Gonjang Monastery Yolmo Ngagchang Shakya Zangpo was a renowned Tantric master lived in the late 15th century and beginning of the 16th century. He was born in La tod lho Drompa Jong in the Tibetan province of Tsang. Having been possessed of all qualities of a great master he accomplished almost all practice of Nyingma Ka ter and all about Sutra and Tantra.
According to the predictions mentioned in Ter-choes, he was the door opener of the Holy place “Beyul Yolmo Gang ri” in Nepal and discovered some Hidden Treasure like; “Thugje Chenpo Khorwa Ying Drol”. He went to Samye, Lhasa where he was blessed by a Khadroma (Dakini) and discovered the Ter-choes regarding the restoration of the great Boudha Stupa; Jarung Khashor in Nepal. He was the discoverer of the “Legend of the great Stupa”. and “Thug Je Chenpo Gyalpo Ka Bhum” etc. Later he discovered and taken out the holy Relics of the great king Amsuvarman (Woser Gocha) from the Stupa and distributed to all as blessings.
He established his Dharma seat in Helembu and associated with Yolmos, Tamangs and Sherpas district to the North of the valley and was henceforth known as Yolmo Shakya Zangpo.
Gonjang Monastery The second Gonjang Rinpoche or Lhodak Tulku Namkha Gyaljin was recognized as the reincarnation of Yolmo Ngagchang Shakya Zangpo. He revealed many important Texts (Terchoes) of Nyingma Tradition and became one of the renowned Terton on its own rights. He was known as the second Yolmowa Chenpo.
Gonjang Monastery The third Gonjang Rinpoche or Rigzin Tenzin Norbu was born in 1598 A.D. in Kongpo kLung rGye dong (Tibet) son of Trinlay Wangchug a re-embodiment of Drubthob Ratna Bhadra and mother Kunzang Wangmo. He was recognized as the reincarnation of previous Yolmowa and know as the third Yolmo Tenzin Norbu. He was a renowned Nyingma Terton and had propagated the lineage and teachings of first Yolmo Ngagchang Shakya Zangpo. He was so active in the restoration work of Jarung Khashor. He maintained good relation with the Nepalese King. His root Guru was Rigzin Ngag ki Wangpo of Thubten Dorje Drag Monastery near Lhasa. He received all Nyingma Ka-Ter teaching especially about Jangter Transmission from his root guru and appointed as the regent of Thubten Dorje Drag Nyingma Monastery. He was a great scholoar. H.H. the Dalai Lama praised him for his knowledge and extra-ordinary deed towards the spreading of Buddha Dharma and offered him endowments for the support of his institution. His autobiography is available in two volumes. His special Terchoe was about Vajra Kilaya Practice, a complete practice with Jin-sek (a fire sacrificial offerings) and Tor-Dhog etc. which is preserved till today.
Gonjang Monastery The fourth Gojang Rinpoche or Rigzin Wangyal Dorje was recognized as a reincarnation of the 3rd Yolmo Terton Tenzin Norbu. At the age of 11 he accomplished reading, writing and all major and minor science of Buddhism. At the age of 13 he was ordained by H. H the 5th Dalai Lama and named him as Zilnon Wangyal Dorje. His Holiness gave him all about Jangter teaching including empowerment and oral transmission. Thereafter, he devoted in preserving the jangter tradition and lineage. Special interest was taken on Vajra Kilaya practice.
King of Yambu honoured him as before and restoration work of the great stupa was maintained and consecreted twice during which many auspicious miracles occured and was eye witnessed by the gathering there. Interested may see his autobiography which is available in the library of Gonjang Monastery, Gangtok in Sikkim.
Gonjang Monastery The fifth Gonjang Rinpoche or Rigzin Thondup Dorje was recognized as the reincarnation of Rigzin Wangyal Dorje. He studied under many Nyingma masters like Rigzin Tsewang Dorje, Kathog Rigzin Tsewang Norbu, Drubchen Tenzin Rangdrol and Rigzin Pema Lodoe. He also received Transmission about Nyingma Ka-Ter from them. He was a great accomplished practitioner in Dzogchen teachings. He spent all his precious times, belongings that are offered by his well wishers for the restoration work of the great stupa, Jarung Khashor and performed special aspiration Prayers in front of the Choeten for the well being of all living beings.
At the age of 48, he called all his disciples including his spiritual son Yogi Rigzin Kunzang Dorje who was under meditation in a cave. Rinpoche gave his last teaching and declared that he was going to leave his worldly body. He appointed Rigzin Kunzang Dorje as his regent and suddenly remained in a meditative posture and rest perfectly in peace for about a week and passed away.
