1. A Letter from His Holiness Vajradhara 8th Tsar Tsar Drubgen Yizhin Norbu Rinpoche


A Letter from His Holiness Vajradhara 8th Tsar Tsar Drubgen Yizhin Norbu Rinpoche


Section 1

A Brief Account of the

Activities & Accomplishments of the Lord of Refuge,

His Holiness Rimay Gyalten Sogdzin Rinpoche


As told by His Holiness Drubgen Yizhin Norbu,

transcribed by the Very Venerable Khenpo Karma Dakpa, and translated by Trime Yeshe.


Kyabje Rimay Gyalten Rinpoche … is a diligent and extremely intelligent Master…  He did the three years, three months and three day’s retreat twice, proving his knowledge and activity as my successful and most precious disciple… the best of the best disciples of mine so far…  I guarantee with His Holiness Rimay Gyalten Rinpoche’s blessings and kindness that you will have the arising of happiness and bodhichitta…”

  • - His Holiness Vajradhara 8th Tsar Tsar Drubgen Yizhin Norbu

What follows is a brief account of the life of His Holiness (Kyabje) Rimay Gyalten Rinpoche, and of course, leaving out far more than it tells.

His Holiness Rimay Gyalten Rinpoche was born in the year of Fire Sheep. On the day he was born, there were many miraculous signs. Visions and sounds arose spontaneously. The sun showed the auspicious markings. It was a perfectly clear day and many rainbows appeared in the sky. Conches, cymbals, horns, damaru drums, bell, dorje… all the ritual instruments could be heard playing.

Rimay Gyalten Rinpoche showed signs of having a very pure mind since he was born. He was born into a lineage of great practitioners on both his mother’s and father’s sides, which for generations had turned their minds completely toward the Dharma. Shortly after his birth, he was taken before the great Master, His Holiness Drubgen Yizhin Norbu for the naming ceremony and offered a few strands of his hair from the crown of his head.

At the time of his admission into the Tsar Tsar Monastery, at the age of 7, he received the first level of monastic ordination. When he had reached the age of eight he had already mastered the art of writing and reading without difficulty. After a few years, he had completed the Preliminary Practices (Ngöndro) and all the basic practices of contemplation and meditation without obstacles.

With the support, inspiration and guidance of the clear minds and great vision of the great Masters such as His Holiness Drubgen Yizhin Norbu Rinpoche and His Eminence Tsewang Chogden Rinpoche, the pure practice and discipline were re-established in the monastery. With their pure intentions to benefit beings, they helped people from all of the monasteries, nunneries and villages in the area surrounding the Tsar Tsar Monastery.

The great Lord of the Teachings, H.E. Tsewang Chogden Rinpoche, inspired Rimay Gyalten Rinpoche to have great diligence. He also told the young Rimay Gyalten Rinpoche that, in the future, he would be of great benefit to the Buddha Dharma in general and in particular to the Tsar Tsar Monastery. At that time he also requested that a replica of the White Hat (which was given by the 13th Gyalwa Karmapa Dudul Dorje to the incomparable 6th Drubgen Rinpoche) be made for everyone to see, as it is said to liberate whoever beholds it.

Whenever His Holiness Drubgen Yizhin Norbu traveled to other monasteries and villages, Rimay Gyalten Rinpoche was asked to accompany him. During these times, Rimay Gyalten Rinpoche was directly given instructions and teachings from His Holiness. During one of these occasions, H.H. Drubgen Yizhin Norbu told Rimay Gyalten Rinpoche to give Refuge and teachings to as many people as possible. On another occasion, His Holiness told Rimay Gyalten Rinpoche that, “You will be of great benefit to the teachings of spirituality and sentient beings in the future.”  While saying this, His Holiness rested his hand on Rimay Gyalten Rinpoche’s head and blessed with great confidence in Gyalten Rinpoche.

Rimay Gyalten Rinpoche continued his practice of taming and cultivating the mind. He accomplished the teachings of self-discipline. Studying the teachings of self-conduct by the Buddha in the Vinaya texts, and learned which personal behaviors to abandon and which to adopt.

From His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, the Venerable Khenpo Lochö Rinpoche and the Venerable Khenpo Paga Rinpoche, he received complete transmissions of empowerments (wang), reading transmissions (lung), instructions and teachings (tri) of many practices.

When His Eminence Tai Situ Rinpoche arrived in Tibet, Rimay Gyalten Rinpoche received from him the empowerments of Dham Ngagdzö and Kagyu Ngagdzö. These are extremely important Mahamudra empowerments in the Karma Kagyu lineage. It was at this time that His Holiness Drubgen Yizhin Norbu gave the full reading transmissions of those two sets of empowerments. Rimay Gyalten Rinpoche received the complete, in all its parts, empowerments and reading transmissions from His Eminence Tai Situ Rinpoche and His Holiness Drubgen Yizhin Norbu on this occasion.

