The Third Dzogchen Rinpoche Ngedon Tenzin Zangbo
Translated from Tibetan
Born in Kham in 1759, Ngedon Tenzin Zangbo clearly remembered his previous lives and as soon as he could talk explained that he was a tulku from Dzogchen Monastery named Pema. He correctly recognised the prayer beads, dorje and ritual bell that were used by his predecessor Gyurme Thekchok Tenzin. When Ngedon Tenzin Zangbo was four years old the Dharma king of Dege was chief amongst those who invited him to take his place on the golden throne of Dzogchen. From the age of seven he began the study of reading and writing, and he took the vows of a novice monk from the second incarnation of Nyima Trakpa Tenpe Gyaltsen, receiving the ordination name Ngedon Tenzin Zangbo.
He studied under many masters, foremost of which were Gatok Drimit Hinjong and Barla Tashi Gyamtso, receiving from them all the major empowerments, lineage transmissions and teachings of the Nyingma school. Most importantly his previous incarnation's main disciple, Master Pema Kontul, gave him the complete transmission of Dzogpa Chenpo. When he was twenty years old he travelled to Lhasa to meet His Holiness Eighth Dalai Lama Jambal Gyatso, and was honoured with the title Hutuktu Tolo or Highest of Lamas. Minling Khen Rinpoche also ordained him as a Gelong or fully ordained monk.
At around that time All Knowing Jigme Lingpa prophesised the building of a retreat centre in the upper valley of Dzogchen, and this prophesy was fulfilled by Ngedon Tenzin Zangbo. A total of thirteen practitioners subsequently attained enlightenment through the rainbow body there. As a treasure revealer and author Ngedon Tenzin Zangpo produced thirteen scriptural volumes and, relying on his guidance, many disciples including Jigme Trinle Ozel, Jigme Gyalwe Nyugu and Sengtruk Pema Tashi, mastered the view of Dzogpa Chenpo. Not only that, he constructed many new temples and founded the annual ceremony and celebration at New Year that is still held in Dzogchen. He passed beyond sorrow at the age of thirty-four, his activities of building, teaching and practice having greatly expanded the monastery.
Read the biography of the Forth Dzogchen Rinpoche