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Delve Deeper Into the Drikung Kagyu Lineage

Kyobpa Jigten Sumgön, Founder

The glorious Phagmo Drupa had 500 disciples who possessed the white umbrella, but as he said, again and again, his successor would be an upāsaka who has attained the tenth level of a bodhisattva. This is the story of that successor, the peerless Great Lord Drikungpa, Jigten Sumgön. Limitless kalpas ago, Jigten Sumgön was born as the Chakravartin Tsibkyi Mukhyu. He was the father of a thousand princes, but renounced the kingdom and attained enlightenment and was called the Tathagata Lurik Dronma.

Although he had already attained Enlightenment, he appeared later as the Bodhisattva Kunsar Wangkur Gyalpo. At the time of the Buddha Kashyapa, he appeared as the potter Gakyong. At the time of the Buddha Shakyamuni, he appeared as the stainless Licchavi, who was inseparable from Buddha himself. Later, he was born as the Acharya Nagarjuna. Through these births, he benefited Buddha’s teachings and countless sentient beings.

Drikung Kyabgön Chetsang

His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgön Chetsang, the 37th throne holder of the Drikung Kagyu lineage and 7th reincarnation of the Chetsang Rinpoche, is a manifestation of Chenrezig (or Avalokitesvara).

The Drikung Kyabgön Chetsang, Konchok Tenzin Kunsang Thinley Lhundup, was born on the fourth day of the sixth Tibetan month of 1946 (Year of the Fire Dog) into the aristocratic family of Tsarong in Lhasa, China. This day marks the anniversary of Buddha’s first turning of the Wheel of Dharma. Many prodigious signs and visions accompanied his birth. His grandfather, Dasang Damdul Tsarong (1888–1959), has been the favorite of the 13th Dalai Lama (1876–1933), was a commander-general of the Tibetan army and one of the most influential political figures in the early 20th century in Tibet. Chetsang’s father, Dundul Namgyal Tsarong (born in 1920), held a high office in the Tibetan government and was still active in important positions for the Exile Government in Dharamsala, India after the escape of the Dalai Lama and the cabinet ministers. His mother, Yangchen Dolkar, is from the noble house of Ragashar, which descended from the ancient royal dynasty.

Drikung Kyabgön Chungtsang

His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgön Chungtsang, the 36th throne holder of the Drikung Kagyu lineage and 8th reincarnation of the Chungtsang Rinpoche, is a manifestation of Manjushri.

The Drikung Kyabgön Chungtsang, Tenzin Chokyi Nangwa, was born in 1942 (Year of the Water Horse) in Lhokha, China as the youngest of five sons into the prominent and aristocratic Lhagyari family. His father was Trichen Kelsang Nyendrak and his mother was Rigzin Chodzom. The Lhagyari family is one of the oldest noble houses of Tibet, descending from the ancient royal dynasty. The family branch is called Dewa Lhagyari Trichen.

© 2021 International Drikung Kagyu Council

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