His Eminence Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche is the supreme head of the Ripa lineage of Nyingma Vajrayana Buddhism and a living Tertön. The Ripa Lineage has its historical roots in the supreme head, Glorious Master Ripa Pema Deje Rolpa, the leader of both the family and dharma lineages of Rigon Tashi Choeling Monastery.
The practices of the Ripa lineage are based on Taksham Samten Lingpa's vast Terma cycle of revealed teachings which also includes the most elaborate account of the life of Yeshe Tsogyal (Note, the Taksham teachings come from a time prior to Pema Deje Rolpa and are a Nyingma Cycle of teachings originating from Yeshe Tsogyal and her primary consort Arya Sale). Rinpoche is also the revealer of the complete cycle of teachings on the life of Gesar of Ling, the enlightened warrior-king of Tibet.
As a sublime incarnate master who ranks among the highest masters of awareness, His Eminence Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche continuously bestows ripening empowerments, liberating teachings and spiritual advice to countless beings that are to be guided in these ways.
His continual efforts to secure the Buddhadharma extend through his compassionate Dharma Projects for the Tibetan refuge communities as well as to the building of the Ripa monasteries in India, Tibet and Nepal. His unceasing efforts to carry out enlightened activities in any way that will guide beings thus ensures that a rain of benefit and well being, in both the short term and the long term, will fall in a vast range of realms, establishing beings in the state of liberation.
The Fourth Ripa Lineage Holder, H.E. the Vidyadhara Tertön Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche
The fourth and present lineage holder in the Ripa family lineage is the Tertön Namkha Drimed Rinpoche, a master of profound mind termas. From the Troma Prophecy given to Terchen Traktung Dujum Lingpa (the 1st Dudjom Rinpoche):
The emanation of Glorious Taksham Dorje
Bearing the name Rab,A tantric yogin
Will also receive and reveal profound Terma teachings
Of the secret essence.
Just as was made clear in the unfailing vajra prophecy, Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche was born to his father Ripa Jigme Tsewang Chogdrup and his mother Mayum Palden Tsomo, grand daughter of Drubwang Shakya Shri, in 1939 of the 16th Rabjam in the Earth Rabbit Year on the 10th day of the 12th month with miraculous signs. Drubwang Shakya Shri’s son and spiritual heir Dungsey Phakchok Dorje recognized him as being the rebirth of Yongey Mingyur Dorje and gave him the Candali long-life empowerment and the name Namkha Drimed Rabjam. At the age of thirteen he had a direct vision of Guru Rinpoche who gave him the empowerment of the display of awareness and the secret name Dorje Ziji Tsal. Thus empowered as the Guru’s regent thereafter he revealed mind treasures of the awareness display. He repeatedly saw visions of Gesar of Ling and, being the reincarnation of Gesar’s elder brother Gyatsa Shalkar, clearly remembered his former life. Serving many great masters, including his father Rinpoche, the yogi of clear light Great Perfection, Jigme Choejung Lingpa, the sixth Taksham tulku Karma Sangngak Tenzin Dorje, Baha Lama Tashi, and so forth, he practiced the cycle of Taksham teachings in general and, in particular, the extensive practices of the Lama Norbu (Guru Saddhana), beginning from yogic exercises of the channels and winds up through the main practices on Trekcho and Togal, through which he perfected the Four Visions. Chatrel Rinpoche offered the following flower of praise:
His view is like the sky (Namkha),
Beyond the limit of words and expressions.
His meditation is the stainless (Drimey) state of Rigpa…
His conduct is spontaneously liberated of
Manifold (Rabjam) deluded thoughts
The result has been confidently attained in this lifetime,
Also, from great masters such as Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche and Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche he has received empowerments, together with the instruction and reading transmission of Kama and Terma, particularly the Precious Treasury of Terma. Similarly he recieved the Rinchen Terdzo in its entirety, from the Vidyadhara, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche.
