Choeze Kuchen | History of Choeze Kuchen Rinpoche
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History of Choeze Kuchen Rinpoche

Choeze Kuchen Rinpoche is the founder of Choeze Thupten Dhargyeling Monastery located in the eastern part of Tibet in Kham under the Yushu, Qinghai Province, China. Choeze Monastery in Kham was founded by the 8th incarnation of Choeze Kuchen Rinpoche, also known as Choeze Denma Shathri Tulku almost 500 years ago. He is regarded as the manifestation of Yamantaka- a wrathful aspect of Manjushri.

 

 

The 1st Choeze Kuchen Rinpoche, known as Palchen Nyedphupa, is one of the eight Heart Sons (bhulhob) of the founder of Drikung Kyagud sect and great enlightened being, Lord Kyopa Jigten Sumgon, who lived almost 800 years ago. The 1st Choeze Kuchen Rinpoche was bestowed the title “Pal” by Kyopa Jigten Sumgon. According to the records of biographies of Choeze Kuchen Rinpoche, it was written that after the Parinirvana of Lord Kyopa Jigten Sumgon, Palchen Nyedphupa flew from Drikung region of Tibet to Kham Denkhog. He mediated at a cave in Denkhog and many followers gathered for teachings. It is written that he also established a monastery in Denkhog.

 

 

Later, one of the reincarnations, Choeze Denma Shathri (it is said that Rinpoche rode a stag from Denkhog to Dzachukha along Dza river. The stag was killed for his meat and it is said that Rinpoche assembled the skin and bones of the stag and brought the stag back to life) established the Choeze Thupten Dargyeling Monastery, which then served as the main seat for later reincarnations of Choeze Kuchen Rinpoche.

In one of his previous lives, he was born as a bright Brahmin named Salwa (Prabha) during the times of Buddha Dipankara. In the 7th century, during the time of Dharma King Songtsen Gampo, he took rebirth as Thonmi Sambhota who went to India and studied under the great scholar Lekchin Kara and introduced Tibetan script and Buddhism into Tibet. He has also reincarnated before as Nged-Phupa, a great master of Mahamudra during the time of Kyobpa Jigten Sumgon.

 

 

The present incarnation of Choeze Kuchen Rinpoche has achieved immense knowledge and wisdom at a very young age. He has undergone seven years of study of Buddhist philosophy and Drikung Kagyudpa teachings at the Thupten Shedup Jangchupling in south India. He has also received many precepts, oral transmissions and initiations from H.H. Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche and Phowa Teachings from H.E. Ayang Rinpoche.