The Gyalwang Drukpa is the honorific title of the head of the Drukpa school, one of the independent Sarma (new) schools of Tibetan Buddhism. This lineage of reincarnated masters started from Tsangpa Gyare, the first Gyalwang Drukpa and founder of the school. The present Gyalwang Drukpa, Jigme Pema Wangchen is the twelfth lineage holder.
The early founders of the lineage include the great teachers Tilopa, Naropa, Marpa, Milarepa, Gampopa, Rechungpa, Phagmo Drupa and Lingchen Repa. Lingchen Repa was the guru of the first Gyalwang Drukpa, Tsangpa Gyare.
Tsangpa Gyare was recognized as the Bodhisattva of Great Compassion Avalokiteshvara (Tibetan Chenrezig) in human form, as well as an incarnation of the first Buddhist King of Tibet, Songsten Gampo, of the great saint Naropa and of Milarepa's sun-like disciple Gampopa.
Following the death of the Fourth Gyalwang Drukpa, Pema Karpo, there were two reincarnations, as he prophesized. One, Pagsam Wangpo, remained in Central Tibet with the patronage of the King of Tsang. The other, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, went to Bhutan after seeing in vision the deity Mahakala offering him the Kingdom. In Bhutan, the Drukpa lineage is now the official religious order of the state. Ever since Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal appointed Pekar Jungne as the first Je Khenpo, the spiritual head of all monasteries in Bhutan, the successive Je Khenpos have acted as the Spiritual Regents of Bhutan.
List of successive Gyalwang Drukpas
|1st Gyalwang Drukpa||Drogon Tsangpa Gyare||1161 - 1211|
|2nd Gyalwang Drukpa||Kunga Paljor||1428 - 1476|
|3rd Gyalwang Drukpa||Jamyang Chodrak||1478 - 1523|
|4th Gyalwang Drukpa||Kunkhyen Pema Karpo||1527 - 1592|
|5th Gyalwang Drukpa||Pagsam Wangpo||1593 - 1641|
|6th Gyalwang Drukpa||Mipham Wangpo||1641 - 1717|
|7th Gyalwang Drukpa||Kagyü Trinle Shingta||1718 - 1766|
|8th Gyalwang Drukpa||Künzik Chönang||1768 - 1822|
|9th Gyalwang Drukpa||Jigme Mingyur Wangyel||1823 - 1883|
|10th Gyalwang Drukpa||Mipham Chökyi Wangpo||1884 - 1930|
|11th Gyalwang Drukpa||Tendzin Khyenrab Geleg Wangpo||1931 - 1960|
|12th Gyalwang Drukpa||Jigme Pema Wangchen||1963 - present|
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- Homepage of His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa