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The Sixth Gangteng Tulku: H.E. Tenpai Nyima

The 6th Gangteng Tulku, Tenpai Nyima was born amidst miraculous and auspicious signs in 1838 to father Tenpai Gyaltsen who was of the 31 st generation in the Nyö lineage and the son of Lama Langkha Rinpoche of Dungkar Chöje. The younger brother of the Tulku, Tashi Palbar later went as the lineage holder of the Bönbi Chöje of Mangde in Trongsa. It is said of Tulku Tenpai Nyima, reincarnation of Ugyen Gelek Namgyal the rescuer of beings in the times of eve-increasing degeneration who took rebirth for the sake of all beings, that:

The cloud of three defilements that veil from beginningless time
Is completely cleared by the rays of the wisdom sun;
Victorious in illuminating the darkness of samsara-nirvana,
Who else could be the incomparable dharma-sun, if not you?

Soon thereafter, Tulku Tenpai Nyima was enthroned as the 6th Gangteng Tulku in an elaborate ceremony. On that occasion the Palden Drukpa Rinpoche Zhabdrung Jigme Norbu offered the following long life prayer:

Samantabhadra, the Lord from beginningless time,
The representative of the treasury of compassion of all Victors,
The lord and protector of samsara-nirvana, Thoedtreng Tsel, and all:
May you bless the life of the glorious root-guru.
The Lord who is the holder of the Nyingma tradition,
The subjugator of untamed beings, the Lord of the hundred Buddha families,
The victorious fluttering banner resounding in all directions,
May your life be stable like the immutable mighty Lord.
The essence of the tradition of the Lotus-Born’s activity,
When enveloped in darkness of degenerate times,
The secret sun of teachings shining forth from you,
May you completely eliminate the darkness of samsara.

Then, later the Tulku traveled to Lhalung in Tibet and received the complete empowerments and transmission of the ripening and liberation teachings from the 7 th Sungtrul Rinpoche, Ngawang Chöki Lodrö .

He returned to Bhutan at a time when the Trongsa Penlop, Chogyel Minjur Tenpa was in the process of gaining control over upper and lower regions of Kurtoe and placing it under the direct administration of the Trongsa Penlop. To facilitate the process, a Dzong was constructed at Leng Leng and named the Lhuendrup Tsei Dzong.

The Tulku became the root-guru of the Lhuentse Dzongpon and stayed in retreat for 5 years at the blessed sacred place of Rinchen Bumpa. Many signs of realization were observed during this time.

At this time, he instituted the Dungkar Tsechu during which the dances such as Peling-Ging-Sum, Peling Tercham and Karma Lingpa’s Tercham Raksha Mangcham were introduced for the first time. The mask for the Raksha Lango was taken from Khochu and kept at Dungkar as the sacred treasure of the Peling. Even today the tradition of the mask dance master being from the descendants of Dungkar Chöje family is observed.

Moreover, the Tulku benefited the people of Kurtoe Dozhi, Shonggar Chadue (present day Mongar) and Kheng Rig Nam Sum regions by taking care and revealing the Peling treasures in these regions, giving blessings, teachings and precious pills and conducting numerous other enlightened activities.

Soon thereafter, having further strengthened the annual tradition of performing Tsechu rituals and mask dances at the Gangteng Gönpa, and also having benefited both the living and the dead in an unstinting manner, the Tulku passed into parinirvana in 1874. As has been offered:

On the divine path, he whose mind is free of mental formulations and
Through the congregated clouds of boundless affection,
Ripens the mind stream of beings instantly,
May you the kind Lord become the precious ornament of the world.