9th Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche

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The 9th Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche (1897-1962 )

The 9th Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche Geleg Drubpe Nyima (dge legs sgrub pa'i nyi ma, 1897-1962) who passed away at Rumtek monastery in Sikkim, aged 66.

He was the older brother of H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche (1910-1991) and the root teacher of Ven. Kyabje Tenga Rinpoche (1932-2012) of Benchen monastery. Sangye Nyenpa was recognized and confirmed as the authentic incarnation of the previous 8th Sangye Nyenpa Tendzin Drubchog, by the 15th Karmapa Kakhyab Dorje (1871-1922). The Karmapa had had a vision of the protective deity Palden Lhamo, in which he saw a vajra appearing in her mirror and heard the name Sangye Nyenpa and his family's name "Dilgo" spoken. Also, before his birth a resident lama on the Dilgo estate dreamed repeatedly of a famous pair of cymbals kept in Benchen monastery being played in the house. This was felt to mean that the incarnation of Sangye Nyenpa would be born there. The Karmapa gave him the name Karma Geleg Drubpe Nyima Thrinle Ozer Kunkhyab Palzangpo (karma dge legs sgrub pa'i nyi ma phrin las 'od zer kun khyab dpal bzang po). From Drongpa Lama Tendzin Chögyal, Tenga Rinpoche's previous incarnation, he received many empowerments and oral transmissions, among them the Kagyu Ngagdzo and the 9th Karmapa Wangchug Dorje's (1556-1603) Chikshe Kundröl collection. In about 1904, aged eight, Sangye Nyenpa met with the omniscient Mipham Rinpoche Namgyal Gyatso (1846-1912) and received the oral transmissions of the Manjushrinamasamgiti from him. From Mipham Rinpoche's disciple Lama Ösal, he later received the transmission of all his works. Around that time he also received novice ordination from Palpung monastery's famous Khenchen Tashi Öser. Until age 20, Sangye Nyenpa attended upon many great masters of his time and received all the Kagyu and Nyingma transmissions, as well as the Jonang and Zhalu tradition's Kalacakra and much more. From the 2nd Tsike Chokling Könchok Gyurme Tenpei Gyaltsen () he received important transmissions from the Chokling Tersar and from Lama Karma Tashi Chöphel, a close disciple of Jamgon Kongtrul, the transmission of Kongtrul's works. Later, when in Tsurphu monastery in Central Tibet for six months, he received transmissions and instruction on all the major Mahamudra works of the Kagyu traditions from the 15th Karmapa, as well as the Six Doctrines of Naropa, many protector empowerments, and other teachings. In particular, he was fortunate to receive the special longevity transmission of the revelations of Surmang Tertön Zilnön Namkhai Dorje (zur mang gter ston zil gnon nam mkha'i rdo rje), when the same came to Tsurphu as well, to offer it to the Karmapa. Two other great Karma Kagyu masters who were to become two of Sangye Nyenpa's most important root teachers, were the 11th Tai Situpa Pema Wangchog Gyalpo (pad ma dbang mchog rgyal po, 1886-1952), from whom he received full monastic ordination in his twenties, and the 2nd Kongtrul, Jamgon Choktrul Palden Khyentse Özer ('jam mgon mchog sprul dpal ldan mkhyen brtse'i 'od zer, 1904-1953), commonly known as Karsey Kongtrul. From the masters of the major Nyingma monasteries in eastern Tibet, such as Khatog, Shechen and Dzogchen, Sangye Nyenpa received many Terma transmissions, such as the revelations of Ratna Lingpa, Dorje Linga and Sangye Lingpa, and much more. His outlook and practice having been completely non-sectarian, he also received and transmitted teachings from the Sakyapa and Gelugpa schools. Practicing many solitary retreats in which he trained in all the major transmissions he had received, he experienced many visionary encounters with masters of the past and received instructions and prophecies from them, as well as from yidam deities and dakinis. In 1959 he fled Eastern Tibet, first to Central Tibet, where he spent time at Tsurphu monastery with the 16th Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje (rang byung rig pa'i rdo rje, 1924-1981), and then on to Sikkim, where he spent his remaining years in the Karmapa's Rumtek monastery. He passed away on "Lhabab Düchen", the 22nd day of the 9th month of the Tibetan Water-Tiger year, 1962. In November 1964 the 10th Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche was born near the sacred site of Paro Taktsang in Bhutan.

H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche has composed a short biography of his older brother. It is entitled "sangs rgyas mnyan sprul dgu pa'i rnam thar mdor bsdus pa'i sa bon" and is included in Vol. 1, pp. 275-306 of his collected works.