Excerpted from Oasis of Liberation,
published in 1999 in honor of the new temple
opening ceremonies, page 41-48.
©1999 Ngagyur Rigzöd Editions, all rights reserved.
The Throne-holders of Palyul Monastery
The First Throne-holder, Mahasiddha Kunzang Sherab, was
the combined reincarnation of the Lord Buddha's son, Rahula, and the
siddhis Arya Udasaka Dharmata, Shree Sinha, and so forth. Under his
leadership Palyul monastery was expanded to hold three thousand monks
and the Buddha's teachings were widely propagated through the means
of study and practice.
Among his countless disciples, his foremost spiritual sons
were Padma Lhundrup Gyatso and the four great sons of Hor: Serpa Yeshe,
Jangang Ahphel, Shugang Bading, and Tsangda Dorje Thar, who established
the following monasteries as their own seat. Serpa Yeshe established
Lhatse monastery which grew to hold seven hundred monks, Jangang Ahpel
established Jangang monastery with four hundred monks, Shugang Bading
established Shugang monastery with three hundred monks, and Tsangda
Dorje established Tsangda monastery with four hundred monks. These four
monasteries and the Oseling monastery of Tsakog became principal monasteries
which gave rise to many branch monasteries. Over time these five branched
into one hundred great monasteries which further branched into one thousand
branch-monasteries which further branched into countless sub-branch
At Darthang Monastery of Golog there were one thousand
monks and nuns and over time this monastery gave rise to the branch
monasteries of Padma Oedling in China which held five hundred monks,
and Tsundru Monastery of Khosi which held three hundred monks. From
these three main monasteries further branches were established in Markham,
Sangen, Rangshab, Throm, Chagdud, lower and upper regions of Hor, the
eastern Gyalmorong, and Drago in China. These branches pervaded all
the areas of Golog, Ngakhog, Serkhog, Dokhog, Nyikhog, Lotsang, Jerong,
Dege, Dzakhog and Gojo and every monastery was fully furnished with
statues and religious images. Even today it is seen that the mother
Palyul Monastery and its branches are upholding the Buddha Dharma through
the three wheels of study, contemplation, and conduct.
Padma Lhundrup Gyatso, the reincarnation of the Sokpo
Lhapal, was the second throne-holder. The third throne-holder was
Drubwang Padma Norbu, who was the combined manifestation of the
great pandita Vimalamitra and the treasure revealer Jatson Nyingpo.
Karma Chophel Zangpo was the fourth throne-holder and he was the
incarnation of Mahasiddha Migyur Dorje. The fifth throne-holder
was Karma Lhawang and he was born from the decedents of the nephew
of the first throne holder Kunzang Sherab. Shree Sinha's manifestation,
Karma Gyurmed Ngeden Tenzin, was the sixth throne-holder. The seventh
throne-holder was Gyatrul Padma Dongag Tenzin, a reincarnation of
Gar, King Trisong Deutsen's Dharma minister. Ogyen Dongag Chokyi
Nyima was the eighth throne-holder and was the reincarnation of
Ogyen Dongag Chokyi Nyima. The ninth throne-holder was the manifestation
of the Lord of Secrets, Vajrapani, known as Drubwang Rinpoche Padma
Kunzang Tenzin or Drubwang Palchen Dudpa Tsal, and was the second
Drubwang Rinpoche. The fourth reincarnation of Karma Tashi known
as Karma Thekchog Nyingpo was the tenth throne-holder. The eleventh
throne holder was our root guru, Jigme Shedrup Chokyi Drayang, the
third Drubwang Rinpoche, who was amanifestation of Vimalamitra.
The current and twelfth throne-holder of the Palyul tradition is
His Holiness Karma Kuchen Rinpoche. He main residence is in Palyul.
Arising from pure morality which is like an oyster,
Are the pearls of the throne-holders of Palyul monastery,
which form a glorious rosary of an unbroken lineage,
ornamenting and beautifying the enlightened tradition.
Full lineage list
1999 Ngagyur Rigzöd Editorial Committee:
Khenchen Pema Sherab
Khenchen Tsewang Gyatso
Khenpo Wangchuk Sonam
Khenpo Tsewang Sonam
English & Com. Layout
Special thanks to Jann Ronis for proof-reading and making helpful suggestions.