The Life and Works of Tsulchen Rinpoche (2)

The Sun of Teachings, Tsulchen Thegchog Tempai Nyima Rinpoche (2)

The meaning of Rinpoche’s name is ‘the sun of teachings of noble sect’. He was born in Dzakhog township in Derge, Kham region of eastern Tibet. This was the same hometown of Shardza Tashi Gyaltsen Rinpoche (1859-1934) who realized the rainbow body of the great Phowa Dzogchen, and was also the root guru of the 2nd Tsulchen Rinpoche.

Tsulchen Rinpoche was born into a large agricultural family. His father named Ambum came from a pure clan. His mother named Okar Lamtsho. The year that he was born was the 16th year of the Tibetan’s sixty year cycle (Rabchung), which was called “Wangchug” meaning bountiful, prosperity, and powerful. Accordingly, it was in the year of Fire-Ox, on a Thursday, waxing moon day. Both parents had auspicious dreams. While his mother was giving birth there were also many auspicious signs: pleasant smell of fragrance filled the air inside and outside of their home, the sound of a dragon, bountiful rain, as well as an appearance of the rainbow.

At that time, Gyaltsab Lodro Gyatso, who was a representative of Shardza Rinpoche came to their house and bestowed the empowerment for long life. He rejoiced in the occasion and gave the prediction that the boy will be the important holder of Yungdrung Bon’s teaching. He urged the parents to take good care of their son.

The young boy studied Tibetan linguistics and grammar with ease. Terton Kalsang Tempai Gyaltsen and Gyaltsab Lodrol Gyatso gave him the name “Chime Thegchog Tempai Nyima” which means ‘the sun of teachings of noble sect, the immortal one.” It is an auspicious name that has outer, inner, and innermost meanings.

When he was four years old, the boy who later became Tsulchen Rinpoche was recognized as the reincarnated 2nd Tsulchen Rinpoche. This recognition was upheld from many prophecies that led to the investigation until they found the boy with such characteristics in his own root guru’s (Shardza Rinpoche) hometown.

In the year of the dragon, on 13th of the first month, he was enthroned at Tokden monastery which was more than a thousand kilometers from his hometown. At that time, traveling across region was a difficult journey that can be done mainly on foot or by animal ride.

To receive and welcome him, there were dharma practitioners, disciples of the previous Tsulchen Rinpoche, and devotees of Yungdrung Bon and other schools including King Meu (King of Ngawa). At such a young age, he could miraculously recite prayers to remove obstacles and dedication prayers.

Thanks to Migmar for her help with the translation.

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