The Treasury of Lives

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

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The Sixteenth Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpai Dorje, was one of the most influential Tibetan teachers of the Twentieth Century. Trained in Tibet, he established his seat in exile at Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim. He was a lover of animals who was particularly fond of birds, and is said to have liberated many of them upon death. Known for his personal presence and ritual mastery, he was a central figure in the transmission of Karma Kagyu teachings to contemporary society, both Tibetan communities in exile and the wider global population, through countless ritual transmissions and multiple tours of Asia and the West.

Lama Gendun Zangpo

b.1880 - d.1939

Lama Gendun was a Sakya monk from Gapa, northwestern Kham. He was the brother of Jamyang Gyeltsen and a teacher of Dezhung Rinpoche. He assisted his teacher Khenpo Zhenga set up the monastic college at Jyekundo Monastery and served as the abbot of the college at Ngor.

Nyiga Kunga Nyima was a teacher and hermit at the Dzinda Neseb retreat center near Tarlam Monastery, where he lived for some sixty years. He gave monastic ordination to the Third Dezhung Rinpoche in 1912.

Ngawang Nyima

b.1872 - d.1951

Ngawang Nyima was Dezhung Rinpoche's paternal uncle and first caregiver and teacher at Tarlam Monastery. He spent most of his life in retreat at Dzinda Hermitage.

Dampa Rinpoche Ngawang Lodro Zhenpen Nyingpo served as the Sixty-Fifth Ngor Khenchen, from around 1922 to 1924, and again from 1926 to 1927. He was a student of Khenpo Zhenga at Dzogchen Monastery, and was a primary transmitter of the Compendium of Sādhanas and the Compendium of Tantras of Loter Wangpo.