Born in the Tibetan Year of the Earth Mouse (1948) in Eastern Tibet, His Eminence Kyabje Yongyal Rinpoche was recognised as the 4th incarnation of his lineage by His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang. He was enthroned at the age of six in Sera Monastic University, where he studied for more than 20 years, mastering the five major topics of Buddhist philosophy. At the age of 32, Yongyal Rinpoche was awarded the prestigious Geshe Lharampa degree, which is the equivalent of a doctorate of the highest honour.
Yongyal Rinpoche went on to complete his Tantric studies at the highly respected Gyume Tantric University. While pursuing his studies there, Rinpoche received key oral transmissions and initiations from some of the most highly respected Lamas of the time including His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, His Holiness Kyabje Ling Rinpoche, His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and even His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. Thus, Yongyal Rinpoche became the primary holder of the precious Ganden Oral Tradition.
After the fall of Tibet, Yongyal Rinpoche became the source of inspiration, support and hope for the Sangha community, tirelessly teaching at Sera Monastery in India for 14 years. Yongyal Rinpoche continued to play a major role in protecting, preserving and propagating the Buddhadharma as Tibetan Buddhist communities all over the world struggled to recover and regroup.
At the request of his home monastery, Yongyal Rinpoche travelled to Eastern Tibet in 1993 to give teachings there. Rinpoche continued expounding the Dharma and giving initiations for approximately two years. As his reputation as a great teacher grew, Rinpoche also travelled on teaching tours covering Australia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and United States of America.
In April 2008, the monks of Sera Mey’s Pomra Khangtsen founded Serpom Thoesam Norling Monastery and Yongyal Rinpoche was appointed as its first Abbot.
Under Yongyal Rinpoche’s able stewardship, Serpom Monastery flourished and has since established many key initiatives for the preservation of Tibetan Buddhism.
The Serpom Buddhist Education Development Department was formed in 2008 and is responsible for the monastic education syllabus and examinations. That same year, the Serpom Health Point began providing free medical care for monks in need. The following year, the Serpom Thoesam Norling School was founded to equip young monks with modern education such as Tibetan culture, Literature, English, Mathematics and Sciences.
Yongyal Rinpoche has continuously contributed towards the works and lives of many great masters. In true humility, he carried out his deeds quietly, without much fanfare. In 2004, Yongyal Rinpoche together with Achok Rinpoche officiated the cremation of Sermey Kensur Lobsang Tharchin Rinpoche. After the cremation, Rinpoche inspected the Dung Srek Kang (cremation structure) and discovered the formation of sindhura powder, a sign of a high level Vajrayogini practitioner.
In 2008, Yongyal Rinpoche together with Kyabje Trijang Chocktrul Rinpoche officiated the hair-cutting ceremony and final enthronement of Domo Geshe Rinpoche’s young incarnation.
In 2010, Yongyal Rinpoche established a Dharma centre in California, called the Lamrim International Dharma Centre. Currently based in the United States, Yongyal Rinpoche is listed as a teacher in many American Buddhist centres including Dagom Gaden Tensung Ling Buddhist Monastery in Indiana and Gadenpa Buddhist Centre in Long Island City, New York.
In 2011, Yongyal Rinpoche was requested to give novice monk vows to the current incarnation of Zemey Rinpoche in Chengdu, China. However, Rinpoche respectfully declined and requested His Holiness Gaden Trisur Lungrik Namgyal who was present to give the vows instead. The following year in Shar Gaden Monastery in south India, Yongyal Rinpoche conferred the novice monk vows on the current Domo Geshe Rinpoche. Yongyal Rinpoche also ordained the former Resident Director of Trijang Buddhist Institute, Rae Barkley (Ani Tsering Lhamo), at the request of Kyabje Trijang Chocktrul Rinpoche.
Transmission of the Dharma to future generations by Dharma teachers is the most fundamental and effective method to ensure that the Buddha’s teachings are kept alive, whole and unbroken. Yongyal Rinpoche is doing just that. He is the Guru to many young lamas such as Achok Rinpoche, who is an erudite lama in his own right. Yongyal Rinpoche also continues to remain steadfast to his Protector, diligently carrying on his practice of the infallible Dorje Shugden to this day.
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