Bardor Tulku

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Third Bardor Tulku Rinpoche

Bardor Tulku Rinpoche[edit]

འབར་རྡོར་སྤྲུལ་སྐུ། - ('bar rdor sprul sku)

Born in 1949 in Kham, East Tibet, the Third Bardor Tulku Rinpoche (Tenpay Nyima) [1] was recognized as the third incarnation of Terchen Barway Dorje [2] (1836-1920) by is Holiness the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa [3] (1924-1981). When the political and social conditions in Tibet worsened as a result of the Communist occupation, Rinpoche and his family left the country for India. The arduous journey over the Himalayas and later the tropical climate of Assam brought death to all Rinpoche’s family, and the young Rinpoche found himself alone in a foreign country. He eventually traveled to Darjeeling where His Holiness the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa found him and arranged for him to be taken to Rumtek Monastery [4] in Sikkim.

Bardor Tulku Rinpoche underwent his training as a tulku (reincarnate lama) under the tutelage of the 16th Karmapa at Rumtek Monastery. He remained close to His Holiness throughout his life, serving as his attendant and traveling with him overseas. At His Holiness’s request, he stayed in the United States to help Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche [5] and Mr. Tenzin Chonyi [6] establish the Karmapa’s Seat in North America, Karma Triyana Dharmachakra [7]. Rinpoche started teaching in the West in 1980s. He has taught at KTD and its affiliates, at other Buddhist centers in the United States and abroad, as well lectured at universities and other venues. Some of his teachings have been published as books and DVDs.

In 2000, Bardor Tulku Rinpoche established the Raktrul Foundation [8] and in 2003 a Tibetan Buddhist center, Kunzang Palchen Ling [9], in Red Hook NY, where he offers teachings and empowerments. In 2005, a ground-breaking ceremony for a new building at Kunzang Palchen Ling was held. The new building remains under construction.

In the fall of 2008, Bardor Tulku Rinpoche resigned from his responsibilities at KTD and is now focusing fully on the activities of Kunzang Palchen Ling. In addition to providing access to the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism in general, the center also serves as a venue for the preservation of the treasure (terma) teachings of Terchen Barway Dorje and the teachings of the Barom Kagyu lineage. In addition to overseeing translations of Terchen Barway Dorje's termas into English, Bardor Tulku Rinpoche himself composes liturgies and songs (dohas). [10]. Rinpoche also guides the activities of Palchen Study Groups in the U.S.

Bardor Tulku Rinpoche travels and teaches across the U.S. His teaching schedule can be found on the KPL website.[11].


Practice of Green Tara (1999) Rinchen Publications
Living in Compassion (2004) Rinchen Publications
Tashi Prayer (2000) Rinchen Publications
Rest for the Fortunate: The Extraordinary Practice of Nyungne (2004) Rinchen Publications

Teachings on DVD[edit]

Preparing for Death and Dying (1999) Vajra Echoes
Twenty-One Praises to Tara (1999) Vajra Echoes
Life of Yeshe Tsogyal (2008) Karma Kagyu Institute


  1. See also biography of Bardor Tulku Rinpoche on Kunzang Palchen Ling, Karma Triyana Dharmachakra, and EN-Wikipedia web sites.
  2. Terchen Barway Dorje, a student of Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa and the Ninth Tai Situ Rinpoche, was an incarnation of Nupchen Sangye Yeshe, one of the twenty-five principal disciples of Guru Padmasambhava and a prime minister for the King Trisong Detsen. He was also the founder of Raktrul Monastery in Eastern Tibet. The inner autobiography of Terchen Barway Dorje has been published in English as Precious Essence. The Inner Autobiography of Terchen Barway Dorje (KTD Publications, 2005). A collection of his songs of realizations is available in English as Treasury of Eloquence. The songs of Barway Dorje (KTD Publications, 2007)
  3. Karmapa is the head of the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism.
  4. Rumtek Monastery is the main seat of the Karmapas outside of Tibet.
  5. See biography of Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche on the web site for Karma Triyana Dharmachakra
  6. See biography of Tenzin Chonyi on the web site for Karma Triyana Dharmachakra
  7. Karma Triyana Dharmachakra (KTD), the main seat of the Karmapa in North America, is located in Woodstock, NY.
  8. Raktrul Foundation is a non-profit organization, the mission of which is to assist underprivileged communities in Tibet by developing and implementing programs for education, medical care, and basic community support.
  9. Kunzang Palchen Ling is a Tibetan Buddhist center in Red Hook, NY. Its mission is to make available the teachings of all major traditions of Tibetan Buddhism.
  10. Samples of Bardor Tulku Rinpoche's dohas can be viewed on Kunzang Palchen Ling web site.
  11. Bardor Tulku Rinpoche's travel and teaching schedule on the Kunzang Palchen Ling web site.

See also[edit]

Barom Kagyu
Guru Padmasambhava
Karma Kagyu
Vajrayana Buddhism