Lineage Masters: H.H. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche

Junior Tutor to the present Dalai Lama

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One year later, at the age of 24, Trijang Rinpoche taught Lamrim to 2,000 monks and lay people and gave Avalokiteshvara empowerment. He also taught extensively on the practice of Guru Puja (Lama Chopa). He then received an invitiation to give empowerments of Guhyasamaja, Avalokiteshvara and Vajrayogini at Gangkar Monastery.

For the next three years, Trijang Rinpoche travelled and taught extensively at many Gelugpa places of learning all over Tibet. At their request, he also taught at Sakyapa and Nyingmapa Centers. He became increasingly well known, and taught many thousands of monastics and lay people.

Travelling west to Jampa Ling monastery in Litang, Trijang Rinpoche gave Avalokiteshvara empowerment and teachings on Lamrim to about 3,000 monks, as well as most of the local people. In the foothills of Kambo, a place sacred to Chakrasamvara, he granted initiation and led a long retreat.

Trijang Rinpoche was 27 years old before he returned to Chatreng in 1928. There, he was invited by the Tantrists of Chagra Gang to give initiations into the Peaceful Form of Padmasambhava and the Six Forms of Padmasambhava According to the Old Concealed Texts. He also encouraged and helped them to repair the Chagra temple.

Trijang Rinpoche was tireless in his work and unending in his devotion. On his return to Lhasa later that year, he continued to visit monasteries to grant initiations and teachings, including the valleys and plains of Gyaltang. According to the author of Gangkar Rinpoche’s secret biography, Gangkar Rinpoche at this time had a vision of Trijang Rinpoche as being the reincarnation of Padmasambhava; and he performed ceremonies in his honor and presented a large number of offerings, including a sacred Heruka statue.

When he reached Lhasa he had audiences with the 13th Dalai Lama and Pabongka Rinpoche. He made offerings of silver coins, grain and tea to all the monks of Ganden, and also set up a fund for them. The following year, aged 28, he also donated gifts to all those attending Monlam, the Great Prayer Festival; and made many offerings to the Tantric colleges.

During the next few years, until 1932, he received profound teachings from Pabongka Rinpoche, including the oral instructions of many secret Gelugpa lineages; and he also engaged in Tantric retreats. In 1932 he gave more extensive teachings at Ganden Shartse and Jangste monasteries.

In 1933, the 13th Dalai Lama died, and Trijang Rinpoche helped Ling Rinpoche and other great Lamas from Sera monastery and Namgyal monastery consecrate the body and the reliquary. Three years later, aged 35, Trijang Rinpoche granted Heruka empowerment to the monks of Ganden monastery before he embarked on a tour of the southern district of Tibet to make offerings and give teachings. He continued to receive instructions from his root Guru Pabongka Rinpoche and made extensive offerings to both colleges at Ganden.

In 1939, after attending Je Pabongkapa’s teachings on Lamrim Chenmo at Ganden monastery, Trijang Rinpoche toured pilgrimage sites in India and Nepal where he made extensive offerings at each place. He then travelled to Dungkar Monastery in Dromo, where he gave teachings and empowerments on Heruka, Guhyasamaja, Yamantaka, Vajrayogini and Guru Puja. On his return, Trijang Rinpoche visited important sites in Tsang, including Tashi Lhunpo Monastery. In 1940 he taught the Guru Puja and Gelugpa Mahamudra to senior monks of Ganden Jangtse. In the following year, he continued to receive teachings from Je Pabongkapa.

As his Junior Tutor or root Guru, Trijang Rinpoche also gave extensive teachings to the present Dalai Lama. The majority of the Dalai Lama’s lineages, teachings, commentaries and practices that he so kindly transmits these days are from Trijang Rinpoche who, in turn, received most of these from Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche. Such is the kindness of our gurus that no matter who we are, we are able to pass the Dharma to others arising from great concern for their welfare.

Trijang Rinpoche went into exile in India where, from 1960 onward, he continued to teach and initiate the Dalai Lama and many other disciples. At newly-located monasteries in Buxa, Tantric colleges in Dalhousie and a Tibetan monastery in Varanasi, Trijang Rinpoche granted many teachings and empowerments, including the Vajrayogini empowerment in Dharamsala.

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