Ling Rinpoche

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Kyabje Yongdzin Ling Rinpoche is a Tibetan tulku. The best-known incarnation is the sixth incarnation, Thupten Lungtok Namgyal Thinley (1903 - 1983[1]), a Tibetan buddhist scholar and teacher.

Thupten Lungtok Namgyal Thinely, the 6th Yongzin Ling Rinpoche, was one of the most renowned and qualified masters of the 20th Century. His students included masters from all four Tibetan Buddhist schools. He was very learned and an accomplished writer, poet and expert on grammar. In 1965 Ling Rinpoche was appointed the 97th Ganden Throne Holder and held the position as the head of the Gelug school for 19 years, longer than any other occupant of this throne.[2]

Kyabje Yongzin Ling Rinpoche was born in Tibet in 1903, not far from Lhasa in Kyisho, a place known as an abode of Cakrasamvara and his consort. After only 12 years of study at Drepung Loseling Monastic University, he received a Geshe Lharampa degree at 21 years old. Rinpoche served as Disciplinarian and Abbot of Gyuto Tantric Monastery, before serving as the 14th Dalai Lama's Senior Tutor. He fled with the Dalai Lama from Tibet in 1959 and lived in India for the remainder of his life.[3]

Kyabje Yongzin Ling Rinpoche gave many public and private teachings and initiations throughout his life in Tibet, India, Europe and North America. He passed away in Dharamsala, India at the age of 81. Rinpoche’s consciousness remained in his body after he died in the clear light meditation on the mind of death ('Tukdam')for 13 days.[4]

Prior to Kyabje Ling Rinpoche, three earlier incarnations of Ling Rinpoche were tutors for previous Dalai Lamas,[5] including the 13th, the 12th and the 6th Dalai Lamas.[5] Three incarnations of Ling Rinpoche were also Ganden Tripas. Over many years, the Ling Rinpoche incarnations founded many monasteries in Tibet and taught students in every sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Many of the monks in Ling Khangtsen come from these monasteries.

The current incarnation of Ling Rinpoche, His Eminence the 7th Kyabje Yongzin Ling Choktrul Rinpoche, was born in India 
on November 18, 1985. He was taken to the Tibetan Children’s Village 
in Dharamsala, after his mother died, and stayed there until 
the Dalai Lama recognized him as the reincarnation of his Senior Tutor, 
the 6th Kyabje Yongzin Ling Rinpoche, who passed away in 1983.[6]

The 7th Kyabje Yongzin Ling Rinpoche joined Drepung Monastic University’s Loseling College in 1990, which was re-established in the Mundgod Tibetan settlement in South India. His enrollment and return to the monastery of his predecessors was celebrated with large, traditional religious ceremonies for auspiciousness. The 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th Yongzin Ling Rinpoches had studied there 
as members of the Ling Khangtsen.[7]

The Dalai Lama gave the young Ling Rinpoche novice monk vows in 1993 to continue a monastic lineage. He also received full monk or Bikshu vows from the Dalai Lama exactly 50 years after the Dalai Lama had received them from his Senior Tutor. Monks usually receive Bikshu vows when they are 20 years old. Yongzin Ling Rinpoche was asked to lead a Long Life Puja on March 5, 2004 that was organized by the Tibetan Government to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Dalai Lama taking the Bikshu vows. The 6th Kyabje Yongzin Ling Rinpoche had given them to him in 1954 in 
front of the Jho statue in Lhasa’s Jokhang temple. Since Ling Rinpoche was 20 years old at the time, the Dalai Lama gave him the Bikshu vows on March 3, 2004 at Yongzin Lingtsang Labrang in Dharamsala. The 6th Kyabje Yongzin Ling Rinpoche had received all his monastic vows from the 13th Dalai Lama in the Potala Palace.[8]

The Gelug tradition emphasizes a deep and intensive study of Buddhist scriptures. The 7th Ling Rinpoche’s monastic studies began when he was ten years old under the guidance of the Dalai Lama. Geshe Namgyal Wangchen and Geshe Thubten Rapgay served as his two main tutors. During breaks from studying, he has completed private retreats. The 7th Yongzin Ling Rinpoche received his Geshe degree Drepung Monastic University in November 2016 and enrolled 
at Gyuto Tantric College in Dharamsala, India in April 2017 for a year of tantric studies that traditionally follows the completion of a Geshe degree.[9]

In 1991 Ling Rinpoche gave his first teaching in South Korea. Since then he has given teachings and tantric initiations in many countries in Asia and Europe, Canada, the United States, Israel, as well as Tibetan settlements throughout India and Nepal. Rinpoche has also organized and attended many important Buddhist events.[10]

Ling Rinpoche organized the Dalai Lama’s historic series of Jangchup Lamrim Teachings on the 18 classic Stages of the Path to Enlightenment treatises. They were held 
at Sera, Drepung, Ganden and Tashi Lhunpo monasteries between 2012 and 2015 with approximately 40,000 people from all over the world attending each year. In November 2012 while driving to 
Goa Airport to greet the Dalai Lama, who had arrived to give Jangchup Lamrim teachings, Ling Rinpoche was in a car accident which was fatal for the driver. Ling Rinpoche sustained serious injuries requiring lengthy surgeries. His complete recovery took several years.[11]

Rinpoche attends international events dedicated to preserving Buddhist traditions, including the International Conference on Vinaya and World Peace Puja in Bodhgaya, India and the conference on the relevance of Buddhism in the 21st Century in Rajgir, India that was organized by the Indian Government Ministry of Culture and the Nava Nalanda Mahavihara. Starting in 2004 he has 
also participated in the Mind and Life Institute dialogues held in India between the Dalai Lama and scientists on a variety of topics, such physics, neuroplasticity and destructive emotions.[12]

List of Ling Rinpoches[edit]

S.No Name Life Span Gaden Tripa and tutor to the Dalai Lama
1 Trichen Dhondup Gyatso, the 1st Kyabje Yongzin Ling Rinpoche Tehor Nagtsangpa 1655–1727 The 48th Gaden Tripa and tutor to H.H. the 6th Dalai Lama
2 Gedun Tenpai Gyaltsen, the 2nd Kyabje Yongzin Ling Rinpoche 1728–1790 Conferred the famed title of ‘Ertini Dalai Hothothu’ for his illuminating examplary service to Dharma
3 Lobsang Tenpai Gyaltsen, the 3rd Kyabje Yongzin Ling Rinpoche 1791–1810
4 Ngawang Lungtok Yonten Gyatso,the 4th Yongzin Ling Rinpoche 1811–1853 the 75th Gaden Tripa and Tutor to H.H. the 11th Dalai Lama
5 Lobsang Lungtok Tenzin Thinley, the 5th Kyabje Yongzin Ling Rinpoche 1856–1902 Sharpa Choeje and tutor to H.H. the 13th Dalai Lama
6 Thupten Lungtok Namgyal Thinley, the 6th Kyabje Yongzin Ling Rinpoche 1903—1983 the 97th Gaden Tripa and tutor to H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama
7 Tenzin Lungtok Thinley Choephak, the 7th Kyabje Yongzin Ling Rinpoche Current incarnation

Further reading[edit]

  • The Jewel-garland Biography of the 97th Gaden Throne Holder Kyabje Yongzin Ling Rinpoche by the 14th Dalai Lama
  • Brief Biographies of Kyabje Yongzin Ling Rinpoche (incarnate lineages) --compiled by Yongzin Ling Ladrang Management

References[edit]