1895 – 1959


The great renowned treasure revealer Drodül Pawo Dorje (Adzom Drukpa), is a combination of the wisdom activities of Guru Rinpoche, Pelwang, Ma Rinchen Chok and Khandro Yeshe Tsogyal. According to the predictions of the Great Jamgön Kongtrul Rinpoche and Ja Rong Tertön Rinpoche, his wife Khandro Tashi Lhamo gave birth to a third son, who was born on the Fire Monkey year – 1895, amid numerous marvelous signs.


Right after his birth, his father prophesized him as the most recent reincarnation of Terdag Lingpa Gyurme Dorje and immediately gave him the name Rigdzin Gyurme Dorje.Also he was recognized as an unmistaken reincarnation of Palyul Gyatrul Pema Dongag Tenzin again and again.By Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, he was also recognized as the emanation of Vajrapani. He had clear recollections of his previous lifetimes as the victorious one Rongzom, Terchen Sherab Ozer, Kunzang Sherab of Palyul Monastery, among others. Jamgön Kontrul Rinpoche prophesied that the boy would become the holder of the definitive Inner Essence teachings (Nyingthig) in future.


He received the Pratimoksha vows of Nagarjuna Linage from Kathok Situ Gyatso, giving him the name Gyurme Ngeden Tenzin, and also received some secret teachings and empowerments of the four Heart Essences (Nyingthig Yabshi). From Dzogtrul Thubten Chökyi Gyatso he received many Dzogchen teachings;  Gyurme Dorje trained under many other gurus, tulkus, and mentors, including Khenchen Diipa Gyatso of Dokhol Monastery in Trom, he studied a wide range of subjects pertaining to the sutras, tantras, and other fields of knowledge such as grammar, the three Vows, the way of the Bodhisattvas (Bodhicharyavatara), Madhyamakavatara, Abhidharma, also studied and contemplated the teachings of Mahayoga, in which eventually became well renowned, and he was very disciplined, good minded and scholar.

He was inseparable from his father and main guru, who with great love transmitted to him the very essence of the pith instructions, the path of the Natural Great Perfection, from the preliminary practices to the advanced stages of trekchö and togal. Adzom Drukpa conferred on Gyurme Dorje the entire secret treasury of spiritual advice, including the teachings of the secret Nyingthig, The Heart Drop of Chetsun, and his own profound termas; Gyurme Dorje put them into practice, and realization arose in him.


Adzom Drukpa entrusted his son as a master of the teachings of the ultimate lineage, installing him as his successor at their main seat. Placing his two hands on Gyurme Dorje’s head and gazing to the sky, said, “I have passed and entrusted you completely all I have known, my teachings and realization, and now you’re responsible to serve sentient beings as much as you can”. Thus radiating so many small white lights from his nose he finally went into the Mahaparinirvana, the space of Primordial Absolute Nature.

After that, Gyurme Dorje followed his directive and turned the wheel of the dharma, including the very essence of the supreme secret. All the communities of his hundreds of thousands of students regarded Gyurme Dorje as indistinguishable from the precious lord guru Adzom Drukpa. Even the older students, overcoming their hesitation, bowed at his feet. Gyurme Dorje’s activities and the benefit he ensured for beings spread to fill all of space. In these later times, he was a pivotal figure in transmitting the Dzogchen teachings.


Gyurme Dorje wrote many commentaries, including a detail explanation on the“Sutra of the Recollection of the Three Jewels”; A Commentary on the Great Graduated Path of Magical Display, commentary on the Prayer of Good Actions (bhadracarya pranidara), Explanation of the Mandala, Presentation on the four Kinds of Empowerment, also a commentary about Guru Yoga and many other various text. Although Gyurme Dorje received the transmission of many caches of profound termas in his visions of Guru Rinpoche, he did not codify many of them, but focused instead on transmitting more ancient termas.


He also had numerous disciples: Jamyang Tenzin Gyatso the reincarnation of Zha Patrul Rinpoche, Geshe Lharipa Dargye from Amdo Chodzong monastery, Dezhung Choktrul Rinpoche Kunga Tenpai Gyaltsen, Dezhung Khenchen Adzom, Mindroling Chung Rinpoche Ngawang Chodrak, Minling Dungse Yambal Chödrak, Go-jo Choktrul Pema Kunzang Rangdrol, Nyoshul Lungthok Tulku Rinpoche, Konchok Rinpoche Tsering Wangdak, Rigdzing Palden Rinpoche from Bhutan, and most notably, the rebirth of his lord father, Drukpa Rinpoche, who was a great upholder of the ultimate lineage.In brief he had many disciples that were lamas and tulkus, Achyaras and teachers, monks and lay people who practiced from ngöndro (preliminary Practices) up to the utmost teachings of Dzogchen.

End of his Life

By 1958 he was sent to prison when the crisis started in Tibet. It was said that when his hands were tied by the handcuffs, police were amazed when it got loose immediately. When he was in prison he said to his disciple Kunzang, “this entire bad situation that falls upon us happens due to our own karma, which indicates that we were more careless by following the law of cause and effect. But no matter what happens, Buddhadharma, in particular the Heart Essence (Nyingthig) will flourish endlessly like sunshine”. On the morning of the 10th day, 5th month of Earth Pig year – 1959, when he was 64 years old, after benefitting lots of sentient being and without much illness, he attained the Mahaparinirvana, the Absolute Nature with miraculous signs such as radiating white rays and rainbow lights.


Adzom Gyalse Tulku at Memorial Stupa of Adzom Gyalse Gyurme Dorje – Adzom Gar, August 2017