Beru Khyentse Rinpoche
Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and Jamgon Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye, both referred to as "Jamgon", were born in Kham-Derge in East Tibet in the Nineteenth Century.
Manjushri is the basis of the emanation of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo. He had also previously appeared as several panditas, siddhas, treasure revealers and tulkus in the four sects in India as well as Tibet. Details on this can be found in his reincarnation prayer. Moreover, his appearance is mentioned in Guru Rinpoche's prophecy.
Jamgon Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye's appearance figures in the prophecy of Buddha Shakyamuni. The Noble Avalokiteshvara is the basis of the emanation of Jamgon Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye. He too had previously emanated in India and Tibet as several siddhas and scholars. He mainly held a Bönpo line of incarnation. Details on this can also be found in his reincarnation prayer.
The minds of both Jamgons were utterly pure and close in a way that their Dharma lineages were completely interrelated. They were reciprocally responsible for each other's line of transmission in that they acted as guru and disciple to each other. Both are masters of the non sectarian "Rimé" movement and, in those days, they were the famous charioteers of all eight lineages.
The first Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo lived 73 years, between 1820 and 1894. The first Jamgon Kongtrul lived 88 years between 1813 and 1900. Jamgon Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye's main seats are Tsanda Rinchen Drag and Dzong Shö, as well as Palpung, whereas Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo was the head of Dzongsar Trashi Lhatsé and various other places.
The story concerning their second incarnation is as follows:
Towards the end of his life, Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, predicted his death and rebirth in writing, saying : "In the future, during my practice of Vimalamitra's Guru Yoga, my life will come to an end and I shall instantaneously transfer my mind to the place of the Five Peaks of Manjushri (in China) and dissolve it in Vimalamitra's heart, whereupon it shall arise in five distinct emanations for the benefit of all non-sectarian doctrines".
Amongst the five incarnations of body, speech, mind, knowledge and activity, the speech incarnation was born in Hor Tré Shö in Kham as the son of King Beru. The child was recognized by Jamgon Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye, then 83 years of age, who had predicted to his father, King Beru, that a son would soon be born to him who is the speech emanation of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo. This he had also mentioned to Kentchen Trashi Özer, his foremost disciple.
Following this, the King of Beru indeed had a son. Trashi Özer then came from Palpung to find the incarnation. He gave the child his name, made offerings of robes and invited the Tulku to Palpung where Situ Rinpoche and Kentchen Trashi Özer later performed the enthronement ceremony.
After Jamgon Kongtrul Lodrö Thaye's mind passed into parinirvana many emanations of his body, speech and mind appeared in the different sects. Two of them came to the Kamtsang Kagyu, namely Zigar Kongtrul and Karsé Kongtrul, which were both recognized by the 15th Karmapa, Khakyab Dorje. Their main place was Palpung, but also Tsanda Rinchen Drag and Dzong Shö. Zigar Kongtrul later found a new place, Rango Tsokha, where he established his own monastery.
Both Kongtruls and Beru Khyentse were heart disciples of the 15th Karmapa, they in fact were his great mind sons. Karsé means "son of Karmapa", but the full name of Karsé Kongtrul is Palden Khyentse Özer. Karmapa was their root teacher. They all obtained his empowerment of the four classes of tantra, the explanations and oral instructions, especially the profound path of the Karma Kagyu, the Six Yogas of Naropa and all the secret instructions on Mahamudra in their entirety, thus transmitting them his lineage and conferring upon them the very special title and position of Kagyu Gyalwa Yabsé.
Beru Khyentse Rinpoche, born in 1896, passed away in 1945 at the age of 50. Karsé Kongtrul passed away at the age of 52.
The third incarnation
The 3rd Jamgon Kongtrul is called Lodrö Chökyi Singhe and the 3rd Jamyang Khyentse is known as Beru Khyentse Chökyi Wangpo.
Through his clairvoyance, the 16th Karmapa perceived the details of the place where the 3rd Jamgon Kongtrul had taken rebirth. In a recognition letter he put down very clearly that the child was to be found in Central Tibet, near Lhasa, by a Shakyamuni Temple where he was born to a high ranking family. It also mentioned the names of the father and the mother. Soon after that the child, born in 1954, was indeed found accordingly and taken to Tsurphu. There the Karmapa offered him robes and gave him the name Karma Lodrö Chökyi Singhe Tenpai Gotcha Palzangpo.
