Tsoknyi Rinpoche was recognized by His Holiness the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa as a reincarnation of Drubwang Tsoknyi, a renowned master of the Drukpa Kagyu and Nyingma traditions. Later he was brought up by the great master Khamtrul Rinpoche. Among his other teachers are Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, his late father Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, Adeu Rinpoche of Nangchen, and Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche. Rinpoche is the head of the Drukpa Heritage Project to preserve the literature of the Drukpa Kagyu lineage. He is also the abbot of Ngedon Ösel Ling in the Kathmandu valley of Nepal.
Tsoknyi Rmpoche the third is an important lama of both the Drukpa Kagyu and Nyingma lineages. He was born in 1966 in Kathmandu, Nepal, to the family of the mahasiddha Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, who holds the Tsangsar Family Lineage, a special family lineage of tantric yogis which, by tradition, originated through the union of a deva and a human. Tsoknyi Rinpoche's great great grandfather was the treasure revealer Chokgyur Lingpa and Rinpoche has been trained in that family tradition by his father since an early age.
The first Tsoknyi Rinpoche was an emanation of Milarepa's disciple, Rechunga, and the Nyingmapa Terton Ratna Lingpa. He was born in Nangchen, Eastern Tibet, in the first half of the 19th Century and was a contemporary of the three great lamas of the time, Jamyang Khyentse, Jamgon Kongtrul, and Chokgyur Lingpa. He fully mastered the practices of the Six Dharmas of Naropa and became the principal guru for the 7th Khamtrul Rinpoche, Tenpa'i Nyima, in those practices. He also practiced the Nyingma tradition of Ratna Lingpa with its special yogas as well as his own Nyingmapa practices. He established many centres for the practice of the Dharma in Tibet. The second Tsoknyi Rinpoche was born into the family of the King of Nangchen in the first half of this century and received the teachings of Naropa from the 7th Khamtrul Rinpoche to whom he had transmitted the teachings in his previous incarnation. He was expert in in the Six Dharmas of Naropa and Mahamudra as well as his own Nyingmapa lineages.
The present Tsoknyi Rinpoche was recognised by H. H. Karmapa XVI at the age of eight. When he was thirteen he was brought to Khampagar Monastery at Tashi Jong in India, the seat of Khamtrul Rinpoche.
Tsoknyi Rinpoche's principal teachers have been the 8th Khamtrul Rinpoche, Dongyu Nyima, H. H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, and his father Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche. Tsoknyi Rinpoche completed his formal studies and returned from India to Nepal in 1990. He established his seat in Kathmandu at Ngesdon Osel Ling Monastery which he planned and built in consultation with his father, Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche. Ngesdon Osel Ling is the site of on-going, traditional, Tibetan three-year retreats and an International Buddhist Meditation Centre. It is headquarters for the Drupa Kagyu Heritage Foundation which is working to preserve the written texts of the Drupa Kagyu lineage, and the Pema Karpo Translation Committee which is translating Tibetan texts into English.
In addition Tsoknyi Rinpoche is currently president of Tashi Jong; abbot of the largest nunnery in Tibet which is located in Kham in Eastern Tibet; and abbot of Chumig Gyatsa Abbey, a nunnery in Western Nepal at Muktinath. He is widely recognized as a brilliant meditation teacher and is the author of Carefree Dignity and Fearless Simplicity from Rangjung Yeshe Publications.