H.H. Trulshig Rinpoche
His Holiness Trulshig Rinpoche was born in Tibet, in Lo Talung, a place sacred to the Goddess Tara. When he was 4 years old, he was recognized by the abbot Ngawang Tenzing as the reincarnation of his own heart lama, Trulshig Tendru Dorje.
Thirty of Trulshig Rinpoche's previous incarnations were in India. One of his incarnations was Ananda. Ananda was Buddha's disciple who persuaded him to allow women to be ordained and join the Sangha. This was a very radical step.
Seventeen of Trulshig Rinpoche's previous incarnations were in Tibet, including Rechungpa. Rechungpa, was one of the main disciples of the great poet and mystic, Milarepa. Trulshig Rinpoche, also appeared as Lalung Palgi Dorje, who ended the reign of terror of the evil king, Langdarma. Langdarma, systematically killed all religious practitioners in Tibet. Lalung Palgi Dorje performed the Black Hat dance for the king, concealing an arrow in the wide sleeve of his robe. Out of compassion, both for the victims and for the king, who in future incarnations would suffer the pain he now inflicted on others, the monk drew the hidden arrow from his sleeve and killed the king.
H.H. Trulshig Rinpoche studied at Dza-Rong-Phu with Ngawang Tenzing, and took novice vows at the age of 10. When he was 19, his beloved teacher died, and following his wishes, Trulshig Rinpoche took his place as Khenpo (abbot) of Dza-Rong-Phu Monastery. Shortly after, he went to Mindroling College for further teachings.
Rongbuk Valley, Tibet
He took Gelung vows with Chung Ngawang Chodar Rinpoche and Kyentse Norbu Rinpoche, who were his two main teachers at Mindroling. He also studied with 34 different Lamas, including Mindroling Dechen Choenzing, learning many aspects of Buddhist scriptures and practice.
Later, he studied in Lhasa, and took teachings from Chusep Jetsun Rinpoche, a famous female Lama, and Dudzom Rinpoche, the late head of the Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism. He studied with Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche, Dilgo Kyentse Rinpoche, and His Holiness The Dalai Lama.
In 1959, when the Dalai Lama fled from the Chinese occupation of Tibet, Trulshig Rinpoche also fled south across the Himalaya, into the Everest region of Nepal. He stayed at the monastery in Thame for one year, then moved to Chiwong Monastery for 5 years. He later established a monastery at Sengye Puhk (the lion cave), above Thupten Choling, on the lower slopes of Shyorung Yul Lha. Later still, he and his followers established the monastery of Thupten Choling, now the largest monastery in Nepal, with 150 monks and 350 nuns studying and meditating there.