Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche

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Summary

The present Dzigar Kongtrul, Jigme Namgyel, was born in Northern India, just before his father, the third Neten Chokling Rinpoche, established the Tibetan community settlement of Bir. When Rinpoche was nine years old, his father Neten Chokling Rinpoche passed away. Soon after this His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche recognized him as an emanation of Jamgön Kongtrül the Great and His Holiness the 16th Karmapa confirmed this. He was soon enthroned at Chokling Gompa in Bir.

Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche moved to the United States in 1989 with his family and began a five-year tenure as a professor of Buddhist philosophy at Naropa University (then Institute) in 1990. Not long after arriving in the United States, Rinpoche founded Mangala Shri Bhuti, an organization established to further the practice of the Longchen Nyingtik lineage. He established a mountain retreat center, Longchen Jigme Samten Ling, in southern Colorado, where he spends much of his time in retreat and guides students in long-term retreat practice.

Biography

After Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye passed away, five emanations appeared. The first Dzigar Kongtrül was one of these. He was the younger brother of Dzigar Chogtrül, who was a great lama from the Drukpa Kagyü school and lived in Kham Derge. The name Dzigar comes in part from the valley where Dzigar Chogtrül’s monastery was situated. The valley looks like the white marking found on the forehead of some animals. This marking is called a dzi in Tibetan. Gar, which means “tent,” comes from the tradition of Khamtrül Rinpoche, who was the root teacher of the first Dzigar Chogtrül. The first two Khamtrül Rinpoches always traveled around Tibet in tent encampments, never building a monastery.

The first Dzigar Kongtrül, Lodrö Rabpel, was recognized by the 15th Karmapa, Khakyab Dorje and was brought up and enthroned at Palpung. Two Kongtrül emanations were discovered at Palpung – Karsey Kongtrül (Jamgön Palden Khyentse Özer), the son of the 15th Karmapa, and Dzigar Kongtrül.

Dzigar Kongtrül was very close with the 2nd Chokling of Neten, so at some point he left Palpung and established his own monastery near Neten Gön. There was a lovely lake close by and so his monastery became known as Tsokar.

Before Neten Chokling Rinpoche left Tibet, Dzigar Kongtrül Rinpoche invited him to Tsokar for a visit. The night before Chokling Rinpoche was to return to his own monastery, Kongtrül told him that he would come back as his own son. He also told him that he must leave for India immediately. That following morning at dawn, Dzigar Kongtrül passed into nirvana without any signs of illness. After Chokling Rinpoche performed the cremation rituals, he returned to Chokling Gompa and arranged to leave for India as Kongtrül Rinpoche had asked.

The present Dzigar Kongtrül, Jigme Namgyel, was born in Northern India, just before his father established the Tibetan community settlement of Bir. When Rinpoche was nine years old, his father Chokling Rinpoche passed away. Soon after this His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche recognized him as an emanation of Jamgön Kongtrül the Great and His Holiness the 16th Karmapa confirmed this. He was soon enthroned at Chokling Gompa in Bir.

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