The First Tsopu Drubchen, Choying Rangdrol 18th cent.
Name Variants: Tsopu Drubchen Choying Rangdrol
The First Tsopu Drubchen, Choying Rangdrol (mtsho phu grub chen 01 chos dbyings rang grol, d.u.), was considered to be the immediate reincarnation of Drubtob Namkha Gyatso (grub thob nam mkha' rgya mtsho, d.u.), an accomplished yogi from Katok Monastery (kaH thog rdo rje gdan). He was born in Druldo Dragentsang (sbrul mdo sbra rgan tshang) during the second half of the eighteenth century. Though nothing is known of his parents, it is said he belonged to the Chakdu Nyarong family lineage (lcags mdud nyag rong) and was the uncle of the Second Katok Situ, Chokyi Lodro (kaH thog si tu 02 chos kyi blo gros, 1820-1879).
He studied both spoken word (bka' ma) and treasure (gter ma) according to the Katok Nyingma tradition, and specialized in the treasure teachings of Longsel Nyingpo (klong gsal snying po, 1625-1692). Some of his teachers included the First Getse Paṇchen, Gyurme Tsewang Chokdrub (dge rtse paN chen 'gyur med mchog grub, 1761-1829); the Sixth Dzamtang Choje, Ngedon Tenpa Dargye ('dzam thang chos rje 06 nges don bstan pa dar rgyas, 1753-c.1787); the First Dzaka Choktrul, Sonam Namgyel (dzaH ka mchog sprul 01 bsod nams rnam rgyal, d.u.); the Second Moktsa, Jikdrel Choying Dorje (rmog rtsa 02 'jigs bral chos dbyings rdo rje, d.u.); and Nyingon Jadrelwa, Namkha Dorje (nyin dgon bya bral ba nam mkha' rdo rje, d.u.).
After completing his studies, he dedicated the rest of his life to meditation. He engaged in intensive practice at Tram Tsopu (tram mtsho phu), from where his title, Tsopu Drubchen, is likely derived. It is said that he became known as an experienced and highly realized meditator and taught a large amount of students. His chief disciple was his nephew, the Second Katok Situ Chokyi Lodro. His other students included Nyakla Pema Dudul (nyag bla pad+ma bdud 'dul, 1816-1872); the Third Drime Zhingkyong, Jigme Yonten Gonpo (dri med zhing skyong 03 'jigs med yon tan mgon po, 1837-1898); the Third Nyingon Choktrul, Zhenpen Dorje (nyin dgon mchog sprul 03 gzhan phan rdo rje, d.u.); Tromge Dongak Tendzin (khrom dge mdo sngags bstan 'dzin, d.u.), and Dzaka Sonam Pelden (dzaH ka bsod nams dpal ldan, d.u.).
'Jam dbyangs rgyal mtshan. 1996. Rgyal ba kaH thog pa'i lo rgyus mdor bsdus. Chengdu: Si khron mi rigs dpe skrun khang, pp. 134-135. TBRC W20396
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- Historical Period