Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche (Tibetan: དིལ་མགོ་མཁྱེན་བརྩེ་, Wylie: dil mgo mkhyen brtse) (c. 1910 – 28 September 1991) was a Vajrayana master, scholar, poet, teacher, and head of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism from 1987 to 1991.
When he was seven years old, he was publicly recognized as one of the reincarnations of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo by Shechen Gyaltsap Rinpoche (1871–1926) at Shechen, one of the six principal monasteries of the Nyingmapa school.
After receiving from Khyentse Chokyi Lodro the many empowerments of the Rinchen Terdzo (the collection of Revealed Treasures or termas), Dilgo Khyentse requested to spend the rest of his life in solitary meditation.
Additionally he received teachings at Palpung Monastery from the eleventh Tai Situ Rinpoche, and full instruction on the ancient Guhyagarbha Tantra and its various commentaries from Khenpo Tubga at Kyangma Ri-tro.
In the 1950s, as rebellions broke out in Kham in response to the imposition of Chinese Communist rule, Khyentse Rinpoche and his family escaped to central Tibet, leaving behind his precious library of collected Dharma books and most of his own writings.
Then in 1959, after the 14th Dalai Lama left Tibet, Khyentse Rinpoche, his family and a few disciples decided to leave Tibet, including his brother the 9th Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche and Tenga Rinpoche, and headed for Bhutan.
He was also a Terton (a discoverer of spiritual treasures), discovering numerous termas and was one of the leading masters of the pith-instructions of Dzogchen, the Great Perfection, and one of the principal holders of the Longchen Nyingtik tradition.
Over this same time period, and up until his paranirvana in 1991, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche was involved in publishing as much of Tibet’s extraordinary heritage of Buddhist teachings as possible, over three hundred volumes altogether.
His entire life was devoted to the preservation and dissemination of the Buddha Dharma and he is still regarded with awe and amazement throughout the Tibetan diaspora, and western centers of Tibetan Buddhism.
His importance within the Nyingma school in the 20th century was all-pervading.
Final cremation ceremonies were held for him over a three day period near Paro in Bhutan, in November 1992 and were attended by over a hundred important lamas, the Royal Family and ministers of Bhutan, five hundred western disciples and a huge crowd of some fifty thousand devotees.
Preservation of lineages
Gyatrul (b.1924), in a purport to Karma Chagmé (Wylie: karma-chags-med, fl. 17th century), conveys Khyentse's 'samaya' (Sanskrit), diligence and humility in receiving 'wang' (Tibetan), lineal transmission and 'rlung' (Wylie) as rendered into English by Wallace (Chagmé et al., 1998: p. 21):
It made no difference who was giving it.
He would receive it and, in turn, pass it on to make sure that the lineage remained unbroken.
It tells Khyentse Rinpoche's story from birth to death, to rebirth, and of his escape following China's invasion of Tibet to his determination to preserve and transmit Buddhist teachings far and wide.
- by Rab-Gsal-Zla-Ba, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
- Paperback: 120 pages; Publisher: Snow Lion Publications
- (December 1, 1993)
- by Rab-Gsal-Zla-Ba, Matthieu Ricard, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Rigpa
- Paperback: 101 pages; Publisher: Snow Lion Publications
- (December 1, 1999)
- by Matthieu Ricard (Photographer) Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche's disciple), Rab-Gsal-Zla-Ba, Padmakara Translation Group (Translator)
- Hardcover: 151 pages; Publisher: Aperture
- 1st ed edition (October 1, 1996)
- by H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
- Paperback: 128 pages; Publisher: Snow Lion Publications
- (April 1, 1996)
- by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Patrul Rinpoche (Foreword by H.H. the Dalai Lama)
- Paperback: 280 pages; Publisher: Shambhala
- by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Padama Sangye
- Hardcover: 176 pages; Publisher: Shambhala
- (February 15, 2005)
- by Erik Pema Kunsang, His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Tsele Natsok Rangdrol, Yeshe Tsogyal
- Paperback: 336 pages; Publisher: North Atlantic Books, Rangjung Yeshe
- (October 10, 2004)
- by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
- Paperback: 120 pages; Publisher: Shambhala;
- Reprint edition (March 16, 1999)
- The Collected Works of Dilgo Khyentse Vols. 1-3
- by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
- Hardcover: 1808 pages; Publisher: Shambhala; (January 11, 2011)
- 1st edition
Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche with Rabin Losal