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Eminent Monk

His Holiness Jigme Phuntsok Rinpoche


Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok (1933 – 2004) was a Nyingma lama from Golog. His family were nomads. At the age of two he was identified as the reincarnation of the Terton Sogyal, Lerab Lingpa (1852–1926). He studied Dzogchen at Nubzor Monastery, received novice ordination at 14, and full ordination at 22 (or 1955).

Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok was the most influential lama of the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism in contemporary Tibet. A Tibetan Buddhist meditation master and renowned teacher of Great Perfection (Dzogchen), he established the Serthar Buddhist Institute in 1980, known locally as Larung Gar, a non-sectarian study center with approximately 10,000 monks, nuns, and lay students at its highest count. He played an important role in revitalizing the teaching of Tibetan Buddhism following the liberalization of religious practice in 1980.

Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok was also an extraordinary Terton (Buddhist treasure revealer), uncovering many treasures texts in Tibet, as well as other parts of China, and India. 

Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok was born in 1933, the third day of the first month of the year of the Water Bird,[clarification needed] in Golog, Amdo of Tibet, or the rugged washul Sertar region of the Tibetan cultural region of Kham, a vast expanse of high-plateau grasslands. He adopted Manjusri as his personal deity and he is said to have had visions of him several times, including once in 1987 when he visited Mount Wutai, the holy mountain abode of Majushri in China. At the age of five, Khenpo was recognized as the reincarnate of Terton Sogyal, guru to the 13th DL Lama Thubten Gyatsho, and became a monk at Nubzur Gonpa, a branch of the Palyul monastery in Sertar. He received formal religious training under Thubga Rinpoche at Changma Rithro in Dzachukha and was selected to become abbot of Nubzur at the age of twenty-four. From the rise of the People's Republic of China, Khenpo’s religious career was greatly curtailed, to the point in 1959 he withdrew into the remote mountains, herding a small flock of goats and sheep. There he engaged in meditation and teaching to small numbers of people and was able to continue his religious practice.In 1987, Khenpo led hundreds of his disciples from Serthar Institute on a pilgrimage to the sacred mountains of Mount Wutai in China's Shanxi Province. En route in Beijing, he met the 10th Panchen Lama and gave teachings on the 37 Practices of Bodhisattvas to a congregation of over 5,000 people, including Tibetan Chinese, Han Chinese, Mongol Chinese, and other Buddhist practitioners. At Mount Wutai, the congregation for his teachings swelled to 10,000 on occasions. He also undertook retreats at sacred locations and caves.

Khenpo made extensive travels across Tibet and the rest of China teaching Nyingma traditional Buddhism and rediscovering hidden treasures. In 1990, at the invitation of Penor Rinpoche, he visited India, where he taught at various monasteries, including the Nyingma Institute in Mysore. At Dharamsala, the 14th D L Lama received teachings from Khenpo for two weeks.In 1993, Khenpo was invited to tour and teach at Buddhist centers in Europe and North America.There, he became disillusioned with the commercialization of Buddhist teachings in the West. In 1993, Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok expanded his following during teaching tours of the United States, Canada, Germany, England, France, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, India, Nepal, and Bhutan. Financial offerings made to him during this tour funded a major building program at the institute. On December 29, 2003, at age 70, Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok was admitted to the Military Hospital 363 in Chengdu, the capital of China’s Sichuan province, with heart problems, and died there on January 7, 2004.


His Holiness Lama AChuk Rinpoche

This photo was taken on 2009 by TheNON2

In recent Tibet history, the reemergence and strengthening of the teachings of Dzogchen after the Cultural Revolution have been largely attributed to the efforts of the two Dharma Lords likened to the sun and moon of Tibet.  The sun being H.H. Jigme Phuntsok (1933-2004,who is also the Guru of DaLai Lama) of Larung Gar Buddhist Academy, the moon being H.H. Khenpo Achuk Lama Rinpoche.  

jigme phuntsok

The most renowned meditation master in Tibet, H. H. Jamyang Lungdok Gyaltsen or Lama Achuk (Also referred to as Khenpo Achuck Brioche or Achiu Kamabu or Lama A-chos) is an incarnation of the great terton Rigdzin Longsal Nyingpo (1625-1682) of Kathok Monastery.

achok rinpoche

Lama Achuk was born in 1927 in Trom, Eastern Tibet as foretold by Guru Rinpoche.  Since a tender age of 24, he served Tulku Arik Rinpoche for 43 years.He learned and mastered the realizations of the Great Perfection-Dzogchen, Achuk Lama Rinpoche is also a present day Terton and has opened up many sacred mountains for the benefit of many beings in Tibet.  He has retrieved many termas whether as statues or ritual implements or practices.  

Arik rinpoche

He was the head of the Nyingma Sect(Vajrayana) in China and the foremost person of great holiness and virtue in all Tibet. He spent 43 years in retreat with his master, Tulku Arik Rinpoche. following his Guru’s instructions and to benefit more sentient beings, he established Yachen Gar in 1983.

His Holiness lived at Yarchen Meditation Monastery, an encampment (gar) of thousands of monks, nuns, and lay practitioners, that he established in an isolated valley near Ganzi (Kandze) in Baiyu (White Jade) County, in Sichuan Province, China. Tens of thousands of Rinpoches,Lamas from across Tibet and China to his Buddhist encampment of Yachen Gar.They settled around him in the barren highlands, where the monks and nuns lived in simple mud-walled houses. burning yak dung for fuel. Above fourteen thousand feet in elevation, windswept and exposed, it offered few comforts. For the hermits, however, the infinite sky view and lack of distraction found in villages and cities make it ideal for meditation. many of whom have displayed amazing signs of accomplishments.

This photo was taken on 2008 by TheNON2

This is the holy residence where most Rinpoches and Lamas live in entire Tibet. This is the largest concentration of rinpoches and lamas in the entire world.

yarchen hermit
This photo was taken on 2008 by TheNON2

At age of 84, Lama Achuk entered into paranirvana and achieved the rainbow body, a great inspiration to disciples to persevere in their practice of the Great Perfection teachings.29 August 2011, the cremation ceremony of Lama Achuk commenced.  The body of Lama  Achuk shrunk from a height of 1.8 meters shrunk to about 1 inch tall, a sign of achieving the rainbow body

This photo was taken on 2011 by TheNON2

From time of Lama Achuk’s paranirvana to the cremation, many auspicious signs appear, five colored rainbows are often sighted in the sky and the area surrounding Lama Achuk’s body often appears five colored pure lights bindu.  

More than 100,000 sangha members and lay devotees attended the puja and paid respect to the sacred body of Lama Achuk, it was a spectacular sight to behold.

This photo was taken on 2011 by TheNON2

He has displayed many signs of miracles in his ife,such as freely leaving hand-prints, foot-prints, discovering termas, going into the water for days without harm, knowing the past, present, and future without any impediment, and most popularly for his body mandala and many thousands of people have witnessed the many deities and mandalas of the major tantras present in his body itself.  Seeing his body mandala is a unique means of blessing, empowerment and also a way to ascertain the disciple’s realisation.  For some karmically ready people, it is also an introduction to wisdom mind.