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About Ga Lhakhang Rinpoche 13th

About Ga Lhakhang Rinpoche 13th
Ga Lhakhang Rinpoche 13th
About Ga Lhakhang Rinpoche 13th
Ga Lhakhang Rinpoche 12th
About Ga Lhakhang Rinpoche 13th
1st Ga Lhakhang Rinpoche statue

His Eminence the 13th Ga Lhakhang Rinpoche Jigme Ngawang Chokle Namgyal was born in a Tibetan refugee colony of Dehradun, India, in 1992 and recognized as a reincarnation of his predecessor at the age of two. From the age of four he received a traditional education in monasteries in India and then Bhutan, under the guidance of Gyalwang Drukpa 12th, the head of the Drukpa Kagyu tradition, who became his root guru. In Bhutan Rinpoche spent six years in retreat, mastering a wide range of Buddhist practices, mainly mahamudra and Six Yogas of Naropa.

The Ga Lhakhang Rinpoche lineage was started in the 17th century in the Kham region of Tibet by a great yogi Drukpa Tsondru Gyatso. Drukpa Tsondru Gyatso was a disciple of Kham Tenpe Nyingma, who in turn was a disciple of Kunkhyen Pema Karpo. Drukpa Tsondru Gyatso was also a guru of the king of Mongolia. The first monastery, Khamgar Ga Lhakhang Tashi Woesaling, was established by Drukpa Tsondru Gyatso in the Kham region of Tibet. Since the 17th century until the present time that monastery was reconstructed many times. Despite the occupation of Tibet the monastery was not destroyed and still exists today.

The previous 12th Ga Lhakhang Rinpoche Ngawang Thinley Namgyal left Tibet at the age of six and came to India with many great Drukpa masters. He completed his education in Baksa, Bhutan and then moved to Dehradun, India. For the rest of his life he was fully dedicated to the preservation of the Drukpa lineage and established Dechen Chokhor Monastery in Dehradun. He entered mahaparinirvana at the age of 45.

The father of the 13th Ga Lhakhang Rinpoche was a nephew of the 12th Ga Lhakhang Rinpoche and served as his assistant for his entire life, while his mother was considered his Dharma sister. Prior to his passing away at the age of 45 the previous Ga Lhakhang Rinpoche expressed his intention to return and specifically asked his future parents if they would care for him and love him in his next life. Before his demise Ga Lhakhang Rinpoche promised that he would come back very soon and made his future parents promise him to get married.

Ga Lhakhang Rinpoche the 13th was enthroned at the age of three in Dechen Chokhor Monastery in Dehradun, India, which had been built by the previous Ga Lhakhang Rinpoche. H.E. Gyalwang Drukpa and His Holiness Dalai Lama confirmed Rinpoche as a reincarnation of the 12th Ga Lhakhang Rinpoche.

Ga Lhakhang Rinpoche the 13th studied in his own monastery in India until the age of six. Then to continue his studies he went to one of the main monasteries of the Drukpa lineage, Druk Sangag Choling Monastery, Darjeeling. He studied there until he was 17 years old. From the age of 17 to 21 he underwent higher studies of philosophy in Bhutan and then came back to his own monastery in India to complete a three year retreat of all main practices of the Drukpa lineage. Then Rinpoche decided to go to Nepal where for another five years he stayed in retreat mastering mahamudra and Six Yogas of Naropa under the guidance of his guru, His Holiness the 12th Gyalwang Drukpa Rinpoche.

Now Kyabje Ga Lhakhang Rinpoche is mostly staying in Nepal where his root guru H.E. Gyalwang Drukpa resides too.  He is working for the preservation of his lineage conducting rituals and giving teachings and initiations to the Drukpa followers and monks as well as lay people according to their needs. Once a year he travels to India or Tibet to visit his monasteries. Besides, Rinpoche has students in Russia, Vietnam, Italy and many other countries.

Rinpoche is also closely connected to the Nyingma tradition, since in one of his past lives he was one of the twenty-five direct disciples of Guru Rinpoche known as Lhalung Pelgye Dorje. This hermit monk compassionately transferred the consciousness of Langdarma, the demon king of Tibet, to the pure land and thereby saved the Buddhadharma in Tibet from otherwise imminent destruction.
Prior to this, in ancient India, Rinpoche was one of the 84 mahasiddhas known as Kukkuripa.