9th Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche

He was the older brother of H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and one of Lama Chime Rinpoche main teachers where the young Lama Chime Rinpoche was his attendant for many years. The Karmapa had had a vision of the protective deity Palden Lhamo, in which he saw a vajra appearing in her mirror and heard the name Sangye Nyenpa and his family’s name “Dilgo” spoken.

Also, before his birth a resident lama on the Dilgo estate dreamed repeatedly of a famous pair of cymbals kept in Benchen monastery being played in the house. This was felt to mean that the incarnation of Sangye Nyenpa would be born there. The Karmapa gave him the name Karma Geleg Drubpe Nyima Thrinle Ozer Kunkhyab Palzangpo.

Two other great Karma Kagyu masters who were to become two of Sangye Nyenpa’s most important root teachers, were the 11th Tai Situpa Pema Wangchog Gyalpo. His outlook and practice having been completely non-sectarian, he also received and transmitted teachings from the Sakyapa and Gelugpa schools. Practicing many solitary retreats in which he trained in all the major transmissions he had received, he experienced many visionary encounters with masters of the past and received instructions and prophecies from them, as well as from yidam deities and dakinis.

In 1959 he fled Eastern Tibet, first to Central Tibet, where he spent time at Tsurphu monastery with the 16th Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje (rang byung rig pa’i rdo rje, 1924-1981), and then on to Sikkim, where he spent his remaining years in the Karmapa’s Rumtek monastery. He passed away on “Lhabab Düchen”, the 22nd day of the 9th month of the Tibetan Water-Tiger year, 1962.