The late His Eminence Chogye Trichen Rinpoche, Ngawang Khyenrab Thupten Lekshe Gyatso, was the head of Tsharpa sub-lineage of the tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. Born in 1920, His Eminence was recognised by the 13th Dalai Lama as 18th in the lineage of Chogye Trichens. His Eminence was a renowned tantric master, a dedicated practitioner, an outstanding scholar and an eloquent poet, embodying the wisdom, spirit and activities of the holy Dharma.
His Eminence was a master of masters as most Tibetan Buddhist lineage holders were his disciples, among them His Holiness the Dalai Lama, His Holiness the Sakya Trizin and the late Dudjom Rinpoche.
In the words of His Holiness the Sakya Trizin, describing the great accomplishments of His Eminence, There are many who have attained the wisdom arising from the study of the Scriptures. There are some who have attained the wisdom arising from contemplation of the Dharma. There are few who have gained wisdom arising from meditation. His Eminence Chogye Trichen Rinpoche is one who has attained all three wisdoms. One should consider oneself fortunate just to meet him, which is in itself a great blessing.
After leaving Tibet in 1959, His Eminence Chogye Trichen Rinpoche built two monasteries: one in Lumbini, birthplace of the Buddha and the other in Kathmandu. Living in Nepal, Rinpoche spent much time in meditation retreat and was thus regarded as a hidden master.
His Eminence passed away at his residence in Kathmandu on 22 January 2007. He stayed in thukdam (a stage of life after death where the body lies in meditative state without decomposing) for 16 days; after his thukdam he was taken to Jamchen Monastery with a grand parade on the 21st day and was cremated at Boudhanath according to traditional Buddhist ritual under the direction of His Holiness the Sakya Trizin, 40 days after his passing.