Gangteng Tulku Rinpoche Gives Teachings in Moscow
SOFIA—His Eminence Gangteng Tulku Rinpoche, one of three main lineage holders of the Pema Lingpa tradition, is this month visiting Moscow, where he is bestowing a series of teachings for the local Buddhist community.
Gangteng Tulku Rinpoche was born Rigdzing Kunzang Padma Namgyal in 1955, near the village of Tongsa in central Bhutan. Several prominent teachers, including the 16th Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche, and His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, recognized him as an incarnation of the emanation lineage of Padma Lingpa (1450–1521), a Bhutanese master of the Nyingma school of Vajrayana Buddhism revered in Bhutan as the second most important teacher after the 8th century Indian master Padmasambhava.
There are three main emanation lineages of Padma Lingpa: his own incarnations, incarnations of his son Dawa Gyeltshen, and of his grandson Gyalse Pema Thinley. Gangteng Tulku Rinpoche was recognized as the 9th incarnation of Gyalse Pema Thinley. At the age of 16 he was enthroned as the 9th Gangteng Tulku at Gangteng Monastery in central Bhutan, the main seat of the Pema Lingpa tradition, and the biggest Nyingma monastery in the kingdom.
On 13–15 October, Rinpoche gave teachings on the Thirty-seven Practices of the Bodhisattva (Tib: gyal se lag len so dun ma) at the Open World center for development in Moscow. The Thirty-seven Practices of the Bodhisattva is a basic text written by the scholar Gyalse Tokme Zangpo (1297–1371) in his hermitage Rinchen Phug (Tib. Jewel Cave) in central Tibet. Gyalse Zangpo, regarded as a great master, received numerous teachings from all Tibetan Buddhist traditions. His text is part of the lojong (Tib. training the mind) teachings and provides instructions on the path of the bodhisattva (Tib. chang chub sempa)—one who has generated great compassion to attain enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings.
From 17–27 October, Rinpoche is giving teachings on the Guhyagarbha Tantra at the North Kunsangar, a retreat center of the International Dzogchen Community of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, near town of Pavlovsky Posad, some 70 kilometers from Moscow.
The Guhyagarbha Tantra (Skt. Tantra of the Secret Quintessence), known in Tibetan as Gyu Sangwa Nyingpo, is a principle Mahayoga (Skt. Great Yoga) text—the first class of the three Inner Tantras in the practices of the Nyingma school. In this tradition, the tantra is regarded as a source of Atiyoga (Skt. Utmost Yoga) or Dzogchen (Tib. Great Perfection), the third class of the Inner Tantras. It is believed that the Guhyagarbha Tantra was transmitted around 7th century from mahasiddha (Skt. great adept) Kukuripa to Garab Dorje, founder of the Dzogchen teachings.
In addition to Gangteng Monastery, Gangteng Tulku Rinpoche is in charge of 35 other monasteries, temples, hermitages, meditation centers for women, and universities in Bhutan. He has disciples throughout the Himalayan region, as well as Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America. He first traveled to the West in the 1980s to transmit the Pema Lingpa tradition. His first visit to Russia was in 2008, when he established a branch of his international network of Buddhist centers known as Yeshe Khorlo (Tib. Wheel of Wisdom). This month’s program in Russia has been organized by Yeshe Khorlo—Moscow Buddhist Center and includes Mahayana and Vajrayana teachings.
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