History of H. E. Yangsi Kalu Rinpoche
Through the noble intentions of His Eminence Dorje Chang Kyabje Kalu Rinpoche (1905 - 1989), his incarnation, Yangsi Kalu Rinpoche, was born on September 17, 1990, during the monthly Shangpa Kagyu Mahakala Puja (prayer ritual). Signaling this special birth, the sky was filled with a canopy of rainbows similar to those that appeared after His Eminence Kyabje Kalu Rinpoche’s paranivana.
Both of Yangsi Kalu‘s parents - his father, Lama Gyaltsen, and his mother, Drolkar - were devoted friends, family and servants to his previous manifestation. Both parents had accompanied the previous Kalu Rinpoche on many tours of western countries, diligently looking after his safety and health. In a demonstration of both intention and prophecy, His Eminence Dorje Chang Kyabje Kalu Rinpoche made a will leaving his monastic property in Bhutan and India to his future parents.
Yangsi Kalu was officially recognized as the Second Kyabje Kalu Rinpoche by His Eminence the 12th Tai Situ Rinpoche on March 25, 1992. Tai Situ Rinpoche then sent a letter of recognition to Yangzi’s father Lama Gyaltsen. His Holiness the Dalai Lama was consulted and confirmed that Yangsi Kalu, then one and a half years old, was surely and unmistakably the reincarnation of the previous Dorje Chang Kyabje Kalu Rinpoche. He was formally enthroned as the holder of the Shangpa Kagyu lineage on February 25, 1993.
As a young child the Second Kalu Rinpoche followed in the footsteps of his predecessor who had travelled widely. In July of 1992, he was invited to visit the Buddhist meditation centers founded in France by his previous incarnation. In December of 1992, he made his first pilgrimage to Bodhgaya, India where the Buddha achieved enlightenment. In 1993, Yangsi Kalu’s parents took him to Tibet to be officially presented to His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, head of the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. In June of 1995, accompanied by his parents and the Venerable Bokar Rinpoche, Rinpoche began his first worldwide tour. They visited Europe, North America and Asia, where his previous disciples and many others were moved by the young Tulku’s gentle, loving presence displaying the qualities of a true Bodhisattva.
When visiting Bodhgaya in 1992 the young Yangsi attended the daily gathering of monks to recite Samantabhadra aspirations prayers, performed prostrations, and made offerings to the representations of the Buddha’s body, speech, and mind. Yangsi gave gifts to the beggars without having been taught to do so and displayed much pleasure in doing benevolent acts, which astonished those present and led to feelings of great faith in him. Yangsi Kalu Rinpoche’s greatest joy was found in playing the various ritual musical instruments, such as ra-gung (long horns) and gya-ling (short horns). His deep interest in meditation, chanting, calligraphy and the traditional musical instruments revealed his deep affinity for Dharma activity. When in Bodhgaya Rinpoche played the ritual hand drum and bell proficiently at the head of the assembly, demonstrating to everyone his understanding of sacred rituals. He comported himself in a kind and loving manner unusual for one his age and his character revealed peacefulness, discipline and complete fearlessness.
When His Eminence Kalu Rinpoche was seven years old he journeyed with his parents to attend the annual ten-day Kagyu Monlam prayer gathering in Bodhgaya. Shortly after their return to Droden Kunchab Chodey Tashi Gomang Stupa in Salugara, Rinoche’s father passed away. After this sudden and sad event His Eminence asked that he be allowed to go to Bokar Monastery to begin his formal studies. With this move he entered fully into his inheritance as the Second Kalu Rinpoche and received the complete empowerments of the Shangpa Kagyu lineage from the Venerable Bokar Rinpoche. In 2005 he entered into the traditional Shangpa Kagyu three-year retreat at Bokar Monastery which he completed in September of 2008.