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The Sixth Dzogchen Rinpoche Jigdral Jangchup Dorje

Translated from Tibetan

6th Dzogchen Rinpoche

The Fifth Dzogchen Rinpoche prophasised:

      North from most glorious Samye,
      Pass on to the town where,
      Of the pure Sunudeva clan,
      Method and wisdom, ei and u,
      Will show new signs of birth.

Dzogchen Tulku Drime also made a similar prophesy in secret. Following these, Jigdral Jangchup Dorje, who was born in 1934 in Dzare, central Tibet, was recognised and enthroned in Dzogchen monastery. Relying on many spiritual masters, including Great Khenpos Jigme Yonten Gonpo, Pema Tsewang and Tupgar of Jangma monastery, Rinpoche studied the sutras and tantras. At the age of twenty-one he took full ordination with Khenpo Jigme Yonten Gonpo and became an unsurpassed scholar. The governmental palace of Ganden honoured Rinpoche with the official position of Hotoktu or Highest of Lamas, and the master engaged in work for the temporal and spiritual benefit of all beings. Unfortunately his life came to an abrupt end in 1959 at the age of twenty-five.

One afternoon a few months prior to his death, Rinpoche suddenly told his two attendants, Dondrup Phuntsok and Sonam Dopden, to prepare a small feast offering. They needed to go to Guru Rinpoche’s cave by the middle turquoise lake above Dzogchen Monastery. The two attendants suggested that, as it was already afternoon and a horse was not ready, it might be better to leave the following day. Rinpoche, however, insisted that if there were no horses they would go on foot as they must arrive that day.

Having reached the middle lake, they entered the cave and Rinpoche told his attendants to make the feast offering in front of the small Guru Rinpoche statue that was kept there. Rinpoche however sat down and, wrapping himself in his monk’s shawl, began to cry. Having sat like that for a short while, he took out a piece of paper and began to write. He placed the completed page next to the heart of the Guru statue. 

It was so dark on the journey back that the monks stopped off at the hut where Rinpoche’s father Ngawang Norbu lived. When they entered the house, Ngawang Norbu greeted them and asked, ‘Why have you suddenly decided to come up here like this?’ Rinpoche replied, ‘We went to make a feast offering,’ but he did not say any more. When Ngawang Norbu asked why they needed to perform the feast offering that evening, Rinpoche mentioned that he had written something and left it by the statue of Guru Rinpoche. Ngawang Norbu quickly told one of his students named Samten, who was incredibly fleet of foot, to run and get the paper. Samten arrived back within the hour and Rinpoche’s father looked at what was written:

‘Desperate times are upon us. This lifetime little benefit has been brought to people or the teachings but I pray most fervently that my next incarnation will be richer in the qualities of wisdom, righteousness and goodness, so that beings may become spiritually mature and the teachings may flourish.’

‘Oh no! What are you saying?’ Rinpoche’s father exclaimed. ‘Don’t you know that what is called “the development of the great hero’s Bodhisattva mind” teaches us that the more desperate or miserable a situation seems, so much more must we generate the brave heart of the Bodhisattva. What are you saying, writing such words as this?’

Ngawang Norbu spoke at length that night, requesting Rinpoche to continue living for many more years but Rinpoche just listened to his father’s angry words without giving any reply.

A few days before Rinpoche passed away, he said to Sogyal, one of the caretakers of his residence, ‘We will meet again in the not too distant future.’ He also added, ‘One day when I am changing my clothes I will be stabbed.’ Through his words and actions, Rinpoche showed on numerous occasions that he had knowledge of the future.

Having finished bringing benefit to people with his physical body, Rinpoche’s prophesy was fulfilled, and under unfortunate circumstances he passed away calmly in the Dongpe place of Rudam valley on the first day of the Tibetan New Tear. Rinpoche’s tutor Great Khenpo Jigme Yonten Gonpo, together with some monks who still remained, took his body to Dzajut Tromza. During the cremation ceremony it was found that Rinpoche’s skull had a naturally occurring impression of the syllable Ah. Five major relics emerged and countless smaller relics showered down like rain. These and many other amazing signs were witnessed by all present.

6th stupa
The reliquary of the Sixth Dzogchen Rinpoche enshrined in Pema Tung Temple.

Read the biography of the Seventh Dzogchen Rinpoche

 

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