1st Bardor Rinpoche and Gharwang Rinpoche
[From Precious Essence: The Inner Autobiography of Terchen Barway Dorje. Copyright Karma Triyana Dharmachakra, Bardor Tulku Rinpoche, and Peter O’Hearn. All rights reserved.]
“In my eleventh year [This means he was 10. In Tibetan, age is not given by telling how many years you have finished, but by telling what year you are in] Gharwang Rinpoche and Tenga Rinpoche [Two major tulkus of Surmang] went to Palpung Monastery, and I had the good fortune to accompany them. It was therefore in that year that I first saw the mandala of the face of Lord Maitreya, Tai Situ Pema Nyinche Wangpo. This lord was someone who could transform your perception in an instant simply by seeing him. Therefore, even though I was so young, I saw him as an actual buddha, and immediately upon meeting him, gave rise to unconditional faith in him. When I first met him, my perceptions of the world dissolved. The first dharma connection I established with him was an empowerment of Amitayus and Hayagriva together, and therefore I credit him with my longevity because he established the interdependence for it on that day. I also received from him at that time the One Word of Advice From the Heart, the 3rd Gyalwang Karmapa Rangjung Dorje’s short commentary on mahamudra; Mahamudra Hitting You Like Lightning by the 1st Gyalwang Karmapa Dusum Khyenpa; and The Pointing Out of the Objects of the Six Consciousnesses, which Guru Rinpoche gave to Nanam Dorje Dudjom. When I received Situ Rinpoche’s instructions on all of these things, I saw at that time ordinary cognition nakedly. It was he who did me the kindness of directly and all at once showing me self-arisen wisdom. Therefore, my actual root guru, my true Vajradhara, is he, Situ Rinpoche.”
2nd Bardor Rinpoche and Gharwang Rinpoche
[From the biography of the Second Bardor Rinpoche, The Light of Dawn, composed by Karma Tupten and translated by Lama Yeshe Gyamtso. All rights reserved.]
“In recounting Bardor Rinpoche’s life from his fifth year up to his nineteenth, I will combine the two subjects I listed as third and fourth—his undertaking of renunciation and completion, and his receiving empowerments and transmissions—into one and also describe how he learned to read and studied the major and minor sciences. This will have two parts. The first is his early training.
“First Tsangsar Rinchen Dargye taught him to read. Within twelve months he was pretty much able to recite the communal liturgies. Then the appointment of his tutor was discussed. Gharwang Rinpoche decided through divination that it should be Gechen Tsegyal. He received the appointment, and under his tutelage Bardor Rinpoche became able to recite all of our rituals without difficulty.
“Toward the beginning of his seventh year Bardor Rinpoche undertook renunciation in the presence of Surmang Khenpo Padma Namgyal, who also taught him grammar, writing, the Shramanerakarika, and the Three Vows.
“On an auspicious day, in the presence of Surmang Tentrul Rinpoche, Gharwang Rinpoche, and all the lamas and monks of Surmang Namgyaltse Monastery, Bardor Rinpoche was placed on the Red Throne of Shartse at Namgyaltse. This ceremony was performed with great elaboration. During it rainbows shone from the throne, red lightning flashed, a humming sound was heard, and there were other wonders. These were signs that the protector Tsengö was pleased. The history of the Red Throne is clearly recounted in the autobiography of Terchen Barway Dorje.
“Bardor Rinpoche received the empowerments, transmissions, and instructions of the Five Wheels of the Whispered Lineage of Surmang from Tentrul Rinpoche. He received the empowerment for Surmang Tradition Severance; Machik’s Great Explanation; the instruction-transmission of the White Crystal Mirror; the Round Empowerments for the Sixty-Two Deity Mandala of Chakrasamvara of the Surmang Tradition; and the empowerments, transmission, and instruction for the Ten Deity Mandala of the Four-Armed Mahakala from Gharwang Rinpoche. He received the Great Feast Dance, the Image of Eighty, the Five-Faced Great Torma, the Great Ninth Day Dance, the Instructions on Great Fulfillment, the Great Empowerment of the Four-Armed Mahakala, the Matrika Ekajati, and all the other empowerments, transmissions, and instructions of the Whispered Lineage of Surmang without exception from Kunzang Dorje.”