About Us

The Second Chenga Rinpoche, Chenga Drag-pa Jung-ne, (1175-1255), was the reincarnation of the fourth lineage-holder of the Drikung Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism. In the Buddhist history of Lho Rong, it says: that “Chenga Rinpoche and Won Rinpoche (the third Throne-holder of Drikung Kagyu) were the heart disciples of Lord Jigten Sumgon.” Chenga Dragpa Jungne was born in Kham and was ordained under the seat of Sangye Yerpa.  


He first met Lord Jigten Sumgon when he was eighteen years old and became his attendant for twenty-one years (The name “Chegna” means close attendant).  At that time, Jigten Sumgon was the abbot for both Phagdru Densa Thil Monastery and the Drikung Thil Monastery.  At age sixty-six, because of old age, Jigten Sumgon entrusted Chenga to be the abbot of Phagdru Densa Thil Monastery. Jigten Sumgon said: “In the past, I was your guru. Now, you are the guru. You will bring glory to Phagdru Densa Thil.”


After Lord Jigten Sumgon passed away, Chenga Rinpoche became the incomparable great sage among other important practitioners. For example, when the third patriarch of Sakya School, Dragpa Gyaltshen (1147-1216) passed away, Sakya Pundit (1182-1251) invited Chenga Rinpoche to be the chief guest at the funeral. The invitation letter sent by Sakya Pundit was included in the family history of Rlang.


When Won Rinpoche passed into nirvana, Chenga Rinpoche was invited to Drikung Thil Monastery to be the abbot. He was then sixty-one years old. In the next twenty years, Chenga Rinpoche propagated the teaching of non-duality of Mahamudra and precepts without any fault. His dharma activities were so vast that he benefited many sentient beings. When the Mongolian army invaded Tibet, he protected the monasteries and various lineages from being attacked and destroyed. At age eighty-one, he passed away with many auspicious signs at the Drikung Thil Monastery on the eighth day of the twelfth month in 1255.


When Chenga Rinpoche became the abbot of Drikung Thil, one of his family members succeeded as abbot of the Phagdru Monastery. Until the fourteenth century, Tai-situ Changchub Gyaltshen (1302-1364) from his family overthrew the Sakya Khon family’s rule over Tibet, and founded the Phagdru Dynasty, a very important dynasty in Tibetan history.


The title “Chenga” was developed into a special “Chenga” lineage in the Phagdru Kagyu School. The lineage of “Chenga” was inherited through guru to disciple rather than reincarnations. From the first Chenga, which was Dragpa Jungne, until the fifth Dalai Lama of the Gelugpa School took over the political power of Tibet in the middle of the seventeenth century, there were twenty-one Chenga Rinpoches. During that time, Chenga Rinpoche held the highest religious position in the Phagdru Dynasty. Except that the fourth and the sixth Shamar Rinpoches came from the Karma Kagyu School, all others were from the Phagdru Kagyu School.


The second Chenga Rinpoche was born in 1974. His father, Tenzin Rinpoche, is a Karma Kagyu Rinpoche in Nangchen. In 1985, after graduating from high school, Chenga Rinpoche was ordained at Tsurpu Monastery; the root Monastery of Karma Kagyu School. It was there that he completed his required three year three month retreat. In 1997, H. H. Mingling Trichen Rinpoche, the head of Nyingma School, recognized him as the reincarnation of Chenga Dragpa Jungne. Both Drikung Kyabgon Rinpoches agreed on this special recognition and he was enthroned by the Drikung Kyabgon Thinley Lhundrup Rinpoche as Chenga Rinpoche at Jangchubling Monastery in Dehra Dun India on March 15th, 1999.


At present, Chenga Rinpoche lives at the Gampopa Vajrayana Buddhist Center in New Jersey, U. S. A., and assists

, Lamchen Gyalpo Rinpoche giving dharma teachings to students. He also engages in regular extended retreats and receives many lineage transmissions in preparation for his future role as a leader in the Drikung Kagyu Lineage.