Officials at Namdroling Monastery in India, the main monastery-in-exile of Tibetan Buddhism’s Palyul lineage, today issued an announcement that the reincarnation of its 11th throneholder, Drubwang Pema Norbu (“Penor”) Rinpoche, has been identified in Tibet.
According to the announcement, Palyul’s seniormost lama in Tibet, Tulku Thubten Zangpo Rinpoche, found the reincarnation at a sacred location near Tibet’s capital, Lhasa, based on a “prophecy letter” sent by the 100-year-old yogi Jadral Rinpoche, as well as his own “pure visions.” Palyul’s current throneholder, Kyabje Karma Kuchen Rinpoche, has already undertaken the journey to formally greet the new reincarnation. A traditional enthronement ceremony of Penor Rinpoche’s yangsi (reincarnation), investing him as Palyul’s 13th Throneholder, will take place at Palyul Monastery in China’s Sichuan Province on July 31, 2014, the holy day marking the time of the Buddha’s first teaching after his enlightenment. The young reincarnation’s name was not mentioned in the announcement.
Drubwang Penor Rinpoche was born in eastern Tibet in 1932 and recognized at age four as the reincarnation of the previous Penor Rinpoche. Studying and putting into practice all aspects of the sutra and tantra, Penor Rinpoche became the 11th throneholder of Palyul, one of six “mother monasteries” in Tibet’s oldest Buddhist tradition, known as the Nyingma. He was responsible for more than 400 branch monasteries in Tibet before fleeing the Communist Chinese invasion in 1959. After his small party reached India with great hardship, Penor Rinpoche was offered land in the Tibetan refugee settlement of Bylakuppe, in south India. There he established Namdroling Monastery in 1963 with only a handful of monks. Since that time, Namdroling has grown significantly: it now provides Buddhist education to more than 5,000 monks and nuns, including instruction at the largest Nyingma institute for Buddhist philosophical studies outside Tibet. Beginning in the 1980s, Penor Rinpoche began traveling extensively and founded dozens of dharma centers across Asia and North America. For a time in the 1990s, he also served as Supreme Head of the Nyingma School. Penor Rinpoche passed away at Namdroling in India on March 27, 2009, remaining in the meditation known as thukdam for eight days.