The terma dharma of the Nyingma sect is divided into the Changter (Byangter) (Northern Treasure) lineage and the Suodie (Southern Treasure) lineage. Within the six main monasteries of the Nyingma sect, the Mindrolling and Palyul monasteries are mainly of the Southern Treasure lineage, while the Dorje Drak (Vajra Rock) Monastery is of the Northern Treasure lineage. H.H. Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche is the Dharma King of the Dorje Drak Monastery. 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.
The Northern Treasure that the Dorje Drak Monastery mainly perpetuates refers to the higher terma left behind by Guru Padmasambhava. Those hidden dharma treasures were discovered in 1366 by the greatly accomplished Rigdzin Godem, who was one of the three wonderful nirmanakayas of Guru Padmasambhava. Rigdzin Godem became the first holder of the Northern Treasure dharma lineage. In 1599, Aji Wangbo, who was the third incarnation of Rigdzin Godem, moved what was then a very small tent-monastery to where the Dorje Drak Monastery is presently located and formally named it the Dorje Drak Monastery. H.H. the fifth Dalai Lama received from Aji Wangbo the complete dharma teachings of the Northern Treasure lineage and highly praised that lineage as being the most reliable terma teachings. The first Tangtong Gyalpo attained liberation through his focused practice of the dharma of the Northern Treasure lineage.
H.H. Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche was born in central Tibet in 1926. In a former life, he was E Qugu Dorje, who was a rather famous disciple of Master Marpa. At the age of five, the ninth Dodrak Rigdzin, Choswang Nyamnid Dorje, recognized the rinpoche as a reincarnated tulku, and he was ordained as a monk at the Taklung Tse Monstery. At the age of eight, the rinpoche was formally enthroned at the Thubten Dorje Drak Monastery, which is the mother monastery of the Taklung Tse Monastery. He later learned under many masters of great virtue and received the complete terma, oral, and mind-instruction lineages. After serving as khenpo of the Dorje Drak Monastery for several years, he returned to the Taklung Tse Monastery.
H.H. Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche later received the complete oral transmissions of the Kagyu sect from H.H. the sixteenth Great Jewel Dharma King. He also received the lineage teachings of Mipham Rinpoche and Longchenpa from H.H. Dharma King Dudjom and H.H. Dharma King Dilgo Khyentse and others. Additionally, the rinpoche transmitted dharma to H.H. Dharma King Dilgo Khyentse. The rinpoche and H.H. Dharma King Dilgo Khyentse were both master and student to each other. H.H. Dharma King Dilgo Khyentse said that the unusual signs on the palms of H.H. Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche are the best proof that he is a terma holder and indicate that he has attained Buddhahood.
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. At the request of H.H. Dharma King Dilgo Khyentse, H.H. Dharma King Penor, H.H. Dharma King Mindrolling Trichen, H.E. Dharma King Drikung Chetsang, and others, H.H. Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche went to major monasteries in India, Sikkim, Bhutan, and Nepal to perform initiations and dharma transmissions. The rinpoche has also traveled around Asia, Europe, and America propagating the dharma.
H.H. Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche, who is the dharma king of the Northern Treasure lineage within the Nyingma sect, together with H.H. Dalai Lama