The Fifth Khedrup – Ugyen Tenzin Thinley Lhendrup
Monla Khedrup Rinpoche (also referred to as Khedrupchen Rinpoche) was born in 1990 in Eastern Bhutan. He was recognized and enthroned as the fifth reincarnation of Kyabgon Monla Khedrup Jigme Kundrol, a renowned scholar and practitioner from Bhutan who was one of the main students of Jigme Lingpa, a highly revered and realized teacher of eighteenth century Tibet.
Rinpoche started his formal monastic education from the age of thirteen in Phagchok Monastery in Eastern Bhutan under the guidance of Lama Kunzang Namdrol. In 2006, he joined Mindrolling College in India for nine years of advanced Buddhist studies in sutras and tantras where he graduated in 2015 with an acharya degree (equivalent to a Ph.D.). Upon completion he was appointed teaching faculty at Mindrolling, a great honor, and taught there for three years. He has studied directly under many eminent Buddhist teachers across various sects of Tibetan Buddhism. His main teachers are the late His Holiness the Fourth Dodrupchen Rinpoche, Dzongsar Jamyang Khyenste Rinpoche, Dza Jigme Namgyal, Namkhai Nyingpo Rinpoche, Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche and Khenchen Katayana. He has also completed several years of intensive short and long-term meditation retreats.
Rinpoche is Founder and President of Khedrup Foundation, a non-profit religious organization registered in Bhutan, Supreme Head of Rephel Mebar Lhakhang, a 1,200-year old temple of great historical significant in Trongsa, Central Bhutan, and Founder and Spiritual Director of Sangchen Ogyen Tsuklag Monastery in Trongsa, Central Bhutan and Phajo Gonpa Gomde, a yogi retreat center, in Samdrup Jongkhar, Eastern Bhutan.
Rinpoche’s activities often consist of putting wisdom and compassion into social action. In 2016, he founded Siddhartha’s Wisdom Club to introduce Buddhist wisdom and values for youth, helping them live in harmony with their inner and outer nature, particularly connecting inner well-being with environmental preservation. In 2017, he founded the Ami-Deva Association for elder citizens to help create a community of connection and belonging where they can deeply practice meditation for inner well-being. Additionally, Rinpoche is involved in numerous humanitarian activities across the country in a range of areas.
Rinpoche travels around the world teaching and collaborating with scholars and practitioners in universities, institutes, and centers in order to innovate new skillful-means for teaching Buddha-Dharma in a modern context and to continue the lineages of Buddhism for future generations.
Some of the Universities, Institutions & event’s where Rinpoche has taught and continues to teach:
- Teaching Faculty in Nyagyur Nyingma College in Dehradhun India, 2016 – 2018
- Xiamen University in Fujian China (Vajrachadikha/ Diamond Sutra) 2017
- Mountain Echoes in Bhutan (Mindfulness Meditation) 2017
- San Miguel, Mexico (Buddhist Teachings as a Foundation of Happiness) 2018
- The Quantum Academy in Singapore (Meditation & Innovation & How to Implement them in the Modern World) 2018
- Berkeley Dzogchen Centre (Emptiness Meditation) 2018
- Global Purpose Summit in San Francisco (The One Day Practice) 2018
- California Institute of Integral Studies (Buddhist Practice in Cosmological Development) 2018 & (Intersection of Buddhism, Psychology & Technology) 2019
- Neykor teachings for DrukAsia, 2019
- Organised the teachings for 7 treasure teachings given by Kyabje Namkhai Nyingpo Rinpoche in Tharpaling Bumthang, 2019
- Stanford University (Mindfulness meditation) 2019
- Consciousness Hacking (How modern technology will influence Buddhism) 2019, 2018
- Forth International Conference on Vajrayana Buddhism (Vajrayana Buddhism in Bhutan) 2022
- International Buddhist confederation, New Delhi (Abhidharma Divas) 2022
- Silent mentor, KL Malaysia (discovering the blissful journey) 2022
- Dharma group, Penang, Malaysia (Exploring the wisdom of Buddha) 2022
- Karma Kagyu Dharma society, Miri (Mindfulness meditation) 2022
- Bukit Jalil park, KL Malaysia (Dharma in daily life) 2022
- Club 1880, Singapore (Engineering the compassionate mind) 2022, 2019
- University of Pennsylvania (Turning the wheel of dharma) 2022
- Explorers Club New York (Guru on the flying tigress) 2023
- Southport congregation church, Connecticut (Four noble truths) 2023
- Luminious Awareness Institute in San Francisco, San Carlos (Dzogchen Preliminary) 2019, 2020, 2023
Read a detailed account on Rinpoche’s lineage and previous incarnations here.
Birth & Early Childhood
Monla Khedrup Rinpoche was born in the year 1990 to Yum Tshewang Paldron & Yab Tenzin Dorji on the full moon day of the third month in Shingkhar Lauri, Samdrup Jongkhar in Bhutan. Rinpoche's birth was accompanied by many miraculous signs such as circular rainbows forming atop the house of his parents, the water in the house turning milkish, light rain resembling flowers and a unique multi-colored flower that no one had seen before blooming from the cracks of the house as well as right outside the door.
Yum Tshewang Paldron recalls that the 4th Khedrupchen Rinpoche, who was a Yogi and wanderer prophesized that he would be reborn as her son. When the 4th Khedrup was wandering through different places doing his practices during the final years of his life, Mayumla was a young girl, no more than 13 years of age who feeling devotion for the 4th Khedrup chose to serve him by bringing him food, washing his clothes and carrying his things for him. It was due to her compassion and devotion that the 4th Khedrup left this prophecy.
From a young age, Rinpoche demonstrated unexcelled intelligence and a deep interest in the Buddha dharma. As he began talking, Rinpoche recalled his past lives with vivid clarity and asked to be taken to the places where previous Khedrup's had lived and meditated. As soon as he was able to walk, he would pack up his things into a small bag and leave the house. Mayum Tshewang Paldon never thought much about it until later when he was recognized as the reincarnation of a great wanderer-yogi.
As he was growing up in the village, Rinpoche continued to demonstrate that he was no ordinary being. Through various incidents, Rinpoche has left miraculous signs such as his footprint & hand print on the rocks which has become a site of worship for the villagers.
At twelve years old, Rinpoche was taken under the care of Late Drubwang Kunzang Namdrol in Phagchok Samdrupcholing Monastery where he studied basic rituals, rites and Buddhist studies until the age of sixteen.
Rinpoche then attended Ngagyur Nyingma College, Mindrolling Monastery (one of the main Nyingma Monasteries in Tibetan Buddhism) in Dehradun, India and he graduated in 2014. Rinpoche completed both his undergraduate and post graduate studies in Buddhist Philosophy in the Ngagyur Nyingma College where he returned for 3 more years to teach as a teacher.