Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche

Jigme_R_red_IMG_6182_lznGyetrul Jigme Rinpoche was born in India at sunrise on the 15th of October, 1968, the tenth day of the sixth month of the year of the Earth Monkey, on the anniversary of Guru Rinpoche’s birth. He is the son of the renowned Tertön, or treasure revealer, His Eminence Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche, holder of the Ripa lineage. His mother Khandro Chime Dolkar, also descends from a noble family of Bhutanese descent. Kyabje Chatrel Rinpoche has said to Jigme Rinpoche that he is: “the son of a father who resembles a tiger and of a mother who resembles a leopard.” The Ripa family also includes Dungsey Tenzin Nyima Rinpoche, Semo Sonam Peldzom, Semo Pema Dechen, Semo Sonam Palmo, Dungsey Lhuntrul Dechen Gyurme and Khandro Tseyang Pelmo.

Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche is the holder of two spiritual lineages, including both the Ripa Lineage, a dungjud or hereditary line, into which he was born, and which he will hold in future as heir, as well as head of the Pema Lingpa lineage of Gyeling Orgyan Mindrolling monastery in the hidden land of Pemako, which he carries forward from his previous life, as tulku.

34_JigmeRinpoche3_2Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche was recognized at the age of three by His Holiness Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche, then the supreme head of the Nyingma lineage, as the reincarnation of Gyeling Yonten Lhundrub Gyatso Rinpoche, a manifestation of the Bhutanese Tertön Pema Lingpa, one of the five principle or emperor Tertöns of the Vajrayana, and the head of Gyeling Orgyan Mindrolling monastery in the hidden land of Pemako. He was enthroned at the age of five, at Rigon Thubten Mindrolling monastery in OrissaIndia. Upon enthronement, H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche, gave him the name: Gyetrul Jigme Lodoe Thaye Norbu Rinpoche. Other previous lives include: Manjushrimitra (Jampel Shenyen), one of the great eight Vidhyadharas from India, and master of the Dzogchen lineage. During the time of Guru Rinpoche in Tibet, he was the daughter of the King Trisong Detsen, the Princess Pema Sal.

34_JigmeRinpoche3_1At the age of eight, understanding that times had changed, Jigme Rinpoche went to study for six years at a modern school in Darjeeling, outside the monastery, so that he could both learn English and have contact with the outside world. During these six years, he led a normal boy’s life. Jigme Rinpoche considers this to have been a very precious period in his life, since he was able to enjoy a normal life, play with others, have normal relations, and be with life in an ordinary human way, which he considers to have brought him great riches. Nevertheless, just as he was enjoying this ordinary life, he received a letter to return to the monastery, and return to the traditional course of studies. At seventeen, Jigme Rinpoche attended the Nyingma Institute of Superior Studies and Research, Ngagyur Dojo Ling in BouddanathNepal, founded by H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche, and in 1993 he received his doctoral degree in Buddhist Sutric and Tantric Studies, where he studied with the erudite Khetsun Sangpo Rinpoche.

34_JigmeRinpoche3_3Jigme Rinpoche’s primary spiritual teachers have been: H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche, and in this life, his father and root teacher, His Eminence Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche. H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche was also Jigme Rinpoche’s root teacher in his previous life. From these teachers he has received all of the principal Nyingma transmissions, the Taksham cycle of transmissions, including especially the practice of Tamdrin and Lama Norbu, and the unbroken Vidhyadhara transmissions of the Ripa lineage, including the mahasadhannas of: the Tukdrub Lama Norbu or The Heart Practice of Lama Norbu, the Yidam Gongdu Drubchen or Gathering of Intentions of all Yidams, the Dorsem Nyingthing or The Heart Essence of Vajrasattva, and the Guru Kilaya or Lama Phurpa, as well as the entire cycle of Gesar mind treasures. Other teachers also include:  H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Kalu Rinpoche, and His Eminence Khatog Moksa Rinpoche.

In addition Jigme Rinpoche is the great, great grandson of the renowned sage Shakya Shri, who was considered to be the greatest Siddha of his time. He has studied with and received transmissions from the Drukpa Kagyu tradition teachers, especially those of the Shakya Shri lineage: the 12th Gyalwang Drukpa Rinpoche and Kyabje Thuksay Rinpoche.

In addition to fulfilling his role as a spiritual teacher, Jigme Rinpoche began in September 1993 in Orissa, to fulfill his humanitarian role as a socially engaged Buddhist, a term he is happy to be known by, and which has become a central part of his life’s work. Born in India, Jigme Rinpoche, has firsthand experience of the plight of Tibetan refugees and local villagers alike in finding and retrieving potable water. This inspired him to found the Pure Water Project, for which he received great admiration and a citation from His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government in Exile. Having already worked to implement five water projects within his own local refugee community, as well as a sixth local Indian village, and having seen the enormous benefits that this has brought, he became inspired to aid others, in order to reduce their suffering, knowing that all it takes is a little planning, generosity, work, and education. Having seen the communities come together, and how easy it is to make a difference, has been very rewarding and has become a key part of his work in this life. Other projects he also directs include the setting up of a malaria prevention and treatment program, as well as directing programs to support orphans, schoolchildren, monks and the elderly.

Jigme Rinpoche has spent time in retreats ranging from three months to one year. His principle teaching includes practices for the deities: Yeshe Tsogyal, Guru Rinpoche, Medicine Buddha, and Chenrezig, as well as the deities of the Taksham cycle of teachings of the Ripa tradition, including especially the New Treasures cycle of Gesar teachings, a treasury of His Eminence Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche. In addition, he also has close affinities with the deities Manjushri and Gesar. Jigme Rinpoche first came to the West in 1996, giving his first teachings in Europe. Jigme Rinpoche has since established Padma Ling centers, a network of dharma organizations, in SwitzerlandFranceBelgium (and Luxembourg), SpainGermany, the UK, as well as a center in Japan.

Jigme Rinpoche is known for his fluency in English and his lively, direct, fluid, humorous and down to earth teaching style. His clear and fresh outlook very quickly cuts through cultural and personal misperceptions about the Buddhadharma, East and West, ancient ways and modern life, and individual confusion. Jigme Rinpoche’s teachings focus on the themes of openness, and a clear perception of life in its immediacy, unadorned by interpretation and judgment.

Jigme Rinpoche travels between the East and the West. In the East he oversees the continuation and work of the sacred tradition in exile, including leading and caring for the Ripa monasteries in both Nepal and India, along with their growing monastic communities, as well as looking after the Tibetan community in exile. In the West he continues his teachings through Padma Ling and the Ripa Ladrang Foundation, and is actively building the community and its foundation.