In Tibetan, the term “Dodrupchen” means a greatly accomplished one from the Do Valley. The term derives from the first Dodrupchen Rinpoche, who was born in the upper Do Valley in the Gyalrong District of eastern Tibet. When the first Dodrupchen Rinpoche visited Master Jigme Lingpa, that master recognized Dodrupchen as being the incarnation of the sacred prince Murub Tsepo that was predicted in the “Guide to Longchen Nying-thik Predictions” and as being the sole possessor and successor to the Longchen Nying-thik teachings. Thus, Master Jigme Lingpa bestowed upon Dodrupchen the complete “Direct Transmission from Buddha” and “Terma (Hidden Treasures)” lineages and authorized him to be the fundamental dharma possessor of Longchen Nying-thik.
The first, second, third, and fourth Dodrupchen Rinpoches not only manifested many incredible feats of supernatural power and wisdom, they also continually transmitted the Longchen Nying-thik dharma method to all holy beings who had the required karmic affinity. They thereby trained many famous people to become greatly accomplished in the dharma.
H.H. the fourth and current Dodrupchen, Thupten Trinle Palzang Rinpoche, was born in 1927 in the Tsi Village of the Ser Valley within the Gyalrong District. Almost every day during the time the rinpoche was in the womb, rainbows appeared in the sky above his village. Almost every night during that time, people could see the dharma protecting deity Rahula over the rinpoche’s roof. Moreover, a fresh flower never before seen in that area blossomed forth upon his roof without having been planted. That was the exact type of flower H.H. the third Dodrupchen Rinpoche liked to plant the most when he was living in seclusion. During the time the rinpoche’s mother was carrying the rinpoche, he would often disappear from her womb. During her pregnancy, a mysterious light always accompanied the rinpoche’s mother such that she was able to find things in the dark without having to use any form of illumination.
Holy events that were much more amazing occurred after the rinpoche was born. A mani stone once fell from a cliff and hit the rinpoche. As a result, many of his bones were broken to pieces. However, all traces of injury miraculously disappeared almost totally a few hours later. Sometimes the young rinpoche could be clearly seen standing on the ground but an instant later was on a roof or cliff. Before monks from the Dodrupchen Monastery came to his house in search of the child who was the incarnation of the Dodrupchen, the young rinpoche told his parents, who at the time did not know such monks were coming, “Today guests will come.” He then began to sing happily. The team of monks who came to investigate placed before the young rinpoche books, Buddhist rosaries, and other objects used by the last Dodrupchen Rinpoche as well as objects of others people, all of which had been mixed together. They had the young rinpoche select from among the displayed objects. The young rinpoche picked out the objects he used in his last life without making one mistake. He then said, “These are mine.” H.H. the fifth Dzogchen Dharma King personally recognized that this child was H.H. the fourth Dodrupchen Rinpoche.
After the completion of his enthronement ceremony at the Dodrupchen Monastery, the four-year-old rinpoche stood up on his dharma throne and smiled as he chanted some verses from the “Vajra Seven Line Supplication” and the “Request to Padmasambhava.” This won the great admiration of all of the people in attendance. From the age of five, the rinpoche began to open directly his own treasury of wisdom accumulated since beginning-less time. Additionally, he gave oral accounts of these dharma teachings.
Moreover, in 2007 the International Buddhism Sangha Association held an unprecedented Drawing Lots From a Golden Vase Ceremony to affirm the true reincarnated identity of H.H. Dodrupchen Dharma King and others. There were ten possible identities recognized by various rinpoches. One lot was drawn from among 120 lots to affirm the true reincarnated identity of H.H. Dodrupchen Dharma King. That drawing affirmed that H.H. Dodrupchen Dharma King is the nirmanakaya of Guru Padmasambhava, which is the reincarnated identity that H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III recognized before that lot was drawn.
After His Holiness grew up, he very seldom manifested supernatural powers except in certain particular circumstances. Although he did not need to cleanse his mind, accumulate good fortune, or engage in any other cultivation of this type, in order to establish a model of true cultivation for living beings, His Holiness sought dharma from many human masters and completed many years of solitary retreat. At the age of fifteen, His Holiness was proficient in painting mandalas, calligraphy, ceramics, architecture, astrology, and many other skills.
Based upon the predictions of the Dakinis in 1957 concerning the circumstances Tibet would face, H.H. Dodrupchen Rinpoche arrived in Sikkim. At first His Holiness did not reveal His status. However, a greatly accomplished person in Sikkim who was the master of the king of Sikkim told the king that the true Padmasambhava had arrived in Sikkim and strongly urged the king to become a disciple of H.H. Dodrupchen Rinpoche. Later, after repeated entreaties by the king of Sikkim, His Holiness assumed the position of National Master of Sikkim. His Holiness also recognized the identity or status of H.E. the seventh Dzogchen Dharma King and conducted the enthronement ceremony for that dharma king.
H.H. Dodrupchen Rinpoche has always had a gentle disposition and has always been a humble, simple person totally devoid of all affectation. At every moment and wherever he is, his compassionate conduct serves as a model to guide living beings. The status of H.H. the fourth Dodrupchen Rinpoche is higher than that of many other great and holy dharma kings. His disciples can be found in each of the major lineages. Numerous disciples of His Holiness are world-renown great masters of their generation, including many famous lineage-holders. Examples include H.E. the seventh Dzogchen Dharma King; Sogyal Rinpoche; H.H. Dharma King Renzeng Nima; H.H. Wish Fulfilling Jewel Dharma King Jigme Phuntsok; H.H. Wish Fulfilling Jewel Dharma King Tuoga; Dakini Dare Lamu (Nianlong Holy Mother); the king of Sikkim; the fifth Dodrupchen, H.E. Tudeng Longyang Renzeng Gyatso Dharma King; and others. H.H. the fourth Dodrupchen Rinpoche is the greatest master and dharma king of the Nyingma sect.
After reading the book A Treasury of True Buddha-Dharma in December of 2006, H.H. Dodrupchen Dharma King marveled at the accomplishments of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III Wan Ko Yeshe Norbu and promptly wrote a congratulatory letter to H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III.