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11th H.H. Drubwang Padma Norbu Thubtan Choskyi Drayang

The glorious Eleventh Throne Holder His Holiness the lord of beings and the chief of all mandalas, Jigmed Thubten Shedrub Chokyi Drayang, as prophesized by the fifth Dzogchen master Thubten Chokyi Dorje in the following verses: In one of the directions of the sacred place of upper Powo, On the top of a beautiful and precious mountain cliff, Adorned by varieties of beautiful trees, lakes and ponds, And a cool river flowing to the south, To a couple bearing the names Sonam and Kyid symbolizing method and wisdom, A noble child will be born in the Water Monkey Year With auspicious signs and qualities Who will benefit the Dharma and beings. As prophesized, he was born in 1932, in the Water Male Monkey Year of the 16th Rabjung Cycle, to father Sonam Gyurmed and mother Dzomkyid. Khenchen Ngagi Wangpo recognized him as the reincarnation of Drubwang Palchen Düpa. He was invited to the victorious Palyul Namgyal Jangchub Chöling Monastery when he was just five. He offered the crown hair of his head to Khenchen Ngagi Wangpo and received the first profound empowerment of Manjushri of the Tantra tradition as an auspicious gift. At the age of twelve in the year 1936, Chogtrul Thubten Chokyi Dawa bestowed on him the lay practitioner's vow of taking refuge in Three Jewels. He was enthroned on the golden throne in front of the whole sangha community headed by Karma Thegchog Nyingpo, the tenth throneholder of Palyul tradition in a grand ceremony. The empowerments of the Rinchen Terzöd (The Great Collection of the Precious Treasure Teachings) and many others were bestowed. In the year 1944, he received the novice vow from the Khenpo Chogtrul Chokyi Dawa in the year 1944 and all the maturation and liberation teachings of Namchö including the preliminary practice that had been passed down from his former incarnation Drubwang Palchen Düpa in the following year at Darthang monastery. At the Palyul monastery he received the complete set of maturation and liberation teachings of Namchö, Ratna Lingpa, Jatsön Nyingpo's six volumes of teachings and so forth from Je Karma Thokchog Nyingpo. And from Horshul Khenpo, he received all the existing stream of oral transmissions of the kangyur and the tengyur; from Khenchen Nuden, the Dodrel ZidenCharkai Yodnang (Brilliant Twilight, the commentary to the Anuyoga tantra text called the Sutra that Gathers All Intentions), Dodrel Munpai Gochag (the Armor that Protects of Darkness, another commentary to the Anuyoga tantra text called the Sutra that Gathers All Intentions), Yonton Dzod Tsadrel (the root commentary to Treasury of Precious Qualities), Umagyen Gyi Namshed (paraphrase commentary to the Ornament of the Middle Way), Ngedron (the Beckon of Certainty), etc. He received Dowang Drangtsi Chujun (Stream of Nectar, the Empowerment of the Sutra that Gathers All Intentions) and so forth from Kathog Khenpo Lekshe Jorden; Nyingthig Tsapod (the principal text of The Heart Essence Teachings) and so forth from Lungtrul Tenpai Nyima; and Khyentse's nine texts, etc. from Khenpo Pema Jigme. In the year 1952, he visited Darthang Monastery again and received the full ordination vow along with ten other monks from Chogtrul Rinpoche. At that time, Kyabji Chogtrul Rinpoche who was wearing the old Bhikshu robe of his (Chogtrul Rinpoche) previous incarnations, took it off and handed it over to Penor Rinpoche. This founded an auspicious occurrence of establishing the victory banner of the saffron robes throughout the world. Then he went to various great sacred places in central Tibet and performed sadhana practice in retreat. Moreover, during his retreat in the forest of Samye Chimphu, he abandoned ordinary food and sustained one session of radiant awareness for more than a week, which amazed the disciples. At that time, he received a long life empowerment from His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. At the famous temple in Lhasa, he performed religious service by offering tea and money to few hundred monks. After that he returned back to Palyul monastery and gave the entire profound treasure teachings of Namchö-- both the ripening and maturation aspects-- to a gathering of few hundred monks. Later, as prophesized by his deity and dharma protector, he immediately left for Balingpur, the eastern part of India, in the year 1960. For four months he stayed at Balingpur with few hundred monks where he accomplished the group sadhana practice of The Great Compassionate One who naturally liberates one from suffering followed by one hundred million recitations of the six-syllable mantra. In the year 1961, His Holiness arrived at Bylakuppe in Mysore district, south India. During his stay at the old first Tibetan refugee camp he conducted the accumulation of one hundred million recitations of the Vajra Guru mantra. His Holiness also initiated the recitation of one hundred million Mani mantras in the old fourth camp through The Great Compassionate One who naturally liberates one from suffering. Specifically, after having established Thegchog Namdrol Shedrub Dargyeling monastery, various accomplishment sadhana of Kama and Terma and the mountain retreat practices such as the preliminaries, channels and winds, and the great perfection (Ngondro, Tsalung and Dzogchen) were also formally established. From 1988 until his parinirvana in 2009, His Holiness bestowed the empowerments of the great Rinchen Terzöd (the Great Collection of the Precious Treasure Teaching) six times in different countries including the United States. In the year 1993, at the request of all the members of the Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism, His Holiness the Dalai Lama enthroned him as the head of the entire Ngagyur Nyingma Tradition. He took on this responsibility, looked after many monasteries well and became the supporter for the benefit of Buddhadharma. Moreover, he implemented the good tradition of practicing the three Vinaya activities at his monastery as well as many other monasteries within and outside Tibet. Almost five thousand monks took the full ordination vow during his life and thus the precious teaching of Vinaya was disseminated extensively.

Being a protector and nurturer of the teachings and motherly sentient beings is just one part of the common perception of his biography. In the uncommon perception, His Holiness had a vision of his Yidam deity and bound the eight classes of Dharma protectors into servitude. At the time of his birth, flowers newly appeared at the right and left sides of his residence even though it was in the twelfth month [wintertime]. As a child, he transformed a copper pot of water into milk to common perception. During one of the drupchens held in Bylakuppe in the year 1962, His Holiness miraculously wrote the Manjushri mantra on two conch shells with his tongue, on which it became embossed. Later at the request of Khenchen Namdrol, he again embossed the same mantra on another conch shell. After that, on Khenchen Jigme Phuntshog’s request, he again embossed the same mantra on another conch shell, to his delight. Moreover, once, at an empowerment session, His Holiness kept a ritual vase’s feather hovering in space without any support. He also once increased the length of a long life arrow by one foot. These were some of the activities that are valid evidence for his dwelling on the exalted spiritual path. Finally, in the year 2009, His Holiness attained mahaparinirvana with many miraculous signs. Note: The ages of the lamas based on the Tibetan astrological calculation where they are considered one on their birth day itself.