Rase Konchog Gyatso was born in 1968 in the village below the monastery of Drikung Thil in Tibet. Dagpo (or Gampo) Chenga is the 8th reincarnation of the heart son of Gampopa (1079-1153).
From his young age Dagpo Chenga revealed a virtuous personality as well as a sharp mind. He studied at Drikung Buddhist College and at the Tibetan College in Lhasa. Dagpo Chenga also attended the Medical and Astrological College. He studied the Ten Aspects of Knowledge, as well as natural sciences, social sciences, and history and became very erudite in many fields of knowledge. Already as a young student he began writing papers on many subjects of Tibetan history and Tibetan Buddhism under his name Rase Konchog Gyatso. Among his books is also a seven-volume publication entitled A Faithful Speech that shows how to develop, improve and spread the Dharma tradition of the Drikung Kagyu in the future. Dagpo Chenga is considered one of the most learned lamas of the Drikung tradition.
Lama Sönam Jorphel was born in 1939 in Ladakh west of the Monastery of Lama Yuru. As early as 5 years old, he began to recite the first sutras. When he was eight years old, he went to the Monastery of Lama Yuru, where he received the red robe. In 1954 he went on a pilgrimage to the Buddhist holy places in India and travelled via Sikkim into Tibet. In Drikung Thil Monastery he learnt the important, traditional arts of the Drikung-Kagyüpa, like the making of tormas, the creating of sand mandalas, the playing of ritual instruments etc. He also received extensive teachings (tri), empowerments (wang) and the complete oral transmission (wang) of all the words of the Buddha.
After the chinese occupation of Tibet in 1959, Sönam Jorphel returned to Ladakh, to continue his education in Lama Yuru. He received all the special transmissions of the Drikung-Kagyü-Lineage from Ven. Khyunga Rinpoche and completed his Three-Year-Retreat in 1977. After the death of Ven. Khyunga Rinpoche he was in charge of the Meditation Centre in Lama Yuru as Drubpon Rinpoche.
The village of Tsari and the surrounding areas are among the most sacred places in Tibet. It was there that the most Venerable Khenchen Rinpoche Konchog Gyaltsen was born in the spring of 1946, and it was there that he spent his early years. In 1959, because of the political situation in Tibet, Khenpo Rinpoche fled to India with his family. The family then settled in Darjeeling , where Rinpoche began his education. Even at a young age, he was an excellent and dedicated student, and was able to complete his middle school studies in less than the average time.
At about this same time, a new university, the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies, opened in Varanasi, India. Determined to be among its first students, Khenchen Rinpoche traveled to Varanasi , in October 1967 to seek admission. He then began a nine-year course of study that included Madhyamika, Abhidharma, Vinaya, the Abhisamayalankara, and the Uttaratantra, as well as history, logic, and Tibetan grammar. In early 1968, he had the good fortune to take full monastic ordination from the great Kalu Rinpoche and, shortly after graduating from the Institute, he received teachings from the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa on The Eight Treasures of Mahamudra Songs, by the Indian mahasiddhas.
Even after completing this long and arduous course of study, Khenchen Rinpoche wanted only to deepen his knowledge and practice of the Dharma. With the same intensity that he brought to his earlier studies, Rinpoche sought out and received teachings and instructions from great Buddhist masters. One was the Venerable Khunu Lama Rinpoche, with whom Khenchen Rinpoche studied two works of Gampopa The Jewel Ornament of Liberation and The Precious Garland of the Excellent Path. Rinpoche's studies with the Venerable Khunu Lama also included Mahamudra and many of the songs of Milarepa.
In all his studies, The Jewel Ornament of Liberation is one of the texts that Khenpo found to be most inspiring. Lord Gampopa lays out the teachings in a clear and systematic way that is understandable to beginners. At the same time, the work is of such profound depth that scholars and practitioners can study it over and over and still not fully grasp its meaning. He has said on several occasions, "Anyone who knows the Jewel Ornament well can say that they really understand Buddhism."
