Ayang Rinpoche was born into a nomadic family in eastern Tibet. A delegation of high lamas, including the Sixteenth Gyalwang Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje and Yongzin Jabra Rinpoche, concluded that he was the wisdom incarnation of Terton Rigzin Choegyal Dorje.
Perhaps no Tibetan lama is more identified with the transmission of Phowa to the West than His Eminence Ayang Rinpoche.
Ayang Rinpoche is a Drikung Kagyu lama who holds both Nyingma and Drikung lineage. He continues the unbroken line of succession of the Drikung Phowa lamas from the Supreme Guru Dorje Chang to the present time. He has done extensive retreat on Phowa practice and is widely recognized as a Phowa master. He was one of the first Drikung lamas to leave Tibet.
Though he was discovered by this delegation of high lamas to be the reincarnation of Terton Rigzin Choegyal Dorje, Ayang Rinpoche wanted to find out more of his past life activities. Fortunately Terton Choegyal Dorje wrote his biography during his life and Ayang Rinpoche was able to obtain a copy of this book where he started his research into the life and activities of his previous incarnation.
In this biography, Choegyal Dorje (Ayang Rinpoche) mentioned that he was the disciple of Shakyamuni Buddha 2500 years ago. His exploits were recorded in the Exalted Sublime Golden Light Sutra in Chinese is the .
At that time he was already a Bodhisattva. This bodhisattva was named Zippi Dok (Tib) in Sanskrit, Ruchiraketu and in Chinese .
According to the Golden Light Sutra, Bodhisattva Ruchiraketu was at Vulture Peak together with congregation and he enquired about the reason for the short life span of Buddha Shakyamuni. He also recounted to Buddha Shakyamuni his dream of a golden drum and when he struck it, the sounds were that of ultimate confession and purification of past negative karma. One can download this Supreme sutra from the following site:
This sutra had been translated in English, Chinese, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Mongolian, Nepali, Portuguese, Russian, Sanskrit, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Tibetan.
In Choegyal Dorje’s biography, he mentioned that he was one of Guru Padmasambhava’s twenty-five main disciples named Langdro Lotsawa. During this life he translated the Dharma from Sanskrit to Tibetan.
In another life Choegyal Dorje was the disciple of Milarepa named Repa Shiwa O, one of Milarepa’s eight great heart sons. Short description of his history can be found on this site: http://www.dzogchenmonastery.org/repa_shiwa_o.html
Ayang Rinpoche said he naturally has devotion towards Guru Rinpoche and Milarepa and trusts the decision of his root master 16th Karmapa, but how can he be certain that he is really the reincarnation of the great Terton Choegyal Dorje?
In Choegyal Dorje’s biography contained two sentences. Half of each of the sentence was written in Tibetan but the other half was in another language, After much research, Ayang Rinpoche was able to ascertain that the second half of each sentence was written in Dakini language. So Terton Choegyal Dorje wrote his biography during his life time, embedded within it were two sentences, which seemingly made no sense in the whole context of this biography.
Ayang Rinpoche then searched for someone who has knowledge of Dakini langrage. He heard that Kamtrul Rinpoche who resides in Dharamsala has knowledge of this language. So Ayang Rinpoche went to Dharamsala to consult with Kamtrul Rinpoche. When he found Kamtrul Rinpoche, who was quite old at the time and his eye sight was fading, however he could read the two sentences and confirmed that they were written in Tibetan and Dakini languages.
This first sentence:
First half in Tibetan:
Tse Tsing Ma = Next life
Second half in Dakini Language
Ga Yu Ta Ji = Gayu is the birth place or Gaba
Ta is horse
Kamtrul Rinpoche told Ayang Rinpoche the first half sentence is quite clear stating that Terton Choegyal Dorje is predicting his next rebirth. The second half said Gayu, Ayang Rinpoche mentioned that he was born in a place called Gaba. Then Kamtrul Rinpoche enquires whether there is any thing or place near Gaba with the sound Ta. Ayang Rinpoche said there is nothing with Ta around that place but he was born in the year of the horse. Which in Tibetan is Ta. So Kamtrul Rinpoche confirmed that the first sentence said Choegyal Dorje next rebirth will be in a place called Gaba in the year of the horse.
The second sentence:
First half in Tibetan
Lam Samo = Profound path of Phowa
Second half in Dakini Language
Powin Da din jing = with great success
At that point Kamtrul Rinpoche said that, it appears the two sentences are about Ayang Rinpoche. Predicting his birth and his subsequent Dharma activities.
With these two sentences written during the lifetime of Terton Choegyal Dorje in two different languages, he predicted his next reincarnation and his future activities. Thus confirming Ayang Rinpoche without a doubt is the reincarnation of Choeje Dorje.
Through his biography starting with the birth of Buddhism 2500 years ago with Buddha Shakyamuni as the great Bodhisattva Ruchiraketu. However at that time he was already a Bodhisattva, which means he had already been engaged in Buddhist activities for incalculable number of lifetimes.
We are so very fortunate to be able to learn from such a great Bodhisattva as Ayang Rinpoche and should treasure every sentence that he teaches and every moment that we are able to be with him.