His Holiness the Fifth Karma Kuchen Rinpoche was recognized by His Holiness Dujom Rinpoche and Penor Rinpoche as the unmistaken incarnation of the previous Karma Kuchen Rinpoche, Karma Thegchog Nyingpo. At a very young age, he was invited to Namdroling Monastery where Penor Rinpoche looked after him like a son. Karma Kuchen Rinpoche excelled in all the monastic training and mastered all the traditional knowledge of The Palyul Lineage. He also received numerous Nyingma Teachings from great masters such as His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and Penor Rinpoche.
In light of his wonderful qualities befitting a master, His Holiness Penor Rinpoche appointed him to be the Abbot of the Palyul Mother Monastery in Tibet in 1994. In August 2000, he was formally enthroned as the lineage holder of the Palyul Tradition and is now the 12th throne holder of The Palyul Lineage.
Since his arrival in Tibet, Karma Kuchen Rinpoche has built many temples, stupas, prayer wheels, images of deities and other objects of veneration and faith. Under the direction of His Holiness Penor Rinpoche, he has built a grand and magnificent temple within the monastery premises.
Of the many remarkable qualities that he possesses, he is known throughout the tradition for his strict and pure observance of all the vows of a monk, and is thus the embodiment of pure conduct.
One of the three Heart Sons of HH Penor Rinpoche, the Fourth Gyangkhang Rinpoche was born in India. H.H. Penor Rinpoche, H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche and H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche recognized him as the authentic incarnation of the Third Gyangkhang Rinpoche.
At the age of four, His Holiness Penor Rinpoche invited him to stay in Namdroling Monastery and thereafter looked after him as his own child. When he was 15, he received the esoteric teachings of Tantra thus laying the foundation for the higher practices. He entered Ngagyur Nyingma Institute (Shedra), a branch of Namdroling Monastery and an advanced college of Tibetan Buddhism where he studied general Buddhist Philosophy as well as the distinct Nyingma Teachings. He also studied Tibetan grammar, poetry, and Tibet's political and religious history.
In his fifth year in his university, Gyangkhang Rinpoche displayed his scriptural knowledge by giving a lengthy discourse on Sangwa Nyingpo (Magical Net Tantra, a Mahayoga Teaching) in front of His Holiness The Fourteen Dalai Lama and an assembly of thirty thousand people both lay and ordained from all the different religious traditions of Tibet. He also debated on this subject and emerged victorious. His Holiness the Dalai Lama praised his wisdom in front of all and offered him a khata, a traditional scarf, encouraging him to hold, sustain and disseminate the teachings of Lord Buddha for the benefits of all beings.
In 1994, under the Bodhi Tree in Bodh Gaya, Gyangkhang Rinpoche received the vows of full ordination from His Holiness Penor Rinpoche. At that time, he was given the name Thupten Mawai Nyima Jigme Singye Chogle Nampar Gyalwai De. In 1995, he completed the nine years course in the institute and considering his high level of knowledge, Penor Rinpoche bestowed on him the title of a "Tulku Khenpo" and recognized him as a worthy dharma teacher who can guide others towards the path of enlightenment. At present, Gyangkhang Rinpoche is the Abbot of Namdroling monastery in South India.
Mugsang Kuchen Rinpoche was born to Penpa Dorjee (father) and Sonam Yangzom (mother) in Nepal, on the tenth day of the fourth Tibetan Month with miraculous signs. At the age of two, His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche and his Holiness Drubwang Penor Rinpoche recognized him as the unmistakable reincarnation of Chogtrul Kunzang Sherab. From the age of three, Penor Rinpoche looked after him with great compassion and care. When he reached the age of four, he received the Rinchen Terzöd Empowerment cycle from His Holiness Drodrub Rinpoche. From the age of five he began training in the distinct rituals of the Palyul tradition. Subsequently, he received the Kama Empowerments, instructions on Ngöndro, Tsa Lung and Dzogchen directly from His Holiness Penor Rinpoche. Thus he has upheld and continued the supreme activities of his predecessor. He has studied common sciences such as grammar, poerty , logic as well as the uncommon science of Buddhist philosophy at Ngyagyur Nyingma University at Namdroling in South India.
Mugsang Monastery, Mugsang Thubten Sangngag Chöling, is located in a sacred place in Tibet southwest of Kathok Monastery. "Mug" means sluggish and "Sang" means clear. Thus "Mugsang" means to clear oneself from sluggishness. The monastery is built at the location that Terton Migyur Dorje spent his final days, passing into the empty sphere of truth while sitting in meditative equipoise.
Khenchen Tsewang Gyatso Rinpoche is a recognized Dzogchen Master in the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. He was born in 1954 in the Lhodrak Valley of south central Tibet bordering the Kingdom of Bhutan. In 1962 when he was eight years old, his family fled Tibet and resettled in Darjeeling, India. There he was educated and at the age of ten took the monastic ordination of a novice. In 1969 he entered the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan studies at Sarnath and graduated in 1978 with the degree of Acharya. Throughout his years of study, he had been at the head of his class and upon graduating he was honoured with a silver medal by His Holiness the Dalai Lama for placing first among all the students from the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism represented at the Institute. After graduation, he was invited to teach at Ngagyur Nyingma Institute, the monastic college of the Palyul Namdroling Monastery in South India.