Rimay Gyalten Rinpoche also received the Bodhisattva Vow and full monastic ordination (Gelong Vows) from both His Eminence Tai Situ Rinpoche and His Holiness Drubgen Yizhin Norbu. The night after he received these vows, he had a vision of the face of the Very Exalted Avalokiteshvara (Chenrayzig), appearing along with King Gesar; the Lord of Wisdom, Manjushri; and the All-Mighty Protector, the Six-Armed Mahakala. They were accompanied by a holy host of Supremely Enlightened Dharma Beings. The Perfect Mandala of this vision was a bright shining light, great loving kindness and compassion arose effortlessly in the stream of young Rinpoche’s mind.

In 1991 Rimay Gyalten Rinpoche started the practices of the Three Years, Three Months and Three Days Retreat, in the retreat centre Samdrub Chödzong Ling of Tsar Tsar Monastery. While he was there, and under the guidance of His Holiness Drubgen Yizhin Norbu, he completed all the stages of accumulation and purification of the Preliminary Practices (Ngöndro), the Six Yoga’s of Naropa, and the Liberating Path of Mahamudra and Maha-Ati , in the manner of filling one vessel from another. The signs of attainment of the Mahamudra and Maha-Ati arose in Rimay Gyalten Rinpoche.

In 1994, and after his completion of the three-year retreat, Rimay Gyalten Rinpoche moved back into the main monastery, where he continued his practice solely for the benefit of sentient beings. There he requested the great Tibetan Master, His Holiness Drubgen Yizhin Norbu Rinpoche to bestow upon him the Empowerments of the secret and extremely profound and powerful Nag Gya Pag Sum. They went together to a white hill near the Kung Kar monastery, where he was given the complete Transmission of Empowerment, Reading Transmission and Instructions that he had requested.

During that occasion, His Holiness Drubgen Yizhin Norbu prophesied about the future of his Son of Wisdom, or Heart-Son, “Your activity for the benefit of beings will be both in your own homeland and in far away countries.” Then His Holiness told his dearest studentRimay Gyalten Rinpoche that, one day he will go on a pilgrimage to Nepal, India and the West, “In the future you should go to India to see those great enlightened Masters of Compassion and Protectors of the True Dharma. In the Holy Places, you should sincerely pray from the bottom of your heart, that your altruistic motivation to benefit all sentient beings will spread like a large wave.”

Soon after that, His Holiness Drubgen Yizhin Norbu requested that Rimay Gyalten Rinpoche to return from a visit to a nearby monastery and meet with him. When Rinpoche returned to the monastery, His Holiness told Rimay Gyalten Rinpoche that now was the time to start the journey. It was the 8th day in the 10th month of the year of the Wood Pig.

Throughout his pilgrimage and while encountering great Teachers of Compassion and Protectors of the Dharma, Rinpoche met with no serious obstacles or difficulties. He managed to reach and visit all the Holy Places of the Supreme Teacher, the Buddha, on his pilgrimage. He performed prayers and supplications of the purest kind in all these places. He also met with many holy Lamas and was given the teachings and transmissions that he has requested.

Rimay Gyalten Rinpoche spent many months in India and finally felt that he had managed to fulfill all the wishes of his Root Lama. “I have been able to perform prayers and supplications through body, speech and mind for the sake of sentient beings continuously throughout this journey,” he thought.

Leaving India, Rinpoche eventually established himself in Vancouver, Canada, establishing the Dharma Centre, Rimay Maha Sukavati Meditation Centre and TCG. He continuously serves the Three Jewels and faithfully follows the excellent footsteps of the many previous high Lamas of Great Compassion that had come before him. He also managed to learn the English language in a short time.

In foreign lands like Canada, the United States of America, Japan, Europe, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, for cultures that have limited previous exposure to Tibetan Dharma, Rimay Gyalten Rinpoche is now turning the Wheel of Dharma.

Wherever His Holiness Rimay Gyalten Rinpoche goes, the essence of the precious Buddha-Dharma radiates from his body, speech and actions as genuine and pure loving kindness, compassion, joy and equanimity, bringing the blessings of peace and contentment to all who he encounters.

Hundreds of students in many countries around the world are spontaneously gathering around him like honeybees around a flower. Pure and true faith in the Holy Dharma has developed in many. People are now engaging in practices of the ten virtuous actions and have abandoned the ten non-virtuous actions. These people do not find the teachings on benefiting others, which they have entered into, to be a burdensome task. Instead, they express great happiness over the fact that Dharma is like a bright torch that can illuminate the world of darkness. They have understood the value of continuous engagement in the cultivation of precious Bodhichitta. Having given up all that is the cause for others to suffer and instead engaging in actions that lead to the benefit of others, has now become their practice. Many people in Canada and around the world have expressed their appreciation to Rimay Gyalten Rinpoche, in formal and informal ways, for the establishment of Dharma Centres.