Maintaining a balance between theoretical understanding and the practice of meditation, Khenpo Rinpoche began a three-year retreat in 1978 under the guidance of the enlightened master Khyunga Rinpoche. During this time, he was able to deepen and enhance his understanding of The Five-fold Path of Mahamudra and the profound Gong Chik text of Lord Jigten Sumgon. He also received many other transmissions.
Khenpo Konchok Choekyab was born in 1977 in Ladakh, into a farmers family in the village Umla. He took novice vows in Phyang monastery when he was 11 years old. Together with Khenpo Rangdol and Khenpo Tamphel he belonged to the first group of monks who started their study of Buddhist philosophy in the newly founded Drikung Kagyu Institute in Dehradun, in 1987. After 9 years of study at the Drikung Kagyu Institute he was able to continue his studies at the Sakya Dzongsar Institute for 3 more years, due to the support of His Holiness.
Following that, he taught the monks and nuns at the Drikung Kagyu Institute as well as Samtenling nunnery. He jointly revised the collective work of Dharmakirti with H.E. Nubpa Rinpoche, as well as the writings of Kyobpa Jigten Sumgon with H.H. the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang.
During the Snake Year Winter Teachings in 2000/2001 he received the complete transmissions of the Drikung Kagyu tradition.
During a two months stay in Bhutan he received teachings and transmissions from H.E. Je Khenpo Rinpoche on Chakrasamvara (Khorlo Demchog). Subsequently he studied for another 9 years Buddhist logic, the Prajnaparamita sutras as well as the teachings of Madyamika philosophy with Je Rinpoche at Drepung Loseling Monastery in South India.
Through his great efforts Khenpo Konchok Choskyab not only completed the study of the teachings of the Drikung Kagyu but also of the Sakya and Gelug traditions. In 2009 he was made a Khenpo by His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang. Since then, he is one the Khenpos being responsible for the Kagyu College.
Khenpo Konchok Monlam is abbot at the Drikung Kagyu Institute (Kagyu College) in Dehradun (India).
Till 1996, he also originally gained there his basic knowledge of Buddhism. Afterwards he studied the higher Buddhist philosophy until completion in 2006. Since then he teaches at the Drikung Kagyu Institute.
Khenpo Sonam Tsegyal Rinpoche, abbot and doctor of Buddhist Philosophy, first took vows with Togdhen Choelig, the great yogi of the Drukpa Kagyu in 1971. In 1980 he received teachings on the Vinaya, on Madhyamika and the Prajnaparamita, as well as old tantric empowerments and transmissions from many Nyingma masters, like Khenpo Thubten and H.H. Dilgo Khyentse. His teachers of the Drikung Kagyu Lineage are H.H. the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang and H.E. Garchen Rinpoche.
From 1998 to 2001 he went into three year retreat, after which he was given his title of Khenpo. Since then he has been teaching at the Drikung Kagyu Nunnery and at the new Kagyu College. He travels to give Dharma teachings and to conferences. He was invited by the office of H.H. the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala to attend the International Conference on the Buddhist Nuns Ordination Lineage.
In 2007 he authorized a book about the "Seventeen Scholars from Nalanda University".
Lamchen Gyalpo Rinpoche was reborn into a aristocratic family in Tibet and is the incarnation of Lhama Phurga. After his escape from Tibet he was member of the Tibetan Parlament for 11 years as Senior Secretary to the Kashag in Dharamsala. H.H. Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang convinced him to follow H.H. to Dehra Dun where the Drikung Kagyu Institute was founded and established. There he served as his Private Secretary and General Secretary of Drikung Kagyu Institute (Jangchubling) during the time of founding and registering of the Institute. As H.H.’s private and general secretary he worked with H.H. on the history of the Drikung Kagyu tradition. Lamchen Gyalpo Rinpoche received teachings from many profound masters and practiced them all from the preliminary stages to the arising and completion stages, punctuated with three major retreats and propitiation of deities.
