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The First Shartul Rinpoche
It was believed that the first Drupwang Shartul Karma
Worsal Rang Drol Rinpoche, had already attained Supreme
Enlightenment many aeons before. However, in order to
guide and liberate the living beings who are still submerged
in the ocean of samsara, Shartul Rinpoche reincarnation
of the great mahasiddhas such as Acharya Thotsun Drupje,
Naropa, Dharma King Lhatho Thoree Nyentsen, Nyamme Dagpo
Sangpo Dorje and Sogpo Lhapal, one of the 25 retinues
of Guru Padmasambhava.
Hoisting the banner of Doctrine of clear and illuminative
Dzogchen, the Great Siddha took birth amidst numerous
wonderful signs, in a place located within the vicinity
of "Drug Sang-ngag Choeling". He studied at
Sang-ngag Choeling and reached the highest accomplishment.
Realising that he could serve all beings in Tibet, the
great Siddha made a pilgrimage trip to major holy sites
there. In the course of this journey, he reached to
the place called Palbar Zong in Kham where he was accorded
a pompous reception and appointed as chief priest to
the Chieftain. At that time, the Governor of Chamdo
was on his way back from Lhasa, sought an audience with
the Siddha. During the visit, the Governor of Chamdo
was rather reluctant to pay his obeisance. As a result,
he had a vision of three snakes with different colors
coming from the throat of the great Siddha. Terrified
by the scary sight, the Governor stepped down from his
seat and prostrated before him respectfully. He offered
a place called Nyishar where the great Siddha built
a retreat Center and spent rest of his life in retreat.
There, he produced about thirty highly accomplished
disciples. He was declared to be manifestation of Nagarjuna,
by the Palbar Tulku and Gyaton Tulku. Even to date,
we can see a figure of Milarepa erected by him out of
marble stone by miraculous means. He entered into Parinirvana
at the age of eighty.
Second Shartul Rinpoche
The second incarnation
was born amidst miraculous signs from the womb of a
pious mother. As a result of constant practice of prostration
by his mother, the wooden base she used bore the print
of her hands. It was believed that his father, a Tulku
and a holder of Nyingmapa tradition, belonged to a lineage
from a celestial realm. During his birth, sound of conch
shell could be heard, and water transformed into milk.
Despite a cold wave in winter, people could witness
flower blossoming in courtyard of the house he took
At the age of three,
His Holiness the Fifth Nyidrak Rinpoche recognized him
as incarnation of previous Shartul and he was designated
with the name: Shartul Gawang Gyatso. From Palbar Tulku,
Gyaton Tulku and many other Lamas of ecumenical school,
he received exotic and esoteric teaching of Nyidrak
Droduling is the monastery from where the successive
Shartul Rinpoche carried out his spiritual activities.
The monastery said to have been built on a scared land
where the great divine warrior king Gesar Gyalpo subdued
a demon called "Kholmo Ruta". The monastery
was named after the Demon - "Kholru". It was
also believed that Shartul was honored with a seal,
an authority letter, and a support letter respectively
by the Fifth, Sixth and Seven Dalai Lamas.
In later years,
His Holiness the Fifth Nyidrak Rinpoche, Phende Gyatso,
shifted the site of the monastery and built a new monastery
on a new piece of land marked with eight spoke wheel
in the sky, eight petal lotus on the ground, eight auspicious
signs against the rear mountain and a flaming jewel
in the front. The monastery was named Shedrup Dhargyal
Ling and Shartul Gawang Gyatso was appointed head Lama
to the local chieftain.
He had all the teachings
of Nyidrak tradition and Nyidrak Rinpoche regarded him
as the most valued disciple. During the time of the
Chinese occupation, almost all the Rinpoches suffered
Chinese brutality, Shartul Rinpoche was no different
and he died in prison at the age of thirty-three.
Present Shartul Rinpoche
The Present Shartul
Rinpoche, Kunsang Dhamchoe Gyatso Thupten Choe Kye Gyaltsen
was born in 1974 amidst miraculous signs on the 10th
day of the fourth Tibetan month of wooden tiger year.
