Modern Indian History-Events and Personalities

Buddhist Nyingma Sect finds ‘reincarnation’ of famous Rinpoche


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Nyingma school of buddhism

Mains level: Not Much

In a significant development in Tibetan Buddhist circles, the Nyingma sect has identified a boy from Spiti in Himachal Pradesh as the reincarnation of the late Taklung Setrung Rinpoche, a scholar known for his knowledge of Tibetan Tantric school.

About the Nyingma Sect

  • Nyingma (literally ‘old school’) is the oldest of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism.
  • It is founded on the first lineages and translations of Buddhist scriptures from Sanskrit into Tibetan in the eighth century, during the reign of King Trisong Detsen (r. 710–755).
  • Nyingma traditional histories consider their teachings to trace back to the first Buddha Samantabhadra (Güntu Sangpo) and Indian mahasiddhas such as Garab Dorjé, Śrī Siṃha and Jñānasūtra.
  • Traditional sources trace the origin of the Nyingma order in Tibet to figures associated with the initial introduction of Buddhism in the 8th century, such as Padmasambhava, Yeshe Tsogyal, Vimalamitra, Vairotsana, Buddhaguhya and Shantaraksita.

Who is a Rinpoche?

  • Rinpoche is an honorific term used in the Tibetan language.
  • It literally means “precious one”, and may refer to a person, place, or thing—like the words “gem” or “jewel”.
  • The word consists of rin (value), po (nominalizing suffix) and chen (big).
  • The word is used in the context of Tibetan Buddhism as a way of showing respect when addressing those recognized as reincarnated, older, respected or an accomplished Lamas or teachers of the Dharma.
  • It is also used as an honorific for abbots of Buddhist monasteries.


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