Penor Rinpoche His Holiness (Kyabjé) Drubwang Pema Norbu Rinpoche is the 11th throne holder of the Palyul Lineage of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism and the supreme head of the Nyingmapa lineage.
H.H. Penor Rinpoche was born in 1932, in the Powo region of Kham, East Tibet.
Choktrul Rinpoche was his main master, although he received teachings from many Lamas. Beside becoming learned in several subjects including writing, poetry, astrology and medicine, he studied the sutras with different khenpos.
Aged twelve, he received from Choktrul Rinpoche the most important transmissions and empowerments of the Nyingma School, including the Great empowerment of the Kagyé and the Rinchen Terdzö empowerments. From Karma Kuchen Rinpoche he received the terma revelations of Ratna Lingpa.
At twenty one he was fully ordained by his master at Tarthang Monastery following the vinaya lineage transmitted to Tibet by Shantarakshita, receiving all the essential instructions and empowerments of the Nyingma tradition. He also received at that time the cycle of Tendrel Nyesel, Lerab Lingpa's great terma revelation. He then completed a Vajrakilaya retreat and, having received all the transmissions of the Kangyur and Tengyur, he entered into retreat for four years during which his master gave him all the transmissions of the Palyul tradition, following the secret oral instructions of Tertön Migyur Dorjé's Namchö. Penor Rinpoche successfully completed all the stages of the practice, accomplishing the root recitations of the Three Roots (lama, yidam, and khandro), the Namchö preliminary practices, tummo and tsalung, and the actual foundation practice of the Dzogchen "Buddha in the Palm of the Hand", including trekchö, clear light tögal, inner tögal practice, darkness practice, and training in the dream state, the nature of sound and the pure realms.
He fled Tibet in 1959 and subsequently established Namdroling Monastery which is located in Karnataka State, in Southern India. Namdroling has become the largest Nyingma monastery in the world, where many khenpos, monks and nuns are receiving an education. Khenpo Namdrol, among others, is one of the main senior khenpos teaching at the shedra of Namdroling.
H.H. Penor Rinpoche made his first visit to the United States in 1985.
In 1992, he was elected the Supreme Head of the Nyingmapa, succeeding H. H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.