His Eminence Goshir Gyaltsab Rinpoche, also known as Gyaltsabpa, is an extremely important rinpoche within the Kagyu lineage. The “Gyalt” in his name refers to H.H. the Great Jewel Dharma King Karmapa. The “sab” refers to an agent or regent. Thus, H.E. Gyaltsab Rinpoche is the only agent and one of the regents for H.H. the Karmapa Great Jewel Dharma King. The rinpoche has come back to this world voluntarily. After his identity was recognized, there was a formal ceremony held to recognize his status. H.E. Gyaltsab Rinpoche also had a ceremony conducted in which he was installed as one of the regents for H.H. the Karmapa Great Jewel Dharma King. Throughout generations, when H.H. the Karmapa was absent, H.E. Gyaltsab Rinpoche served as his agent and took charge of administrative and dharma matters. In that capacity, he protected the dharma teachings. This is the way it has been starting from past lifetimes all the way up to the current H.E. 12th Goshir Gyaltsab Rinpoche. After H.H. the 16th Karmapa passed away, because the 17th Karmapa is currently still unable to return to Rumtek Monastery, H.E. the 12th Gyaltsab Rinpoche took up residence at Rumtek and has been fully in charge of its dharma matters.
H.E. Goshir Gyaltsab Rinpoche is the incarnation of Patriarch Gampopa. In 2007 the International Buddhism Sangha Association held an unprecedented Drawing Lots From a Golden Vase Ceremony to affirm the true reincarnated identity of H.E. Gyaltsab Rinpoche 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.E. Gyaltsab Rinpoche. That drawing affirmed that H.E. Gyaltsab Rinpoche is the incarnation of Patriarch Gampopa, which is the reincarnated identity that H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III recognized before that lot was drawn. During the time of Guru Padmasambhava, the rinpoche incarnated as Palju Wangchuk, one of the twenty-five great disciples of Guru Padmasambhava. After Palju Wangchuk passed away, his entire body merged with space, and he entered the pure land of the dakinis.
H.E. the 1st Goshir Gyaltsab Rinpoche received integral dharma teachings from H.H. the 6th Karmapa and practiced all of them to perfection. After H.H. the 6th Karmapa passed away, it was H.E. Goshir Gyaltsab Rinpoche who found the 7th Karmapa, H.H. Chodrag Gyatso. The rinpoche also performed an enthronement ceremony for H.H. the 7th Karmapa and gave him the precepts. Guru Padmasambhava once appeared before H.H. the 7th Karmapa and said to that dharma king the following words about H.E. Goshir Gyaltsab Rinpoche: “He possesses the compassion to carry on the activities of the Buddhas. You should confer upon him a jeweled crown to indicate his position.” H.H. the Great Jewel Dharma King complied with the edict of Guru Padmasambhava. He made a jeweled crown in accordance with the secret tantra called Lama Gongba Duba Mandala Text, empowered that crown with merit accumulated from the physical actions of Amitabha Buddha, and put that crown on the head of H.E. the 2nd Goshir Gyaltsab Rinpoche, Tashi Namgyal. Seeing that H.E. Goshir Gyaltsab Rinpoche had the highest state of realization among all the eminent monks in the entire country, Emperor Jingzong of China’s Ming Dynasty conferred upon H.E. the 1st Goshir Gyaltsab Rinpoche the title of “National Master.” From that time on, H.E. Goshir Gyaltsab Rinpoche became the only person within the Karma Kagyu sect who was both a regent and National Master. The Karmapa Great Jewel Dharma Kings recognized the identity of all of the later incarnations of H.E. Goshir Gyaltsab Rinpoche, who assisted the Karmapas in handling both administrative and dharma matters.
Before H.E. 12th Goshir Gyaltsab Rinpoche was born, H.H. 16th Karmapa made the following prediction: “With respect to the dharma lineage of Goshir Gyaltsab, a holy child will be born into a blessed family amid various wonderful and auspicious signs in the year of the wooden horse. His father’s name will be Louzuo, and his mother’s name will be Zuoma. He will live in the western plateau at a place whose distance from the Tsupu Temple takes two days to traverse by way of a swift, galloping horse.?Later, on the 11th day of the 7th month of the Tibetan calendar in the year 1954, H.E. the 12th Goshir Gyaltsab Rinpoche was born amid various auspicious signs, and his identity was recognized. At the age of four, H.H. the 16th Karmapa Great Jewel Dharma King personally tonsured the rinpoche. Additionally, when the rinpoche was installed on the National Master’s Lion’s Throne at the great Tsupu Zhuojia Temple, H.H. the 16th Karmapa Great Jewel Dharma King performed a grand enthronement ceremony for the rinpoche in which he crowned the rinpoche with an orange jeweled crown. The honorable H.E. 12th Goshir Gyaltsab Rinpoche is currently giving teachings to one of the 17th Karmapa Great Jewel Dharma Kings on initiations, practice of the dharma, and other aspects. He is the only regent dharma king for H.H. the Great Jewel Dharma King who is a National Master.
H.E. Gyaltsab Rinpoche is not only a master of H.H. the seventeenth Karmapa Urgyen Trinley Dorje, he is also the incarnation of Patriarch Gampopa, who was the root master of the first Karmapa, Dusum Khyenpa. The present Karmapa H.H. Urgyen Trinley Dorje learned several dozen sutras and other Buddha-dharma from H.E. Gyaltsab Rinpoche. Thus, from any perspective, it cannot be said that the Karmapa is higher than H.E. Gyaltsab Rinpoche, who is the incarnation of Gampopa, or higher than H.E. Tai Situ Rinpoche, who is the incarnation of Master Marpa. From the perspective of worldly generational seniority, they should be regarded as equal. From the perspective of knowledge and realization, they should be regarded as having been masters and disciples of one another. Thus, we think that the honorific letters H.H. should appear before the name Gyaltsab. However, in accordance with hierarchical system of the Kagyu sect, we have only added the letters H.E. before his name.
After H.E. National Master Gyaltsab read A Treasury of True Buddha-Dharma about H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III in February of 2007, he was very moved and profusely praised H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III. He respectfully called H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III an “Incomparable Master” and promptly wrote a letter of congratulations.