The Fifth Gemang Rinpoche (Current)
Jigme Kunzang Pema Wangchen was born in 1975. H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche recognized him as the reincarnation of the 5th Gemang Rinpoche. This was confirmed straightaway by H.H. the 7th Dzogchen Rinpoche, Jigme Losel Wangpo and H.H. the 4th Dodrupchen Rinpoche, Thupten Trinley Palzang. From a tender age, he displayed unusual signs of clear awareness and he manifested a gentleness as well as a wisdom and compassion that extended beyond the known and into the unknown. When he was five years old, H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche performed the traditional hair-cutting ceremony and offering monk’s robe at Phuntsok Ling in southern Bhutan. At the age of seven, he took up residence in Namdroling Monastery where he learned writing, reading and Nyingma rituals from Ado Lama. Because of his remarkable progress, at the age of fourteen he entered the monastic University of Ngayur Tolob Do Ngag Rigpe Jugne Ling in southern India where he studied for nine years. There he studied Sutra, Tantra and general sciences with great devotion and perseverance, graduating with the highest khenpo degree. He also received all the profound Nyingma teachings, transmissions and empowerments from H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, H.H. Penor Rinpoche, H.H. the 4th Dodrupchen Rinpoche, Thupten Trinley Palzang and many other precious rinpoches -- among these the Damngag Dzo (Treasury of Oral Transmissions), Rinchen Terdzo (Precious Terma Treasury), Namcho (Dharma of the Sky), and oral instructions of the Dzogpa Chenpo Longchen Nyingthig: the generation and completion stages of various meditational deities. All his life, Rinpoche hoped to return to Tibet and visit his native land, particularly the main monastery of Dzogchen in Kham, eastern Tibet. In 1996, he was able to fulfill his sacred responsibility and was welcomed by hundreds of joyous dharma friends and villagers. In the presence of more than a thousand lamas, tulkus and monks, he was installed upon the golden throne of Dzogchen Shri Singha monastery with great pomp and solemnity. Now he was able to resume care and responsibility for his monasteries and fulfill the holy mission that was conferred on him in childhood. In 1998, Rinpoche graduated from monastic university and began to spread the Dzogchen (Great Perfection) teachings of the Nyingma lineage to the world. He first traveled to Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Taiwan. There he established dharma centers and benefited many dharma followers. In 2004, Rinpoche founded his first North American center in northern California where he encountered many enthusiastic followers who he led in prayers and retreats. Another essential part of Rinpoche's focus at the center is community service. Rinpoche himself visits hospitals to confer blessing on sick and dying people. By doing this work, he fulfills his sacred mission to spread the dharma and benefit sentient beings. Rinpoche truly has a compassionate mind. For example, Rinpoche said: "I care about the elderly and children who live in poor conditions, because they are unable to rely on themselves to survive. They need others to look after them". Rinpoche is very observant of suffering and his compassion is all-encompassing. Any person who has the good fortune to meet Rinpoche will feel this loving-kindness that is like the endless blue sky. In order to take care of lonely and needy children and elderly, Rinpoche wants to assist nursing homes, monastic institutions and hospitals in any way possible. At the same time, to spread the Buddha Dharma continuously, Rinpoche also wishes to rebuild and restore monasteries from his previous life so as to benefit more sentient beings and spread the precious Dharma. During this lifetime, Rinpoche tirelessly travels around the world in order to spread the Dzogchen teachings. His immediate goal is to help others to find joy in their lives by eliminating negative thoughts and having a positive outlook. His ultimate goal is to help sentient beings realize their Buddha nature and attain Buddhahood.