H.H. Ngawang Kunga Tashi Trinley

His Holiness Ngawang Kunga Tashi Trinley (c. 1934 – c. 1997)

Sakya Phunstsok Phodrang

Kyabgon Ngawang Kunga Tashi Trinley was born in 1934 during the wood-dog year. He is widely known as Kyabgon Kuzhon Rinpoche of Phuntsok Phodrang, the younger brother of Vajradhāra Kyabgon Jigdral Dagchen Rinpoche. Rinpoche is also known to be the incarnation of Dolma Phodrang’s Kyabgon Jamyang Thupten Zangpo.

At the age of six, he received the orange Manjushri empowerment from his father, Trichen Vajradhāra Ngawang Thutop Wangchuk, the fortieth Sakya Trichen. Kyabgon Kuzhon Rinpoche learned reading and writing, passed the ritual performance examination. He completed accumulation and purification of the preliminary practices as well as tutelary yidam practices. He received many empowerments and pith instructions from his father, including the Lamdré teachings. Under Lhakhang Khenchen Jampal Zangpo, he studied many philosophical texts such as Bodhisattvacaryāvatāra and Madhyamakāvatāra. When Rinpoche was sixteen, he received his novice vow from Khangsar Khenchen Dhampa Rinpoche. He received the full ordination from Yongzin Ling Rinpoche and thus became a Vajra-holder with three vows.

In 1959, Kuzhon Rinpoche along with Jigdral Dagchen Rinpoche and his attendants went into exile like other Tibetans and arrived at Darjeeling, India. Not long after that he moved to the United States and spent his life in Dharma practice. He entered into parinirvāṇa at the age of 61 in 1997.

Adapted from Brief Biography of H.H. Ngawang Kunga Trinley, by H.E. Abhaya Vajra Rinpoche (Source: Sakya Calendar App)