Ritrö Rechen Sangye Senge

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Ritrö Rechen Sangye Senge was born in Eastern Tibet, the oldest of five children, into a very virtuous family who lived in the mountains practicing yoga. He took the vows at the age of nine and was given the name Ritrö Rechen by Senge Dra. He received instructions from Senge Dra and was able to practice them in his dreams. Ritrö Rechen spent time in retreat in the plains below the village and by the age of twelve could teach the transmission of the Hevajra Tantra. At the age of eighteen, he gave commentaries on Engaging in the Bodhisattva's Path and knew the Prajnaparamita teachings by heart. At nineteen he spent about a year in Tshurpu practicing Chöd and studied the Sakya branch of Buddhism with the sixth Kenchen abbot. When he was twenty-eight, he expounded on the commentaries and traveled to many monasteries throughout Tibet, including Drigung. Ritrö Rechen met the great Shangpa adept Khyungpo Tsültrim Gönpo and practiced the Six Doctrines of Niguma under his guidance. After six years of practice, he asked for further meditation instructions and Khyungpo Tsültrim Gönpo granted his request and gave him many more teachings. Through his excellent Inner Heat practice, he gained the ability of swift walking. Even his disciples later on demonstrated proficiency in the practice very quickly. Later, he presented himself to Lama Shönu Drub who gave him the responsibility for the Shangpa lineage. Ritrö Rechen took over Dechen monastery and maintained the teachings there before he passed away at the age of sixty-nine. During his passing the sky was filled with a rain of flowers and rainbows were seen above, and many relics appeared from his bones.

Sources: ras chen sangs rgyas senge'i rnam thar, shangs chos, vol. 1, pp. 617-640.


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