The Second Gemang, Tenpai Nyima b.1857? - d.1925
Name Variants: Gemang 02; Gyelse Zhenpen Chokyi Nangwa; Kuzhab Gemang 02 Tubwang Tenpai Nyima; Zhenpen Chokyi Nangwa
The Second Gemang, Tenpai Nyima (dge mang 02 bstan pa'i nyi ma) was born to a highly regarded noble family in Lhasa around 1857, in the late fourteenth sexagenary cycle. The Fourth Dzogchen Drubwang, Mingyur Namkhai Dorje (rdzogs chen grub dbang 04 mi 'gyur nam mkha'i rdo rje, 1793-1870) identified him at a young age as a reincarnation of the founder of the renowned Śrī Siṃha College (shrI sing+ha bshad drwa) at Dzogchen Monastery, Gemang Gyelse Zhenpen Taye Ozer (dge mang rgyal sras gzhan phan mtha' yas 'od zer, 1800-1855). The boy was subsequently brought to Dzogchen Monastery, Orgyen Samten Choling (rdzogs chen o rgyan bsam gtan chos gling), in the Rudam (ru dam) valley. He should not be confused with his near contemporary, the great Khenpo Zhenpen Chokyi Nangwa (mkhan po gzhan phan chos kyi snang ba, 1871-1927) who was later also identified as a reincarnation of Zhenpen Taye.
He studied under a number of notable teachers, including Patrul Orgyen Jigme Chokyi Wangpo (rdza dpal sprul o rgyan 'jigs med chos kyi dbang po, 1808-1887), and Pema Vajra (pad+ma ba+dzra, d. 1887), the eighth abbot of Śrī Siṃha College at the time. Both had been disciples of Zhenpen Taye. His studies covered a wide variety of subjects including Buddhist epistemology, Sanskrit, monastic arts, philosophy, and ethics. He received extensive teachings, empowerments, esoteric instructions, and oral transmissions in both sutra and tantra.
Around the age of twenty, he received his vows of full ordination (bhikṣu) from his teacher, Pema Vajra. He is purported to have been an exemplary monk, strictly observing his monastic vows, and became an important lineage holder of the Nyingma Pratimokṣa Sūtra tradition. He would later go on to bestow these vows on the Fifth Zhechen Rabjam, Pema Tekchok Tenpai Gyeltsen (zhe chen rab 'byams 05 pad+ma theg mchog bstan pa'i rgyal mtshan, 1864-1909).
At the age of twenty-five, he entered a lifelong retreat, focusing on the generation and completion stages of the Dzogchen tradition (rdzogs pa chen po'i skyes rdzogs kyi rim pa). It is said the door of his meditation cave was closed with mud, and he received the devotees who came to see him for audiences and blessings through a window made for light. From the donations he received while on retreat, he reportedly sponsored the carving of wood blocks for a large number of texts, some of which were printed in gold, as well as over one hundred gilded statues and tankas.
He is also credited with convincing Ju Mipam Gyatso ( 'ju mi pham rgya mtsho, 1846-1912) to proofread, edit, and sponsor the carving of woodblocks for the collected works of the renowned Nyingma scholars Rongzom Chokyi Zangpo (rong zom pa chos kyi bzang po, 1012-1088) and Longchen Rabjampa Drime Ozer (klong chen rab 'byams pa dri med 'od zer, 1308-1364). The prints made from these blocks were subsequently preserved at Śrī Siṃha College.
There are no extant details surrounding the later years of his life, but it is presumed Tenpai Nyima passed away around 1925, in the second decade of twentieth century.
According to Tendzin Lungtok Nyima's (bstan 'dzin lung rtogs nyi ma, b. 1974) contemporary history of Dzogchen, the Fifth Dzogchen Drubwang, Tupten Chokyi Dorje (thub bstan chos kyi rdo rje, 1872-1935), recognized the young Tubwang Zhenpen Dawa (thub dbang gzhan phan zla ba, d.u.), the son of the King of Ling, Wangchen Tendzin (gling tshang rgyal po dbang chen bstan 'dzin b. c.1942), as the reincarnation of Tenpai Nyima. However, the king reportedly did not allow his son to be enthroned as such, and so it is said the young incarnation deliberately passed away at an early age. Thus, Dzogchen Monastery does not include him in their list of the Gemang incarnations.
Subsequently, the Fifth Dzogchen Drubwang identified Garwang Lerab Lingpa (dge mang 03 gar dbang las rab gling pa), born in 1930 in Derge, as the Third Dzogchen Gemang.
Incarnation of the Gemang line:
First Gemang, Gyelse Zhenpen Taye (dge mang rgyal sras gzhan phan mtha' yas, 1800-1855)
Second Gemang Tubwang Tenpai Nyima (dge mang 02 thub dbang bstan pa'i nyi ma, 19th cen.)
Third Gemang, Garwang Lerab Lingpa (gar dbang las rab gling pa, 1930-1959)
Fourth Gemang, Kunzang Pema Wangchen (kun bzang pad+ma dbang chen, b. 1975)
Bstan 'dzin lung rtogs nyi ma. 2004. Snga 'gyur rdzogs chen chos 'byung chen mo (snga 'gyur grub dbang rgyal ba rdzogs chen pa'i gdan rabs chos brgyud dang bcas pa'i byung ba brjod pa'i gtam yid bzhin dbang gi rgyal po'i phrang ba). Beijing: Krung go'i bod rigs dpe skrun khang, pp. 381-382. TBRC W27401
View this person's associated Works & Texts on the Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center's Web site
- Historical Period