Jamyang Lungtok Gyaltsen Rinpoche
Also known as Khen Lama Rinpoche Achuk (Drupwang Lungtok Gyatso)
(b. 20th Century)
At an early age, Khen Lama Rinpoche Achuk, also known as Drupwang Lungtok Gyatso, who was a student of Arik Rinpoche, enrolled in the shedra of Dokhol Monastery, a great Sakya center in Trom. He received the Sakya teachings on the Lamdre cycle from the sublime Dezhung Ajam Kunga Gyaltsen. Lama Achuk trained extensively in the thirteen great source texts and the mainstream Sakya sources of the sutras and tantras, becoming a consummate scholar. Eventually, he went to Tromge Arik Rinpoche, whom he served for thirty-three years, relying on him as the extraordinary master of his buddha family. During the military occupation of Tibet, Lama Achuk served as his guru’s attendant, enduring great hardship without regard for his own health or life, and so proved to be an ideal heart son. Arik Rinpoche conferred on him all the advice and instructions of the Lamdre cycle and the Dzogchen approach, like one vase filling another to the brim. He empowered Lama Achuk as a holder of his lineage, urging him to teach in order to benefit beings. Lama Achuk is still living in the lowlands of eastern Tibet, in the Yachen Khamdo district of Washul Tromtar. Following his guru’s instructions, he has founded a monastery and is turning the wheel of the dharma, teaching the sutras and tantras, especially the great oral lineage of pith instructions, and serving the precious teachings of the Victorious One while caring for communities of countless fortunate students.
A Marvelous Garland of Rare Gems: Biographies of Masters of Awareness in the Dzogchen Lineage: a Spiritual History of the Teachings on Natural Great Perfection
Lama Achuk Jamyang Lungtok Gyaltsen Rinpoche -Biography II
(a khyug rin po che ‘jam dbyangs lung rtogs rgyal mtshan, 1927-2011)
Akhyug Rinpoche Jamyang Lungtog Gyaltsen (a khyug rin po che ‘jam dbyangs lung rtogs rgyal mtshan, 1927-2011) aka Drubwang Lungtok Gyaltsen (grub dbang lung rtogs rgyal mtshan, or simply Lama Akhyug (bla ma a khyug), was one of Tibet’s most renowned meditation masters of recent times. Together with the late Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok Rinpoche Jungne (mkhan po ‘jigs med phun tshogs ‘byung gnas,1933-2004), he revitalized the study and practice of Buddhism in Eastern Tibet. He was regarded as an emanation of Longsal Nyingpo (klong gsal snying po, 1625-1692).
Akhyug Rinpoche was born in Trom (khrom), Eastern Tibet in 1927. He entered Trom Dokhol monastery (khrom rdo khol) and was ordained at age fifteen, serving teachers of the Sakya, Nyingma and Gelug lineages. He received the Sakya teachings on the Lamdre cycle from Kunga Tenpe Gyaltse (kun dga’ bstan pa’i rgyal mtshan, 1885-1952) aka Dezhung Tulku Ajam. Eventually, he went to study with Tromge Arik Rinpoche (khrom dge a rig rin po che, 1908-1988), a student of Khenpo Ngawang Palzang, serving him for thirty-three years.
During the military occupation of Tibet, Lama Akhyuk was his guru’s attendant, enduring great hardship without regard for his own health or life, and so proving to be an ideal heart-son. Arik Rinpoche empowered him as a holder of his lineage, conferring on him all the advice and instructions of the Lamdre cycle and the Dzogchen approach.
After Arik Rinpoche passed away in 1988, Akhyuk Rinpoche began teaching, drawing tens of thousands of monastic and lay practitioners from across Tibet and China to the encampment of Yachen Gar (ya chen sgar) that he had established in 1980 in an isolated valley near Kandze in Sichuan province. They settled around him in the barren highlands, where the monks and nuns lived in simple mud-walled houses.
Akhyug Rinpoche experienced great hardship during his life, especially during the Cultural Revolution from 1966-1976. He lived for decades in his one-room hermitage, sitting in meditation or receiving students and pilgrims. His students spoke in awe of his vast learning, saying that he could recite entire books from memory, and he was renowned for the way in which he imparted instructions on meditation.
Yachen Gar, also known as Yachen Orgyen Samten Chöling, offered students a comprehensive Buddhist education. During the 1990s, the population of monks and nuns grew to over 7,000. The authorities deemed the encampment of huts and tents to be problematic, and in 2001 they ordered the demolition of large parts of Yachen Gar. Akhyuk Rinpoche remained there during the demolitions and continued to teach. The monastic community survived, and in recent years a new nunnery was constructed.
Akhyuk Rinpoche had a close connection with Khenpo Jigme Phüntsok Rinpoche, recognized as an incarnation of Tertön Sogyal Lerab Lingpa (1856-1926). When Khenpo Jigme Phüntsok Rinpoche passed away in 2004, Akhyug Rinpoche remained the senior-most teacher of the Nyingma tradition residing in Tibet.
Akhyug Rinpoche passed away at his hermitage on 23rd of July 2011. It is reported that after his passing intoparinirvana, the body of Akhyug Rinpoche shrunk from a height of 1.8 meters shrunk to about 1 inch tall, a sign of achieving the small rainbow body or Jalü Chung (‘ja’ lus chung).
Lama Akhyug’s collected writings have been published in three volumes and in five volumes (gdod ma’i mgon po grub dbang lung rtogs rgyal mtshan dpal bzang po’i gsung ‘bum), which were preserved by Asang Rinpoche in Yachen Gar. They include outer, inner and secret autobiographies, a guide to Yachen, and a collection of advice.
Akhyuk Rinpoche’s foremost students are Asang Rinpoche aka Sangngag Tenzin Rinpoche (a gsang rin po che gsang sngag bstan ‘dzin), abbot of Yachen Gar and regarded as an incarnation of Namkhé Nyingpo. Other major disciples are Gyalwai Nyugu Rinpoche Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche (rgyal ba’i myu gu tshul khrims rgya mtsho, b. 1975) and Phurba Tashi Rinpoche (phur ba bkra shis, b.1968).