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Tenzin Namgyal Chongtul Rinpoche was born August 8, 1967 in Oachghat, Himachal Pradesh, India. When Chongtul Rinpoche was seven years old, the abbot of Yungdrung Ling Monastery asked His Holiness the 33rd Menri Trizin Lungtok Tenpai Nyima, the abbot of Menri Monastery in Dholanji, India, to look after Chongtul Rinpoche. He told the Menri abbot that Chongtul Rinpoche was connected to Bon spiritual transmissionsons and that he would be of great help in preserving them. He also stated that Chongtul was a reincarnated lama from Kyong Tsang Monastery in eastern Tibet.
Chongtul Rinpoche joined the Menri Monastery at age of seven to stay with His Holiness. He studied reading and writing of Bon texts and attended an English school. When he was only 10, His Holiness gave Chongtul Rinpoche the responsibility of the Protector House. For two years he made the traditional invocations in the morning and evening to the Bon guardians.
When Chongtul Rinpoche was fourteen he entered the Bon Dialectic School where he studied sutra, tantra, and Dzogchen. During that time he received all of the Bon initiations, transmissions, and the teachings from His Holiness Lungtok Tenpai Nyima and Lopon Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche. Chongtul Rinpoche was appointed at age 16 to the high position of Prayer Leader of Men-ri Monastery. He served 6 years in this capacity.
When he was 20 years old, His Holiness the 33rd sMen-ri Trizin revealed to Chongtul Rinpoche that he was the reincarnation of Sherap Tenpai Gyaltsen, one of His Holiness' lamas from Tibet. At the age of 23 he was awarded the geshe degree, the highest level of education in Tibetan philosophy.
Chongtul Rinpoche had received many invitations to visit Tibet from Kyong Tsang Monastery, the home monastery of his previous incarnation. In 1994, he attempted to go there but was unable to acquire a visa due to the political situation in Tibet. An enthronement ceremony was performed in his honor at sMen-ri Monastery in India when he was 27 years old. At that time His Holiness named him Chongtul Rinpoche. He was asked to be one of the two teachers in the Bon Dialectic School. The next year, Chongtul Rinpoche was made Secretary of the gYungdrung Bon monastic Center, which is the head office of the Bon religion. At age 28, he began his work with the Bon Children's Welfare Center, which is an orphanage for approximately 120 Bon boys.
In 1996, Chogtul Rinpoche traveled to Tibet as the assistant to His Holiness Lungtok Tenpai Nyima. The trip took him to the areas of Kham, Amdo, and upper Tibet. He visited 23 monasteries, including gYungdrung Ling Monastery and sMen-ri Monastery. During this trip he was finally able to visit Kyong Tsang Monastery, his home monastery in Tibet.
He currently is serving as President of the Bon Student Welfare Trust, which he founded. He is Secretary of the gYungdrung Bon Center, and teaches at the Bon Dialectic School. During the first visit of His Holiness the 33rd sMen-ri Trizin Lungtok Tenpai Nyima to the United States Chongtul Rinpoche accompanied him as his assistant.
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