Category 1 of this book contains brief introductions to dharma kings and rinpoches in todays world who are incarnations of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. The following are concise introductions to twenty two Buddhas and Bodhisattvas who are outstanding persons of great holiness and virtue.
1. H.H. Great Vehicle Dharma King Sakya Trizin is a tremendously holy being within Buddhism today. He is also the supreme leader of the Sakya order for the entire world. Because he is a nirmanakaya of Manjushri Bodhisattva, he long ago attained Buddhahood. Seven of his disciples have already become Buddhas. In that his position and wisdom are the highest in all of the five main sects of Tibetan Buddhism, he is worthy of the name Zunsheng (Honored and Victorious) Tathagata. When he was five years old, he received the Lamdre (Path and Result) Mind Essence teachings and completed the Long Life Buddha retreat. At the age of seven, he passed the examination on the Hevajra Root Tantra. He successfully completed the Hevajra retreat at the age of eight.
2. H.H. Dodrupchen Dharma King, who now lives in Sikkim, is the nirmanakaya of Guru Padmasambhava. He is the sole holder of the Longchen Nying-thik, which is the highest Great Perfection Rainbow Body Dharma in all of Tibetan esoteric Buddhism. It can be said that without the succession of the Dodrupchen Dharma Kings, there would be no Longchen Nying-thik Great Perfection. All of the Longchen Nying-thik Rainbow Body Dharma comes from the Dodrupchen dharma lineage. The Great Perfection Longchen Nying-thik Dharma of the Dzogchen Monastery, Kathok Monastery, and various other major monasteries originated from the teachings of the holy Dodrupchen Dharma Kings. The current Dodrupchen Dharma King H.H. Thupten Trinle Palzang Rinpoche is the holiest great dharma king in the Nyingma sect.
3. H.H. Dharma King Penor is the nirmanakaya of Vajrapani Bodhisattva. His is not only the lineage holder in the Nyingma sects Palyul Monastery, he is also the supreme dharma king of the Nyingma sect. The dharma king is completely proficient in the sutra teachings and possesses realization that entails wisdom and supernatural powers. His propagation of the dharma has extended all over Asia, Europe, and America. Many dharma kings say that Dharma King Penor is a Buddha in human form.
4. H.H. Dharma King Omniscience Lama Achuk Jamyang Lungdok Gyaltsen is a famous person of great holiness and virtue within exoteric and esoteric Buddhism. He is the incarnation of Venerable Longsal Nyingpo. In this lifetime and in this world, he manifests great supernatural powers and transforms into limitless different bodies. Holy beings of virtue have seen that wherever there are living beings, there are the nirmanakayas of H.H. Dharma King Omniscience Achuk. He ceaselessly and pervasively liberates living beings. He is a great Bodhisattva of all of the major schools, including the esoteric, Pure Land, and other exoteric schools. He is now the foremost person of great holiness and virtue in Tibet.
5. H.H. Dharma King Jigme Dorje is the supreme leader of the Jonang sect. When Sakyamuni Buddha lived in the world, H.H. Dharma King Jigme Dorje was already a great Bodhisattva in that lifetime. In this lifetime, he is the only one in all five main sects of Tibetan Buddhism who holds the Kalachakra tantra in its complete form. The Dharma King has been recognized as the incarnation of Shambhala King Suchandra. He served as a disciple under his root master, Awang Gongqiu Daji, who was the forty-fourth Kalachakra Vajra Dharma King of the Jonang sect. Under that root master, he practiced dharma of the Jonang lineage and attained perfection in his practice of the Kalachakra Vajra Tantra. In 2003, H.H. Dharma King Jigme Dorje succeeded H.H. Dharma King Yundan Sangbu, formally assuming the position of supreme leader of the Jonang sect in the entire world.
6. H.H. Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche is the highest dharma king of the North Treasure lineage within the Nyingma Sect. H.H. Dharma King Taklung Tsetrul, H.H. Dharma King Dodrupchen, H.H. Dharma King Penor, and H.H. Trulshik Rinpoche have been universally recognized as dharma kings who hold the complete teachings of the Nyingma monastic tradition. H.H. Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche is universally recognized as one of the four great rinpoches of the present-day Nyingma sect. Dharma kings and masters of all of the main sects highly praise his learning, cultivation, and realization.
7. H.H. Trulshik Rinpoche is held by all of the various major sects of Tibetan Buddhism as one of the most respected persons of great accomplishment. He is world-renowned for upholding all of the Hinayana, Mahayana, and Vajrayana precepts and for his supernatural powers. H.H. Trulshik Rinpoche is the main master of H.H. the Dalai Lama and transmitted many dharmas to H.H. the sixteenth Karmapa. Additionally, he is the root master of several Tibetan Buddhist dharma kings and lineage holders. The present incarnations of H.H. Dharma King Dilgo Khyentse, H.H. Dharma King Dudjom, and H.E. Tulku Ugyen Rinpoche are also his disciples.
