Pema Kalsang Rinpoche
feel extremely grateful that Kyabje Pema Kalsang Rinpoche accepted our invitation
to come to Europe. He gave teachings and initiations in Brussels, Luxembourg,
Denmark, Finland and Sweden in April, May and June 2000.
can also download the file BioTPK-en.pdf
(Acrobat 4.0, 50Kb).
Kyabje Dzogchen Pema Kalsang was
born in 1943 in Dege, Dzachuka, a part of Kham, Eastern Tibet. He is the third
incarnation of H.H. Dzogchen Pema Benzar, lineage holder of Dzogchen Nyingthik.
He was born to a common nomad family whose ancestry has an unbroken line of recognised
Rinpoches. His birth was marked with many auspicious signs and as a newly born
child he could recite the mantras of Guru Rinpoche and Avalokiteshwara due to
imprints from his past lives. This generated such devotion amongst the local people
that they were moved to tears.
At the age of two his Dharma
brother from his previous life, Dzogchen Kongtrul Rinpoche came to his area to
give teachings. The young Pema Kalsang cried so much that his mother was forced
to take him to see the Rinpoche. The moment the child saw him he ran to his laps
and hugged him with great joy. Kongtrul Rinpoche told Pema Kalsang's mother to
take very good care of her son as he'd had a dream the night before linked with
the child indicating that he was the reincarnation of a Rinpoche. Kongtrul Rinpoche
quickly returned to his monastery to inform Dzogchen Jigdral Changjub Dorje and
also had a note sent to Jamyang Khyentse Chogyi Lodro. They both recognised the
boy shortly afterwards as the third incarnation of H.H. Dzogchen Pema Benzar.
the age of eight he began his primary education in Dza Jangma Retreat Centre,
where a Khenpo taught him personally. In this period he also received the ordination
as a Getsul. In 1953 he was invited to be enthroned according to tradition in
Dzogchen Monastery, one of the six principal Nyingma monasteries and the source
of Dzogchen teachings. There he received teachings on Sutrayana, Vajrayana, transmissions,
empowerments and secret instructions from many highly realised Masters. These
included Khenpo Lhagong, a practitioner of Dzogchen Longchen Nyingthig, who attained
enlightenment through life long retreat; Khenchen Yonden Gonpo, an emanation of
Samantabhadra; Jigdral Changjub Dorje; Jamyang Khyentse Chogyi Lodro; Khenchen
Pema Tsewang and Khenchen Thubten Nyiendrak. Khenchen Yonden Gonpo introduced
him by empowerment into Rigpa, the true nature of mind. Thereafter Jigdral Changjub
Dorje named Pema Kalsang Rinpoche his successor as the throne-holder of Dzogchen
Monastery. On reflection he considers this period the most perfect and happy of
Shortly after that in 1959, Tibetan religion,
culture and government were overthrown. His monastery was destroyed and his people
were killed or scattered and he himself was imprisoned. Two years later he was
released from prison but not from the control of the occupying system, and subsequently
spent 30 years in forced labour. Although he was living under conditions unconducive
to Dharma, he remained unaffected and continued to study and practice secretly.
1983, with the change of the situation in Tibet and the revival of Tibetan culture
and the impeccable Buddha Dharma, Pema Kalsang Rinpoche was able to re-establish
Dzogchen and other monasteries as he had always hoped to. Unfortunately, the following
year while being engaged in this work he was involved in a car accident and was
seriously injured. The other party involved gave him compensation money to support
himself for the rest of his life. However he used his money to begin rebuilding
and enlarging Shri Singha, an ancient and famous Buddhist university where he
has now educated thousands of Dharma students. In doing so he has brought back
light and the sound of Dharma to a holy place that had been dark and empty for
He has also helped to build and develop Shedras
(Buddhist universities) and Drubdras (retreat centres) in Dorje Drak, Mindrolling
and Palru, three of the six principal monasteries of the Nyingma tradition, as
well as in Samye and Drugon Nyima Jangra and many more, sending Khenpos (Buddhist
professors) to teach in these centres. He himself gave empowerments and teachings
of Dzogpa Chenpo and recognised many reincarnations of Rinpoches, about 25 in
Since 1998 Pema Kalsang Rinpoche has been focussing
with some urgency on three main areas:
ancient Buddhist statues, scriptures and important cultural items that are rapidly
disappearing from Tibet. A temple serving as a Tibetan cultural exhibition hall
called "The Golden Lotus Ornament of Tibet" is being built to display
Secondly he has established and funded an
organisation called the "Kalsang Awards for Merit" to revive and enhance
Tibetan Culture by rewarding Tibetan scholars and writers whose work excels.
thirdly he is trying to build as many schools as possible for the young generation
of Tibetans to provide them with a good education as well as constructing accommodation
for elderly and disabled people.
Pema Kalsang Rinpoche has
been helping others with boundless compassion all his life and is a brightly-lit
guiding lamp of inspiration for others on the path of Dharma. May he enjoy a long
and healthy life and may all his virtuous swiftly be fulfilled.
by the Shri Singha University of Rudam Dzogchen Fountain of Wisdom and Learning
in the Land of Snows.
Thupten Tsondu (also known as Tulku Dakpa Rinpoche) gave teachings
for the first time in the Dzogchen Centres in Brussels and Luxembourg during his
university holidays in 1999. Since then he has come almost every year to teach
in the European Centres. His joyful and direct way of teaching makes him very
appreciated by western students.
Please read the biography on Tulku
Dakpa Rinpoche's Website.