Within Tibetan Buddhism, the Jonang sect has been known around the world for the true practice of its followers. There currently are two dharma kings who are in charge of the dharma teachings of the Jonang sect. One of them is the head of the Zangwa Monastery, H.H. Dharma King Jigme Dorje. The other is H.H. Dharma King Ngagwang Pedma Namgyal Palzangpo of the Longshijia Monastery. There is also a young future sect leader, Jianyang Lezhu Rinpoche, who is vice-head of the Zangwa Monastery.
When Sakyamuni Buddha lived in the world, H.H. Dharma King Jigme Dorje Rinpoche was already a great Bodhisattva in that lifetime. H.H. Dharma King Jigme Dorje was born in 1944 accompanied by various amazing auspicious signs that cannot be fully described. As a child, he never did anything to upset his parents, such as crying or acting in a common, childish way. He was very much different from other children. The masters of a monastery, as well as the monastics and laypersons in that monastery who handled monastery matters, all praised the child as being the incarnation of a wonderful Bodhisattva who had come back to this world voluntarily. Later, he went to the headquarters of the Jonang sect, the Zangwa Monastery in Rangtang, where he worshipped the Buddhas. His uncle, the Sai rinpoche by the name of Awang Genga Phuntsok who lived at the Zangwa Monastery, saw that this child was the incarnation of a holy being. In accordance with the dharma, Awang Genga Phuntsok Rinpoche recognized that the child was the true reincarnation of a rinpoche who had been the head of the Zangwa Monastery. In accordance with the dharma rules, Lama Danba Daji from Xiayan, Lama Aguoba from Hongtu, and others practiced the dharma, enter holy supernatural states, and confirmed the accuracy of Awang Genga Phuntsok Rinpoche’s conclusion. They then made their formal pronouncements concerning the identity of H.H. Jigme Dorje. Moreover, the International Buddhism Sangha Association held an unprecedented Drawing Lots From a Golden Vase Ceremony to affirm the true reincarnated identity of H.H. Dharma King Jigme Dorje and others. There were ten possible identities recognized by various rinpoches. One lot was drawn from among 120 lots to affirm the true reincarnated identity of H.H. Dharma King Jigme Dorje. That drawing affirmed that H.H. Dharma King Jigme Dorje is the incarnation of Shambhala King Suchandra, which is the reincarnated identity that H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III recognized before that lot was drawn.
After the formal enthronement ceremony for H.H. Jigme Dorje Rinpoche was performed at Saige Monastery in Aba County and the celebration of the enthronement ceremony was performed at Zhuoge Monastery, the rinpoche returned to Zangwa Monastery. The intelligence of the rinpoche is extraordinary. He was able to thoroughly learn and recite the scriptures, treatises, and rituals without having to exert himself. He later served as a disciple under his root master, Awang Gongqiu Daji, who was the Vajra Master of the Zangwa Dazang Monastery and the 44th Kalachakra Dharma King of the Jonang sect. Under H.H. Awang Gongqiu Daji, the rinpoche learned and practiced the five preliminary practices of the Jonang sect and the generation and completion stages of the Kalachakra Vajra--the Six Yogas. He reached perfect merit in every dharma he practiced.
When the rinpoche was eight years old, he succeeded to the throne of the head of the Zangwa Monastery. However, at this time, his uncle, the Sai rinpoche, and H.H. Dharma King Awang Gongqiu Daji predicted to H.H. Jigme Dorje Rinpoche that changes in the world situation would occur that would be disadvantageous to Buddhism. They told the rinoche to go back to Aba County and that in the future, when the world situation stabilizes, he should return to the Zangwa Monastery and teach the dharma. Afterward, the Sai rinpoche passed away and later H.H. Dharma King Awang Gongqiu Daji passed away as well. H.H. Jigme Dorje Rinpoche then went to Aba County, where he requested and received the complete precepts from Lama Tujihua of Sai. He later served as a disciple under another root master, Lama Kesang, who is the nirmanakaya of the Eleven-Faced Kuan Yin Bodhisattva. Under Lama Kesang, the rinpoche learned all of the initiation and lineage teachings. During this time period, he both herded goats and cultivated himself in caves, tree holes, and other places while traveling from mountain to mountain. He realized the state of viewing all phenomena as equal and the state where the mind is not affected by the situation one encounters. Thus, he became a free and unhindered person of great accomplishment in the dharma. He then lived in a cave, where he continued his practice of the dharma.
After the restraints on religion were slightly eased, the supreme leader of the Jonang sect, H.H. Dharma King Yundan Sangbu of the Zangwa Monastery in Rangtang, twice dispatched people to the cave at the Zilang Monastery in Aba County (that was the cave in which Maji Lazun practiced the Xiduan Dharma) where the rinpoche was staying. H.H. Dharma King Yundan Sangbu did so based upon the formal pronouncements of certain great masters of the past. When those dispatched arrived, they invited H.H. Jigme Dorje Rinpoche to go to the Zangwa Monastery and lead the teaching of the Buddha-dharma. There was a third visit when H.H. Dharma King Yundan Sangbu himself went to that cave at the Zilang Monastery, bringing with him a kharda (white silk scarf). When the two venerable ones met, they praised each other. H.H. Dharma King Yundan Sangbu repeatedly urged H.H. Jigme Dorje Rinpoche to follow the formal pronouncements of the those great masters of the past by going to the Zangwa Dazang Monastery, by leading the teaching of the Buddha-dharma of the Jonang sect at that monastery, and by being the monastery’s retreat lineage Vajra Master. H.H. Jigme Dorje Rinpoche then gave his response to the formal pronouncements of those three masters of the past (H.H. Dharma King Gongqiu Daji, the Sai rinpoche, and Lama Kesang) that he must go to the Zangwa Monastery in Rangtang. He respectfully said to H.H. Dharma King Yundan Sangbu, “Your merit and cultivation are like those of my father. You are my master. I will carry out your instructions well!”
After H.H. Jigme Dorje Rinpoche returned to the Zangwa Monastery at Rangtang, he helped H.H. Dharma King Yundan Sangbu restore the monastery and build Buddhist statues. The rinpoche performed initiations and dharma transmissions at regular intervals and guided those on retreat. He perpetuated the dharma teachings of the Jonang sect in this human world and propagated such teachings around the world.
In accordance with the rules handed down by the historical masters, H.H. Dharma King Yundan Sangbu personally handed over to H.H. Jigme Dorje Rinpoche in 1998 certain precious objects passed down through the generations by past masters, such as a vajra bell, a vajra, and the writing called “Guiding Text--You Will Know Its Meaning When You See It.” He also formally conferred upon H.H. Jigme Dorje Rinpoche the positions of 47th dharma throne holder of the Jonang Kalachakra lineage and 11th Vajra Master of the Zangwa Dazang Monastery.
After H.H. Dharma King Yundan Sangbu passed away, H.H. Dharma King Jigme Dorje became the supreme leader of the Jonang sect.
After H.H. Dharma King Jigme Dorje saw who His Holiness Dorje Chang Buddha III Wan Ko Yeshe Norbu is through the limitless omniscience displayed in A Treasury of True Buddha-Dharma, he stated that His Holiness Wan Ko Yeshe Norbu has reached the highest state of Buddhahood in the few-thousand-year history of Buddhism, having truly attained complete proficiency in exoteric and esoteric Buddhism and perfect mastery of the Five Vidyas.