Sunday, February 10, 2013

A brief biography of Venerable Trulku Lhawang Dorji Tamang

A brief biography

Trulku Lhawang Dorji Tamang (Bomzan) is a university graduate, a Buddhist monk, a mystic, yogi, martial artist, singer/rapper and a teacher too. He was given the spiritual name Jigme Pema Rangdol by H.H The Je Khenpo Trulku Jigme Choedra. Born in 1988, on the First Sermon of Lord Buddha to mother Sancha Maya, and father Dawa Dorji Lama in a remote village called Jangsa in the south east region of Bhutan. Lhawang Dorji descends from the lineage of revered Tamang Rinpoche. His ancestors were known as Bomzan Khaiba Rinpoche with a son succeeding his father and keeping the lineage alive.

The Lineage of Tamang Bomzan Rinpoche is one of the oldest in the history of Tamangs. It has a generation of Dungse lamas (Lineage holders) till date. Lhawang Dorji Tamang is the present holder of this lineage.

As a child he exhibited unusual behaviors and extra-ordinary talents. He could recite the mantra of Goddess Tara as a small boy of three years old without anyone teaching him. He also prayed every morning and evening since his childhood. He recollects some moments of his childhood, as an adult now, and says " I was a very naughty boy. No one could discipline me.(laughs...) I fell sick most of the time and i had a constant visitors of lamas, priests and Shaman to treat me from the illness. But it wouldn't be long after i fall sick again. I think it was due to their refusal to let me become a monk. (laughs again)." His parents and relatives refused to let him join monkhood, rather, brought him up at home and sent him to school instead. He said in the National news paper, Kuensel, during his ordination, " I always wanted to become a monk, but i had to fulfill the wishes of my parents by completing my modern education first."

Yonzon Rinpoche, predicted that, one day this child would become a great Buddhist teacher. Yonzon Rinpoche who lived as a free hermit and meditator expired shortly after that. He was acclaimed as a great guru and was a sought after fortune-teller. Many people in the village still praises him for his accurate predictions and astrology.

Schools attended by Lhawang Dorji Tamang:

1. Daifam Primary School....................1996-2002

2. Minjiwoong Lower Secondary School................2003-2004

3. Nganglam Middle Secondary School..............2005-2006

4. Baylling Higher Secondary School.............. 2007-2008 (Science Stream)

5. Sherubtse College, RUB...............................2009-2011 (English and Environmental Science)

In 2012, he graduated with the double degree, and subsequently in the same year, on his very birth day, the first sermon of Lord Buddha, he became an ordained monk at the Buddhist institue, Thubten Choekhorling Shedra. 

He also received numerous prophecies and well wishes from eminent rinpoches from within Bhutan and outside. Some of these Rinpoches include such as H.H Dungse Rinpoche, H.E Buli Trulku Rinpoche, Venerable Mahaguru Gongoi and from some Hindu Priests and Matas too. Today, he maintains as a simple Buddhist monk, and receives all the teachings from  Venerable Khenchen Karma Rangdol Rinpoche, who is also his root guru. He lives an ordinary monk's life.

On 28th of March 2014, Jigmey Pema Rangdol received the highest vows of a fully ordained  monk (Ngyenzog Dompa) from H.H Trulku Jigme Choedra (Je Khenpo of Bhutan). He was given the spiritual name, Jigme Pema Rangdol blending the name of his two root teachers, Je Khenpo himself and Khenchen Karma Rangdol Rinpoche.

Words from Rinpoche:

"I am in no way any special. I am also a ordinary human being with same likes and dislikes, same feelings and a similar human body and parallel shortcomings as any one of us'. I cannot act something which i am not. I cannot act like God or Buddha when i know i have not even a tiny bit of their noble qualities. I would rather live as i am, a simple Buddhist monk". We are humans, it is our gifted tendency to err. So, i try hard every hour of everyday to become selfless, more compassionate and kind. Of course, i fail many times. Again, I pray daily to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas to help me in the process of eradicating all the desire/lust, anger, ignorance, ego and jealousy. My root teacher pointed out: The Buddha is within yourself. Only you can liberate yourself. I can only show you the way as did the Buddha himself.
So, simplicity is very important. Be yourself. No hypocrisy, no pretensions, no faking, because at the end you cannot fake the karma. You may defeat men and enemies, but not the reward of your actions. So, be virtuous in thought, action and speech".
(from the Novel, Way of the Peaceful warrior, final words by Socrates(teacher) to Dan(student)

He prays daily to be of benefit to all the sentient beings. He works tediously everyday and night to acquire the deep wisdom of Buddhism. He hopes to bring light on the faces of many Sentient beings. 

by Lobzang T. Namgay

Other Achievements of Lhawang Dorji Bomzan...

Lhawang Dorji Tamang is multi-talented.  He is also a martial artist. He holds a Black Belt, DAN certificate from the World Taekwondo Headquarter, Korea. He also learned some Karate while at college. He served as Taekwondo Coach at Sherubtse college and had more than hundred students including primary kids, college students and others. He has won some gold medals during his tournaments. He also teaches some aerobic movements to the monks at Kanglung Shedra.

He was also one of the first Bhutanese Rappers. He is featured in the Audio album-Sherubtse Rockers. You can easily find the CD album in the market today, sung with some  of his Band friends of Sherubtse Rockers. He loves Hip-Hop beats.

Rinpoche also loves teaching. He was an active figure during his college days. He organized and co-ordinated the reading club at Kanglung. He taught English and Dzongkha. His aim was to build the reading culture in the children of remote Bhutan and help them explore the wider world. He had more than 150 students every weekend in the campus.

