The Treasury of Lives

A Biographical Encyclopedia of Tibet, Inner Asia, and the Himalaya

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Machik Rema, whose name is also written in sources as Rima and Rebma, was a twelfth-century female saint of the Tropu Kagyu and Chod traditions. She studied with Kunden Repa and his brother Gyeltsa Rinchen Gon, the founder of Tropu Monastery. She raised Chegom Sherab Dorje, whom she identified as the reincarnation of Padampa Sanggye.

Konchok Gyeltsen

b.1601 - d.1687
BDRC P7118

Konchok Gyeltsen was a Barawa lama active in Tibet, Bhutan, and Sikkim during the seventeenth century. He is counted among the "five lama factions" in Bhutan that did not support Zhabdrung Rinpoche's unification of the country and, as a result, he was forced to leave Bhutan, after which the Barawa monasteries were taken over by the Drukpa Kagyu. Relocating to Sikkim, he established the Barawa tradition there with the sponsorship of the first Buddhist ruler. His incarnation line is known as the Kagyu Tulkus and also the Drubtob Tulkus.

Lobzang Wanggyel was a Tibetan medical doctor who trained in Lhasa under Khyenrab Norbu in the mid twentieth century. He married into the Kundeling family, joining the Lhasa aristocracy, and, partly as a result, spent ten years in a Communist prison. He practiced medicine during his incarceration and in Lhasa on his release until leaving Tibet in 1983. In India he served in the administration of the Dharamsala Mentseekhang and as a senior personal physician to the Dalai Lama.

Tenzin Chodrak

b.1924 - d.2001

Doctor Tenzin Chodrak was a Tibetan doctor who practiced in Tibet and exile for over seventy years. He was trained at the Lhasa Mentsikhang in the 1940s and later served as the personal physician of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama. The PRC government imprisoned him from 1959 to 1975. Upon coming to exile in India, Tenzin Chodrak was accredited for conferring the textual transmissions and practical instructions on the traditional Tibetan ways of refining mercury to physicians outside Tibet. In the 1980s, he contributed to strengthening the Mentseekhang Institute in Dharmasala. He also traveled internationally and gave lectures on Tibetan medicine.

Tulku Urgyen

b.1920 - d.1996
BDRC P9901

Tulku Urgyen was considered one the greatest Dzogchen and Mahāmudrā meditation teachers of the twentieth century, and was the premier holder of the revelations of Chokgyur Lingpa, his great-grandfather. He founded Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling, one of the main Tibetan Buddhist exile monasteries in Kathmandu, where he welcomed scores of Western students alongside many Tibetans. A student and close colleague of the Sixteenth Karmapa, his main teacher was his uncle, Samten Gyatso. He was the father to four contemporary teachers: Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche, Tsike Chokling Rinpoche, Tsoknyi Rinpoche, and Mingyur Rinpoche.