His Eminence Kyabje Dagom Rinpoche was born in 1953 in Shota Lhosum, Tibet. At the age of six, he was recognised as the 12th Dagom Rinpoche by His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang. He was also recognised as the reincarnation of Ra Lotsawa, the “enlightened sorcerer” who had to battle 13 Lamas to defend his teacher and mentor who gave him the practice of Vajrabhairava Yamantaka and Krishna Yamari.
In 1959, the year of his recognition, Dagom Rinpoche left Tibet for Drepung Gomang Monastery in Mundgod, India where he studied the major and minor Buddhist sciences for 16 years. It was here at Drepung Gomang Monastery that Dagom Rinpoche was given novice ordination in 1968 aged nine. He also took his Bhikshu vows (full monastic ordination) here in 1974 aged 21.
In 1983, after studying under illustrious teachers such as Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang, Kyabje Zong Dorje Chang, Kyabje Ling Dorje Chang, Kyabje Zemey Dorje Chang, and Yongzin Kunchok Gyatso, Dagom Rinpoche completed all his studies and was awarded the Geshe Lharampa degree, the highest degree within the Tibetan monastic system.
In 1987, Dagom Rinpoche passed his Tantric examinations and served as the proctor of the Gyume Tantric College in Hunsur, India for one year. From there he went on to teach various high Lamas, Sangha as well as laity at various venues. Amongst the many works of Dagom Rinpoche are:
- Instruction on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (The Blissful Path and The Swift Path) and initiation of Vajrabhairava at Samten Ling Monastery, Nepal in 1989. Amongst the attendees were Gangchen Chogtrul Rinpoche, Lingka Chogtrul Rinpoche, the abbot of Samten Ling Monastery, the abbot of Shelkar Monastery, the master of Chozang Monatery, and the master of Segyu Monastery. The occasion was the passing of His Holiness the Panchen Lama.
- Oral instructions on Liberation in the Palm of Our Hand in 1990. Amongst the attendees were Ganden Jangtse Serkong Chogtrul Rinpoche, Drepung Loseling Drubtob Rinpoche and the masters of many monasteries in Nepal. Avalokiteshvara initiation was also given at the same teaching. The venue was at Ganden Jamgon Ling Monastery near Swayambhunath, Nepal.
- Oral transmission of ten volumes of the collected works of Je Tsongkhapa, Thirteen Deity Yamantaka initiation, together with Mahakala initiations and transmission of the Five Major Fields of Studies’ root texts in 1991. Amongst the attendees were Kyabje Sharpa Choeje Lobsang Nyima, Kyabje Trijang Chogtrul Rinpoche, Kyabje Gyara Chogtrul Rinpoche, Kyabje Zong Chogtrul Rinpoche, Kyabje Lakha Chogtrul Rinpoche, and Kyabje Yongzin Tulku. This was held at Drepung Gomang Monastery.
- Instructions on the eight great commentaries on the Stages on the Path to Enlightenment in 1991. This was held at the Ladakh Zanskar Duzing Podrang.
- Teachings on generating Bodhicitta (the altruistic mind of Enlightenment) and the initiation of White Umbrella, or Dukkar. These were given after the instructions on the eight great commentaries was given to the people of Zanskar, whom Dagom Rinpoche has a particular fondness for.
- Established the Ganden Monlam Chenmo Dharma Centre and Dagom Migtsema Dharma Centre in Nepal in 1992.
- In the same year, Dagom Rinpoche revived and presided as throne holder of Nepal Ganden Monlam Chenmo, which has been held annually since. This gathering had monks and nuns from Nyanang Phegyeling Monastery, Samten Ling Monastery, Gaden Jamgon Ling Monastery, Shelkar Monastery, Segyu Monastery, Drupthok Monastery, Thukjechoe Ling Nunnery, and Kopan Nunnery.
- Established Jangchub Tensung Dorje Centre in Lingshed.
- Established the Lhasa Monlam Festival in Zanskar, India.
- Established Dagom Gaden Tensung Ling in Bloomington, Indiana (USA) together with Ven. Gonsar Rinpoche in 1996.
- Established Dagom Tsongkhapa Dharma Centre in Massachusetts (USA) in 1996.
- Toured Mongolia for six months and in Hentic Almic, he generated faith and devotion in the local practitioners by bringing rain to the area upon their request in 1997.
- Founded Dagom Choeling Dharma Centre in Minneapolis, USA in 1999.
- Spiritual leader of the Dho Shaydup Ling Monastery where more than 700 monks reside.
- Incorporated Dorje Shugden as one of the main Protectors in the magnificent Gelugpa Guru Tree.
Dagom Rinpoche showed great compassion and kindness when he travelled to many different regions of Zanskar several times to bring Dharma to its people even though the journey was very difficult as it was done by horseback or on foot.
The monasteries too were founded and built from Dagom Rinpoche’s great wish to preserve the Gelugpa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, founded by the great master Lama Tsongkhapa, and transmitted through an unbroken line of masters to our own time, such as the great Pabongka Rinpoche, His Holiness Trijang Dorje Chang and Kyabje Zong Rinpoche.
As a holder of the Gaden ”Ear-Whispered” Lineage, Rinpoche gave sutra and tantra transmissions to more than 100,000 disciples in Ladakh, India, Nepal, the United States, Canada, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, France, Germany, Singapore, and Mongolia. Furthermore since 1984, Rinpoche has given hundreds their novice ordination vows and dozens their Bhikshu ordination vows. He was known to give the vows to those interested and suitable.
Kyabje Dagom Rinpoche stayed true to his religious roots and tenets by not mixing secular matters with the spiritual. As with everything else in his life, he held on strongly to his faith, devotion and respect for the Dharmapala Dorje Shugden. Utmost in Rinpoche’s mind was always the welfare of all sentient beings. Rinpoche’s works are documented in the book entitled “The Jewel Garland of Precious Activities”.
Kyabje Dagom Rinpoche entered clear light and manifested entering Parinirvana in 2006. Since then, the reincarnation of Dagom Rinpoche has been recognised.
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