A year later, in 1946, two very devoted disciples of the Karmapa and leaders of the Drongsar area, Dragpa Namgyal and Namkhai Dorje came to the Karmapa with great offerings, and with deep faith and yearning requested him to find the reincarnation of Beru Khyentse Rinpoche. He accepted this request with joyful kindness and produced a recognition letter containing all the necessary details for his recovery. This stated that the child was to be found in the snow land region of Central Tibet in a straight forward western direction, two days horse ride away from Tsurphu. The letter produced further details such as the fact that the door of the house was facing east, that the family was modest, the father's name being Ngawang and the mother's Aryatara Chö Drön. The child, conceived in the fire dog year, belonged to a family having a noble spiritual background and displayed special signs. The Karmapa certified that the Khyentse Wangpo's incarnation had unmistakenly appeared. A search party was sent out and after 10 days found the child in accordance with the indications. The discovery was verified again with the Karmapa who testified that the child that had been found was indeed the reincarnation of Beru Khyentse, as precisely as a flying hawk's dropping hitting the rock.
The child was born in NyeThang Trashi Gang in 1947, on the full moon of the 6th month of the Tibetan fire pig year. The Vajra Master from Tsurphu came to perform water purification for one week and offered robes sent by the Karmapa. Later on the young Rinpoche came to Tsurphu where the Karmapa performed the hair cutting ceremony on him and gave him the ordination vows as well as the name Karma DrubGyud Tenpa Yarphel Gyurmé Gocha Trinley Kunkhyab Palzangpo. The 16th Karmapa with great kindness handed over his own Gampopa hat and robes to Rinpoche, gave him the title and position of Kagyud Gyalwa Yabsé and the manifold implements pertaining to his rank.
The two dignitaries from Kham took the child to Nangchen in East Tibet, to a place called Drongsar YobShung Trashi Kyilwa where the Karmapa had given the name PalKarmai Chöde DoNgag Shedrub Thubten Tharjay Namgyal Chökhor Ling to his new main seat. This monastery had over 300 monks with a three-year-retreat center already active. About 10.000 people were present at Rinpoche's enthronement. Many Tulkus, Khenpos and monks of the Sakya, Nyingma and Kagyud lineages attended the ceremony. Rinpoche then started his training by receiving teachings and empowerments for a couple of years until, in 1958, some troubles related to the cultural revolution in China started to manifest. Rinpoche's party officially departed on pilgrimage and thus initiated its exodus from Tibet which took almost two years to reach Nepal from East Tibet over the Northern route. During that time Karmapa's party, comprising the other Karma Gyalwa Yabsés, had left Tibet for Bhutan and arrived in Sikkim where the Karmapa founded Rumtek monastery with a three-year-retreat center and the Nalanda Institute. A great development of activities took place around him in the fields of study, meditation and practice. It is under the auspicious kindness of His Holiness that Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche furthered his education in Rumtek.
Beru Khyentse Rinpoche reached Tso Pema in Northern India in 1961 where he started the development of his personal education as a tulku with Khenpo Chimey for five years studying the inner science in receiving the education of a Khenpo, and the five outer sciences, namely all aspects of knowledge related to his position.
From the great master Kyabje Kalu Rinpoche he obtained all the special teachings and empowerments of the Karma Kamtsang practice lineage and also teachings on Kalachakra and the glorious Shangpa transmission.
Further he received the complete transmission of the Sakya lineage from His Holiness Sakya Trindzin Drolma Phodrang who conferred upon Rinpoche all the Sakyapa thirteen golden dharmas, the Lamdré and teachings, empowerment, explanations, oral transmissions, especially the Drubthab Kundü, which had originally been composed by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo the first and his disciple Jamgon Loter Wangpo.
Collectively with the other Gyalwa Yabsé Rinpoches, Beru Khyentse Rinpoche obtained the Kagyud Nangdzö and the Karma Kagyud lineage teachings, oral transmissions, all four classes of tantra, including their empowerments, oral transmissions and explanations, thus pouring the entire contents of Kagyud Dharma nectar into their mind as vajra brothers inseparable through vajra samaya.
Collectively as well, they received the whole transmission of the Rinchen Terzö from Kalu Rinpoche.
This account has been written by H.E. Beru Khyentse Rinpoche.