The future circumstances of Tibet being clearly set forth in prophecy, Rinpoche, together and his retinue of attendants and disciples, escorted by Dharma protectors, traveled safely through the hidden land of Pemako and eventually settled at the Phuntsok Ling Tibetan Settlement in Orissa. The tradition of great Tertön Taksham Nuden Dorje’s profound dharma being extremely weak at this time, he gave rise to the strong armor of unsurpassable bodhicitta, and together with is elder brother Drubwang Adzin Rinpoche, he founded a temple in the 1970’s for the benefit of the sangha and restoration of Tibets rich spiritual heritage in exile. The new Temple was kindly inaugurated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and given the name Rigon Thubten Mindroling. There are 200 monks in residence there today as well as several hundered lay practitioners within the Tibetan communities.
In various Tibetan settlements, principally in Orissa, at the Martika Cave in Nepal, in Western countries, and so forth, Rinopche has engaged in obstacle clearing rituals against such calamities as disease, famine and war, as well as natural disasters of the four elements such as windstorms and drought. He has command over the local gods, nagas and guardian deities in these places and through engaging in the pacifying rituals for them clears away negativities and is able to confer joy and peace among the inhabitants of such locales.
With respect to his mind termas, from The Story of the Secret Key, Padmasambhava says:
In that turbulent degenerating time
I Lotus-born Guru, will promulgate for the benefit of future generations
Various sadhana practices appropriate to the times
For the purpose of pacifying, enriching, magnetizing and destroying,
Particularly, wrathful rites for averting armies at the border,
According to the tradition of Gesar, heroic tamer of negative forces.
In accordance with the unfailing vajra words of Guru Rinpoche, when the appropriate circumstances have come together, in the hidden land of Pemako, in Orissa, in Darjeeling, and at Paro Taksang, Rinpoche has received and revealed mind treasures, including teachings from the cycle called Jeweled Treasury of the Three Families. He has received treasures concerning the complete aspects of the Gesar of the Three Roots and of the accomplishment of the Four Activities combined together, as well as Phurba, Yeshe Tsogyal, Dorje Drolo, the heart practice of the Guru, Dzogchen, and so forth. He has received these many profound dharma treasures at the appropriate time in order to clear the degeneration of the dharma and of beings, and up until the present moment, has revealed the auspicious number eight volumes of terma.
Additionally the regent of the Lotus-born Guru, Kyabje Dudjom Jigdral Yeshe Dorje in the colophon to the long life prayer that he composed for Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche wrote, May the treasure revealer who has discovered the authentic and profound dharma of the cycle of teachings of the Heart Treasury of the Three Families live long!”
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche wrote:
Through the enlightened intent of the
Heruka Pema Gyalpo (Guru Rinpoche),
And through the power of aspiration of Dorje Ziji Tsal,
The great lion (Gesar), of the Jewel Treasury of the Three Families,
May it Bring benefit and happiness to the teachings
And beings in this degenerate Time!
Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche Jamyang Dorje, in the colophon to Supplication to the Great Tertön, The Chariot that Leads to Devotion, wrote, “Upon the occasion of having the fortune to receive the ripening empowerment and liberating instruction of the quintessence Guru Pema’s profound dharma, the profound mind treasure received at the appropriate time by Tertön Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche, the cycle of teachings of the Jeweled Mind Treasury of the Three Families, supplicating with great faith and certainty will pacify all of the harm that may come to sentient beings in this turbulent degenerate time and will spread the activity of the profound dharma throughout the reaches of space.” Thus all of these accomplished masters and great beings, having found certainty in his profound Terma teachings, have praised Namkha Rinpoche with their authentic speech.
In many lands he has opened the door of the profound and vast dharma. Having founded the Ripa Ladrang Foundation in the U.S.A. and thinking that this would bring further benefit and happiness to beings, Rinpoche laid the foundation of his vision of Rigon Tashi Choeling Monastery and residence for the Sangha at Yangleshod (Pharping), in Nepal. In the tradition of larger monasteries with smaller branches, just as was previously the case in Tibet, with great kindness Rinpoche built this monastery as a means to ensure the continuity of empowerment and instruction of the teachings in general and particularly of the glorious Ripa tradition. Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche, amongst his many and various skills and abilities to compassionately aid sentient beings, is also a renowned divination master. While his enlightened activity for the profound dharma is spreading, his life remains secured in the expanse of the seven-pointed vajra nature.