Ven. Yangthang Rinpoche

It is said that at the time of the rebirth of Tertön Dorje Dechen Lingpa, from all directions the sky in Sikkim resounded in thunder, "I am here!" Sogtrul Rinpoche, his principal student and lineage holder, was already awaiting him, as the place of his rebirth had been predicted both by His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche and by His Holiness Reting Rinpoche, the Senior Tutor to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. By the time Sogtrul Rinpoche reached him he had already declared himself to be the rebirth of the tertön from Dhomang. He had become known as Yangthang Tulku, as he is from the Yangthang clan in Sikkim.

In addition to mastering the extensive training in practices of his lineage, Yangthang Rinpoche was completely trained in the Kangyur and Tangyur, and in the works of Longchenpa. He was widely recognized for the quality and depth of his realization, the power of his attainment, and the purity of his transmissions. Rinpoche is known as a compassionate, humble, no-nonsense Dzogchen master of the Nyingma, Old School Tradition.

In 1959, when the Communist Chinese invaded Tibet, Yangthang Rinpoche fled Dhomang. He was later captured by the Chinese, and imprisoned for 22 years. He helped many fellow prisoners who could not bear the hardship to die peacefully by performing Phowa, transferring their consciousness to Pure Lands. Though he witnessed and experienced much torture, he bears no resentment to his captors, only compassion. In fact, he became a spiritual advisor to some of the guards. When people express sympathy about his imprisonment, Rinpoche says that because of Dharma, his mind was more free in prison than worldly people experience in the best of circumstances.

Following the death of Mao Tse Tung he was released. He returned to Dhomang to find his monastery completely dismantled. He then obtained permission to go to Sikkim. As a simple yogi he traveled back and forth to Nepal and Bhutan, receiving transmissions and empowerments from His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and His Holiness Dodrubchen Rinpoche.

In recent times he has come to the United States several times and also travels to Taiwan where he has many devoted students. As he is now around 80 years old, we don't know if he'll be able to return again. This is a rare and precious opportunity to receive blessings and teachings from one of the few remaining great masters of his generation.

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