Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche
His Eminence Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche was born in eastern Tibet (Kham) in 1930. Recognized at age four as a tulku (incarnation of a meditation master), he received rigorous training and deepened his studies in extensive retreats. He had a special affinity for the sacred arts and Tibetan medicine and was famous for his wonderful singing voice.
In 1959, he escaped the Communist occupation of Tibet and lived in exile in refugee communities in India and Nepal until settling in the United States in 1979. At the request of his Western students, he established the Chagdud Gonpa Foundation, a successful network of centers of the Nyingma lineage of Vajrayana Buddhism. In 1994, Rinpoche moved to Brazil, established Chagdud Gonpa Brasil and began construction of its main center, Khadro Ling, in Rio Grande do Sul. When he died in 2002, he had established more than twenty centers in Brazil, Uruguay and Chile.
As he constantly traveled and taught, radiating enthusiasm and compassion, he became the lama in the hearts of hundreds of students and was a profound inspiration to thousands of others. When asked why, at the age of sixty-four, he moved to South America instead of staying comfortably in the United States, he replied: “I understood the faith of Brazilians and their interest in Buddhism and I wanted to teach them”.
Rinpoche's wife, Chagdud Khadro, is the Spiritual Director of his centers in South America. His son, Tromge Jigme Rinpoche, trains students in the highest meditation of Dzogchen and is the vajra master of many great ceremonies and initiations at Chagdud centers Gonpa in North and South America. Chagdud Rinpoche also had a daughter, Dhawa Lamo, who lives and practices in Boulder, Colorado.
Now, in a full cycle, Chagdud Rinpoche's tulku has been recognized by Khenpo Ngagchung in Tibet. Known as Chagdud Yangsi, he is the focus of the prayers and deep aspirations of sanga members around the world.
“If I had to leave only one legacy, it would be the wisdom of pure motivation. If I had to be known by a single title, it would be the Motivation Lama.
The moment our hearts are inclined to compassion for all beings, our motivation expands toward the all-encompassing motivation of a bodhisattva.”
- Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche