70th Je Khenpo of Bhutan: His Holiness Truelku Jigme Choedra


His holiness Truelku Ngawang Jigme Chhoedra was born in Lhuendrup Tsi , Kurmoed to father Rinzin Dorji and mother Kuenzang Choden in  15thof 7th month, wood sheep year (1955) with many auspicious birth signs. His holiness started narrating his previous life quite often at the age of 4 to which his parents took him to meet with his holiness Drupwang Sonam Zangpo in Bay yul. He was then recognized as the incarnate of the Gyeshey Pema Thering and started his monastic education from a very early age.

70th je
His Holiness the 70th Je Khenpo : PC: Google

At the age of six in the iron ox year ( 1961), His parents took him to meet his holiness Dujom Rinpochoe Jigdrel Yeshey Dorji who was then residing in Kalingpong and received the empowerment in the precious treasure scripture (gter ma collection made by kong sprul blo gros mtha yas )  and came back to Bhutan at the age of 8.

His holiness after returning to Bhutan in the year water sheep (1963) with his master Sonam Zangpo went on pilgrimage to India and received empowerment as an ordained monk with commitment, and also studied the art of mandala script.  After his mastery under the tutorship of Thuksey Rinopche, His holiness also learned the science of evidence and the teaching of Shantideva in engaging in the Bodhisattva deeds from his teacher Khenpo Sonam Dargay. His holiness also received the entire discourse in self emancipation from Khenpo Noryang.

At the age of 10, to supplement on his empowerment and blessings, his Holiness sought refuge from Dujom Rinpoche in Dorji Ling in the year 1965 and got empowerment in Oral transmission of 108 volumes of the precepts of Buddha and newly concealed book on the circle of teaching by Dujom Rinpoche Jigdrel Yeshey Dorji.

At the age of 12 in the year fire sheep (1967), he also receive the entire empowerment in Rinchen Terzoed  ( gter ma collection made by kong sprul gros mtha yas) and subsequently in the iron dog year ( 1970) , at the age of 15, his holiness referred himself to the tutorship of the then Jekhenpo of Bhutan. His holiness the 68thJekhenpo knowing the potential and foreseeing the benefits to all the sentient being in Bhutan in the future enrolled him as the registered monk in Central monastic Body of Bhutan.

 His holiness also received the traditional Bhutanese spiritual maturation and other empowerment such as the approach to the Mantra gate way of preparatory Mahamudra, great seal of perpetual instruction on vision, six tenets of Buddhism, practice of six circle of Samara, seven supreme fruition effect of relational existence, the precious profound path, hundred thousand precepts of Kuenkhen, collected works of the Kagyud forefather and the great perfection in primordial wisdom.

To supplement on the empowerment, his holiness also learned orthography and the proponent of the middle path from his holiness the 69thJe Khenpo Gyeshey Gueden Rinchen.   His holiness also served as clerk, superintend and tutor.

At the age of 24 in the year Wood Rabbit ( 1975), His holiness received the empowerment in the continuous vow on the definite emergence on cautiousness as the ordained monk from Lopen Sangay Tenphel. At the age of twenty one, his holiness also received the entire teaching on Peling tradition from his holiness Dujom Rinpoche. Continuously in the year 1979 at the age of 24, his holiness received the newly concealed books on circle of teachings transmission from Dujom Rinpoche at Nepal.

His holiness at the age of 26, in the year 1981 underwent the meditation practice for around a year until in the year 1983, under the patronage of her Royal Highness Ashi Phuntsho Chhoden, His holiness underwent the three year retreat in Dorjiling in India. His holiness after his 3 years retreat came to Bhutan and served as the principal to Tango Buddhist university and following the royal command of fourth King in the year 1978, his holiness was appointed as one of the Lopens in Central Monastic Body.

His holiness served as a Drapai Lopen for four years and during his tenure as a Drapai lopen, he passed down the oral transmission of empowerment of the hundred thousand Precepts of Buddhism, and also donated a pair of sliver conch to the monastery and finally resign from the post at the age of 36 in the iron sheep year( 1991). His holiness went to Shar Khuju Goempa gave oral transmission of the hundred thousand precepts and the seven supreme relational existence to the monastic community.

His holiness at the age of 38 returned to Thimphu Dechenphodrang under the invitation of his patrons gave the oral transmission of the great hundred thousand precepts to the genral public and monastic community. His holiness also donated two hundred thousand ngultrums to the monastic schools and meditation centers. His majesty the fourth king then commanded him to take the charge of Dorji lopen of Central Monsatic Body in the year 1995 and served for a year and finally appointed as the 70thJe Khenpo of Bhutan in the year 1996.


Tandin,T.( r17). དཔལ་ལྡན་འབྲུག་པ་མཁན་ཆེན་ཁྲི་རབས་གསལ་བའི་མེ་ལོང. Thimphu,Bhutan.

I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Lop Chimmi Dorji of Sherubtse College, Lopen Penden and Ap Dophu Tserin in helping me in acquiring some of the information on his Holiness.

Lama Kheno.



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