Dzogchen Ponlop Jigtral Tsewang Dorje
The sixth Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche Thupten Jigdral Tsewang Dorje, (1925-1962), was the younger brother of His Holiness the Sixteenth Karmapa. He was born in Denkhok region of Derge, Kham, to the family of Athub Tsang in the year of the Water Dragon of the 16th Rabjung. His father was Tsewang Phuntsok and his mother was Kalsang Chodron. The sixth Ponlop Rinpoche was recognized by the fifth Dzogchen Rinpoche, who conferred on him the name of Thupten Jigdral Tsewang Dorje. As a brother to His Holiness the Karmapa, he was known as Je-ön (relative of a high lama) Ponlop Rinpoche. While a youth, he studied with Khenchen Thupten Nyendrak of Dzogchen Monastery. Later he received the full Dzogchen transmissions and instructions in the Longchen Nyingthik and Khandro Nyingthik lineages from Khenchen Pema Thekchok Loden, widely known as Khenpo Lhagong and other masters. In addition to his duties at Dzogchen Monastery, the sixth Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche spent a lot of time with His Holiness the Sixteenth Karmapa at Tsurphu Monastery, the main seat of the Gyalwa Karmapas in Central Tibet. In 1959, the Sixth Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche and the Sixteenth Karmapa escaped together from Tibet to Sikkim, India, the location of Rumtek Monastery, and the seat of the Gyalwa Karmapas in India. The sixth Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche spent most of his life in strict retreat, very disciplined, and a realized master. He stayed at Rumtek until his death in 1962, at the age of thirty-seven.
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