8. H.H. Dharma King Jigdal Dagchen Sakya is universally recognized as the second highest leader of the Sakya order. Starting from childhood, the dharma king received a strict education from his father, who at that time was the Sakya Trichen Dharma King, as well as from H.H. Dzongsar Khyentse Jamyang Chokyi Lodro, H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rabsal Dawa, and other persons of great virtue. Additionally, the dharma king received the Vajrakilaya and Hevajra initiations and the complete Lamdre Tsogshe (Path and Result), which are the main teachings of the Sakya order. He has engaged in many retreats in the course of his practice. He also was the supreme leader of the Sakya order for a three-year period. H.H. Dharma King Jigdal Dagchen Sakya was one of the first masters to propagate the Buddha-dharma in the West.
9. H.E. Dharma King Chogye Trichen was the dharma king of the Tsharpa branch of the Sakya order. He was the eldest and most senior person within the Sakya lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. He was a great lama who perfectly observed the three types of precepts. He was also a famous tantric master. This elder dharma king was called master of the masters because most of the lineage holders in Tibetan Buddhism were his disciples, such as H.H. the Dalai Lama, H.H. Dharma King Sakya Trizin, H.H. Dharma King Dudjom of the Nyingma sect, H.E. the Shamarpa of the Kagyu sect, and the king of Nepal, Birendra. H.H. Dharma King Sakya Trizin said, His Eminence Chogye Trichen Rinpoche is one who has attained all three wisdoms--from the study of the Scriptures, from contemplation of the dharma, and from meditation. One should consider oneself fortunate just to meet him, which is in itself a great blessing. H.E. Chogye Trichen Rinpoche passed away in January of 2007. He has now been succeeded by Ven. Shabdrung Rinpoche.
10. The Red Jewel Crown Dharma King of the Karma Kagyu sect, H.E. Shamarpa, is the other nirmanakaya of the Karmpapa. Right before the second Karmapa Great Jewel Dharma King passed away, he predicted that he would in the future have two nirmanakayas---the Karmapa and the Shamarpa--who would generation after generation incarnate and teach each other as master and disciple. When the Karmapa is not there, H.E. Shamarpa acts as his first regent, assuming the official powers held by H.H. Karmapa Great Jewel Dharma King. The present-day H.H. Ogyen Trinley Dorje Great Jewel Dharma King and H.H. Trinlay Thaye Dorje Great Jewel Dharma King both respect H.E. Shamarpa as their teacher, prostrate before him, and request dharma from him.
11. The Orange Jewel Crown Dharma King of the Karma Kagyu sect, H.E. Goshir Gyaltsab Rinpoche, is the incarnation of Patriarch Gampopa. Because the realization of the first Goshir Gyaltsab Rinpoche was so high, Emperor Jingzong of Chinas Ming Dynasty conferred upon him the title of National Master. From that time on, H.E. Goshir Gyaltsab Rinpoche became the only person within the Karma Kagyu sect who has been both a regent for H.H. the Karmapa Great Jewel Dharma King and a National Master. The current H.H. Ogyen Trinley Dorje Karmapa Great Jewel Dharma King learns dharma mainly from H.E. Goshir Gyaltsab Rinpoche, who has taught the Karmapa as much as sixty different sutras.
12. H.E. Xiazhu Qiuyang Rinpoche (aka Choying Rinpoche) is the incarnation of Patriarch Naropa, the venerable leader of 100,000 dakinis. He did not speak one word for twenty straight years because his mind was solely focused on the dharma. Such was his diligent and uninterrupted practice of the dharma. He has attained wondrous realization in the Dakini Dharma, the Great Perfection Dharma, the Kalachakra Vajra Dharma, and other dharmas. Because he is humble, amiable, and has vast supernatural powers that he exercises freely and without attachment, people respectfully call him the unhindered rinpoche.
13. H.E. Tangtong Gyalpo Rinpoche is a very famous holy ones with great virtue within Tibetan esoteric Buddhism. He is a Bodhisattva of great compassion who has truly brought good fortune and wisdom to the living beings of Tibet and has helped them avoid disasters. Tangtong Gyalpo Bodhisattva is one of the great Bodhisattvas worshipped in Tibetan temples. There are even many families who worship a statue of Tangtong Gyalpo Bodhisattva in their homes. Disciples of the fifteenth Tangtong Gyalpo Rinpoche included H.H. Dharma King Dzongsar Khyentse; Bokar Rinpoche, a master to H.H. the Karmapa Great Jewel Dharma King; H.E. Kalu Rinpoche; and H.E. Tetan Rinpoche.
14. H.E. Renzeng Nima Rinpoche is recognized as a great dharma king throughout Tibet. He is able to ride the wind and fly through the air, transform the physical environment, and easily find hidden dharma treasures. He is the nirmanakaya of King Gesar. Many famous rinpoches are his disciples, such as the famous Nian Long Rinpoche and dakini Dari Lamao. This elderly man is extremely amazing. He has been in solitary retreat in a mountain valley for more than twenty years and has vowed not to leave that mountain valley for the rest of his life. He provides to living beings a model of self-cultivation.
