The Official San Francisco Bay Area Branch of the Historic Nechung Monastery, Dharamsala India











Nechung Rinpoche


Nechung Rinpoche Ogyen Thinley Choephel came from Mindroling Monastery to Nechung Monastery in the 1880's. His coming to Nechung was due to the unflagging grace of the great Dharma protector, and in particular his unique practice of the Treasured Doctrine. This happened during the time of the Eighth Medium, Shakya Yarphel. Rinpoche not only became the medium's spiritual guide, but also of Nechung's sangha, to whom he passed extensive transmission of the meditation practices on the energy channels, wind, and yantras (Tsa-Lung, Khrul-Khor) of the generation and completion stage practices of tantra.

In 1891, following the prophecies given by Nechung, and as instructed by the Tibetan government, he left for Do-Kham, eastern Tibet, to collect the heavily blessed image of Guru Padmasambhava, a treasure object discovered by the treasure master Ogyen Lerab Lingpa, from Zongsar Khentse Rinpoche (1820-1892).

This image was later housed in the Tsuglag Khang in Tibet's capital, Lhasa, so that the doctrine of the Buddha may flourish, and there will be timely rain, and especially that the great holders of the doctrine headed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama may live long, and that the dual polity of the Tibetan Government may be ever victorious. It was also to retain Jowo Shakyamuni's image (brought in the 7th century by the Chinese Princess Wen-Cheng Kung-Chu as dowry for King Songtsen Gampo) on this universe so that it may not be taken away by the Nagas into their subterrestial realm.


Before Nechung Rinpoche actually headed for Do-Kham, he requested the advice of the Dharma protector, who said, 'Initially there will be some pertinent problems. However, if you were to open the Ne-Ze (grain cascade) of Khentse Rinpoche and open the sealed scroll contained in it, you will find a Guru Yoga text, a treasure object discovered by the great treasure master Ogyen Lerab Lingpa, otherwise known as Terton Sogyal, and [if you] subsequently commission the sangha of Nechung to recite this text when they assemble, you will fulfill your mission.'

Accordingly, Khentse Rinpoche also handed over the Guru Yoga text, along with the image of Guru Padmasambhava, with great pleasure. Thus, on the 22nd day of the ninth Tibetan month of the Iron-Hare Year, the day of the Buddha Shakyamuni's Descent from Heaven, the image was brought to Lhasa and housed in the Tsuglag Khang amidst a grand ceremonial welcome accorded by the Tibetan government.

On the tenth day of every Tibetan month, a group of eight Nechung monks are required to make a Tsog offering based on Thug-Drub Drag-Po Tzal (Bestowal of Heart's Wrathful Accomplishment.


When Ogyen Thinley Choephel stayed at Mindroling Monastery, he was recognized as the incarnation of Langdro Kunchok Jungne, one of the 25 chief disciples of Guru Padmasambhava. Langdro Kunchok Jungne's reincarnation is recognized as the treasure master Ratna Lingpa (1403-1479) who is well-known in the history of Tibetan Buddhism. It is for this reason that Ogyen Thinley Choephel is considered the reincarnation of Ratna Lingpa.After the demise of Ogyen Thinley Choephel Rinpoche

The Great Thirteenth Dalai Lama recognized Thupten Konchok (1917-1983) as the reincarnation of Nechung Rinpoche. This incarnate Nechung Rinpoche became a great realized master. He also studied Tibetan literature and astro-science from a learned astrology of Mindroling Monastery. From 1956 to 1959, he taught Tibetan language at China's Minority School in Beijing.Following the Chinese occupation, he returned to Tibet, and was imprisoned for a few months. He ultimately escaped from Tibet and reached India in 1962. In accordance with his premonitions, Nechung Rinpoche was able to bring to Nechung Monastery in India Se-Bag Mug-Chung (Precious Mask), one of the holiest and most priceless belongings of the great Dharma protector, Nechung. On December 2, 1964, Nechung Rinpoche became a professor at the Ladakh Buddhist Institute in Delhi.


In 1973, he established Nechung Dorje Drayang Ling, a temple and meditation center in Hawaii for the study of Buddhist meditation and Tibetan culture. He lived in Hawai'i until 1983, and made a few visits to his main monastery in Dharamsala. During his stays, he passed numerous lineages of initiations, oral transmissions and commentaries on the practices unique to the traditions of Nechung Monastery.


In August, 1983, Nechung Rinpoche "manifested the act of passing away into Parinirvana in order to reveal the transitoriness of human life." He remained in a state of absorbed meditation, but following the past tradition of Nechung Monastery, he was released three days later from this state at the behest of Taglung Tsetrul Rinpoche.






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