The Third Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche, Sangye Pema Zhepa
The previous Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche, Jigdral Yeshe Dorje (1904-1987), said just before passing away, “I will come back into my own family.” Accordingly, Yangsi Rinpoche was born as the son of Dola Tulku Jigme Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche (?-2000), who was one of Dudjom Rinpoche, Jigdral Yeshe Dorje’s sons, and Mayum Pema Khandro, which makes him Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche’s grandson.
He was born in Eastern Tibet in Jyekundo in Qinghai prefecture in 1990 on the auspicious day of dakini with many miraculous signs, such as rainbow lights surrounding their house. While still in the womb, many propitious signs appeared and his father, Dola Rinpoche, often dreamed of the previous Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche coming to his house and sitting on a high throne. After he was born many great masters said that he is a reincarnation of great Sakya master or that he is the reincarnation of Panchen Rinpoche. Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Thubten Chokyi Gyatso Rinpoche said when he met him, however, that it is certain he is a Nyingmapa and he bestowed the empowerment of the Lakeborn Guru Rinpoche according to the Dudjom Tersar and gave him the name Pema Osel. According to a very clear prophecy of Khandro Tare Lhamo (1938-2003) who was the daughter of the great Apang Terton and who was recognized by the previous Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche as a reincarnation of Sera Khandro (1892-1940), it was determined that he is the reincarnation of Dudjom Rinpoche, Jigdral Yeshe Dorje. Thereafter, following the words of Kyabje Chadral Rinpoche (1913-2015), Dungsey Thinley Norbu Rinpoche (1931-2011) flew from America to Chengdu to meet his nephew and recognize him as an unmistaken reincarnation of Dudjom Rinpoche, and then he bestowed the three roots empowerment and many other empowerments on his father’s reincarnation. Many great masters, such as Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche (1910-1991), Kyabje Dodrup Rinpoche, Choje Jigmed Phuntsok Rinpoche (1933-2004), Khen Achug Rinpoche, HH Sakya Trizin of Dolma Phodrang, Sakya Dagchen (1929-2016), Kyabje Chetsang Rinpoche of the Drigung Kagyu all recognized him as a true reincarnation of Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche. When Minling Trichen Rinpoche saw a photo of Yangsi Rinpoche, he immediately said that he is a reincarnation of Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche and gave a recognition letter to Yangsi’s parents. In the Serta monastery, Khenpo Jigmed Phuntsok Rinpoche took Yangsi Rinpoche on his lap and said several times in front of many thousands of people, “As I was born in the family of Dudjom Lingpa, I can say that he is an unmistaken reincarnation of my grandfather.” Then he put Yangsi Rinpoche on a vajra throne and made the mandala offering of body, speech, and mind and bestowed on him empowerments. When the great Khenpo Achug of Yachen Monastery saw Yangsi Rinpoche, he also said that he is an unmistaken reincarnation of Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche. In 1994, complying with the letter of Kyabje Chadral Rinpoche, Yangsi Rinpoche came to Nepal. There, at Godavari, which is one of 24 the most holy tantric sacred places, in 1994, the wood dog year, on the auspicious day of the Buddha Descending from Tushita Heaven, with the presence of the head of the Nyingma School, Kyabje Penor Rinpoche, and with Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche, Kathok Situ Rinpoche, and many other great lamas, khenpos, tulkus and many thousands of people, Kyabje Chadral Rinpoche led the enthronement ceremony proclaiming that he is a reincarnation of Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche and giving him the name Dudjom Sangye Pema Zhepa Drodul Rigdzin Trinley Drubpe Dey. Then Kyabje Chadral Rinpoche started to teach him writing and reading and later he gave him empowerments, oral transmissions, and complete instructions. Kyabje Chadral Rinpoche is his root master who kindly granted him Dharma, food, clothing, and shelter too. Nonetheless, from Kyabje Penor Rinpoche, Khenchen Jigmed Phuntsok, Khen Achug Rinpoche, Namtrul Jigmed Phuntsok, Khandro Tare Lhamo, Khandro Kunsang Wangmo and many other authentic masters, he received all the tradition of sutra and tantra, their teachings, empowerments, and all the transmissions without exception. He did a three-year closed retreat according to tradition at the Kunkhyen Longchenpa Cave, called Gangri Thodkar, in Tibet, practicing on the three roots, from the two phases of creation and dissolution until dzogchen. All this he completed and accomplished according to the tradition of the Nyingma.
For the benefit of beings, the world, and the teachings, Yangsi Rinpoche is pouring the nectar-like dharma all over the world unceasingly without thinking of his own hardships or fatigue.