Chongtul Rinpoche

Chongtul Rinpoche was born in 1967 in Oachghat, Himachal Pradesh, India.
When Chongtul was seven years old, the abbot of Yungdrung Ling Monastery asked the abbot of Menri Monastery, His Holiness the 33rd Menri Trizin Lungtok Tenpai Nyima, to look after Chongtul. He told H.H. that Chongtul Rinpoche was connected to Bon spiritual transmissions and that he would be of great help in preserving them. Chongtul joined the Menri Monastery at the age of seven to stay with His Holiness. He studied the reading and writing of Bon texts and attended an English school. When he was only 10, His Holiness gave Chongtul the responsibility of the Protector House. For two years, he made the traditional invocations in the morning and evening to the Bon guardians. When Chongtul was 14, he entered the Bon Dialectic School where he studied Sutra, Tantra, and Dzogchen. During that time he received all of the Bon initiations, transmissions, and teachings from His Holiness Lungtok Tenpai Nyima and Lopon Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche.


At the age of 16, Chongtul Rinpoche was appointed to the high position of Prayer Leader of Menri Monastery. When he was 20 years old, His Holiness the 33rd Menri Trizin revealed to Chongtul Rinpoche that he was the reincarnation of Sherap Tenpai Gyaltsen, one of His Holiness’ lamas from Tibet. At the age of 23, he was awarded the geshe degree, the highest level of education in Tibetan philosophy. Chongtul Rinpoche had received many invitations to visit Tibet from Kyong Tsang Monastery, the home monastery of his previous incarnation. In 1994, he attempted to go there but was unable to acquire a visa due to the political situation in Tibet. An enthronement ceremony was performed in his honor at Menri Monastery in India when he was 27 years old. At that time, His Holiness named him Chongtul Rinpoche. He was asked to be one of the two teachers in the Bon Dialectic School. The next year, Chongtul Rinpoche was made Secretary of the Yungdrung Bon monastic Center, which is the head office of the Bon religion. At age 28, he began his work with the Bon Children’s Welfare Center, which is an orphanage for approximately 120 Bon boys. In 1996, Chogtul Rinpoche traveled to Tibet as assistant to His Holiness. During this trip, he was finally able to visit Kyong Tsang Monastery, his home monastery in Tibet.

Chongtul Rinpoche is the founder of Bon Shen Ling: Tibetan Bon Education Fund in New Jersey, USA. Bon Shen Ling is a place for the Bon practice of compassion. Chongtul Rinpoche has been teaching Bön religion in North America over the last decade. Each year the number of students increases because of a growing interest in meditation and in Bön religion. Rinpoche believes that the interest in Bon – particularly the Bon Dzogchen meditation system – reflects a growing desire for peace.