Drikung Kyabgon Lineage


Konchok Tenzin Kunzang Trinley Lhundrup (Chetsang), was born to the prominent Tsarong family in Lhasa, on the 4th day of the 6th  Tibetan month in the Fire Dog Year, 1946. This auspicious day marks the anniversary of the Lord Buddha's first turning the Wheel of Dharma at Sarnath. On the day of Drikung Kyabgon's birth, there was a very special event at the Lhasa Jo Khang Temple. His  Holiness Tagdrag Rinpoche, who was the Regent of Tibet, had  presented a diamond which was placed on the forehead of a large  Buddha Shakyamuni (Jo) statue. This diamond had been purchased  from the Tsarong family. There were other auspicious events  surrounding the Drikung Kyabgon's birth. During her pregnancy,  the Drikung Kyabgon's mother had a vision of Green Tara. She did  not tell anyone at the time because she did not want her son to go  to the monastery.

After the passing of the previous Drikung Kyabgon, Shiwe Lodro, two parties began to look for his reincarnation throughout Tibet. Over  several years they had found various possible candidates. The most
significant event in locating the present Drikung Kyabgon (Chetsang) was the vision His Eminence Gyabra Rinpoche had while at Nam  Tso Lake. On the surface of this sacred lake, His Eminence saw the
image of a house, with two upper stories, a victory banner and the  surrounding garden and paths. He saw a puppy circling around the  victory banner, which confirmed the incarnation had been born in the Year of the Dog. Having subsequently been located, Drikung Kyabgon  passed numerous tests, such as identifying the mala, prayer wheel  and other ritual objects of his former incarnations. His incarnation was
further confirmed by divination's performed by His Holiness Tagdrag  Rinpoche (Regent of Tibet), His Holiness Gyalwa Karmapa, and His Eminence Taglung Matrul.

At the age of four, the newly recognized Drikung Kyabgon was escorted to Drikung Thel, the main monastery of the Drikung Kagyu  order. Over 2,000 people traveled with him, wearing traditional dress  and performing special ceremonial dances along the way. At Drikung  Thel, Drikung Kyabgon was formally enthroned. Representatives from  all the Buddhist orders and from the Tibetan government were present.

The Drikung Kyabgon's education started with learning to read, write  and memorize all the important Drikung Kagyu texts. His education  was given by several instructors. From the Venerable Yongzin  Thubten Rinpoche he learned grammar, astrology and medicine.  From H.E. Gyabra Rinpoche he received all the general Kagyu
teachings, like the Kagyu Ngak-Zod, and all the Drikung Kagyu transmissions. From H.E. Nyindzong Tripa Rinpoche he received all  the Drikung Kagyu transmissions and all the general Nyingma transmissions, called the Rinchen-Terzod. From H.E. Lho Drongdrul Rinpoche, he received all the Drikung transmissions and all the
Drikung Kagyu Dharma Protector's empowerments. At the age of eleven, Drikung Kyabgon gave his first public teachings and transmission of the Great Drikung Phowa, during the Monkey  Year ceremonies.

In 1956, Drikung Kyabgon's parents fled to India. He stayed behind  at the Drikung monastery. In 1959, Communist China closed the  monastery. Drikung Kyabgon had to move elsewhere. Fortunately,  he was adopted by his former tutor, H.E. Gyabra Rinpoche. In 1960, Drikung Kyabgon was admitted into an elementary school in Lhasa.  He studied very hard, doing homework until midnight, so he was able  to finish the six years of education in only three years. In 1964, he  went to middle school. He excelled in his studies, especially in linguistics and in sports (soccer). In 1969, he was assigned to a farm in the countryside, working fifteen hours a day of hard physical labor.  Back home, he had to carry his water from a long distance and cook  for himself.

After planning for many years, Drikung Kyabgon finally found a  means of escape. In 1975, he set out alone to cross the border of  Tibet into Nepal. When he reached Kungbu Kangla, he met two men  who were going the same way. When they came to a deep crevice,  which was impossible to cross the men revealed a board which was hidden under the ice. They laid the board over the crevice and led  him across. Without their help, he could not have made his escape.  After eight days of walking alone, he finally reached Katmandu.

Once in Nepal, everything went very smoothly, and he was able to  reach Dharamsala, India, without any difficulties. Drikung Kyabgon  had an audience with His Holiness the 14th Dalal Lama. There was  an official ceremony in which the Drikung Kyabgon was formally  enthroned again in India.

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