Origins of Chimé Phakmé Nyingtik Drupchen


Lerab Ling, 29 July 2015

Origins of Chimé Phakmé Nyingtik Drupchen

Lerab Ling, 29 July 2015

Many of us hadn’t realized how uniquely qualified Orgyen Tobgyal Rinpoche is to explain the authenticity of practising the Chimé Phakmé Nyingtik as a drupchen, until he spoke about the origins of this tradition during such a drupchen at Lerab Ling.

The Chimé Phakmé Nyingtik is one of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo’s terma teachings. Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö wrote the Drupchen Manual[1] for the Chimé Phakmé Nyingtik at the request of the Queen of Nangchen – she was the wife of a minor king who ruled over the region Nangchen in Kham. Since then, Adeu Rinpoche’s monastery had intended to do a Chimé Phakmé Nyingtik drupchen annually, but I don't know how many years they managed it – maybe two – before the Chinese came. Before the Drupchen Manual was written, there don’t seem to be any reports about a Chimé Phakmé Nyingtik drupchen having been performed. But we can’t say for sure that it wasn’t. It might have been, but who knows? The biographies of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and Jamgön Kongtrül mention the Chimé Phakmé Nyingtik a lot, but nowhere do they suggest that a drupchen was performed.

The question you all need to know the answer to is: where does the practice tradition for the Chimé Phakmé Nyingtik drupchen we follow here at Lerab Ling come from?

In 1958, Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö was very ill and so a Chimé Phakmé Nyingtik drupchen was performed. Many of his students were there, including Sogyal Rinpoche. Pema Tashi, our monastery’s umzé who died a few years ago, was appointed chant leader for the ceremony and my father had to be the vajra master. At that time, Pema Tashi, the umzé, had never performed this drupchen, so he asked Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö how to do it – so he learned directly from him. Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö went through the entire text and pointed out when to to do what and what to chant when. He explained the entire drupchen to Pema Tashi. And he also told Pema Tashi to chant according to the Chokling tradition. Pema Tashi was surprised and asked “Can we really do that?”

“Of course,” replied Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö. “There is no tradition greater than Chokling.”

So, Pema Tashi led the Chimé Pakmé Nyingtik drupchen, which took place in the upstairs temple of the palace in Sikkim. Each afternoon Khyentse Rinpoche would join them briefly, but he was very ill.

Later, in Bhutan, one of Sakya Trizin’s divinations said that it would be good to do a Chimé Phakmé Nyingtik drupchen and offer a long life ceremony to Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. The present Chokling incarnation was there, as was the present Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche and all the others. The umzé was the same as before, Pema Tashi. Before the drupchen began, he asked Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche to clarify how the drupchen should be done, and Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche said exactly the same as Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö. Then, at the end of the drupchen, the long life ceremony was offered. This is the tradition that has now reached Lerab Ling.

During Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo’s time there was no tradition of doing this drupchen. But in the latter part of Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö’s life, and similarly the latter part of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche’s life, drupchens were performed more often. When the long life ceremony was offered to Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche in Bhutan, he wrote them a letter, which said:

I have practised the special deity of Chimé Phakmé Nyingtik throughout my life and have accumulated many approach and accomplishment practises, but I have never had the opportunity to do a Chimé Phakmé Nyingtik drupchen before. So I would like to thank the Rinpoches who organized this drupchen. According to the prophecies, one of the Khyentse incarnations will have a long life. It’ll probably be me because I am now more than eighty years old.

We are doing the same drupchen practice of Chimé Phakmé Nyingtik. Many people now do this drupchen all over the world.

It is important to clarify this, otherwise if you’re ever asked where the tradition of doing Chimé Phakmé Nyingtik drupchen came from, you’d probably just say that you didn’t know, or, “I think Tulku Orgyen Tobgyal made it up.”

[1] The drupchen manual for the Chimé Phakmé Nyingtik was written by Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro. Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro. “Treasure Trove of Wisdom, the Framework Liturgy for the Great Accomplishment Ritual of the Mind Treasure of the ‘Heart Essence of Deathless Arya Tara’.” Translated by Steve Cline and Sonam Phuntso. Steve Cline, 2008.


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