Rinpoche was recognized as the reincarnation of the
Second Shartul Rinpoche by the omniscient Khandro Kunsang
Rinpoche, His Holiness Penor Rinpoche, H.E. Seventh
Dzogchen Rinpoche and H.E. Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche.
The night before
his birth, his mother dreamt she saw a bright lamp in
the shrine shining in all the directions, revealing
a golden vajra, carrying a bundle of blazing wood on
the back radiating the whole village.
On the very morning
of his birth, people witnessed a raven (believed to
be the messenger of Mahakala) guarding the house, miraculous
transformation of water into nectar, a cuckoo singing
from top of the house and above all, a streak of colorful
Even before reaching
the age of one, he sat upward and pronounced the name
and mantra of Guru Padmasambhava. Every now and then,
he would perform the Mudra teachings. When asked upon,
he answered, "I am Shartul". He is believed
to have committed to memory the long text of Dhugkar
in as short time as it takes to consume a cup of tea.
At the age of nine, he received vow of refuge and Bodhichitta
from H.E. Dzogchen Khenpo Khenchen Thupten Namgyal Rinpoche,
the Abbot of Dzogchen Monastery.
At the age of ten,
Shartul Rinpoche received empowerment, initiation and
instructions of Ka-Gyae, Gongdue and Phurpa from Great
Terton Master Namkha Dorje Rinpoche. At the age of eleven,
he received instructions on the “Three Roots of Jatson”
and preliminary practice from the Great Drukpa Kagyu
Lineage Master Jamyang Rinpoche. At the age of thirteen,
Shartul Rinpoche received many teachings such as the
empowerment, initiation and pith instructions on Ngondro,
Dzogchen Longchen Nyingthig (Great Perfection), and
pith instructions on the sTsa-Lung (Winds and Channels),
from Great Master Phurtse Rinpoche. He not only received
these teachings but also practiced them perfectly.
At the age of fourteen,
Rinpoche started the three-year three-month retreat
while engaging into the practice of “Chod” and “Nyung
Ne”. During the retreat he perfectly completed “Nyung
Ne” 108 times.
At the age of nineteen,
Rinpoche traveled to India. In 1993, under H.E the Seventh
Dzogchen Rinpoche, Tenzin Jigdral Thunpo, his enthronement
ceremony was held in Orgyen Samten Choeling Monastery
in South India.
At the age of 20
to 26, Rinpoche continued receiving numerous teachings
from His Holiness the Dalai Lama, His Holiness Namkha
Rinpoche, His Holiness Shechen Rinpoche, including “Rinchen
Terzod ” from His Holiness Penor Rinpoche, and many
other great Nyingmapa masters.
With the encouragement
from His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Penor Rinpoche,
Shartul Rinpoche established the “Ngagyur Garwang Drodul
Ling” in Kathmandu, Nepal in 1999. The following year,
the Taiwan Nyidrak Drodul Ling center was established.
Rinpoche has since then traveled abroad regularly to
the United States, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, China
and Hong Kong to fulfill vast teaching activities.
Shartul Rinpoche’s teachings filled with wisdom, depth,
clarity and Humor. His students often praise for his
clear, detail instructions and easy to understand teaching
methods. He continues to engage in nurturing the Dharma
with unceasing compassion.
Concerns that the
rare and precious “Nyidrak” lineage will be lost, His
Holiness the Dalai Lama kindly offered Shartul Rinpoche
two hectares of land in Bir, India to build a monastery
to continue the” Nyidrak” Treasure Dharma. Rinpoche
and members of his congregation purchased another hectare.
Since 2001, Rinpoche has been working tirelessly to
raise fund to build the “Nyidrak Drodul Ling Monastery”.
At the same time, Rinpoche is taking the responsibility
of another project: to build a Zongdok Parli at the
Phodrang Monastery in Kham, Eastern Tibet, and to improve
Phodrang Monastery’s structural conditions of its main
shrine and to rebuild the retreat center.