He has taken another role of a teacher to teach English to the monks of Kanglung Buddhist Institute. He takes help of the Volunteer students from Sherubtse College to teach more than 200 monks in different standards.

Story self written (From the personal diary), 1st Feb,2012)

Today, let me write about myself

As a young boy, i always loved to look at the stars and moon on the clear nights. I wondered,"what is there beyond my world and the stars?" The twinkling star, bright crescent moon, the dark clouds that flew by the sky, silhouettes of the mountains, trees and flags- these expressions have always left a lasting imprint in my mind. I could easily recite mantras and prayers very early in my life. I remember, i was elected as the prayer in-charge in my primary school, which was something unexpected out of students like me.

There was another part of me too. I was a very naughty boy, no beatings, no cane sticks (or bamboo sticks in case of my mother), no scolding or counseling could tame me. I lived in my own way. I wished for freedom and privacy. I always felt, i am reborn to do something greater than just this worldly hangups. But, i was born to a poor parents. My usual work in winter vacation was to herd the cattle. It was a lovely time for me to climb the mountains and find one good place to sit quietly and meditate on my breath, beneath some bamboo trees or others which i know not their names.I was then just seven to eight years old.

Soon i grew up, and i had to go away from my home to pursue my education. I spent hours on prayers, and contemplating the meaning of my life every morning and evening. Deep down in my heart, i knew i was reborn to practice dharma and help other beings who are entangled like me in this net of worldly illusions, to overcome the ignorance and realize the pure nature within oneself. 

My longing for caves and mountains and a perfect spiritual teacher kept growing. Now, i feel the time has come for my biggest  and worthy journey. Soon, i must walk the path, walking in the footsteps of the great Guru, the Lord of our time, Buddha Sakya Muni.

(Written during the retreat of 2012, Sherubtse, Final year)

Kudos to Lhawang Dorji Tamang    

Saturday, July 28, 2012,

(Photo Source: Kuensel)
The news article on Kuensel, the national newspaper featured "From academia to monkhood" where a recent Sherubtse graduate, one Mr. Lhawang Dorji Tamang formerly joined the monkhood at Thubten Choekhoring Shedra in Kanglung Zangdo Pelri. When rest of his mates took another step in this worldly life, weary of the job-hunt, he had nothing to worry about.

His decision to join the monkhood was neither due to his inability to graduate nor as a result of some external pressure. He infact graduated with a double degree in bachelors of environmental science and English. I was so moved by his decision and his unperturbed determination to join the monkhood. When the reporter asked why he took all these years, he said he had always wanted to become a monk, but his parents wanted him to complete his studies. “So to fulfill my parents’ wish I completed my studies,” he said. “I’m happy that I’ve fulfilled my parents’ wish as well as mine.” It took him all these years to get to a win-win situation with his parents.

He has remarkably set an unprecedented example in the country by forgoing whatever the world has to offer him and rather opt for a simple life. It is truly an exemplar of determination as he was not an inch persuaded into believing of a fanciful life with the job he would have gotten. I am confident that he will do well as a monk and the knowledge he obtained all these years would benefit his Sangha community. I pray and hope he will be a source of inspiration to all of us, and that, he will continue to work for the wellbeing of all sentient beings.

Great Mani Dungyur Recitation at Bodh Gaya

In the beginning of a new year 2014 Lhawang Dorji Tamang was enthroned at Bodh Gaya under the holy Bodhi Tree by H.E Sangay Lodroe Rinpoche in presence of Many other Khenpos and Lamas along with thousands of devotees from across India, Bhutan and Nepal. He also conducted the Mani Dungdrup at Bodh Gaya along with H.E Sangay Lodroe Rinpoche and other Lamas. This is an anuual program conducted by All India Mahayana Buddhist Manipa Association. Many auspicious signs were seen during the event with the falling of light rain as duetse at the end of the Moenlam. All the people were astonished to see rainfall during such an odd season (winter) in place like Bihar. Thousands of people offered Tashi Khadar and good wishes to Rinpoche during the ceremony. He also translated the teachings delivered by H.E Sangay Lodroe Rinpoche from Nepali to English.
The annual Great Mani Dungyur recitation would be hosted by All India Mahayana Buddhist Association at Bodh Gaya ( the land of enlightenment) under the spiritual guidance of H.E Sangay Lodoe Rinpoche and Venerable Jigmey Pema Rangdol Rinpoche.

Full Ordination (Pratimoksha vow) Ceremony at Trashigang:

Jigmey Pema Rangdol with other monks from different institutes received the highest vow of monk ordination (Pratimoksha vow in full set): Chabdro, Gegyen, Getshul and Ngyenzog from His Holiness the Je Khenpo of Bhutan, Trulku Jigmey Choedra on April 28 2014 at Trashigang during the Annual Great Prayer Ceremony.
Only after receiving this Pratimoksha vows, monk will get the title of a GELONG. Ge-means, virtue (Don't do any unvirtuous act), Long-means, Alms (Don't eat if it is not an alms). So, once this vow is transmitted from master to the student, the student is considered authentic practitioner as he can then easily go on receiving higher teachings and meditations. Pratimoksha vow is like the fertile ground for cultivating dharma. Without the ground seeds cannot grow. If seed cannot grow, there cannot be a fruit. Therefore, a monk without this vow is like building a castle on the air. Without the foundation, nothing will stand straight.

(Also visit for more information on Druk Tamang Rinpoche)