Gonjang Monastery The sixth Gonjang Rinpoche or Rigzin Pema Choephel alias Ja-Tang Khes-drub Lha Je was born in the water-Snake Year and recognized as the reincarnation of Rigzin Thondup Dorje. Since his childhood he was bold, intelligent, kindhearted and fond of playing religious activities. His mother passed away when he was only five. Mother’s sister took place of his mother but she was so harsh and unkind to him. He suffered a lot but never disheartened. He studied from Rigzin Kunzang Dorje who was spiritual son of previous Rinpoche and received all teachings of Jangter tradition from him. He was also a celebrated physician in Tibetan medicine. He recieved initiation and transmission of secret teaching of Yuthok Yonten Gonpo; a celebrated physician of Chogyal Trisong Deutsen. By then he was already a renowned scholar, a poet and a grammarian and had composed many valuable texts such as Zed-Gya Pag-sam Tri-Shing.(life history and religious activities of Buddha Shakyamuni) and some important commentaries.
Because of his strong karmic links he offered the Vastras and renovation works are done to the great Stupa, Jarung Khashor. It is true that all the Yolmo Tulkus undertook successive renovation to the fabric of the Stupa. At the age of 33 Rigzin Pema Choephel met the regent lama Ven. Rigzin Tsewang Namgyal of Boudha stupa. Some corrections were done to the Texts of previous Yolmo Chenpo’s teaching which are declining. He received Oral Transmission and Empowerment of Nyang-ter Gonpo Chag Shi (Mahakala) from the regent Lama Tsewang Namgyal and handed the traditional teachings and lineage of Yolmowas to Rigzin Pema Choephel and appointed as regent of the Stupa. Since then for about twelve years he propagated the teaching including Vajra Kilaya Practice of Yolmo Shakya Zangpo and Yolmo Tenzin Norbu. He accomplished in Tantric practice and and attained the realization of absolute unity and visioned Guru Rinpoche and Vajra Kilaya in person during his meditation.
Rigzin Pema Choephel was the person who established Gonjang Samten Chophug Monastery in Tsang province of Tibet in the mid 19th century. Collected thousands of voluminous religious texts such as two sets of Gyalwai Kagyur and two sets of Nyingma Gyud Bhum which are extremely difficult to get and many different religious texts. (one of the Nyingma Gyud Bhum was brought to India was the main source of its publication in India after 1959). He was himself an institution and spread Dharma far and wide. Thereafter the successive Tulkus of Yolmo Shakya Zangpo were named as Tingkey Gonjang Tulku. They propagated the teaching and lineage of Yolmos. Third Yolmo Tenzin Norbu’s special Terchoe – Vajra Kilaya ritual is still preserved and practiced in Gonjang Monastery. It is called as Yolmo-Lug (System of Yolmo).
Gonjang Monastery The seventh Gonjang Rinpoche or Rigzin Tashi Tobgyal was recognized as the reincarnation of Rigzin Pema Choephel. According to the prediction he was born at Tsang Gompa on 10th day of the 1st Tibetan month. He received all Jangter teaching and Nyingma Ka-ter. He took more important on Dzogchen Yangthik Chedon and Yolmo tradition. He was a scholar. He gave his last teaching to Lama Rinpoche Wangchuk Dorje of Kathmandu. He passed away at the age of 28.
Gonjang Monastery The Eighth Gonjang Rinpoche or Rigzin Pema Tsewang was recognized as the reincarnation of Rigzin Tashi Tobgyal. He was trained under the guardianship of Drubthob Pema Longyang, spiritual son of the previous Rinpoche. He received all Jangter and Yolmo tradition from him. He preserved and propagated this tradition for the sake of future generation. He passed away peacefully in the Wood-Dragon Year (1904).
Gonjang Monastery The Nineth Gonjang Rinpoche or Nawang Yonten Gyatso was born on 10th day of the 5th Tibetan month in the Fire-Sheep year (1907) at Gyaltse Phunling royal family. He was recognized as the Gonjang Rinpoche (9th Yolmowa) and was enthroned on the seat of Gonjang Rinpoche. He was ordained at Thubten Dorje Drag Monastery by H.E. Chuzang Tulku Pema gnesdon Tenpai Nyima. He toured extensively in U-tsang, Kham and all over Tibet in search of knowledge. He recieved all Nyingma Ka-Ter and Jangter Yolmo Lug. From H E. Serdup Khyentse Rigpai Dorje a renowned Nyingma Master, he recieved “Dzogchen Yangthig Nagpo Dru-Chig”, “Rigzin Sog-Drub Dorje Nyingpo Tingkyi Tholu” and some important Upadeshes like Trek-Chod, Thod Gal and Mun tsam etc. And Yolmo Tenzin Norbu’s Vajra Kilaya rituals are his main practice and preserved it till 1959. He passed away in 1959 at Goom monastery, Darjeling. He remained seven days perfect peacefully in a meditation posture. Kudung Chorten of the Rinpoche was prepared by H. H. Chatral Rinpoche at Ghoom.
Gonjang Monastery Xth Yolmowa i.e. the Gonjang Rinpoche who is presently in Bayul Demojong. He is recognized by H. H Dudjom Rinpoche as the reincarnation of Ngagchang Shakya Zangpo.