His Holiness Dudjom Yangsi Rinpoche is universally known as the emanation of Padmasambhava’s regent in this world. Padmasambhava was the main master who brought Buddhism to Tibet. H.H. Dudjom Yangsi Rinpoche is the reincarnation of Chhoje Tulku Rinpoche’s root teacher. This was his first time coming to the West.
We were so fortunate to have one of the greatest masters come to Denver and teach at PMC in July 2018. Please take the time to read the full biography below:
The Dudjom Lineage
At the time Guru Padmasambhava was in Tibet, he gave the following prophecy to Yeshe Tsogyal:
“In this degenerate time, sentient beings’ afflictive emotions are very wild and turbulent. Such gross emotions are difficult to subdue by any buddhas and any teachings. A really terrible time will come in the future.” Hearing this, Yeshe Tsogyal offered prostrations to the Guru, respectfully placed his feet on her head, and cried as she requested, “Since these kinds of wild sentient beings are impossible to tame, please send an emanation powerful enough to subdue them!” Guru Rinpoche said, “Yes my daughter, you’re right to ask this. Among my twenty-five main disciples — all mahasiddhas, realized beings — the most powerful one, with realization equal to my own, is Drokben Kye-u Chung Lotsawa. Therefore, he will be this emanation’s body aspect. Yeshe Tsogyal, you and I have a connection over many lifetimes, and in this lifetime, you’re my consort. I have given you every teaching and prophecy, and I’ve empowered you to teach my entire doctrine now and for future generations. I’ve asked you, my heart student, to seal these teachings as treasure texts. You are powerful, so you will be his speech aspect. As Padmasambhava, I will be his mind aspect. Among Guru Rinpoche’s eight manifestations, Dorjé Drolö riding on a tiger will emanate in Eastern Tibet as Traktung Dudjom Dorje.”
According to this prophecy, Dudjom Lingpa was born in Golok, in Eastern Tibet, in 1835. From the time of his birth, he experienced visions of myriad buddhas, pure realms, and past siddhas of India and Tibet, who gave him teachings, guided him, and bestowed on him an abundance of spiritual treasures. Those treasures, which comprise roughly twenty volumes, have already been the means for many fortunate individuals to reach the ultimate goal of the Buddha’s teachings, and for countless others to make tremendous progress on the path.
Although Dudjom Lingpa lived his entire life among nomadic tribes in one of the most remote and mountainous corners of Tibet, when he was twenty-one years old in 1855 he received a prophetic vision indicating that most of the human beings who were destined to become liberated by practicing his treasures lived in “cities in the western direction”. His subsequent incarnations have begun to fulfill that vision.
In 1904, shortly before Dudjom Lingpa dissolved his body into the fertile expanse of the true buddha body, he told his close disciples to travel to the “hidden land” of Pema Kod, saying, “Before you, the old ones, arrive, I the young one will already be there.” He also told them that he would make many incarnations, but they only needed to recognize the main one. Later when the disciples discovered the master’s incarnation, he was already two years old. Thus, they realized that he had already taken a new emanation body even before leaving the previous one. This small child questioned the disciples of his previous incarnation about instructions he had given them in his previous life and displayed remarkable intelligence. He was able to understand many profound and vast dharma teachings simply by being introduced to them, as if he merely needed a reminder. This emanation was enthroned by the disciples of Dudjom Lingpa and named Dudjom Rinpoche, Jigdrel Yeshe Dorje.
Dudjom Rinpoche’s activities on behalf of the Budddhadharma and sentient beings were so extensive that they are difficult to encompass in a brief summary. Like his previous incarnation, he revealed many spiritual treasures. Yet he also told his close disciples that he deliberately left many treasures hidden, as there were so many profound and powerful treasures already available to those who would seek liberation. He composed practices and instruction manuals for many of those old treasures, as well as his new revelations. His own collected works comprise twenty-five volumes. At a time when the dharma faced tremendous challenges, both during the first half of his life in Tibet and the second half of his life in exile, he worked tirelessly to receive and propagate the entire legacy of the Nyingma lineage. Many of the texts we now have only exist because Dudjom Rinpoche brought his entire personal library with him when he came to India. He compiled and published fifty-five volumes of whatever remained of the Nyingma Kama, the long lineage brought to Tibet by Guru Padmasambhava and Vimalamitra in the eighth century.
When Dudjom Rinpoche was twelve years old, he had a vision in which he traveled to the Glorious Copper Colored Mountain and met Guru Padmasambhava in person. For many days the Guru gave him empowerments and transmissions. After this he began to teach in a way that was utterly astonishing. At the age of thirteen he gave Treasury of Precious Revelations, over 700 empowerments and sixty-three volumes of transmissions, in just a month. Throughout the next three decades, he taught throughout Tibet, Bhutan, and the Himalayan regions of India and Nepal, and throughout the world. Beginning in the 1970s he traveled repeatedly to North America and Europe. Dudjom Rinpoche spent the last years of his life in France and passed into parinirvana in 1987, amidst remarkable signs of accomplishment.
