Biography Of His Holiness Trulku Jigme Choedra 70th Jekhenpo Of Bhutan

His Holiness Trulku Jigme Choedra was born at Drubtse Goenpa, Kurtoe, on the fifth day of the Bhutanese lunar month seven in the Wood Sheep year of 1955. While at the age of three, His Holiness could vividly recall his own former lives, he was also recognized by the Great Yogi Lama Sonam Jampo (root teacher of His Holiness Nyinzir Trulku 67th Jekhenpo of Bhutan) as the reincarnations of: Geshe Pema Tshering (the learned sage of Tharpaling Temple in Bumthang who was also the spiritual teacher of the late Jigme Wangchuck King of Bhutan), Kheuchung Lotsawa (disciple of Guru Padmasambhava), Drubthob Saraha (mahasiddha), and Maitreya Bodhisattva (heart son of Buddha Shakyamuni).

At the age of eight, His Holiness joined Druk Sa-nga Choling and received Getshul Dompa (basic ordination) from Drukpa Thugsey Rinpoche. He studied ritual practices, recitations, and religious texts from Khenpo Sonam Dargye and Khenpo Noryang. At the age of ten, His Holiness received Kangyur Lung (transmission of Buddha’s teachings), Dudjom Terser (treasure teachings of His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche) and comprehensive blessings and empowerments of Rinchen Terzoed from His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche in Kalingpong.

During the age between twenty-one to thirty, His Holiness received full teachings and empowerments of Drukpa Kagyu tradition and Dzogchen (highest realization). Besides Rigney and Zhungchen Chusum (Buddhist philosophy), he also mastered Mahamudra practices (chag-chen) and meditations of Naro Choedrug (six cycles of Yoga Ro-Nyom Kordrug), which were taught by His Holiness 68th Jekhenpo Ngawang Tenzin Dhondup of Bhutan and His Holiness 69th Jekhenpo Geshey Geduen Rinchen of Bhutan. Moreover, he received full teachings and empowerment of Terton Pema Lingpa from His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche. His Holiness also completed three-year-three-month Losum Choesum retreat three times. During the ten-year retreat, he took up sacred practice of Vajrayana which includes La-drup, Demchog, Tandin, Dorji Phagmo, Sengdongma, Mithrugpa, Chenrezig and Dzogchen meditations.

Appointed as the head of Tango Shaydra Institute in 1984, His Holiness taught Rigney and Zhungchens there. In 1986, he was appointed as His Eminence Drapai Lopen of the central monk body: Thimphu Tashichho Dzong (Bhutan capital palace) and Pungthang Dechenphodrang Dzong (ancient imperial palace). In 1990, he resigned from his position as His Eminence Drapai Lopen and went into retreat, during which he taught Kuenkhen Kabum (teachings of Kuenkhen Pema Karpo) and the practice of Tendrel Rabduen (teachings of Tsangpa Jarey).

At the age of forty, he was promoted to His Eminence Dorji Lopen of the central monk body by His Majesty King Jigme Singye Wangchuck. During the time as His Eminence Dorji Lopen, he elucidated the Kangyur and taught the thirteen texts of Terton Sangey Lingpa. He also delivered teachings of Nyondro (preliminary practice), Nyingthig, and Kuenzang Lami Zhelung (Nyingmapa teachings) in several dzongkhags (provinces). He constructed a temple, Kheng Tali Zangto Pelri Lhakhang, using his own contribution and offerings by devotees.

In 1996, on the tenth day of the Bhutanese lunar month three, His Holiness was enthroned as the 70th Jekhenpo of Bhutan. Ever since his enthronement, each of all Bhutan monasteries and temples nationwide has been annually holding Moenlam Chenmo (great prayers to thousands of Buddha’s) to dedicate to all sentient beings for world happiness, peace and harmony.

Since 2008, His Holiness–out of his own personal contribution and offerings by devotees–has initiated the construction of a temple institute Namdoling and a retreat center Dubdey in Awthso, east Bhutan, to house over 100 monks. The construction is still in progress nowadays. Each year, His Holiness would stay there two months to give teachings.