Short biography of Kyabjé Dungse Shenphen Dawa Norbu Rinpoche

Kyabjé Dungse Shenphen Dawa Norbu Rinpoche

Short biography

Kyabjé Dungse Shenphen Dawa Norbu Rinpoche was the son of Kyabjé Dudjom Rinpoche Jigdrel Yeshe Dorje, one of the most accomplished masters of the 20th century and great spiritual leader of the Tibetan people. Kyabjé Shenphen Rinpoche was born in Kongbu, Tibet on February 17, 1950, the Iron Tiger Year. He was recognized by H.H. 16th Karmapa as Khenkhen Tulku, the incarnation of Tulku Pema Yeshe, an emanation of his father’s father, Jamphel Norbu. Kyabjé Dungse Shenphen Dawa Norbu Rinpoche was also recognized as the incarnation of Taksham Tulku, a famous Nyingma tertön master, who discovered many teachings.

As the only son of Kyabjé Dudjom Rinpoche and Sangyum Rigzin Wangmo, Kyabjé Shenphen Rinpoche was not sent to the Taksham monastery for training, but instead was personally raised by his father. Kyabjé Dudjom Rinpoche trained him in all aspects of Vajrayana meditation and medicine and named him his Dharma heir and successor as the holder of the Dudjom Tersar lineage of Tibetan Buddhism.

Kyabjé Shenphen Rinpoche attended a Catholic school and a Protestant school in India. He received his Bachelor degree in English from St. Josephs College in Darjeeling, India in 1971. He received the highest level Doctorate degree in Tibetan Philosophy and the five Sciences. He received instruction from master and scholar Khenpo Lachung, the Chief Abbot of Mindroling Monastery.

Shenphen Rinpoche’s mastery of the English language and insight into Western culture established him as one of the foremost precious teachers in the East and West. He had followers with monasteries and retreat Centers in Tibet, Nepal, India, Bhutan, United States, France, United Kingdom, Spain and Switzerland.

Kyabjé Shenphen Rinpoche had two sons from his first marriage to H.R.H. Ashi Pema Chodon Wangchuk: His Eminence Dungse Namgay Dawa Rinpoche, who lives in New York, and His Eminence Khatok Situ Rinpoche, who lives in Bhutan.

Rinpoche was married to Sangyum Sonam Chokyi la. From their union, two daughters were born, Dechen Yangzom la and Tseyang Drolkar la.


Excerpted from with authorization from His Eminence Dungse Namgay Dawa Rinpoche.

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