Later he established several Dharma centers in the United States and Taiwan. For the past years Rinpoche has been busy traveling around the world to share his extensive knowledge of the Dharma to his many students.
H.E. Gar Namrol Rinpoche grew up at the Gar-Gon Monastery in Kham (East-Tibet). The Gar-Gon Monastery was developed more than 800 years ago. His founder Gar Chodingpa, one of the eminent scholars of Lord Kyobpa Jigten Sumgon, the founder of the Drikung Kagyu Lineage, was a reincarnation of Vajarapani. His third reincarnation was Gar Dampa Shi-Dengpa, which incarnated his three qualities of body, mind and speech in the stream of awareness of three Rinpoches: Mingyur Rinpoche, Namrol Rinpoche und Garchen Rinpoche. The present-day Gar Namrol Rinpoche was born in Nangchen in 1972, in eastern Tibet. With the age of 15 he studied at the „Five Wisdom Buddhist College“ (Sertha Shedra) under the guidance of Khenpo Jigme Phuntsog Rinpoche.
Today he is the abbot of the „Mahamudra Institute of Buddhist Studies“ in Taiwan.
The 12th Nubpa Tulku Konchok Tenzin Rinpoche was recognized (while still in his mother's womb) by the 34th Drikung Throne Holder, His Holiness Shewe Lodro (1874-1945). Rinpoche was enthroned when he was only five years old and started formal studies at the age of six. He learned Tibetan scripture and ritual practices from Pasang until the age of 14. At 15, he joined the Sun-ray Garden Institute (Nyichang Shedra, located near Drikung Thil Monastery) for higher Buddhist philosophical and Tantric studies.
Nubpa Rinpoche has received all of the Drikung Protector initiations and transmissions from H.E. Lho Drongtul Rinpoche. He has received all of the Fifty Collections of Initiation, the Treasure of Kagyu Instructions, the Treasure Discoverer Yangzab teaching (by Gyalwang Rinchen Phuntsok), and the Yamantaka from Regent H.E. Tritsab Rinpoche, as well as the Nyingma Collection of Initiations from the previous H.E. Nyizong Tripa Rinpoche.
Since 1992 Rinpoche has conducted retreats whenever possible in Labchi, the holiest place of Yogi Jetsun Milarepa. These retreats involve an arduous, week-long journey by foot. Rinpoche made one extended retreat for more than three years and has since made four additional journeys there. Today, due to Rinpoche's altruistic mind of enlightenment, over thirty practitioners have gathered on "conduct" retreats under his guidance in that holy place. As a result of his loving kindness and compassion, there are plans to build a monastery in Kathmandu , Nepal for the sake of all Dharma practitioners.
Rabsang Rinpoche, Konchok Tsultrim Rabsel, was born in 1973 - the Water Ox year - near Drikung Thil Monastery under very auspicious signs. Since he was a very young child Rabsang Rinpoche has always been very compassionate to all animals and was very devoted to the Dharma. He was ordained at Drikung Thil Monastery under Drubwang Pachung Rinpoche and subsequently studied intensively various teachings and rituals as well as Sutras and Tantras at the Drikung Institute and Thrangu Institute.
In 1999, during the Snake Year Drikung Prayer Fetsival, H.H. the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang recognized Rabsang Rinpoche as the reincarnation of Drubwang Rabsang Rinpoche and enthroned him. Since then he received many teachings from the two Holiness and many other great teachers. He currently resides in Rinchen Ling Monastery, Nepal.
Tulku Rabsang Rinpoche regularly goes abroad especially to Singapore and Malaysia leading the 100 million Mani Recitation retreat that was consecrated by H.E. Drubwang Konchok Norbu Rinpoche and bestowing Dharma teachings.