Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche


KHENPO TSULTRIM GYAMTSO RINPOCHE was born in eastern Tibet in 1934. In his youth, he studied under the guidance of Lama Zopa Tharchin, a yogi from Dilyak monastery in eastern Tibet. Until he completed his training, Khenpo Tsultrim stayed with Lama Zopa, living in a cave. He then went to Dilyak monastery to study Mahayana texts with Teya Drupon.

For five years, Rinpoche roamed the charnel grounds and caves of central Tibet to practice Chod. Eventually, he arrived at Tsurphu where he met Dilyak Drupon Rinpoche, whom His Holiness the Sixteenth Karmapa had appointed as the retreat master of Tsurphu. Rinpoche received pointing out instructions from the Sixteenth Karmapa and stayed in the caves around Tsurphu for a year or so, continuing his Chod practice and receiving teachings from Dilyak Drupon, which included the Zabmo Nang Gi Don, The Profound Inner Meaning, and the Hevajra Tantra.

While staying in retreat in Nyemo, south of Lhasa, a group of nuns asked for Rinpoche's help in dealing with the troublesome situation of the Chinese presence in Tibet. Subsequently, Rinpoche led the nuns from Tibet, and many of them still study with him today.

In India, Rinpoche spent nine years at the settlement of Buxador, where he received his degree and title of khenpo from His Holiness the Karmapa. Rinpoche later received the geshe lharampa degree from His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama. In addition to having mastered the teachings of the Gelug and Kagyu lineages, Rinpoche also received extensive teachings from the former Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche of the Sakya tradition.

Rinpoche received the complete Rinchen Terdzo initiations from H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche in Bhutan, along with transmission of the Dzogchen text, Lam Rim Yeshe Nyingpo (The Gradual Path of the Heart of Wisdom), from Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche when it was given to the King of Bhutan. Khenpo Tsultrim also built a nunnery, retreat center, and a temple to Tara in Bhutan.

At the request of the Karmapa, Rinpoche went to Europe and began his work of training translators in both oral and written Tibetan. To this end, he set up the Thegchen Shedra in 1978, where over the years he has trained many Western translators who travel with lamas translating Tibetan into the various European languages. His students have also published numerous written translations.

In 1985, Rinpoche established the Marpa Institute for Translators in Nepal, and he currently teaches a three-month, winter course at Pullahari monastery, the seat of H.E. Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche. He has built retreat facilities near Milarepa's cave in Yolmo, where his students also practice. Together with Thrangu Rinpoche, Khenpo Tsultrim has been responsible for training the new generation of Kagyu Khenpos who graduated in 1991 from the Nalanda Institute in Sikkim.

Khenpo Tsultrim, well-known in many Dharma centers in the U.S., Far East, and Europe, is famous for his skill in debate, his spontaneous songs, and his ability to present the complex ideas of Buddhism's subtle philosophy in clear, accessible, and lively way. Rinpoche travels yearly on teaching tours to the United States and Europe.

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