A Short Account of
Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche The Third
and His Past Incarnations
--Editorial Board


Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche is a great saint and Vidyadhara of the Nyingma (meaning "ancient") School of Tibetan Buddhism, and is considered by the Tibetan community as the personal representative of Guru Rinpoche, the second Buddha of our time. Thus, according to "The Garland of Crystal Pearls: Prayer to the Legendary Incarnations of Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche", Kyabje Rinpoche was, in fact, the eighteenth in a series of incarnations which included some of the greatest Buddhist masters of both India and Tibet.
Ages ago, during the aeon of the Buddha Pranidhanaraja, Rinpoche was the yogin Nuden Dorje Chang, who vowed to appear as the 1000th and the last Buddha of this Light Aeon "Mopa Od Thaye". Later, he manifested as Shariputra in India who, being the principal disciple of Buddha Shakyamuni, was famous for his wisdom. He then reincarnated as the Brahmin Saraha who, ranked first among the 84 Indian Mahasiddhas, was also the teacher of Nagarjuna and spread the secret doctrines in this world. The fourth manifestation was Trina Dzin (Krishnadhara in Sanskrit) who, as the spiritual minister of King Indrabhuti of Oddiyana, first saw the birth of Guru Rinpoche in a lotus. His next incarnation was Humkara, one of the Eight Vidyadharas in India.

Photo 1.8 Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche's future incarnation as Rigden Dorje Nonpo, the king of Shambhala.

His sixth manifestation was the great translator Drogben Lotsawa in Tibet, one of Guru Rinpoche's twenty-five disciples. Then he reincarnated as Mriti Jnana (Smrtijnanakirti in Sanskrit), the Indian pandita who travelled to Tibet and whose lifetime coincides with the transition from the Ancient (Nyingma) to the New (Sarma) period of translations. Rinpoche's eighth manifestation was Rongzom Pandita Chokyi Zangpo, the first to compose major treatises within the Nyingma tradition. Then he reincarnated as Dampa Deshek (A.D. 1122-1192), the founder of the great Kathok Monastery in Kham. His tenth manifestation was Palden Lingje Repa, one of the fathers of the Drukpa Kagyu School.
Then he reincarnated as Chogyal Pakpa (A.D. 1235-1280), the head of the Sakya tradition who ruled Tibet during the time of Kublai Khan. His twelfth manifestation was Drum Khar Nagpa, a famous yogin of Kham. Then he reincarnated as Hepa Chojung, a great siddha from eastern Tibet. His fourteenth manifestation was Traktung Dudul Dorje (A.D. 1615-1672), a renowned Terton in Puwo in southeast Tibet. He then reincarnated as Gyalse Sonam Detsen, who was responsible for the revitalization of the Kathok Monastery in Kham.


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