣmī’s Avalokiteśvara cycle. Each of these deities features prominently in Trijang Rinpoche’s writings. He also received the lineage of the Kadam Lekbam (bka’ gdams glegs bam) from Pabongkha.

From Pabongkha Tendzin Gyatso also received teachings and transmission for the deity Dorje Shugden (rdo rje shugs ldan), which was the main protector practice emphasized by Pabongkha. Trijang Rinpoche never spoke out publicly on the controversy that erupted over the worship of Dorje Shugden in the later half of the 1970s due to the Dalai Lama’s disapproval of the practice; instead he instructed his students to keep faith in both the Dalai Lama and Dorje Shugden.

HH Trijang Chocktrul Rinpoche meeting Lama Gangchen Rinpoche and Lama Michel

After completing his education Tendzin Gyatso travelled throughout Tibet, including a visit to Kham. By this time he was already giving teachings, oral transmissions and empowerments, including those of Heruka, Vajrayoginī and Guhyasamāja. One of his earliest teachings took place when he was twenty-four. At the request of Geshe Yonten (dge shes yon tan, d.u.) of Ganden Shartse’s Dokhang Khamtsen, he gave the oral transmission of the collected works of Tsongkhapa and his main two students (rje yab sras gsum gyi gsung ‘bum) to about two hundred monks.

Tendzin Gyatso visited India and Nepal in 1939, passing through Dungkar Monastery in the Chumbi Valley (gro mo lung), where he bestowed the empowerments of Guhyasamāja, Heruka Cakrasaṃvara, Vajrabhairava and others. Although the majority of his teaching activities were associated to the Geluk tradition, there are exceptions.

When he was twenty-eight years old, for example, during a stay in Chatreng (cha phreng), Kham, he gave the jenang for the peaceful and wrathful forms of Padmasambhava and other Nyingma empowerments. Interestingly, later on in India, in 1965, he also gave the Fourteenth Dalai Lama the oral transmissions for two treasures of the Nyingma terton (gter ston) Chokgyur Lingpa (mchog gyur gling pa, 1829-1870), the Barche Lamsel (bar chad lam sel) and Sampa Lhundrub (bsam pa lhun ‘grub).

After the passing of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama in 1933, Tendzin Gyatso played an important role in the construction and enshrining of the Dalai Lama’s remains inside a golden stupa in the Potala Palace. In his autobiography he recounts how he visited the Potala every day for year in order to perform the necessary offerings and rituals.

Following the discovery and selection of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, Tendzin Gyatso (ta la’i bla ma 14 bstan ‘dzin rgya mtsho, b.1935), in 1941 Trijang Rinpoche was appointed as his assistant tutor, and, in 1953, as his junior tutor, or yongdzin (yongs ‘dzin), teaching him grammar and spelling. It was also in 1941 that Pabongkha Dechen Nyingpo passed away.

HH Trijang Rinpoche on his throne

Trijang Rinpoche’s Collected Works (yongs ‘dzin khri byang rin po che’i gsung ‘bum) comprise eight volumes. Famous examples of his work include a condensed sādhāna of the Heruka Body Maṇḍala, a gaṅacakra offering text of Heruka and a sādhāna of Cintacakra White Tārā. A comprehensive collection of ritual texts associated with Dorje Shugden which Pabongka Rinpoche asked Trijang Rinpoche to complete entitled “Music Delighting an Ocean of Oath-Bound Protectors” (dam can rgya mtsho dges pa’i rol mo), comprises a whole volume of his Collected Works (volume five, ca).

The second volume (kha), further includes a number of essential ritual texts associated with the cycle of Cittamaṇi Tārā such as a four maṇḍala offering text, a gaṅacakra ritual, and a pacifying fire ritual text. Another important example of his writing includes the lyrics of the Tibetan National Anthem (bod rgyal khab chen po’i rgyal glu).

Trijang Rinpoche’s most famous work is undoubtedly Liberation in the Pelm of the Hand (rnam grol lag bcangs) a Lamrim text based on notes taken over twenty-four days during Pabongkha’s 1921 Lamrim teachings at Chuzang, which intertwined the Swift Path (myur lam) and Mañjūśrī’s Own Speech (jam dpal zhal lung) Lamrim systems along with the instructions on the Seven-Point Mind Training (blo sbyong don bdun ma).

During the turbulent years following the Communist Chinese takeover of Tibet in 1949, Trijang Rinpoche stayed close to the Dalai Lama. In 1954, he accompanied the Dalai Lama to Beijing on the ill-fated meeting with Mao Tsedong, and, in 1959, he went into exile with him to India.