15. H.E. Dharma King Ngagwang Pedma Namgyal Palzangpo is one of the three greatly virtuous ones within the Jonang sect. He is a very mysterious person known by all throughout Tibet. He has vast supernatural abilities, tremendous dharma powers, and is conversant in the entire Tripitaka. Long ago when Sakyamuni Buddha lived in this world, the dharma king attained the fourth fruit known as Arhatship. Many of his present-day disciples have realized the fruit of Arhatship and at least the first Bodhisattva stage.
16. H.E. the ninth Mindrolling Khenchen Rinpoche was recognized by H.H. the Dalai Lama, H.H. the 16th Great Jewel Dharma King, and Latuo Rinpoche as being the incarnation of the eighth Khenchen Rinpoche. Since childhood he received teachings from H.H. Dharma King Mindrolling Trichen, H.H. Dharma King Dilgo Khyentse, H.H. Dharma King Penor, H.H. Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche, H.H. Trulshik Rinpoche, and others. Upon the invitation of H.H. the Dalai Lama, in 1985 H.E. Mindrolling Khenchen Rinpoche received together with H.H. the Dalai Lama teachings from H.H. Dharma King Dilgo Khyentse. They received the entire Secret Mind Dharma, which is unique to the Nyingma sect. At the request of many Nyingma monasteries, H.E. Khenchen Rinpoche has been the vice-president of the yearly Nyingmapa Molem Chenmo Ceremony for World Peace since 1994. His position within the Nyingma sect is very high.
17. H.E. Jetsun Khandro Rinpoche is the incarnation of Buddhist Holy Mother Yeshe Tsogyal, the consort of Guru Padmasambhava. Being the incarnation of an ancient, virtuous dakini, H.E. Jetsun Khandro Rinpoche is a person of extremely high realization and accomplishment. She is proficient in the Buddha-dharma of the Nyingma and Kagyu sects. In this lifetime, her main focus is propagating the dharma and benefiting living beings in the west.
18. H.E. Dzogchen Ganor Rinpoche is the sixteenth incarnation of the great terton Ratag Pelsang (Karma Lekshe Drayang). The first Ratag Pelsang received special blessings from Guru Padmasambhava, Pandita Penchen Bima Mita and other persons of great virtue. H.E. Dzogchen Ganor Rinpoche possesses supernatural powers. He is able to control his own mind and can directly observe the Three Times. He has manifested his realization by leaving footprints on boulders, tying swords and needles into knots, and causing nectar to flow from food at food offering dharma assemblies. The rinpoche has uncovered many hidden dharma treasures. He is able to communicate with holy deities and other non-humans and has the ability to subdue demons.
19. H.E. Urgyen Xirao Woxiu is one of the eight great tertons (terma master) about whom Guru Padmasambhava made formal pronouncements. He is a man of great holiness in present-day Tibetan esoteric Buddhism who has considerable supernatural powers. He often roams about freely, arriving without casting a shadow and departing without leaving a trace. He is the incarnation of Urgyen Lingpa, a famous and great terton. H.H. Dharma King Jigme Phuntsok and many other dharma kings sought assistance from H.E. Urgyen Xirao Woxiu when they encountered adverse circumstances. The position and realization of H.E. Urgyen Xirao Woxiu are incredibly high.
20. H.E. Dorje Rinzin Rinpoche is a dharma king of great enlightenment. He is the incarnation of the famous terma master, Rigzin Terdak Lingpa Unchanging Vajra, who was the founder of the Mindrolling lineage. He has been in solitary retreat for thirty years in a wooden retreat room at the Gemang Vajra Temple. His compliance with the precepts is impeccable. He stays in retreat all year round. The rinpoche is the holder of the Great Perfection Complete Essence Dharma. Many dharma kings of great holiness have received initiations from him and learned dharma under him, such as H.E. 7th Dzogchen Dharma King Tenzin Longdock Nyima.
21. Venerable Elder Monk Wu Ming is a spiritual leader of exoteric Buddhism. He currently is the honorary chairman of the World Buddhist Sangha Council. Elder monk Wu Ming has been a monk for 83 years. Throughout his entire life he has strictly observed the precepts and cultivated himself in a practical and thorough manner. His fundamental practice is the Kuan Yin Dharma, which he has penetrated deeply. He has edified countless people and is praised as the nirmanakaya of Kuan Yin Bodhisattva in Taiwan.
22. Venerable Elder Monk Yi Zhao is the successor to Dharma Master Xu Yun. He is truly a person of holy virtue within present-day Zen Buddhism. Having realized the supreme fruit of enlightenment, the elder monk long ago extirpated all roots leading to his further reincarnation. In order to save living beings in the six realms of reincarnation from suffering, the elder monk emulated Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva by making the following vow: As long as there is any living being in the earthly realm, I vow not to become a Buddha. He has been praised as being the nirmanakaya of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva.