Rinpoche has studied with over 20 great Buddhist masters, among them:
Jigme Phuntsok Rinpoche
Dharma Master Jigme Phuntsok was born in 1933 in the plains of Banma Zhimei Qulie (whose name translates to “Dharma Land”) in the Golok Sertar region, which is now part of China’s Qinghai Province.
At the age of five, he was recognized by Terma Master Wangchuk and many other masters as the reincarnate of Terton Sogyal Lerab Lingpa, guru to the 13th Dalai Lama.
His Holiness demonstrated bodhicitta and great compassion since birth. At five, he was recognized as a terton, one who uncovers ancient, hidden treasures known as terma. He also was capable of reading other people’s minds. At six, he received empowerment and blessings of Manjushri, a bodhisattva of wisdom. Without formal training, he was able to attain knowledge of both Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions. At 14 he was ordained as a monk by Khenpo Sonam Rinchen, Abbot of Drakdzong Monastery. At 18, he remained at Dzato Changma Retreat Centre where he received extensive training under the guidance of Tubga Rinpoche. He was fully ordained at age 22.
His Holiness has often said, “There is nothing worthwhile mentioning for my biography; to make my gurus happy, that is my biography.”
Guru Qing Ding
His Holiness Qing Ding, considered to be a reincarnate of Ksitigarbha (Earth Store) Bodhisattva, is China’s foremost contemporary Buddhist monk, known for his significant contributions toward propagating Buddhism in the country.
He was born in 1902 to a generation of a Buddhist family in Sanmen County of Zhejiang Province. In May of 1941 at Ciyun Temple in Chongqing was ordained as a monk, taking refuge under Guru Chengyi. In the same year, at Zhaojue Temple in Chengdu, he was fully ordained by monk Yihui.
In 1942, after listening to Guru Nenghai delivering a lecture on Lam Rim, he decided to take refuge under him in order to learn Tibetan Buddhism. In 1946 he went to Wuhan, Shanghai to propagate Tibetan Buddhism, accepting many disciples took refuge under him.
At the same time, he obtained formal instruction from Guru Nenghai and bore responsibilities for Shanghai Jingang Temple.
In 1980 he travelled to Guoqing Temple in China’s Mount Tiantai to propagate Buddhism, then to Gaoming Temple to practice Tibetan Buddhism. In 1984 he led the effort to renovate Zhaojue Temple and became its abbot in 1987.
Guru Hai Zheng
Guru Hai Zheng was born in 1957 in China’s Gangu County, Gansu Province. As a child, he enjoyed studying Buddhist sutras. In 1983 he took refuge under Guru Qinghai and was fully ordained at Mount Wutai. In 1985 Guru Qinghai assigned him as administrator at Yuanzhao Temple.
In 1991, Guru Hai Zheng began fundraising efforts to help rebuild Tianshui City’s Manshu Temple and succeeded in raising over ¥ 80,000,000 over the course of several years.
The sixth Gungthang Rinpoche, Jigme Tenpe Wangchug, is a Gelugpa Dharma Master. He was born in 1926 in Sichuan Province, China. In 1931, he was recognized by the fifth Jamyang Shepa as the sixth reincarnation of Gungthang Rinpoche Saichi.
At six, he began studying the Tibetan language and poetry, and at nine continued his studies at the Labrang Monastery. Between the ages of eight and ten, he received three successive initiations of the Kalachakra.He received the Geshe degree at 19 with highest honors. In 1936, while in the Gansu region on his way to Tibet, the Ninth Panchen Lama Tibetan master held a grand puja Kalachakra initiation at Labrang Monastery. At ten, Gungthang Rinpoche was already among the highest ranking disciples to have conferred the initiations, and the Ninth Panchen Lama personally placed the Kalachakra crown on his head during the empowerment ceremony.
In 1946 Gungthang Rinpoche delivered a lecture for the first time in the Mongolian region of Qinghai, and in 1947 held the first Kalachakra initiation ceremony in Sichuan. Between 1947 and 1958, he travelled to Gansu, Qinghai, Sichuan, Tibet, and other various regions to preside over six grand Kalachakra initiation ceremonies.