Changkya Rolpe Dorje
The current day incarnation line of Changkya Rolpe Dorje is His Holiness Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche. Kyabje Pabongka is the undisputed incarnation of this Great Heruka Master. I quote this directly from Kensur Lobsang Tharchin’s explanation from his book “Principal Teachings of Buddhism”. Pabongka Rinpoche’s previous incarnation as this master ushered in a golden age of Lama Tsongkapa’s tradition to the Emperors of China, their court and to the nation. Changkya Rolpe Dorje’s line of incarnation is very connected to China and the immense benefit he brought to the nation is beyond any measure of kindness.
This charming lama is presented in his yogic aspect as an adept of the Chakrasamvara (Superbliss Machine) Mother Tantra, as signified by the standing khatvanga staff attached to his left shoulder, and perhaps the feminine connotation of the elaborate floral arrangement held in his right hand. If it is Rolpe Dorje (1717-86), it is an idealized form, not depicting the prominent facial lump that usually identifies his sculptures. (Otherwise, it might be one of the Panchen Lamas.) The large khatvanga standing next to his left arm signifies that he very well could be Rolpe Dorje, since it means that the lama is an adept of the Unexcelled Yoga of the Chakrasamvara Tantra.
The Changkya Hutuktu, Rolpe Dorje, was brought to Beijing by the Yongsheng Manchu emperor (1678-1735) in the early 18th century, since he had been the lama guru of the previous Kangxi emperor (1654-1722) and his incarnation lineage was highly respected by the people of that area of Mongolia now incorporated into China as “Inner” Mongolia. He was brought up by lama tutors, but also attended the palace school for imperial princes, becoming a schoolmate and friend of Prince Hongshi, who later became the Qianlong emperor. This enabled him to accomplish a great deal for Tibetan Buddhist institutions in China, Mongolia, and Tibet. He was a student of the Seventh Dalai Lama and a teacher of the Eighth. He was an important lineage holder in several adept traditions of both Father and Mother Tantras.
Extracted from “A Shrine for Tibet – The Alice S. Kandell Collection” by Marylin Rhie and Robert Thurman, page 132-133, published by Tibet House US
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