His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche was born in 1936 in Nangchen, Kham in eastern Tibet. When Garchen Rinpoche was seven years old he was brought to Lho Miyal Monastery after he was recognized by the former Drikung Kyabgon Zhiwe Lodro where he was instructed by Siddha Chime Dorje.
At the age of 22 (after completing a two and a half year retreat) he was imprisoned by the Chinese for 20 years and put in a labor camp during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. During that time he met with Khenpo Munsel who became his root guru. Khenpo Munsel was a Nyingma master who taught him during the whole 20 years of his imprisonment. During that time, while enduring the labor camp hardships, Garchen Rinpoche kept on practicing in secret, according to his guru’s instructions until he achieved realization of the lama’s wisdom mind which Khenpo Musel called “an emanation of a Bodhisattva.”
Since his release from prison in 1979, Garchen Rinpoche has made great effort to rebuild the Drikung Kagyu monasteries, reestablish the Buddhist teachings, and build two boarding schools for local children in eastern Tibet. Rinpoche is the founder and spiritual director of the Garchen Buddhist Institute in Chino Valley, Arizona.
It is said in the Sanghata sutra, “If all the sentient beings of the million world-systems were pratyekabuddhas, compared to the mass of merit of one who makes charity to all of them, the mass of merit produced by one who makes charity to one bodhisattva would be much greater.” To read more about him and offer a donation click here: Garchen Rinpoche movie
In his past life he was recognized as an incarnation of the acharya Aryadeva Bodhisattva, a disciple of Nagarjuna. At birth he was able to hold a staff, and he chanted the six syllable mantra. His mother was too frightened to tell others of her son’s abilities. Later, he practiced Mantrayana at Tsari, Tibet. While residing at a cave of Gar at Dagpo, all the gods and demons of Tibet gathered round him. At first they drew sharp weapons and wounded him, but later took refuge in him, offering the mantras of their lives.
“The cause of happiness is love. The cause of suffering is self-cherishing.” — Garchen Rinpoche
“Imprisoned for twenty years, in the prime of his life. He witnessed the death of so many friends. What kind of person would you become if this happened to you? Would you dedicate your life to the benefit of all beings? Here is the remarkable story of a man who did just that.”