Gyurme Ngedön Wangpo

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Reliquary Stupa of Gyurme Ngedön Wangpo,in Deden Tashi Chöling, copyright Odiyana Institute

Gyurme Ngedön Wangpo (Tib. འགྱུར་མེད་ངེས་དོན་དབང་པོ་, Wyl. 'gyur med nges don dbang po) aka Phungong Tulku Gyurme Ngedön Wangpo (19th-1923?) was a major disciple of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and of Dudjom Lingpa, and later, in Pemakö, became a root teacher of Kyabjé Dudjom Rinpoche.

Birth & Family

Gyurme Ngedön Wangpo was born in eastern Tibet, in the region of Derge. He was recognised as the senior of the two tulkus associated with the Khung monastery, in Dzapuk[1]

Recognition

Gyurme Ngedön Wangpo ‘s root incarnation was Vajrapani[2]

Training

Studying with Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo

As the age of 6 or 7, he went to Shechen Monastery and studied with Ontrul Tutop Namgyal and other teachers. When he was 15, Gyurme Ngedön Wangpo met Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and studied with him for 7 years, receiving the entire range of methods of the sutras and tantras, and in particular the Longchen Nyingtik.

Studying with Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Tayé

Gyurme Ngedön Wangpo went to Palpung Monastery to receive empowerments from and study with Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Tayé. There, one of his vajra bothers was Garwang Sangye Dorje, whom he would reunite with much later when he moved to Pemakö.

Gyurme Ngedön Wangpo also received teachings from the following masters:

Becoming a Chödak of Dudjom Lingpa

According to Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche, after this seven-year period, Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo told Gyurme Ngedön Wangpo:

”Now return to your home country and in time go to see Dudjom Lingpa. You have a karmic connection with him from past lifetimes, so meeting him will be enormously useful to the teachings and to beings”.

He then gave to the junior Pikhung tulku all his responsibilities and property of the administrative estate, and went back to the lower Ser Valley, in eastern Tibet to seek an audience with Dudjom Lingpa. When he met him “Due to their karmic connection in previous lifetimes, their meeting was like a reunion of father and son”.

Gyurme Ngedön Wangpo received from Dudjom Lingpa the full transmission of the major cycles of termas of the Dudjom Tersar:

Dudjom Lingpa empowered him as the Chödak of these cycles and invested him as one of his heart sons.

Activity

Writing commentaries on the Dudjom Tersar tantras and practices

Gyurme Ngedön Wangpo wrote numerous commentaries on the Dudjom Tersar tantras and practices and especially “The Sharp Vajra of Awareness”.

Traveling to Pemakö to identify a tulku of Dudjom Lingpa

Many times, Dudjom Lingpa had said to his students how he would have wanted to go to the hidden land of Pemakö. So when Dudjom Lingpa passed away in 1904, Gyurme Ngedön Wangpo oversaw the practices made with other senior students, and then left Golok and made the long journey to Pemakö with other senior students, such as Ling Lama Chöjor Gyatso and Lama Khedrup. Arriving in Pemakö, they identified the reincarnation of their master: Dudjom Rinpoche, who was then three years old.

Teaching a young Dudjom Rinpoche in Pemakö

Gyurme Ngedön Wangpo spent sixteen years of his life in Pemakö and gave to the young Dudjom Rinpoche all the empowerments, oral transmissions, and sacred teachings of the Dudjom Tersar lineage. Gyurmé Ngedön Wangpo really became one of Dudjom Rinpoche’s main root teachers. According to Dudjom Rinpoche’s own words, Gyurmé Ngedön Wangpo was a ‘Vajrapani incarnation’. He gave to Dudjom Rinpoche the empowerments, transmissions and pitch instructions on the following teachings:

Granting empowerments in Pemakö on a vast scale

Many people received teachings from Gyurme Ngedon Wangpo while he was in Pemakö. According to Lama Papak [3]:

When Gyurmé Ngedön Wangpo came to Pemakö, Dorje Drakpa made a sizable land offering to the master, consisting of the entire valley called “Land of Fish Lake”. With Dorje Drakpa’s sponsorship, a number of empowerment and transmission events were held, benefiting many. The great lineage holder Gyurmé Ngedön Wangpo remained there for many years: then he eventually left for Rinchenpong Monastery in another part of Pemakö, where he gave the Rinchen Terdzö treasure teachings, empowerments, and transmissions to many young reincarnated lamas, including Dudjom Rinpoche.

