H.H.84th Nyingmapa Kathok Lhoga Tulku Rinpoche
Kathok Dharma Lineage Guru –
Respectable and Noble Lord of Dharma, Lhoga Rinpoche
Lhoga Rinpoche is Kathok Monastery’s 84th Supreme Head and the reincarnation of the late Maha Pandita, Khenchen Lekshek Choden. Great precious living Buddha – Lhoga Rinpoche, he returns to the human realm again to fulfil his great compassionate vow to save endless sentient beings; manifesting as a field for sentient beings to accumulate merit through making offerings and as Manjusri to help them leave the sufferings of living and dying.
Regarding Lhoga Rinpoche’s manifestation, Great Guru Padmasambhava’s prophecy which is contained in the text “Unsurpassable heart-essence of the Dharma – the auspicious gathering of Yidams – the Blazing Lamp of Empowerment” has the following description: Upon the Flaming Vajra Dharma Throne of Kathok, the Manifestation of Manjusri, Holding the Sword of Wisdom, Renowed as Lekshek, Builders of Centres for Study and Meditation, Dispelling and clearing stains and doubts of the Illuminating Vajra. This gives credence to the fact that Lhoga Rinpoche is the true manifestation of bodhisattva of great wisdom and valour – Manjusri, the pillar upholding Great Guru Padmasambhava’s unsurpassable esoteric teachings!
The principal disciple of his previous incarnation, Nai Deng Living Buddha (also known as Cha Cha Duoji) sang the following praises when he prayed for his blessings with faith and confidence, “Resembling the best teacher – Shakyamuni from outside, like the undying luminous light – Guru Padmasambhava from within, at the secret root position – Samanthabhadra real deity, non-duality supreme Nirmanakaya – Banner of Wisdom” and words as such. These suggest that Lhoga Rinpoche has already attained Buddhahood many lives ago, his manifestation in the six realms is to save parents-like sentient beings who are still suffering with no one to turn to.
Principal guide of Great Perfection and holder of Tibetan Buddhism Nyingma Sect Longchenpo Lineage and Longsar Lineage, Lhoga Rinpoche’s achievements today do not come easy, his life journey is filled with challenges. Born in a herder family on the plains of Gu Long in Xin Long County of Kham Province, at the age of two, he was being confirmed as the reincarnation of Bai Yu County Kathok Monastery’s Lord of Dharma, late Khenchen Lekshek Choden. He left his parents at the age of three when he was invited back to Kathok Monastery where a grand enthronement ceremony was held for him. After which, he lived and practised together with his first teacher, Situ Rinpoche in Ling Gen Se East Mountain near Kathok Monastery.
In the sixties when Lhoga Rinpoche was seven years old, China underwent the Great Cultural Revolution. He was then forced to return to Xin Long County to study in a national school. At the age of nine, he became the commune’s herder and was often sent to remote areas to watch the cows and sheep. When he was fourteen, he was sent to grow apples and vegetables. All these while, only Khenpo Rong Xiu was by his side. Lhoga Rinpoche experienced all kinds of hardship then. When faced with all sorts of difficulties, he always accepted them calmly and never stained himself with worldly vexations. In the day, he did farm work and at night, he hid in a cave to study Buddhism.
When he was twenty-one, China began its reform, opening up and the implementation of religious policy. Filled with joy, Lhoga Rinpoche returned to Bai Yu County. However, Kathok Monastery was in ruins after the calamity. After meeting Rongchen Wamsho and Gyaltsen Ozer, the two great outstanding Buddhist masters, great Buddha-like confidence rose from within him. He immediately made a wish to rebuild Kathok Monastery together with Great Master Gyaltsen Ozer. For more than five years, he went round for alms and lived frugally; finally he rebuilt Kathok Monastery’s Dharma Hall from the ruins. Thereafter, he led Sangha members to rebuild the other parts of the monastery, and at the same time practised Nyingmapa’s preparatory teachings diligently. Not only had he completed the exoteric teachings very quickly, he had also generated pure Buddha wishes and made offerings which led him into the unsurpassable Vajrayana esoteric path.
After becoming the principal guide for the Great Perfection officially, Lhoga Rincpoche went to Lhasa to pray at the holy sites where Guru Padmasambhava had practised. He offered khatas, conducted 100,000 big offering pujas, made 100,000 light offerings and other great offerings at Samye Monastery, Jokhang Monastery, Ramoche Monastery, Potala Palace, Tashilhunpo and the like. At Samye Monastery and Jokhang Monastery, he even pasted leaves of gold on all Buddha statues. To create extensive good relationships so as to save all sentient beings, Lhoga Rinpoche travelled widely to all provinces in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and as far as Nepal, India and America to spread the Dharma. His faith and love for his country and religion has never wavered in the face of numerous challenges and sufferings, his bodhicitta has never diminished.
In 1998, he renovated Kathok Monastery’s Ling Gen Meditation Centre to conduct initiation and to give guidance on practise to yogis on long term retreat. After which, he propagated Dharma on an even wider scale and conducted the complete Duddul and Longsar huge initiation a couple of times. His Holiness’ footsteps could be found all over the large and small monasteries in Kham and hundreds of thousands of disciples had received his initiation.
In 1990, under the unanimous recognition of Holders of Dharma Seats in the Kathok Lineage, H.H. Lhoga Rinpoche was officially enthroned as the 84th supreme Throne-holder of the Kathok Nyingma Dorje Den Monastery. With unlimited compassion and unobstructed wisdom, His Holiness propagated the basics of Dharma which comprise of realisations in teachings, attainments in practice and ways of actualisation; he enabled exoteric teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha and esoteric teachings of Guru Padmasambhava to pervade throughout the world.
In 1999, Lhoga Rinpoche relinquished his Supreme Head’s position to Karma Rinpoche and Jamyang Rinpoche. Thereafter, his spread of dharma was even more extensive, his footprints covered all areas of Kham and he made frequent distant visits to countries like America, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Mongolia, Russia, Indonesia and Bhutan to impart Kathok’s unparallel, unique and stupendous teachings. Through role-modelling and words of wisdom, he guides his disciples the way to truly generate bodhicitta and to transform it into action, all his work in Buddhism is just like the prophecy after his birth “bursting forth in absolute brilliance in all directions”.