A Brief Autobiography
His Eminence Luding Khenchen Rinpoche
As per the tradition of posterity of the heirship to the throne to administer the Ladrang (abode of the master), myself being the elder son of three siblings first learnt to read and write at the age of seven as a preparation to become a monk. At the age of ten the most gracious Khenchen Sharchen Jamyang Thupten Lungtok Gyaltsen Palsangpo ordained me with the Upasika vow (foundation for all the precepts). From this great being I received vows of novice, full ordination or the bikshu vow and the Bodhisattva vow in the later years. It was at his lotus feet I had the fortune to be adhered for thirteen years. He bestowed blessings in the form of the pith instructions of the Lamdre or “the path and the fruition” and other several initiations, oral transmissions, instructions, directive advice, philosophical lessons, grammar, poetry etc. All in all, he was the one who blessed my mind in abundance of the triple precepts. By either a nephew in relation or son of Dharma, the most gracious and loving way he raised me cannot be reimbursed until enlightenment is attained.
My other teachers include the two Khenchens of Ewam Khangsar Ladrang, His Holiness Sakya Trizin and other Sakya lineage holders, Ewam Phende Khenchen, Vajradhara Chogye Trichen Rinpoche etc. From over 21 sun and moon like masters of my time, I had the opportunity to receive both the common and uncommon Sakya Lamdre that is the refinement of every pith instructions. Moreover, I received numerous tantric initiations, oral transmissions, instructions, directive advice and mystic teaching transmissions. I also had philosophical lessons like that of Prajnaparamita, Pramana, Vinaya, Abhidharma etc. The teachings I had received covers a wide range of subjects like even medicine and astrology and Tibetan grammar and poetry. All that I have wished for were bestowed. They had blessed me availing even the Buddhahood in my own palms but as Lama Manjushree Sakya Pandita has said, “Look! What the fool has done to the sandalwood, turning a thing even more precious than a gold to a charcoal.”
Flapping pair of wings of perplexity and ego,
Stretching out the sharp beak of rituals,
Wanting to devour the fish of wealth,
Now in this state of old seagull I survive.
From the age of seventeen for almost four continuous years I stayed into a retreat of mainly practicing sadhanas of Hey Vajra and other many deities. In the year 1954 C.E. and wooden horse year of Tibetan lunar calendar, at the age of twenty four I was enthroned to the throne holder abbot of Ngor Ewam Choedhe monastery as the regent to Vajradhara Ngorchen Kunga Sangpo, a great being prophesied by Buddha himself. The process of enthronement was followed in according to the age-old tradition with the approval of the Tibetan government and the seal of H.H. Sakya Trizin.
I served as the abbot for three years and during my years of administration I had the privilege to receive Hi Holiness the Dalai Lama to the Ngor monastery on his return journey from India after attending a world Buddhist council gathering in commemoration of Lord Buddha’s 2500 years of Mahaparinirvana (according to Hinayana calculation). On that occasion H.H. the Dalai Lama blessed the mass with Avaloketeswar empowerment. In the year 1959 C.E., 16th Rabjung of the female earth pig lunar year when whole of Tibet was annexed by non religious barbarians, I too came into exile through Sikkim to Darjeeling, India. In accordance to the holy wishes of H.H. Sakya Trizin and the decision being taken after gathering of the four Ngor Ladrangs, I went to Gangtok, Sikkim where I established the Sa-Ngor centre in the year 1961 C.E., earth oxen lunar year.
In the year 1963 C.E., water hare year of the Tibetan lunar calendar, I joined the entourage of His Holiness Sakya Trizin to a north Indian hill station called Mussoorie, where His Holiness founded Sakya Centre, the seat of Sakyapa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism in exile. In the meanwhile at Sakya Centre and to other some of the Sakyapa monasteries, I served by re-establishing the summer retreat for the novice monks and gave lots of initiations, oral transmissions etc. to those interested. In the year 1968 C.E., earth monkey year, I visited Mangto Shaling Choekhor monastery, monastery in Manduwala, a secluded location in the north Indian region of Dehradun. I have been trying my best to serve the Dharma by making frequent visits to give teachings, empowerments, oral transmissions and re-establishing summer retreats in various Sakya monasteries across India, Nepal and Sakya centres abroad as well.
From that time I was entitle as the throne holder abbot in Tibet until now I had expounded Lamdre for 15 times, gave initiations and teaching instructions on mainly seven mandalas of Ngor tradition and other deities, have ordained over ten thousand monks. Unconcerned of one’s own trouble, I have believably worked hard to serve the Dharma. Now at this elderly age, I often crave to be a full time Dharma practitioner, but it seems that I am going to embrace mortality with this wind blown flag like transitory flickering mind.
Following the tradition, one of the four sons of my brother has become a monk for the sake of future foundation of the Dharma. He too has become an abbot and is with me. As per the extraordinary traditional procedures to the throne holder abbot of the Ngor Ewam monastery, with the title of a Shabdrung (by the feet) he had attended every major or minor puja ceremonies being held at the monastery, had memorized lots of texts. Under His Holiness’s noble direction and consent my nephew was enthroned as the throne holder abbot at a great gathering.
The one who where entitled as the abbot, particularly the throne holder is regarded as the supreme head of the entire main and branch monasteries and centres of Ngor tradition across the globe. The abbots are very highly esteemed by the mass, even the monks of this tradition need to receive their monastic vows from this abbot. This part has just come as a digression to the main topic.