Venerable Nedo Kuchung Rinpoche

The Venerable Nedo Kuchung Rinpoche is the sixth reincarnation of the lineage holder of the supreme Nedo Kagyu lineage, a subsect within the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism that incorporates both Kagyu and Nyingma teachings.

Venerable Nedo Kuchung Rinpoche was the foremost disciple of the great scholar and siddha Karma Chagme. He was a great lama of unequalled kindness and an accomplished meditator, having realized the highest stage of Mahamudra and Maha-Ati. Not long after the 1st Nedo Rinpoche’s death, the supreme incarnation Dechen Nyingpo, who was his cousin and also from the tribe of Kham Nangchen, built the first Nedo Kagyu monastery, the Nedo Sangha Chindu Dhargeling Monastery, in Lower Gegyel in the Kham Region of Eastern Tibet. The Karma Kagyu and Nedo Kagyu traditions flourished there under the supervision of the monastery’s three seat-holders: Dechen Nyingpo Rinpoche, Chod La Pema Dondrup Rinpoche, and Nedo Kuchung Rinpoche.

The present Nedo Kuchung Rinpoche was born to Gandir and Yanchen on August 2, 1962 in Pema Thang in the Himalayas; there were many wonderful signs during his birth. In 1972, at the age of 10, His Holiness the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje recognized him as the reincarnation of the 5th Nedo Rinpoche and gave him the name Karma Thinley Yongdu Kunchab Palzangpo, which means “Perfect Acquisition of All-pervading Activities of Great Kindness”. In the same year in Tashi Jong in the Himachal Pradesh province in Northwest India, His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Crown Jewel of the non-sectarian Rime movement, also formally recognized him and offered him his robes and his title.

When he was 14 years old, he took the gelsun or novice monk’s vows and was given the name Karma Tenpe Gyaltsen, “Victory Banner of the Doctrine”. He was educated under the guidance of the 16th Karmapa at Rumtek Monastery until he was 18. The Karmapa then sent him to the Thubten Chokhor Ling Monastery in Lhadak, where he stayed for three years, receiving many valuable teachings and initiations from Ven. Tsurphu Dupon Dechen Rinpoche. During his stay, Nedo Rinpoche also took care of the monastery and its monks, performed rituals and pujas, and gave teachings and initiations to the lay people in the area. At the age of 21, he took gelong or full ordination vows from the 16th Karmapa.

Nedo Rinpoche received many empowerments and teachings from both old and new traditions from his main teachers: H.H. the 16th Karmapa, H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Ven. Riwa Saljay Rinpoche, and Ven. Urgyen Tulku. In 1982 at age 23, Rinpoche returned to Rumtek Monastery to go on his three-year retreat under the retreat master Ven. Bokar Rinpoche. During the retreat, he received ordinary and extraordinary initiations and quintessential teachings on the Maha-Ati Yoga. He practiced the Tantras of Marpa’s traditions, the Six Yogas of Naropa, and the Mahamudra, and with the guidance of Bokar Rinpoche, gained complete understanding and realization of these teachings and practices.

Coming out from a successful retreat at age 25, the Four Eminence Rinpoches, in accordance with the wishes of the 16th Karmapa, designated Nedo Rinpoche as the Dorje Lopon or Vajra Master of the Rumtek Dharma Chakra Center in Sikkim, a position he holds until the present.

Even after the paranirvana of H.H. the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa and, more recently, the paranirvana of H.H. the 14th Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche, Nedo Rinpoche continues to follow their guidance and instruction in spreading the teachings of Buddha and serving the Karma Kagyu lineage under H.H. the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje. Among the many wise and compassionate activities of Nedo Rinpoche to turn the wheel of Dharma are the establishment of his main center in Southeast Asia, the Philippine Nedo Foundation, in 1995 and the construction of his Nedo Chedu Chokhorling Monastery in Sikkim, India. From the beginning, the Philippine Nedo Foundation has been under the care of his cousin, Lama Pema Techog, while the activities and operations of Nedo Chedu Chokhorling Monastery are under the guidance and administration of Lama Choyeng Dundrup and Lama Phurpa.

Nedo Rinpoche is currently engaged in many religious and social activities in Asia and Europe to spread the Dharma for the benefit of all sentient beings.

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