In India Trijang Rinpoche continued teaching and travelling throughout the Tibetan communities such as Buxa, Dalhousie and later in the Karnataka settlements. Ganden Monastery was re-established in Lama Camp no.1 in Mundgod, and a residence, Trijang Labrang was established there for his use. Apart from teaching to the assemblies of Ganden, Sera and Drepung, Trijang Rinpoche also regularly taught in Bodh Gaya and Dharamsala. During the late 1960s and early 1970s he frequently met with Ling Rinpoche Tubten Lungtok Tendzin Trinle (gling rin po che thub bstan lung rtogs bstan ‘dzin ‘phrin las, 1903-1983), the Dalai Lama’s senior tutor, in order to exchange teachings and empowerments.

Trijang Rinpoche travelled widely internationally, teaching and giving empowerments in countries such as the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Switzerland, amongst others. In 1966 Trijang Rinpoche performed the site blessing ritual (sa chog) for the Tibet-Institut in Rikon. Later, in 1968, he consecrated the building together with Ling Rinpoche. During this 1966 trip to Europe, a delegation which included Trijang Rinpoche also met with Pope Paul VI (1897-1978, r. 1963-1978) in the Vatican, following the instructions of the Dalai Lama.

Trijang Rinpoche’s most famous students and lineage holders include figures such as the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, Zong Lobzang Tsondru Tubten Gyeltsen (zong blo bzang brtson ‘grus thub bstan rgyal mtshan, 1905-1984), Loden Sherab Dagyab (blo ldan shes rab brag gyab, b.1940), Dakpo Lama Jampa Gyatso (dwags po bla ma byams pa rgya mtsho, b.1932), Denma Locho (ldan ma blo chos, b.1927), Gelek Rinpoche (dge legs rin po che, b.1939), Geshe Rabten (dge bshes rab brtan, 1920-1986) and Lama Yeshe (bla ma ye shes, 1935–1984), all of whom were instrumental in diffusing the Geluk teachings internationally.

Trijang Rinpoche passed away on November 9, 1981.

Another view of His Holiness Trijang Rinpoche meeting with His Holiness the Pope

His Holiness Trijang Rinpoche (centre), junior tutor of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, sits with His Holiness Ling Rinpoche (left), senior tutor of the Dalai Lama, and his own student His Holiness Zong Rinpoche (right)

Dalai Lama says Trijang Rinpoche can practise Dorje Shugden

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5 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. Hearing many speak highly of Great Masters is one thing but to read amazing articles as what has been posted here in this website is a moment as many would say, “Seeing is believing”. It is just amazing to read the history of such great masters like H. H. Trijang Rinpoche. To learn of their previous reincarnations and all the works they have done to continue turning the wheel of dharma. Trijang Rinpoche worked tirelessly to spread the teachings of Buddha and gave initiations to many around the world. I have read also that HH Trijang Rinpoche on many occasions been very ill and was close to losing his life. Yet, in the name of Tsongkapa teachings he perseveres and continues to live and teach. Such tenacity can only be found in these amazing enlightened beings. May the wheel of dharma continue in tribute to these amazing masters… om mani pe me hum.

  2. Was going through this site and came by this article about the lineage of His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche which stems back to the time of Buddha Shakyamuni.

    One of the more intriguing part about his lineage was during his previous incarnation as the great Atisha, who travelled to Indonesia in search of his guru Serlingpa / Suvarnadvipa.

    This amazing guru-disciple relationship has been well-kept even until today, and in more recent-times, whom we can relate to as H.H. Trijang Rinpoche and Dagpo Rinpoche.
    A Tribute to His Holiness Kyabje Trijan

  3. Through high lamas like His Holiness Trijang Rinpoche, it can be seen that many of the high lamas take rebirths again to benefit the people. Teaching and bring dharma to higher levels, also helping and planting Dharmic seeds into practitioners that will help them achieve enlightenment.

    Trijang Rinpoche worked tirelessly for the growth of Dharma and also the benefit of all beings. Trijang Rinpoche has written texts so that people like us are able to understand some of the Dhrma is about in a neutral way. A true emanation of a high leveled being, here to relief pain and sufferings from the people of this age.

  4. It is ironic that after what the previous Trijang Rinpoche did for the Dalai Lama including giving him love and the practice of Dorje Shugden, the Dalai Lama is now saying that his teacher is wrong. At first, the Dalai Lama created a confusion and a stir among the Tibetan Buddhist community by saying worshiping Dorje Shugden would harm his life and the Tibetan cause. Now 20 years later, the Dalai Lama clarified that Dorje Shugden cannot harm him. Many have suffered the consequences of this contradiction. I hope the Dalai Lama will lift the Shugden ban and discouraged the CTA and his followers from discriminating Shugden practitioners.

  5. The former great Trijang Rinpoche passed away on November 9, 1981,
    How come that it is written everywhere that the present Choktrul Trijang Rinpoche was born on 15 October 1981? This is causing a lot of confusion and negative feedback. Sure, there must be a mistake somewhere which must be clarified, especially concerning a great Lama as Trijang Rinpoche.

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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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