About Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche
Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche was born in India in October, 1970. He is the son of the renowned Terton, His Eminence Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche, holder of the Ripa lineage. His mother Khandro Chime Dolkar, also descends from a noble family of Bhutanese descent. Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche is the holder of two spiritual lineages, including both the Nyingma Ripa Lineage, a dungjud or hereditary line, into which he was born, and which he will hold in future as heir, as well as head of the Pema Lingpa lineage of Gyeling Orgyan Mindrolling monastery in the hidden land of Pemako, which he carries forward from his previous life, as tulku.
Gyetrul Jigme Rinpoche was recognized at the age of three by His Holiness Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche, head of the Nyingma lineage, as the reincarnation of Gyeling Yonten Lhundrub Gyatso Rinpoche. At the age of eight, understanding that times had changed, Jigme Rinpche went to study for six years at a modern school in Darjeeling, outside the monastery, so that he could both learn English and have contact with the outside world. During these six years, he led a normal boy’s life. Jigme Rinpoche attended the Nyingma Institute of Superior Studies and Research, Ngagyur Dojo Ling in Bouddanath, Nepal, founded by H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche, and in 1993 he received his doctoral degree in Buddhist Sutric and Tantric Studies, where he studied with Khetsun Sangpo Rinpoche.
Jigme Rinpoche’s primary spiritual teachers have been: H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche and in this life, his father and root teacher, His Eminence Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche. H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche was also Jigme Rinpoche’s root teacher in his previous life. In addition Jigme Rinpoche is the great, great grandson of the renowned sage Shakya Shri, who was considered to be the greatest Siddha of his time. He has studied with and received transmissions from the Drukpa Kagyu tradition teachers, especially those of the Shakya Shri lineage: the 12th Gyalwang Drukpa Rinpoche and Kyabje Thuksay Rinpoche.
In addition to fulfilling his role as a spiritual teacher, Jigme Rinpoche began in September 1993 in Orissa, to fulfill his humanitarian role as a socially engaged Buddhist, a term he is happy to be known by, and which has become a central part of his life’s work. Born in India, Jigme Rinpoche, has firsthand experience of the plight of Tibetan refugees and local villagers alike in finding and retrieving potable water. This inspired him to found The Pure Water Project, for which he received great admiration and a citation from His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government in Exile. Other projects he also directs include the setting up of a malaria prevention and treatment program, as well as directing programs to support orphans, schoolchildren, monks and the elderly.
Jigme Rinpoche first came to the West in 1996, giving his first teachings in Europe. Jigme Rinpoche has since established Padma Ling centers, a network of dharma organizations, in Switzerland, France, Belgium (and Luxembourg), Spain, Germany, as well as a center in Japan. Jigme Rinpoche is known for his fluency in English and his lively, direct, fluid, humorous and down to earth teaching style. His clear and fresh outlook very quickly cuts through cultural and personal misperceptions about the Buddhadharma. Jigme Rinpoche travels between the East and the West. In the East he oversees the continuation and work of the sacred tradition in exile, including leading and caring for the Ripa monasteries in both Nepal and India. In the West he continues his teachings through Padma Ling and the Ripa Ladrang Foundation, and is actively building the community and foundation.