Brief Biography of
Ninth Khenchen Thrangu Tulku,
Karma Lodrö Lungrik Maway Senge
When The 7th Gyalwa Karmapa Chodrak Gyatso (1454-1506), visited the region of Thrangu in Tibet, he established Thrangu Monastery and enthroned Sherap Gyaltsen as the first Thrangu Rinpoche, recognizing him as the re-established emanation of Shuwu Palgyi Senge, one of the twenty-five great siddha disciples of Guru Padmasambhava. The present, ninth incarnation of Thrangu Rinpoche is an eminent scholar. Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche was born in Tibet in 1933. When he was four, H.H. The 16th Gyalwa Karmapa and Palpung Situ Rinpoche recognized him as the incarnation of Thrangu Tulku by prophesying the names of his parents and the place of his birth.
Thrangu Rinpoche was born in the winter in Tibet. In front of their house was a frozen river. But on the morning of his birth, the river thawed. It thawed before the sun came up and people were very surprised and wondered what it meant that the ice had melted so early in the morning. After the ice had melted, all these birds came to wash themselves in the river, which was quite unusual. They also heard a cuckoo, which is never present in that part of Tibet in the winter. It’s only in the summer that they have the cuckoo bird, but the cuckoo was heard quite clearly.
Several years before Rinpoche’s birth the head lama of Thrangu Monastery died (who was the eighth Thrangu Tulku Rinpoche). It is quite extraordinary to think that this long line of nine great scholars and practitioners were simply named after the monastery that they came from. This monastery is located in the Eastern Tibet in the Kham region and is actually just over the mountain from Sermang Monastery where Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche lived. The elders of the monastery went to His Holiness Karmapa to identify the reincarnation of the eighth Thrangu Tulku. Thrangu Rinpoche was ordained by His Holiness Karmapa and prophesied, “In the future you will bring dharma to the west.”
Lama Lodrö Thaye
Thrangu Dharma Society, Petaling Jaya
Lama Tashi (more fondly known as Lama Lodrö Thaye or Lama Lodrö) was born on 2nd May 1962 and is a Bhutanese by Nationality. His father Lama Tampa is a Drukpa Kagyu Lama practising on his own. Lama Tampa lives a couple of months with his family, and spends the rest of the time doing meditation and practice in caves and grottoes among the hills and jungles of Bhutan. Lama Tampa foresaw that his son was destined to be a monk, and that his son would face innumerable obstacles if he did not take this path.
When Lodro Thaye was 6 years old, his father secretly took him away from the comfort of his home and brought him to the 16th Karmapa’s monastery in Bhutan, without the knowledge of his mother. Lodro Thaye then started to live in the strict discipline of a monastic life and began his early education in reading and writing in the monastery. He remained there till he was thirteen when he took the self-liberation vows of a monk before the 16th Karmapa Rigpe Ranjung Dorje and the Four Regents.
At the age of 14, the Karmapa sent Lodro Thaye to Thrangu Rinpoche’s monastery, Zang Dhok Palri, in East Bhutan to be one of Thrangu Rinpoche’s monks. He was put under the care of his teacher, Khenpo Konchok Ngyedun.
At the age of 17, Lodro Thaye was instructed to go to Thrangu Tashi Choeling monastery in Boudanath, Kathmandu to enter the Shedra to learn Buddhist philosophy. After he completed his studies and training in the Shedra, he was given the responsibility to look after the Retreat Centre at the Hill of Namo Buddha.
At the age of 19 in 1981, Lodrö Thaye took the full ordination vows of a monk before the Very Venerable Thrangu Rinpoche. Six years later, Thrangu Rinpoche permitted Lodrö Thaye, then 25 years old, to take part in the ‘3 year retreat’ in Namo Buddha together with other selected monks. It was during this traditional length of three years three months and three weeks in the confines of the retreat centre did Lodro Thaye complete his training in all the major texts and practices of Tantric Buddhism, rituals, and meditations. Upon the successful completion of his long retreat, Lodrö Thaye qualified himself as a fully trained religious teacher in the Karma Kagyu tradition of Vajrayana Buddhism. With the blessings of his guru, Lodrö Thaye stepped forth and began his journey as a recognized qualified Lama to serve all sentient beings.
The term “Lama” means teacher and it is only reserved for monks who have undergone the long retreat of 3 years, 3 months and three weeks.
Lama Lodrö’s first posting was in Malaysia with the Thrangu Dharma Society Petaling Jaya. Thereafter, Lama Lodrö has been posted to various Dharma Centres throughout the world to assist the activities of his Guru, Thrangu Rinpoche. Lama Lodro has been to Gampo Abbey in Nova Scotia to give instructions to a group of western monks in the 6 Yogas of Naropa. Lama Lodrö has also taught in Thrangu House in Oxford, England. In the Far East, Lama Lodrö has been to various Dharma Centres in Thailand, Myanmar, Hong Kong and Taiwan to propagate the Dharma.
With his experience of extensive travel, Lama Lodrö still and always feels that his ‘home’ is in Malaysia with his disciples and friends in Thrangu Dharma Society Petaling Jaya. Today, Lama has seen the birth and growth of the Society that started with a group of only 6 devotees in a rented premises. One of the main reasons for the growth of the Society could be attributed to the wholesome activities of our resident lama, Lama Lodrö.