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Gyeltshen Tulku Rinpoche

Kuenzang Tenpai Gyeltshen or popularly known as Gyeltshen Tulku was born to a humble couple near Chorten Kora in Trashi Yangtsi, eastern Bhutan, in the year 1953. When he was about five to six years’ old, both his parents left the world and he had to work as a servant for a few years.Only when he became nine years’ old that he was recognized as the incarnation of Thrulzhi Lam Gyeltshen by His Eminence Lama Sonam Gyeltshen and was installed as the incarnation at the seat of his predecessor.

At his monastery he studied under the tutelage of Ngagtoen Pema Wangchuk who was a disciple of his predecessor. At age twelve, Lama Sonam Zangpo introduced him to His Eminence the First Drukpa Thuksey Rinpoche in Darjeeling where he would study for the next ten years.

During his ten years’ stay in Darjeeling, he had not only received innumerable teachings and blessings from Thuksey Rinpoche but also received indispensable teachings from Khenpo Noryang and Khenpo Ngawang Choeda. He was also blessed with ample teachings from His Holiness the late Dudjom Rinpoche.

At age twenty-three, he returned to Bhutan and received Wang Lung Thri from Lama Sonam Zangpo and a complete set of teachings originating from Drubwang Shakya Shri. When he turned twenty-eight years’ old, he went into strict meditation for six years and mastered the Six Yogas of Naropa. Then, he took refuge in Je Khenpo Kinley of Bhutan as his root guru and received all his teachings and blessings. For the last seventeen years he has been constantly helping the needy and directing those deserving and interested to the path of enlightenment.

In summary, he had achieved the following:

  1. Till now he had received teachings and blessings from about five enlightened spiritual masters lamas and twenty teachers on about 300 volumes of Buddhist teachings
  2. Completed about 130 houses for Buddhist practitioners
  3. He is guiding and training about 100 practitioners in the monasteries and meditation centers around the country
  4. He has established seven meditation centers including one for the nuns
  5. About 100 people have undergone meditation under his guidance and presently about 68 practitioners are undergoing meditations for years ranging from three to nine years
  6. In the seven meditation centers, there are eight mediation masters and eight assistants making a total of sixteen
  7. Among the practitioners thirty-five are nuns

The practitioners are spread around the five Dzongkhags in eastern Bhutan.

Jasharung Nunnery and Meditation Center in Pema Gatshel, Bhutan

Many incarnations of the great Indian Saint Saraha had visited Tibet long time ago. Among them were Drubwang Shakya Shri and the great master Thrulzi Gyeltshen Marpo, who was born in Kurtoe Minje, both were mentioned in a biography called Namthar Metog Threngze. Of the nine extraordinary disciples of this lama was a nun called Yoesel Choeden, who resided in this forest retreat, and she looked after the management of Drubwang Shakya Shri’s spiritual activities. Yoesel Choeden was born in 1921 and was always into meditation until she died in 1982.

After her death there was no one capable of looking after retreat centre, and due to scarcity of drinking water and edibles the retreat center was in pitiful conditions. Then in 1992, the people of the village requested His Eminence Gyaltshen Tulku Rinpoche to manage the retreat center.

Now there are about forty to fifty nuns in the retreat center, among them about fifteen nuns completed their traditional three-year retreat in 2002. In the last fifteen years, under the guidance of His Eminence Gyaltshen Tulku Rinpoche, the retreat center has undergone several infrastructural improvements which have been of immense benefit to those nuns living in the retreat center, for example, access road, a system that provides safe drinking water, electricity and telephone connection works are almost complete. However, funds are still required to paint frescoes on the walls of the temple and commission the making of human-size statues of Buddha Amitabha, Avaloketishvara and Guru Rinpoche.

His Eminence Gyaltshen Tulku Rinpoche and his team are working very hard to ensure the completion of the retreat center, in order to provide the existing nuns and future practitioners with an environment conducive to spiritual practice and enlightenment, for the benefits of all. His Eminence Gyaltshen Tulku Rinpoche can be contacted at:

Chang Geedhephu, Thimphu, Bhutan
Tel: 975 2 332 507

Gewog-Zobel Nunnery, Pemagatshel, Eastern Bhutan
Tel: 975 7 490 700

For more information, please visit Kyabje Gyeltshen Tulku Rinpoche's official website: