Gyalwang Drukpa Rinpoche, the head lama of the Drukpa Kagyu tradition. Also known as the Gyalwang Drukchen and Druk Tamche Khyenpa "All-knowing Drukpa" ('brug thams cad mkhyen pa ) the successive Gyalwang Drukpas are considered to be incarnations of Tsangpa Gyare Yeshe Dorje(1161-1211) founder of the Drukpa Kagyu school and one of the main disciples of Lingje Repa Pema Dorje. Followers of the Drukpa Kagyu school consider Tsangpa Gyare Yeshe Dorje to have been an emanation of Avalokiteshvara and incarnation of Naropa. This also applies to the subsequent Gyalwang Drukpa incarnations.
There were two immediate incarnations of the 4th Gyalwang Drukpa, Kunkhyen Pema Karpo (1527-1592) - each recognized by a different group of followers: Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal (1594-1651) and Pagsam Wangpo, (1593-1653). Pagsam Wangpo was favored by the powerful Tsang ruler Phuntsog Namgyal (1597-1621) and eventually recognized as the official incarnation in Tibet. Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal went to Bhutan and established his lineage there.
སྐུ་ཕྲེང་། - The Successive Incarnations
- 1st Gyalwang Drukpa Tsangpa Gyare Yeshe Dorje
- 2nd Gyalwang Drukpa Gyalwa Kunga Paljor
- 3rd Gyalwang Drukpa Jamyang Chokyi Drakpa
- 4th Gyalwang Drukpa Kunkhyen Pema Karpo
- 5th Gyalwang Drukpa Pagsam Wangpo
- 6th Gyalwang Drukpa Mipham Wangpo
- 7th Gyalwang Drukpa Trinley Shingta
- 8th Gyalwang Drukpa Kunzig Mipham Chokyi Nangwa
- 9th Gyalwang Drukpa Mipham Chokyi Gyatso
- 10th Gyalwang Drukpa Mipham Chokyi Wangpo
- 11th Gyalwang Drukpa Tendzin Khyenrab Gelek Palzangpo
- 12th Gyalwang Drukpa Jigme Pema Wangchen