The 1st Choeze Kuchen Rinpoche, known as Palchen Nyedphupa, is one of the eight Heart Sons of Jigten Sumgon the founder of Drikung Kyagyu. Before in 7th century, during the rule of the founder of Tibetan empire – Dharma King Songtsen Gampo, he took rebirth as Thonmi Sambhota who went to India, studied under the great scholar Lekchin Kara and introduced Tibetan script. Tonmi Sambhota is also said to have accompanied the Minister Gar Tongtsen (one of previous incarnations of H.E.Garchen Rinpoche) to Nepal and China to escort the Nepalese princess Belsa Tritsun and Chinese princess Wencheng Gongjo (Gyasa Kongjo) to Lhasa, both being brought as brides for the Tibetan Emperor. Choeze Monastery in Kham (Eastern Tibet) was founded by the 8th incarnation of Choeze Kuchen Rinpoche almost 500 years ago. He is regarded as the manifestation of Yamantaka – a wrathful aspect of Manjushri.
Previous 10th Choeze Kuchen Rinpoche (Jigme Choewang Lodro) had many followers from different regions and monasteries of Tibet practicing different schools and lineages of Buddhism. He spent many years in retreat in the caves of Guru Padmasambhava of Drikung Terdrum region in Eastern Tibet.
11th Choeze Kuchen Rinpoche was born in Kathmandu, Nepal in 1984. At the age of two, His Holiness Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche and His Holiness Drikung Kyabgon Chungtsang Rinpoche recognized him as the 11th incarnation of Choeze Kuchen Rinpoche. At the age of 10 he visited Tibet and identified all the personal items (like thangkas, mala, text) of 10th Choeze Rinpoche and the days of his visit to Tibet had numerous auspicious signs. All the lamas, disciples and people were overjoyed to be reunited with their master once again.
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