Rigdzin Zangpo b.early 19th cent. - d.late 19th cent.
Name Variants: Nyidrak Rigdzin Zangpo
Nyidrak Rigdzin Zangpo (nyi grags rig 'dzin bzang po) was the third abbot of Śrī Siṃha College (shrI sing+ha bshad drwa) at Dzogchen Rudam Orgyen Samten Ling Monastery (rdzogs chen ru dam o rgyan bsam gtan chos gling). He was born at Yartang (yar thang), a town in the Naksho (nags shod) district of Kham in the early fourteenth sexagenary cycle, which places his birth in the late first decade or early second decade of the nineteenth century. At a young age, he went to Chakri Nyidrak Osel Drubde Monastery (chags ri nyi grags 'od gsal sgrub sde), founded in Sindzong (srin rdzong) in 1703 by the treasure revealer Rigdzin Nyima Drakpa (rig 'dzin nyi ma grags pa, 1647-1710) where he ordained. Later, accompanying several pilgrims from Kham, he travelled to Rudam Valley in Derge and enrolled at Śrī Siṃha College at Dzogchen Monastery.
There he studied the Indian classical texts of Pramāṇa, Madhyamaka, Prajñāpāramitā, Vinaya, and Abhidharmakośa from the first abbot of Śrī Siṃha College, Sengtruk Pema Tashi (rdzogs chen mkhan rabs 01 seng phrug pad+ma bkra shis) and other teachers. He received his vows of full ordination (bhikṣu) from the second abbot of the college, Gyelse Zhenpen Taye (rdzogs chen mkhan rabs 02 rgyal sras gzhan phan mtha' yas, 1800-1855). Zhenpen Taye also gave him teachings on the spoken word and revealed treasure (bka' gter) traditions of the Nyingma school, along with their commentaries, empowerments, practice instructions, and reading transmissions. He also received a full reading transmission of the Kangyur. He received many general instructions of both the old and new tantra traditions from Jigme Gyelwai Nyugu ('jigs med rgyal ba'i myu gu, 1765-1842) and the Fourth Dzogchen Drubwang, Mingyur Namkai Dorje (rdzogs chen grub dbang 04 mi 'gyur nam mkha'i rdo rje, 1793-1870). He later received teachings specifically on the Dzogchen tradition based on the Khadro Nyingtik (mkha' 'groi snying thig) and Tsasum Sangwa Nyingtik (rtsa gsum gsang ba snying thig).
Around the age of fifty, he was enthroned as the third abbot of Śrī Siṃha College, succeeding Gyelse Zhenpen Taye. Rigdzin Zangpo primarily taught Indian classical texts on Madhyamaka, Abhisamayālaṃkāra, Vinaya, and Abhidharmakośa and their auto-commentaries, following the tradition of his predecessors at the college. It is said many scholars came to study his teachings. He also taught at Takmogon Puntsok Ling (stag mo dgon phun tshogs gling), the seat monastery of Terchen Nyima Drakpa. It was due to his activities there that "Nyidrak" was appended to his name.
Some of his prominent disciples included the ninth abbot of Śrī Siṃha, Kelden Gyatso (skal ldan rgya mtsho, d.u.); the tenth abbot of Śrī Siṃha, Dorje Rabten (rdo rje rab brtan, 1842-c.1902?); and the Fourth Dzogchen Drubwang, Mingyur Namkai Dorje, with whom he exchanged teachings.
He passed away around the age of sixty, and was succeeded by Pema Sheja (pad+ma shes bya).
Bstan 'dzin lung rtogs nyi ma. 2004. Nyi grags rig 'dzin bzang po. In Snga 'gyur rdzogs chen chos 'byung chen mo, pp. 405. Beijing: Krung go'i bod rigs dpe skrun khang. TBRC W27401
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- Historical Period