Do Drubchen Rinpoche’s passing

January 29, 2022

Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, shares this message following the passing of Do Drubchen Rinpoche.

Tibetan letter:
Letter in Tibetan on the passing of Do Drubchen Rinpoche by Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa

English letter:
Letter in English on the passing of Do Drubchen Rinpoche by Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa

A transcript of the letter follows:

Dear Dharma friends,

Khyab Je Do Drubchen Rinpoche, one of the greatest masters of the Nyingma School, and its very life-force, has passed into Parinirvana.

He was recognized as the 4th Do Drubchen Rinpoche by the 5th Dzogchen Thubten Chokyi Dorje, and named Thubten Trinley Pal Zangpo at the time of his enthronement.

At the age of just six years old, he met with the great terton, Trinley Drodul Lingpa, of the Awom region, who bestowed the Supreme Empowerment of Insight upon him, and thus that spiritual dimension awakened within him. Dzogchen Rinpoche also instructed him to seek out the mahasiddha Choying Rangdrol of the Yikho region, telling him that this master had been his principal guru in many lifetimes. From this master he received the transmissions of the Nyingma school with specific emphasis on the Nyingtig tradition, and the young Do Drubchen Rinpoche engaged in the practises of these teachings till he had mastered them.

For the sake of spreading the Nyingma tradition far and wide, he sought instructions and empowerments from the senior Khenpos of his monastery, as well as from the 5th Dzogchen Rinpoche, Khyentse Chokyi Lodro, and other great masters of his time.

He also established both an institute for Buddhist education and a retreat centre for meditation at his monastery. However, because of political unrest in his region, he went on a pilgrimage to the central parts of Tibet in his early twenties, and from there he travelled to India where he settled in today’s Indian state of Sikkim. There he established his monastery in exile and spread the Nyingma tradition to many thousands of devotees throughout the Himalayan region and beyond. There he principally gave the transmissions of Rinchen Terdzo Chenmo and the Nyingtig tradition, but also many other teachings and transmissions of the Nyingma school.

When it became possible to travel to Tibet again, he did so on a yearly basis to teach at his monastery there as well as in many other parts of the Kham region, where he both taught and provided financial support for monastic institutions, Buddhist educational institutions, and retreat centres for meditation.

In brief, throughout his life Do Drubchen Rinpoche had severed all ties with the Eight Worldly Dharmas. His life-example is one of pure endeavour not tainted by the affairs of the world, of deeds which accord with the Buddha Dharma, and I request his disciples to follow his example so that the guru’s intentions may be fulfilled.

Thus, I, from the depths of my heart, rejoice in the great life-example of Khyab Je Do Drubchen Rinpoche and pray that his unmistaken reincarnation may manifest soon.

Thaye Dorje
His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa

Do Drubchen Rinpoche

Do Drubchen Rinpoche (1927–2022)