One of the more outstanding masters in recent times was Khenpo Ngawang Palzang of Khatok, usually known as Khenpo Ngakchung.
Several of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche’s teachers had studied with this master, but especially Bomta Khenpo (Polo Khenpo Dorje). Here is a story about him from Blazing Splendor:
One day Bomta Khenpo told me, “In my life I have received plenty of teachings on the view and the scriptures of the Great Perfection, as have many others. But I’m one of the rare people who have met both Vimalamitra’s emanation and Vimalamitra in actuality.”
“Please, Rinpoche,” I requested, “tell me the story.”
“Vimalamitra’s emanation is my teacher Khenpo Ngakchung. Once every hundred years, Vimalamitra sends an emanation to Tibet to clarify the innermost essence of the Dzogchen teachings. Paltrul once told his disciple Lungtok of Nyoshul that he didn’t get to meet this emanation of Vimalamitra, but ‘you will probably meet him in your time.’ Lungtok identified his own disciple Khenpo Ngakchung as an unmistaken emanation of Vimalamitra and Khenpo Ngakchung became my root guru.
“When I met Khenpo Ngakchung, I already had a fairly good comprehension of emptiness, but that degree of theoretical learning didn’t satisfy me. I still felt an acute need to clarify every point and gain a thorough understanding, to the fullest degree.
“So I asked for the job of Khenpo’s tea server—not that I was that young at the time, but I thought it would be a good way to get close to the master. Each time I poured him a cup of tea, I whispered a short question and each time I received an answer. That was the only practical way to approach him; otherwise you had to advance to the position of assistant teacher to be allowed to ask questions. For eight years, I held on to my menial chore, serving his tea—and at the end of that time, I couldn’t find a single question that I still needed to ask.”
Later on, I got a chance to ask the Karmapa about Bomta Khenpo’s teacher, “What do you think of Khenpo Ngakchung?”
“Oh, he’s definitely an emanation of Vimalamitra,” he replied in his deep voice.
That settled it.
For more details about the nature of the pointing-out instruction, see: http://www.rangjung.com/authors/tulku_urgyen_rinpoche-interview.htm