Biography of Venerable Dagpo Rinpoche

Venerable Dagpo Rinpoche, also known as Bamchoe Rinpoche, was born in 1932 in the region of Kongpo, in southeastern Tibet.  At the age of two, he was recognised by the Thirteenth Dalai Lama as the reincarnation of Dagpo Lama Jampel Lhundrup. At six, Rinpoche entered Bamchoe Monastery to study the basics of sutra and tantra, and by the age of thirteen, he entered Dagpo Shedrup Ling (or Dagpo Dratsang), a monastic college founded by Jey Tsongkhapa’s sixth successor, Jey Lodroe Tenpa.  Its standard of education was very high in all fields, and speciai attention was given to Lam Rim or the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment.

Dagpo Rinpoche has followed thirty-four Buddhist masters and holds a large number of transmissions of the Buddha’s teachings.  Rinpoche remained in Gomang Dratsang until the communist invasion in 1959 when he followed His Holiness the Dalai Lama into exile in India.  In 1978, he founded his main Buddhist Dharma center, GuepeleTchantchoup Ling, in Paris where he has given extensive teachings since. Dagpo Rinpoche is often invited to teach in Dharma centres in Italy, Switzerland, Holland, Belgium , France, England, Canada, U.S.A., India, Indonesia and Malaysia. His main centre in Europe, Ganden Ling Institute, is located near Paris, at Veneux-les-Sablons.

The lineage of Dagpo Rinpoche’s previous incarnations goes far back into the past.  It includes masters such as the famous Taktunu who in the previous Buddha’s time sold a piece of his own flesh to make offerings to his spiritual master.  It also includes the Indian yogi Virupa, the scholar Gunaprabha and Atisha’s main spiritual guide: the great Suvarnadvipa Dharmakirti (Serlingpa).  Suvarnadvipa gave Atisha the transmission of the teaching on bodhicitta whose lineage issues from Maitreya called « The Seven Point Instruction for the Generation of Bodhicitta » as well as one from Manjushri known as « Exchanging Self and Other ».  The two masters found themselves together again in the same master-disciple relationship in more recent times when Atisha was born as Pabongkha Rinpoche and received teachings on bodhicitta from Dagpo Jamphel Lhundrup, Dagpo Rinpoche’s predecessor.

In Tibet, other better known masters in the lineage of Dagpo Rinpoche’s previous incarnations include the great fifth century translator Marpa Lotsawa, who founded the Kagyu school of Buddhism. He is famous as the teacher who guided Jetsun Milarepa to Enlightenment by very severe training.  In more recent times, we count several abbots of Dagpo Shedrup Ling Monastery among Dagpo Rinpoche’s previous incarnations.