KYABJE DRUBWANG PENOR RINPOCHE (1932-2009)

The salient fact of the person known as Penor Rinpoche is that he cares for beings ceaselessly, borne by the two wings of pure compassion and perfect wisdom.

The facts of the life of the man known to so many as His Holiness are that:

He was born in Kham, Tibet in 1932 and passed away at Namdroling Monastery in Bylakuppe, India in 2009. In those all too brief 78 years he was raised, educated, trained in and accomplished the highest traditions and practices of Tibetan Buddhism to become the 11th throne holder of the Palyul lineage until the time of his death, and supreme throne holder of the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism from 1993-2001.

As a refugee in South India after leaving Tibet in 1961, he and a handful of monks set about constructing a new monastery, now one of the largest in the world. Namdroling Monastery houses, feeds, clothes, educates, and provides medical care for more than 5000 monks and nuns. Moreover, His Holiness traveled the world tirelessly, inspiring students, establishing Palyul centers, and preserving and promoting Tibetan Buddhism from Asia to Europe to North America to Australia. He sat in his final meditation on March 27, 2009 and displayed many miracles at that time.

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HIS HOLINESS the FIFTH KARMA KUCHEN RINPOCHE

From lifetime to lifetime, Pema Norbu Rinpoche and Karma Kuchen Rinpoche have alternately cared for each other from childhood, training each the other in the practices and traditions of the Palyul lineage and thereby insuring the continuity and unbroken quality of the Nam Chö cycle.

As has recurred so often in the past, HH Kuchen Rinpoche now cares for the entire Palyul community. Born in 1970 and raised and educated as a monk from an early age, he excelled at his religious studies and practices and was appointed by HH Penor Rinpoche as head of the Palyul Mother Monastery in Tibet in 1994. There he built many temples, stupas, prayer wheels, and images of deities. He was appointed a lineage holder of the Palyul tradition by Penor Rinpoche in August 2000 and is now the 12th throne holder, overseeing the far-flung Palyul family.

HH Kuchen Rinpoche is known for his strict and pure observance of all the vows of a monk and is thus the embodiment of pure conduct in these degenerate times. He displays a gentle loving-kindness to all, backed by a quiet sense of humor. He has traveled widely, visiting the Palyul centers worldwide.

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KHENCHEN TSEWANG GYATSO RINPOCHE

Khenchen Tsewang Gyatso Rinpoche has more frequent flier miles than an ordinary person can dream of. In the last twenty years he has been traveling on business constantly, and his business is the sacred Buddhadharma.

Born in southern Tibet in 1954, he fled to India with his family in 1962. At the age of ten, he took the robes of a monk; at the age of 24, he took both top honors at the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies in Sarnath near Varanasi, India, and received the degree of Acharya. He was enthroned as a khenpo (Buddhist professor) by HH Penor Rinpoche in 1983 and authorized to teach, confer empowerments, and give personal instruction. Since then he has done so to great effect. Today he is one of the three senior khenpos (khenchens) at Ngagyur Nyingma Institute at Namdroling Monastery in South India. He is also the spiritual director of numerous Palyul centers around the world.

Opposites have no place to rest within this Dzogchen master. Small of physical stature, Khen Rinpoche is a colossus of the Palyul world (khenchen literally means big khenpo). He is utterly without personal pride yet fierce about the Buddhadharma. He has thousands of devoted students, yet travels without entourage or attendants. His academic achievements and understanding are of the highest level, but he never hesitates to give the most elementary instruction. His is the soul of equanimity.

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KHENPO TENZIN NORGAY RINPOCHE

Khenpo Tenzin Norgay Rinpoche comes to Palyul from the ancient Buddhist kingdom of Bhutan. Born in the Tashigang District in 1965, he entered the prestigious Ngagyur Nyingma Institute at Namdroling Monastery upon graduating high school. After completing the Shedra program in 1995, he joined the Institute’s staff and taught at NNI for three years before being assigned by HH Penor Rinpoche to the Buddhist college at Palyul Monastery in Tibet. Later he joined Khenchen Tsewang Gyatso Rinpoche in teaching in the United States, where he continues today.

Khenpo Norgay Rinpoche is a wonderful fit for the Western student. He is fluent in English, completely approachable, and always ready with a joke. Light and joyful, he is open about his experiences and personal path while at the same time technically knowledgeable and spiritually profound. He offers a “Cyber-Shedra” in conjunction with Namdroling Montana.