The extraordinary qualities of Dudjom Rinpoche’s realization, teaching, and composition were so outstanding that virtually all of the lineage holders, incarnations, and lamas of the Nyingma lineage became his disciples. Many of the realized masters of all of the lineages of Tibetan Buddhism took him as their guru. Dudjom Rinpoche was the guru of the gurus, Guru Padmasambhava in person.
An incarnation of Dudjom Rinpoche, Jigdrel Yeshe Dorje was born in 1990 in Kyegudo, Qinghai Province in China to Dudjom Rinpoche’s son, Dola Tulku and his wife Pema Khandro, following many auspicious signs. This child was first recognized as the “yangsi”, the “renewed incarnation”, by Tare Lhamo, a treasure revealer widely revered in Eastern Tibet as a wisdom dakini, who was herself the daughter of Apang Terton, an eminent treasure revealer of Golok who was considered a “spiritual son” of Dudjom Lingpa.
Tare Lhamo’s recognition was later confirmed by Chatral Sangye Dorje Rinpoche, who had been authorized by the previous Dudjom Rinpoche as the regent and protector of his lineage. Chatral Rinpoche named the new incarnation Sangye Pema Shepa.
Dudjom Yangsi Rinpoche was enthroned in 1994 in Nepal. Many thousands of people gathered for the ceremony at Godavari, the holy place of Vajrayogini. H.H. Kyabje Chatral Rinpoche presided over the eight-hour enthronement ceremony, with H.H. Penor Rinpoche, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche, Kathok Situ Rinpoche, and many other Nyingma lamas present. After Yangsi Rinpoche sat as still as a statue for the entire length of the ceremony, Chatral Rinpoche commented to Yangsi Rinpoche’s father that it was amazing that a four-year-old boy could do that while Chatral Rinpoche himself could not do that.
Under Chatral Rinpoche’s supervision, Yangsi Rinpoche has been educated intensively since he was a small child. He has received the empowerments and transmissions of the Nyingma tradition and especially the lineage of his previous incarnations. At the age of nineteen, he undertook a three-year retreat in Gyalwa Longchenpa’s cave near the peak of Gangri Thokar mountain in Central Tibet. In recent years he has been traveling and teaching in China, Tibet, and Nepal.
In July 2018, he came to the West for the first time. We felt so privileged and fortunate that H.H. Dudjom Yangsi Rinpoche kindly accepted to come and bless Padmasambhava Meditation Center. This was a blessing for not just the Denver area, but the entire region will receive the blessing of this powerful emanation of Padmasambhava’s regent.
H.H. Dudjom Yangsi Rinpoche gave Ter Kha Dun Du, Throma, and Long Life empowerments, as well as meditation teaching.
From among the many treasures of Dudjom Lingpa, the cycle of revelations from the mandala of Throma, the Wrathful Black One Mother, became most renowned. It was prophesied that, by relying on this practice, thirteen of Dudjom Lingpa’s direct disciples would achieve the state of Vajradhara, the primordial buddha and so it came to be. In fact, in addition to the thirteen prophesied rainbow bodies, many other disciples showed extraordinary signs of realization at the time of death, such as completely or partially dissolving their bodies into light, remaining in meditation for many days, and manifesting extraordinary relics at the time their remains were cremated.
There are additional prophecies in the Throma cycle that “In the future this will be the door for hundreds of thousands of people to attain liberation”. In recent years, our teacher Soktse Rinpoche has repeatedly spoken about advice he received from Dudjom Rinpoche Jigdrel Yeshe Dorje. Dudjom Rinpoche told him that although he had the opportunity to reveal more treasures from the Throma cycle, he decided not to because there was no need for it. The power of and blessings of these practices are still very strong, and in the future many people will actually attain complete liberation by relying on them.
Dudjom Rinpoche Jigdrel Yeshe Dorje revealed a mind treasure of the Three Roots mandala called Ter Kha Dun Du, “The Gathering of Seven Treasure Troves”, which combines the practices of Guru Rinpoche, Hayagriva, and Vajravarahi in a single mandala. This revelation combines the practices and lineage of blessing of six previous treasure revealers together with Dudjom Rinpoche’s own: Guru Chowang, Dorje Lingpa, Ratna Lingpa, Padma Lingpa, Zhikpo Lingpa, and Duddul Dorje.
* Some of the sections on Dudjom Lingpa have been excerpted from the translation of his autobiography: A Clear Mirror, published by Rangjung Yeshe.