|Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche
In the 12th century, Chagdud Gonpa monastery
was built by Chagdud Sherab Gyaltsen, the spiritual advisor to the
Mongol emperor of China. He was given the name, "Chagdud,"
when he turned the barrel of the emperor's gun inside out and into
nine knots with his bare hands. He then made an offering of it to
create auspicious conditions free of war and social unrest. The
title, "Chagdud," in Tibetan means "iron knot."
H.E. Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche, born in 1930, was recognized at the
age of two as being the incarnation of the abbot of Chagdud Gonpa
monastery, a monastery which is active today. His mother, Delog
Dawa Drolma, was one of Tibet's most well known lamas and as such,
was able to establish excellent training for her son. Chagdud Rinpoche
belonged to the last generation of teachers to have inherited the
vast wealth of Tibetan Vajrayana teachings and methods before the
occupation of Tibet in the 1950s. He held many great lineages of
the Nyingma tradition: the Dudjom, Khyentse, Apong Terton, Khenpo
Ngaga, Padgyal Lingpa and Longchen Nyingt'hig.
Early in his life, it was prophesied that he would travel to a country
whose name contained the Tibetan letters "A" and "KHA."
At that time, no one knew of a country with the name "America."
With the Communist invasion and the subsequent exile of 100,000
refugees, Chagdud Rinpoche fled to India where he served both as
lama and physician during the difficult refugee resettlement. Here
and later in Nepal, he met several North American Buddhist practitioners,
including his wife-to-be, now known as Chagdud Khadro. They eventually
brought him to the States in 1979. In the 1980s, Rinpoche traveled
and taught constantly, establishing a sangha of practitioners. In
the fall of 1988, he and his students acquired 286 acres in northern
California and Rigdzin Ling, Chagdud Gonpa’s main North American
center, was born.
The scope of the prophecy concerning the country with "A"
and "KHA" was understood more deeply when, in 1995, Chagdud
Rinpoche moved to Brazil to establish the first Tibetan Buddhist
organization in South America. "A" and "KHA"
stand for the entire Western Hemisphere of the Americas, thus indicating
the extent of Rinpoche's role in establishing the Buddhist tradition
in the West. In 1999, the construction of a Tibetan style temple
in Tres Coroas in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul was completed
under his direction.
On November 17, 2002, H.E. Chagdud Tulku
Rinpoche passed into Parinirvana. According to his wishes, the spiritual
directorship of Chagdud Gonpa Brasil Khadro Ling was assumed by
his wife, Chagdud Khadro.