His Holiness Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok is one of Chamtrul Rinpoche’s main masters. Here is some information on one of the greatest masters of Tibetan Buddhism during this century.
His Holiness Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok (1933 – 2004) was a Nyingma lama from Golog. His family were nomads. At the age of two he was identified as the reincarnation of the Terton Sogyal, Lerab Lingpa (1852–1926). He studied Dzogchen at Nubzor Monastery, received novice ordination at 14, and full ordination at 22 (or 1955).
HH Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok was one of the most influential lamas of the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism in contemporary Tibet. A Tibetan Buddhist meditation master and renowned teacher of Great Perfection (Dzogchen), he established the Serthar Buddhist Institute in 1980, known locally as Larung Gar, a non-sectarian study center with approximately 10,000 monks, nuns, and lay students at its highest count. He played an important role in revitalizing the teaching of Tibetan Buddhism following the liberalization of religious practice in 1980.
HH Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok was also an extraordinary Terton (Buddhist treasure revealer), uncovering many treasures texts in Tibet, as well as other parts of China, and India.
“Terma” is a Tibetan term that means “treasures” and consists of ancient Buddhist texts, objects for ritual, such as statues, or chests that may have been concealed by Padmasambhava or Buddhist master. Uncovering Terma is a very important tradition of the Nyingma sect of Tibetan Buddhism.
In modern Tibet, Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok was an intellectual and religious scholar as well as a famous Terton(treasure revealer). There are many mythic and charismatic stories of his ability to uncover Terma. In 1990, he discovered a sacred site that had been a palace of legendary King Gesar. That led to an archaeological dig that turned up ancient building stones and several treasure chests. His findings of new sacred sites and caves that related to previous Buddha and reincarnations are numerous in Tibet. He also found holy places in other parts of world. During his visit to Mount Wutai in China and India, by miraculous signs he recalled memories of previous lives and discovered meditation retreat sites that were previously unknown. Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok’s ability to uncover Terma has played an important role in inspiring devotion in the revival of Tibetan Buddhism in contemporary Tibet.
In the 1990s, he began an appeal to traditional Tibetan yak herders to refrain from commercial sale of their livestock for spiritual and cultural reasons that has grown into the Anti-Slaughter Movement.Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok first started the Anti-Slaughter Movement in the 1990s, after seeing an increase in the slaughter rate of livestock from Tibetan households and in the way that livestock suffered in transportation to domestic Chinese markets. As a religious teacher, he requested traditional herders to reduce their sale of livestock to commercial markets or to stop altogether. His students and many other lamas made similar appeals to herders to refrain from selling their livestock for commercial slaughter. Large numbers of herders responded by taking an oath to stop for a period of three years (or forever). Today, the practice of herders vowing to refrain from commercial activity with their yak herds has built into a movement that began in Sertha and spread to the larger geographical areas of the Eastern Tibetan Plateau and into the ethnic Tibetan pastoral areas of Sichuan, Qinghai, Gansu, and Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR).
Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok died of heart failure in 2004, at the age of 70 in Tibet.
Annually a Monlam (prayer festival) is held in memory of Jigme Phuntsok Rinpoche in Bodhgaya, India. Read more about it here:
Jigme Phuntsok Rinpoche official website: http://dechenrang.org/en/jigmed_phuntsok.php