Giving the prophecy that Dudjom Rinpoche would give 10 times the Rinchen Terdzö

According to Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal:

After having granted the whole Rinchen Terdzö empowerments to Dudjom Rinpoche, Phugtrul Gyurmé Ngedön Wangpo made a prophecy to him announcing that “The Rinchen Terdzö represents the activity of the two great Jamgons, and among their disciples I have given his teachings five times, which is a record, but you will give it ten times”.
Phugtrul Gyurmé Ngedön Wangpo said to Dudjom Rinpoche ‘You are unmistakably the incarnation of my teacher Dudjom Lingpa. Great Tertön, you have changed your old body into this youthful form, but regarding your realization, nothing has changed”.

Lama Tharchin Rinpoche shared the following story[4]:

I remember Jamyang Khyentsé Wangpo and Jamgong Kongtrul sent someone — Maybe it was Gyurme Ngedön Wangpo? — to Dudjom Lingpa, asking him if he would wish his termas to be included in the Rinchen Terdzö, the collection of termas they were compiling. It is said Dudjom Lingpa kindly replied, “I don’t need your patchwork. Wherever the Rinchen Terdzö will be propagated in the future, my termas will be present there also.”
Dudjom Rinpoche gave the Rinchen Terdzö thirteen times. And effectively, wherever and whenever Dudjom Rinpoche gave the Rinchen Terdzö empowerments, he would also give the whole Dudjom Tersar empowerments. So in fact, it was an incarnation of Dudjom Lingpa — Dudjom Rinpoche — who propagated the most the Rinchen Terdzö.

Gyurme Ngedön Wangpo wrote numerous commentaries on the Dudjom Tersar tantras and practices and especially “The Sharp Vajra of Awareness”. Many times, Dudjom Lingpa had said to his students how he would have wanted to go to the hidden land of Pemakö. So when he passed away in 1904, Gyurme Ngedön Wangpo oversaw the practices made with other senior students, and then left Golok and made the long journey to Pemakö with other senior students, such as Ling Lama Chöjor Gyatso and Lama Khedrup.

Arriving in Pemakö, they identified the reincarnation of their master: Dudjom Rinpoche, who was three years old.

Students

Among his students are:

Final Years

Gyurme Ngedön Wangpo passed away around the year 1920[5].

According to Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche:

”At a certain point, Gyurme Ngedön Wangpo directed his enlightened intent toward his final act to benefit others. Amid a great, boundless display of amazing signs […], his emanated form resolved back into the supreme inner illumination of primordial beings. His students had his body cremated on a pyre, and the subtle essence of his remains — his heart, tongue and eyes— blended together to form an image of the aspect of Padmakara know as Guru Dewachenpo. This image resides as the inner support of Mahakoti Monastery in Pemakö”.

According to Tulku Orgyen Phuntsok[6]:

After Gyurme Ngedön Wangpo’s cremation, his students found that the bones of the master had formed into the shape of Guru Dewa Chenpo, the Guru of Great Bliss. This sacred formation were enshrined within his reliquary stupa, which initially remained in Khorlo Dratsang. During the political events of 1959, in accordance with the aspiration of Dudjom Rinpoche, the tantrika sangha community in upper Pemakö came to an end and migrated to lower Pemakö, to Deden Tashi Chöling, the retreat land in Yoldong established by Togden Kunzang Longrol.
Dudjom Rinpoche had repeatedly expressed the importance of these sacred objects for the entire Hidden Land of Pemakö, and entrusted them to Togden Kunzang Longrol explaining the significance of this guardianship for the future.
With much hardship, Tokden Kunzang Longdrol was finally able to transport the sacred reliquary stupa and many other sacred objects to his land in Yoldong, lower Pemakö, India, where the Khorlo Dratsang tantrika sangha continued its practices uninterruptedly. In fulfillment of Dudjom Rinpoche's aspiration, Tokden Kunzang Longdrol built the Deden Tashi Chöling temple, and ever since, the sacred reliquary stupa of Gyurme Ngedön Wangpo has been enshrined as one of the main sacred objects in the temple.

Reincarnation

Dudjom Rinpoche identified Tulku Dawa Rinpoche as the reincarnation of Gyurme Ngedön Wangmo.

Notes

  1. Many informations are based on Nyoshul Khenpo, A Marvelous Garland of Rare Gems: Biographies of Masters of Awareness in the Dzogchen Lineage (Junction City: Padma Publishing, 2005), pages 280-282.
  2. Private interview with Lama Tharchin.
  3. Joyful Feast for the Minds of the Fortunate Ones, page 103.
  4. Private interview.
  5. He arrived in Pemakö in 1907(?), when Dudjom Rinpoche (1904-1987) was 3 years old, and spent 16 years there, so his passing must have been around the yeat 1923.
  6. http://www.odiyanainstitute.org/#!dudjom-lineage/c142p