Friday, October 07, 2005

Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche's oldest son

During the recent tour of reading loud from Blazing Splendor, some questions have been raised repeatedly: did Tulku Urgyen have children who teach? Who are they? Where do they live?
So this weblog can of course serve as a way to introduce them -- one after the other.
The first-born was Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche and he is the abbot of the the "Big White" monastery in Boudha, five minutes behind the Great Stupa. Almost all the guidebooks to Nepal mention his famous Saturday Talks, and he is been teaching people from all over the world since the early 1970s. For more details of his activities, see and his brief biography at


Anonymous said...

"BLAZING SPLENDER: The Memoirs of the Dzogchen Yogi Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche" is a true treasure with an inspiring glimpse into the life of one of the greatest Tibetan Buddhist's teachers. My deep gratitude goes to Erik Pema Kunsung and Marcia Binder Schmidt for bringing forth this remarkable work.
Charlotte M. Carlson, Ph.D.
Jungian Analyst
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Erik Pema Kunsang said...

This is not a traditional narrative of an enlightened master’s life in the Tibetan Vajrayana tradition. In fact, Tulku Urgyen rarely if ever spoke much about himself or his accomplishments. At most he occasionally might tell a ‘teaching story’ from his past in order to convey a specific point to a particular person at a particular time. He would only mention details about his life when urged, and so this memoir results from Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche telling us stories about his life at our request, over a period of fourteen years.
From these tales we’ve strung a storyline, piecing together vignettes he told at different times, much like beads on a rosary. The resulting mosaic offers a rich narrative of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche’s tradition and ancestors, tales of masters he knew or heard about, and many details of his life. We cannot claim that Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche wrote this, as he did not set out to narrate an autobiography. He simply responded to our requests by telling these stories, and he did so only after I promised that the main emphasis would be not on himself, but on the remarkable people he met or was connected to through other masters.
When I asked him about the contents, he replied: “Just stick to the stories. Don’t fill it with photos of me. In Kham we call that self-aggrandizement. Include many photos of realized lamas, but there’s no need to include common people. Sacred places are very good too. It is beneficial for people to see sacred places like Bodhgaya if they haven’t been there themselves.”
He also gave a suggestion for a title: “Devotional summary of the life-examples of sublime masters.”
I feel we have stayed true to that spirit.

sherabray said...

i just wondering does our Rinpoche give the Barom kagyu's teaching? As i been ask many our lamas and their said only practicing Chokling Tersar...

Erik Pema Kunsang said...

If with "our lamas" you mean the sons of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, you may be correct. I haven't heard that any of them have yet received the Barom Kagyu lineage. But they may; who knows if the need arises?