S. E. Dagri Rinpoche (Thupten Lundrup Tenpey Gyaltsen) was born in Tibet in 1958 and grew up during the Chinese cultural revolution. In his early years he was already recognized as the fifth reincarnation of Dagri Kyenchen Gyatso Thaye, one of the renowned Tibetan yogis, scholars and emanations of Manjushri. His incarnation lineage dates back to the time of Buddha Shakyamuni, where he has been one of the sixteen Arhats, Arya Nyeten Serkyi Bewu according to traditional accounts. Later incarnations have been Guru Serlingpa, the Indonesian master from whom Lama Atisha received the complete transmission for the generation of the mind of enlightenment, bodhicitta, the essence of Mahayana Buddhism in the 11th century. Furthermore Dagri Rinpoche is the reincarnation of Dagri Losang Chojor Gyatso, one of the lineage lamas in the merit field of many practices within highest yoga tantra. In particular he is renowned as vajramaster and lineage lama of the Yamantaka lineage, a wrathful emanation of Buddha Manjushri and embodiment of enlightened wisdom.
Since his monastery had been destroyed during the chinese occupation, he attended ordinary governmental school, worked as cow herder and sheperd and later on in a coal mine. He showed ordinary aspects, appearing as a simple, down-to-earth person who drove trucks and didn’t present himself as a great lama of any kind. And yet everybody who got into contact with him was moved by his outstanding inner qualities, his warm heart, his power, his caring for others, so that finally people urged him to go to India and receive his education of a Geshe Lharampa (the highest academical degree to be attained in the Gelug-pa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism). Despite his wish to actually remain and take care of them, they nevertheless collected money for him to be able to pay for the journey to India. Thus due to their urging Rinpoche left Tibet in order to study Buddhist philosophy. At the monastic college of Sera Je in South India he received the degree of Geshe Lharampa after 18 years of full-time studies in 1999. Since then he has been teaching in many countries in the world and – much to our delight – he teaches more and more also in western countries.
Rinpoche is not only a learned and fully qualified scholar, but also a great practitioner who has spent many years of his life in meditation, performing extensive retreats regarding all empowerments and commentaries of which he confers initiation. Rinpoche is one of the lamas who are continuously under the special guidance of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Since many years he has been living in the palace of His Holiness at Dharamsala, where he receives teachings, personal empowerments and commentaries regarding sutra and tantra of the four Tibetan Buddhist traditions as lineage holder of the buddha dharma.
And Rinpoche is a great human being. He belongs to the lamas who live what they teach. Since the beginning it was impressive for most of us to witness how little cultural barrier Rinpoche has, how easy it is for him to understand the Western ways of thinking and how his traditional background is naturally conjoined with very modern ways of thinking. He loves people and he loves to be with people. His good heart, his humour, his youthful laughter, his generosity, outgoing nature, complete dedication to others and his untiring wish to bring the dharma at all times to all sentient beings on all levels, his open-mindedness, complete unpartiality which holds every being equally dear, his honesty, openness of mind, his trustworthyness and friendship continuously win the hearts of thousands of students all over the world.
Next to his many activities regarding the teachings Rinpoche helps many beings in many other ways, saving them from dangers, illnesses and other personal difficulties. He is a Vajra master, scholar and yogi, but most importantly he is a loving, amiable, wise human being.