The Fourth Gemang Rinpoche


Garwang Lerab Lingpa (1930-1959) was born in Dege. His father was Nocho Thupten and his mother was Sonam Lhamo. Several months before his birth, he was recognized by the Fifth Dzogchen Rinpoche as the fourth reincarnation of Gemang Rinpoche. Consequently, his parents were invited to stay in a dwelling near Dzogchen Monastery. He revered as the ornaments of the crown of his head the hermit Kunga Peldan, Abu Lhagyal, the Sixth Nyima Drakpa Rinpoche, the Great Abbot and tutor to Dzogchen Rinpoche Jigme Yontan Gonpo, and Lingtrul Thupten Trinlay Gyatso. From them he received all of the empowerments, oral transmissions, and quintessential instructions of the Kama, Terma, and Pure Vision teachings. With his tutor, Khenpo Pema Chopal, he studied the ordinary fields of knowledge and the great treatises of Madhyamaka, Perfection of Wisdom, Vinaya, and Logic. Because of his natural brilliance, he mastered medicine and painting without any study. In a visionary dream he met Guru Rinpoche, who bestowed on him a transmission that enabled him to decipher many Mind Treasures such as the Three Roots of Nyingthik and the Sadhana of White Tsogyal. He was famous for the exact accuracy of his prophecies regarding the future of nations and individuals’ lifespans.  


During his life, many auspicious and miraculous events occurred. The first occurred when he discovered a white conch shell filled with nectar in the upper part of Rudam Valley. Tokden Rinpoche kept this conch shell and later offered it to Pema Kalsang Rinpoche, who has kept it until the present day. The Fourth Gemang Rinpoche also discoverd a bronze statue of Vajradhara one finger-span in height in Rudam Tseringjong. He discovered a statue of Shakyamuni Buddha in a retreat cave on Hor Lakargang Mountain. He also discovered a Shakyamuni Buddha statue in a well nearby Shri Singha Monastic University. Rinpoche also discovered the terma teaching known as The Collection of All Auspiciousness. This teaching instructed him how to mingle fresh herbs together. He then performed puja for seven days and made Dharma pills. When he did this, the Medicine Buddha's vision became clear to him. From that point onwards, Rinpoche became a Healing Master who cured the sick. Whoever he blessed recovered very swiftly! In this way, Rinpoche benefited many sentient beings. 


Since Rinpoche was knowledgeable and skilled in medicine, he took special care of the poor and sick. For dying patients, Rinpoche would use miraculous Tibetan medical treatments to treat them. Tibetan medicine normally uses "blood letting" as part of the treatment process. As a result of this method of treatment, Rinpoche's clothes and hands were stained with his patients' blood. But Rinpoche never felt disgusted by this. Sometimes, when the illness was difficult to diagnose, Rinpoche even used his tongue to taste the urine to determine the cause of the sickness. Due to Rinpoche’s compassion and unsurpassed medical knowledge, he was able to cure many patients with complex illnesses. For example, once Rinpoche went to a place near the Golden Sand River. There he met a woman who was about to deliver a baby. She was undergoing a long and difficult labor and was in danger of dying, and so her family had invited a Lama to practice Phowa for her. When Rinpoche came and saw the situation, he immediately checked her pulse and poked a needle into her kidney. Soon after, the baby was delivered smoothly and normally. Rinpoche said that the woman had difficulty because the baby’s hand was holding its mother’s kidney channel. When Rinpoche poked the needle in, the baby’s hand felt pain and released its grip. When the baby was delivered, there was a needle mark bleeding on its hand.


Rinpoche was also able to foretell future happenings. For example, he predicted that Dzogchen Monastery would be subject to some disasters before it attained stability. Not long after he had these visions, the situation in Tibet got very bad. During this period, Dzogchen Monastery underwent an unprecedented disaster and Rinpoche was imprisoned at Kangding. When he was imprisoned, Rinpoche used to joke with another great master, Katok Situ Rinpoche, saying: "Of the two of us, who will go first?" One day, Rinpoche discovered that Katok Situ Rinpoche had already gone. Soon after this, Rinpoche sat in meditation and followed after his friend by entering into parinivarna. For several days thereafter, all of his fellow prisoners witnessed many amazing signs such as the appearance in the sky of tents of rainbow light.