Khen Rinpoche has also studied and practiced the profound teachings of Dzogchen (the Great Perfection) under the guidance of three great Dzogchen masters, His Holiness Pema Norbu Rinpoche, Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche, and Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok. In 1983 he was enthroned as a Khenpo (Professor of Buddhist studies both in theory and in practice) by HH Penor Rinpoche, and has now been given the status of khenchen (great khenpo).
Khenchen Tsewang received all the major lineage transmissions of the Nyingma tradition from HH Dudjom Rinpoche, HH Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and HH Penor Rinpoche, and was authorized by HH Penor Rinpoche to transmit the Palyul teachings and give personal instructions to his disciples. For some 20 years Khen Rinpoche has travelled the world establishing and nurturing a number of Palyul Centres and teaching the Dharma. His warmth, wisdom, and easy humour have made him a beloved teacher wherever he goes. Among his disciples, he is affectionately known as Khenpo Guru.
Khen Rinpoche says that in his life, there have been three Buddhist texts that had a profound influence on his understanding of emptiness and the true nature of mind: Miphams Beacon of Certainty, the
Guhyagarbha Tantra, and Longchenpas Kindly Bent to Ease Us.
Tulku Dawa Gyalpo Rinpoche was recognized by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, and His Holiness Penor Rinpoche as the authentic reincarnation of the previous Shidag Rinpoche Orgyan Pema Rangdrol. At the age of 6 he joined His Holiness Penor Rinpoches Namdroling Monastery in Bylakuppe, South India. Upon finishing the basic monastic education at Namdroling, he joined the famed Ngagyur Nyingma Institute and completed the nine-year course in both sutra and tantra.
Upon graduation, he was appointed as the head of the Tsogyal Shedrup Dhargyeling nunnery and at the same time taught at the Ngagyur Nyingma Institute. Apart from his Root Guru, His Holiness Penor Rinpoche, he also received many empowerments, transmissions, and instructions from lamas of all sects of Tibetan Buddhism. At present he lives and teaches in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Khenpo Sonam is a fully trained Khenpo (Doctor of Buddhist Philosophy) in the Nyingma Palyul tradition. He completed the rigorous nine-year program covering Higher and Lower Sutra and Tantra teachings at Ngagyur Nyingma Institute (NNI), the prestigious monastic university of Namdroling monastery in South India. He received full ordination from the late Holiness Pema Norbu Rinpoche as well as many empowerments including the entire Rinchen Terdző (Collection of Revealed Treasures) empowerments and a rare empowerment entitled Dowang Drangtsi Chugyün (Empowerment of the Sutra that Gathers the Enlightened Intentions called the Stream of Honey). Further, from HH Penor Rinpoche, Khenpo Sonam has received instruction in Tsa Lung, the secret energy yoga practice from the Namchő cycle as well as instruction on Dzogchen (Great Perfection). Khenpo Sonam currently resides at Palyul Pema Mani Centre in Toronto.
Khenpo Kunsang Rinpoche was born in 1962 in the Kham area of Tibet. He came to India in 1982 together with his root guru His Holiness Penor Rinpoche when Holiness returned from his first visit back to Tibet. He then joined the Ngagyur Nyingma Insitute of Namdrolling Monastery in India. He studied for 9 years under the Khenchens of the Institute and graduated with the top rank in his class. He was honored with a Khenpo degree by HH Penor Rinpoche in 1993. While in his fourth year at the Institute, he gave a discourse on the Perfection of Wisdom in the presence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and an assembly of thousands of monks at Sera monastery. He received teachings and instructions from various great lamas including HH the Dalai Lama, HH Penor Rinpoche, HH Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Khenpo Jigphun, Nyoshul Khenpo, Lama Achoe, Khenpo Sangye Tsering (Khenpo Ngagchungs reincarnation), Khenpo Petse, Tulku Thubsang, and Sengdrak Tulku. He has also completed retreats on Vajrakilaya, Amitayus and others. He taught at the Nyingma Institute for a total of 15 years including during his student years as an assistant teacher. He also taught at Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoches Shechen monastery for four years and at Palyul monastery in Tibet for three years. Khenpo Kunsang currently lives in Toronto.
Lama Pasang is an expert and qualified ritual specialist, artist, and chantmaster (umze) in the Palyul tradition. He is also responsible for leading the students in their ngondro practice at the upstate retreat centre.
Khenpo Pem Tsheri Sherpa was born in Nepal and lived from the age of nine at Namdroling Monastery in India. His Holiness Penor Rinpoche himself extended the invitation for Khenpo Pems education, and thereafter looked after him as his own child. In 2011, Khenpo Pem completed the nine-year course at the Ngagyur Nyingma Institute (Shedra), where he was awarded the title Lopon, or Acharya, i.e. recognition as a highly qualified Dharma teacher, able to guide others toward the path to enlightenment. In 2018, he received the degree of Khenpo (Ph.D. in Buddhist Philosophy) from H.H. Karma Kuchen Rinpoche in the presence of over 4000 monks and nuns at Namdroling Monastery.
At the Palyul Retreat Center in New York, Khenpo Pem has taught the fifth-year Trekchod class. Khenpo Pem has also been invited to teach in a number of countries in Asia and Europe. Along with his knowledge of Sutra and Tantra, he is also known for his accomplishment in ritual prayers, music, and sacred dance.