In 2002, Rinpoche returned to his Tsar Tsar Monastery in Tibet. Upon his arrival, thousands of people were there to greet him. There were beautifully adorned horses and many flags waving in the air. Numerous Teachers, incarnate Lamas and monks were assembled in a long line. At the front were great Teachers such as the Venerable Tulku Nyange Rinpoche, Venerable Tulku Jorgye Rinpoche, Venerable Tulku Kukye Rinpoche, and followed by many more reincarnate Masters, Khenpos, Lamas, Monks and nuns, escorting Rimay Gyalten Rinpoche with music sounding from conchs and gyalings (trumpets) into the middle of the great gathering, where he was installed on a Golden Throne of a Mahadeva. The Mandala of Body, Speech and Mind, along with many other offerings, were presented and offered to His Holiness Rimay Gyalten Rinpoche.

He was then escorted into the main monastery by the cheerful crowd of laypeople from the community, with their expressions of faith and devotion.

To extend his help to the monastery, Rimay Gyalten Rinpoche offered funds to improve and modernize the conditions of the monastery, beautified and enriched it with ornamentation and objects of worship. To the great Incarnate Lamas on their thrones and the great gathering of monks all around him, Rimay Gyalten Rinpoche offered them monk robes and financial offerings were made to the entire community.

Rimay Gyalten Rinpoche’s generous offerings have also resulted in electricity being provided to the Tsar Tsar Monastery. After centuries of fearsome darkness in the corners and shadows throughout, the entire compound has, in a seemingly miraculous way, been illuminated. Also the retreat compounds of Naro Ling, Nigu Ling, and Dosem Drubkang have received a great share of his generosity. Among this, the approximately 95 resident practitioners each received two solar powered lamps. Since Rimay Rinpoche had offered the necessary equipment, a water pipe was pulled in from afar, both Naro Ling and Nigu Ling are now enjoying fresh drinking water.

During that time, for the sake of remembrance and supplication of the name of our Root-Guru, His Holiness Drubgen Yizhin Norbu, Rimay Gyalten Rinpoche invited everyone to the monastery to behold the White Hat given to His Holiness Drubgen Yizhin Norbu in his 6th Incarnation by the 13th Gyalwa Karmapa. This White Hat is a replica of the Crown Ornament of Avalokiteshvara (Chenrezig) of whom, His Holiness Drubgen Yizhin Norbu is said to be an emanation. This Hat, it is said to bring insight and liberation to whoever sees it. For this, everyone present expressed their deepest appreciation, satisfaction, and joy.

His Holiness Drubgen Yizhin Norbu was deeply moved and very pleased with all the offerings made. Also, many people including the very poor ones from the surrounding communities, received substantial monetary support from the offerings made during this time. Moreover, appropriate and effective medicines and treatments were brought from overseas to alleviate sufferings and illnesses in the community.

Funds for restoring damaged buildings and musical instruments in the monastery were also presented. Additional money was given to restore the damage in the retreat compounds as well.

Also, assistance of various kinds was extended to the different monasteries, nunneries and Dharma establishments in the surrounding areas, each according to their specific needs. In this way His Holiness Rimay Gyalten Rinpoche pleased both heavenly deities and glorious Lamas. Through generous alms, giving to the poor and alleviation of illness and suffering in the community, he spread joyfulness and peace.

In short, the Lord of Refuge, His Holiness Rimay Gyalten Rinpoche, has shown through his unsurpassable pure conduct that egocentricity and self-interest is put aside, and his pure interest to work for the benefit of others flourishes in his heart and being. No matter what obstacles he faces, his devotion to help others inspires him to challenge these difficulties, and continue in his best efforts to help all who are in great need of relief from the sufferings of samsara.

His accomplishments in supporting the teachings of the Buddha are bringing him glorious fame, spreading around the world like billows of light and a great thunder of drums.

He is now, through his pure Dharma commitments, back in the Rimay Maha Sukavhati Meditation Centre and TCG in British Columbia, Canada, turning the Wheel of Dharma for the benefits of his devoted students. May he forever continues to transmit and protects the true essence of the precious Buddha Dharma teachings! 

This is a short account of the Activities and Accomplishments of the Lord of Refuge, His Holiness Rimay Gyalten Sogdzin Rinpoche. Through having closely followed His Holiness Rimay Gyalten Rinpoche and with my own eyes and ears witnessed his actions, have I, Karma Singe, the one known as the 8th Drubgen Yizhin Norbu, with help from Venerable Khenpo Karma Dakpa, joyously put together this written testimony. May all be Virtuous!

This has been translated from Tibetan into English by Trime Yeshe.