by Venerable Thupten Rinpoche (mid 1998)
Soon after Gen Rinpoche passed away in August 1995, Venerables Khedrup-la, Sönam Tenzin and Sönam Chödrön travelled to India to meet up with Lhagon Rinpoche and myself to make offerings at Sera monastery on Gen Rinpoche's behalf. In Dharamsala Khedrup-la, Sönam Tenzin, Sönam Chödrön and I had a private audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama to ask His Holiness what needed to be done about Gen Rinpoche's reincarnation. His Holiness replied "I will look into the matter myself. Leave it to me." He also said that he would investigate if Gen Rinpoche's return would be beneficial.
There was no news until His Holiness came to Dunedin in September 1996 when he called Khedrup-la and I to his room to inform us that Gen Rinpoche had been reborn to a Khampa family in the North East Indian / Nepalese border region, where the father is a trader.
I selected monks from Sera monastery to travel to the specified region to find infants that had been born during the appropriate period. Fifteen infants fitted the requirements, so the monks recorded their details and took photographs to send to me here in Dunedin.
This list of fifteen candidates was presented to His Holiness during a private audience on 1st January 1998 at Sera monastery by Lhagon Rinpoche, Khedrup-la and Sönam Tenzin. His Holiness said he would investigate the candidates, and duly inform Lhagon Rinpoche and myself of his decision.
On 12 June 1998 a letter from His Holiness arrived in Dunedin informing us that after appropriate investigation, the boy Tenzin Lhundrup, son of Sönam Tsering (father) and Pema Yangchen (mother), was recognised as the reincarnation of the late Geshe Ngawang Dhargyey. His Holiness also said that it was important for the boy to recite Manjushri's mantra from an early age.
We are extremely happy to share this wonderful news with all of Gen Rinpoche's students.
The next step is to inform the parents of Tenzin Lhundrup that their son has been recognized as the reincarnation of Gen Rinpoche. Monks robes will also be offered to the child, and he will be asked to recite Manjushri's mantra.
In a year or two, a group of Gen Rinpoche's students will go to India to enthrone the boy as the reincarnation of Gen Rinpoche and everyone is welcome to join this group.
We will inform everyone when the time has been finalised. Please plan ahead to include this event in your busy schedules.
by Sallie Dawa, Coordinator (December 1998)
There has been a long gap between the first bulletin of the Yangsi Rinpoche Foundation in November 1996 and now. During this time many important events have occurred.
A very special day for our Centre is the anniversary of Gen Rinpoche's passing, August 11th. Every year we begin in the morning with Thupten Rinpoche and the monks in procession carrying Gen Rinpoche's photo into the gompa and placing it on his throne. We make khata offerings to the photo and statue and then do practices such as a Vajrayogini self-initiation. In the evening when more people can attend we make khata offerings, and chant the Guru Yoga for Gen Rinpoche which Thupten Rinpoche wrote, and offer a tsog.
Our statue of Gen Rinpoche, the late Venerable Geshe Ngawang Dhargyey (looking very much like Jamgön Lama Tsongkapa), with the many khatas offered by students of the Centre on the anniversary of his passing, 11 August.
Firstly, zhabten were offered at Sera Monastery and Gyumey Tantric College to remove any hindrances to the successful incarnation of Yangsi Rinpoche. This was followed by selected monks from Sera Monastery searching the designated area in North East India and Nepal for suitable infants born during the appropriate period.
Fifteen candidates were found and their details and photographs were sent to Thupten Rinpoche for submission to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. This was done by Lhagön Rinpoche, Khedrub-la and Sönam Tenzin during a private audience with His Holiness at Sera Monastery on 1st January 1998.
In June a letter arrived at the Dhargyey Buddhist Centre from His Holiness informing Thupten Rinpoche and Lhagön Rinpoche that Tenzin Lhundrup, the son of Sönam Tsering (father) and Pema Yangchen (mother), was the recognized reincarnation of the late Geshe Ngawang Dhargyey. The Rinpoches immediately arranged for Geshe Tenzin Gyaltsän and Geshe Jampa Kelsang from Sera Monastery to visit the family in Shillong, and inform them of this wonderful news, and to offer monks' robes and other gifts to Yangsi Rinpoche and his family.
After visiting Yangsi Rinpoche and his family in Shillong, Geshe Tenzin Gyaltsän and Geshe Jampa Kelsang sent back news of the family's reaction and photographs of Yangsi Rinpoche.
They had arrived in Shillong on the 20th July (1998), and were later told by Sönam Tsering that on that day, he had had a dream in which he saw two monks coming. He had inquired about it in the town and then found out that they had arrived. Pema Yangchen also said that while she was pregnant with Tenzin Lhundrup, she had a dreamt of monks in a moanstery, and she felt that this showed that the child she was bearing was special. His subsequent birth at the Nazareth Hospital in Shillong on the 4th of June 1996 was uncomplicated and he has been a healthy child.
When Tenzin Lhundrup was about one year old, he fell from the second storey of the family home, but fortunately was not harmed at all. He doesn't study hard but shows he is intelligent in his pre-school. Apparently Tenzin Lhundrup likes to do a snow lion dance that used to be popular in local monasteries in Kham. These days only Tehore Kangtsen at Sera Monastery in South India do this dance. This was Gen Rinpoche's Kangtsen.
When the family was informed their son was the reincarnation of the late Geshe Ngawang Dhargyey, they expected an enthronement to be done at the local monastery in Shillong. Although this had not been the plan, it was done to accord with local customs and the family's wish. The ceremony was held on the 28th July and about 160 people attended.
However, the official enthronement will be done at Sera Monastery after about one or two years. While Lhagön Rinpoche is in India this Christmas he will try to clarify plans for Yangsi Rinpoche's future.
Thupten Rinpoche and Lhagön Rinpoche envisage that Yangsi Rinpoche will get a good grounding in monastic learning and western style education during his formative years, before travelling overseas and experiencing the multitudes of distractions we have to offer.
Should anyone wish to contact the family and/or make offerings to Yangsi Rinpoche, you can write me an email (see below).
The upcoming expenses of supporting Gen Rinpoche's Yangsi will be:
We rely totally on your goodwill and generosity to be able to fulfill our commitment to meet these expenses, and hope that your contributions will be ongoing. When you send your contribution, please indicate if you would like a colour copy of the photograph of Yangsi Rinpoche included in this bulletin.
On behalf of the Yangsi Rinpoche Foundation, I would like to thank all those people who have made donations. Venerable Ani Chödrön stepped down as the coordinator in September and I am the current coordinator. Please pass on the news in this bulletin to anyone who is interested, and let me know if they would like to receive future notices.
(Coordinator), Tel: (03) 4557503, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This page was edited from the originals of Thupten Rinpoche and Sallie Dawa by Sönam Tenzin for web publication.
If you would like to be on a list to receive news by email, please send me (Sönam Tenzin) a message to that effect.
If you are already on the snail mail list (which you can join by writing to Sallie Dawa, then the info you get by email will be similar. I will send a message when the date for the enthronement is set. (at this stage probably end year 2000).