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Surmang Monastery (Tibetan: ཟུར་མང་; Wylie: zur mang) consists of a complex of nine Kagyupa monasteries founded about 600 years ago in Kham, eastern Tibet. It is the seat of the Trungpa tulkus, the line of incarnate lamas that heads Surmang. The present head of the Surmang monasteries is Choseng Trungpa Rinpoche, the XII Trungpa Tulku.

The Trungpa tülkus are a line of incarnate Tibetan lamas who traditionally head Surmang monastery (complex) in Kham (Eastern Tibet). There have been twelve such tulkus thus far. Mahasiddha Trungmase was the teacher of the first Trungpa Tulku, Kunga Gyaltsen.

The Line of the Trungpa Tulkus

  1. Kunga Gyaltsen
  2. Kunga Zangpo
  3. Kunga Oser
  4. Kunga Namgyal
  5. Tendrel Chögyal
  6. Lodro Tenphel
  7. Jampel Chögyal
  8. Gyurme Tenphel
  9. Karma Tenphel
  10. Chökyi Nyinche (1875 to 1938)
  11. Chökyi Gyamtso (Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche), the XI Trungpa tulku, (1940 - April 4, 1987) was one of the most influential teachers of Buddhism in the west. He is the founder of Shambhala International.
  12. Chökyi Sengay (Sengye/Senge) (Choseng Trungpa Rinpoche), the XII Trungpa tulku (b. February 6, 1989). Chokyi Sengay is the present Trungpa tulku.

About Surmang and the Nyishu Dza Nga

The region called Surmang is the far-flug area of the nine Surmang Monasteries. In a broader sense it is what the Khampa Tibetans call the "Nyishu Dza Nga," or the Twenty Five Districts under the King of Nangchen. It is about the size of the US state of Maryland. Surmang traces its origins back 550 years to the Mahasiddha Trungmase. Trungmase was a direct heir to a spiritual lineage stretching back to medieval India. One of his chief disciples, Trungpa I, established a monastic tradition from what was a peripetatic group of yogins. Before the construction of the monasteries, these first adepts met in irregularly shaped reed huts -- and hence the name "surmang" meaning many cornered. In the local patois, it is the Many Cornered Kingdom.

For 12 generations it has been the seat of the Trungpa lineage of incarnate lamas. Surmang lies on the border between the cultivated and nomadic regions, near the source of the Mekong river. In the shelter of her 14, 000 foot florid alpine valleys, this lineage studied and practiced in isolation the contemplative arts and sciences unique to Tibetan Buddhism, making the region a living spiritual acquifer.