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Biography

His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa

His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa, is the spiritual Head of the 1,000-year old Drukpa lineage, one of the main Buddhist schools throughout the Himalayas including Bhutan, Tibet, China, Nepal and India, with over four million followers worldwide.

His Holiness' vision and mission are to preserve and restore the 2,500 years Buddhist culture and heritage; promote the Drukpa Lineage's precious teachings and bring inner peace and tranquility to all beings by integrating spirituality in daily life with love and compassion.

His Holiness is an advocate of humanitarianism. Since the early 80's, he has already set up 16 non-profit organizations and spiritual practice centers in Europe, the Americas (United States and South America) and Asia as well as schools, medical clinics, retreat centers and rebuilt monasteries. Among which, His Holiness is guiding an award-winning Druk White Lotus School in Ladakh, India, providing its students modern educations while preserving their local culture, through courses on Ladakhi history, language and customs. His Holiness stresses on the importance of education and is keen to ensure women receive an equal education. He spearheaded the construction and administration of Druk Amitabha Mountain, a nunnery that not only teaches its nuns traditional Buddhist practices, but also provides classes in English, kung fu and computer skills. While some of the above mentioned properties are still in the progress for completion, His Holiness plans to expand these meaningful projects as when and where necessary in future.

In early 2007, His Holiness founded 'Live to Love', a global humanitarian charity movement whose core practical essence is to inculcate loving–kindness and compassion in the world today. The key objectives of 'Live to Love' are :

  • Provide education facilities and educational support for the needy
  • Provide medical facilities and medical care
  • Relief and aid to those affected by natural or man-made disasters
  • Environmental preservation
  • Preservation of cultural heritage

In April 2009, His Holiness initiated the First Annual Drukpa Council Meeting (ADC) aiming to provide a platform for building and nourishing multi-lateral and inter–group relationships within the Drukpa Lineage as well as introducing the richness of its spiritual heritage to the world.

The present Gyalwang Drukpa is the reincarnation of Naropa, the Indian maha siddha and the twelfth incarnation of the founder of the Drukpa Lineage, Tsangpa Gyare Yeshe Dorje (1611-1211). The successive reincarnation of the Drogon Tsangpa Gyare are recognized as the Head of the Drukpa Lineage and responsible for the guidance of over 800 Drukpa Monasteries in Tibet, Nepal, Ladakh, Lahaul (Garsha) and Kinnuar.

His father Zhichen Bairo Rinpoche is a renowned master of the Nyingmapa lineage, another Tibetan Buddhist lineage, and his mother, Mayum-la, is the daughter of a revered yogi. Thus, His Holiness is ecumenical in his focus, having attained mastery of not only Drukpa traditions, but also those of the Nyingmapa's.

His Holiness travels extensively to conduct Tibetan Buddhist teachings, among other countries, France, England, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Poland, Mexico, Peru, USA, Australia, Vietnam, Taiwan, Korea, Malaysia, and Hong Kong.

For details of His Holiness' life stories, please visit His website www.drukpa.org