Khyentse Yangsi Rinpoche, aka Ugyen Tenzin Jigme Lhundrup — the reincarnation of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, born in Nepal on the 30th of June 1993, as the son of Tsikey Chokling Rinpoche. Trulshik Rinpoche had numerous dreams and visions that clearly indicated the identity of the incarnation. Trulshik Rinpoche performed the ceremony of offering a name and robes to the young tulku. His actual enthronement took place at Shechen Tennyi Dargyeling Monastery in Nepal, in December 1997.
Khyentse Yangsi Rinpoche is being educated in the quiet of Bhutan under the guidance of Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche and is currently following a complete nine-year shedra course.
Shedra — the Tibetan word shedra literally means a ‘centre for teaching’. In traditional monastic centres, the shedra is the school where monks and nuns study the most important Buddhist scriptures, based on the explanations of their teacher, or khenpo.
Amongst the first, and perhaps the most famous, of Tibetan shedras was the one at Dzogchen monastery called Shri Singha shedra, founded in the nineteenth century by the great master Gyalsé Shenpen Thayé. His reincarnation, the great Khenpo Shenga (1871-1927), who taught at several shedras including Dzongsar, wrote several volumes of brilliant commentaries, which helped to establish the standard curriculum in many shedras, particularly in the Nyingma and Sakya monasteries of eastern Tibet.
Many of the shedras in Tibet, and those founded recently by the exiled community in India and Nepal, base their programme on a set number of texts. In the Nyingma school, this has often meant the ‘thirteen great texts’ of India, together with their Tibetan commentaries. Together with the minor subjects such as grammar and history, this may take anything up to twelve or thirteen years to complete.
In the Ngagyur Nyingma Insitute of Namdroling Monastery in South India, for example, the full programme lasts for nine years, with the first six years devoted to a study of the sutras and the final three focused mainly upon the vajrayana.
Ju Mipham Rinpoche (1846-1912) — a great Nyingma master and writer of the last century, student of Jamgön Kongtrul, Jamyang Khyentsé Wangpo and Patrul Rinpoche. Mipham Rinpoche was born in the region of Derge in eastern Tibet. At the age of fifteen he undertook eighteen months of intensive retreat on Manjushri. Blessed by Manjushri, he became one of the greatest scholars of his time. His collected works fill more than thirty volumes. His chief disciple was Shechen Gyaltsab Pema Namgyal.
N.B. : De lange lijst van deze teksten, hun vele commentaren en hun naamgeving maken het moeilijk de autobiografie te volgen van belangrijke Rinpoches van de Tibetaanse overdrachtslijnen.
The new Tibetan shedras attracted a great number of Bhutanese students towards the end of the 20th century which gradually led to the spread of the new shedra educational culture in Bhutan. Today, Bhutan has many new shedras, where monks go through a rigorous nine year scholastic training in Buddhist philosophy, grammar and linguistics, history and poetry. The emphasis of the shedra education lies on exegesis and commentary (བཤད་པ་).
Such understanding is further reinforced by many classical works praising the scholastic learning of Buddhist system both for the sake of reaching enlightenment and helping other sentient beings. An oft-cited verse from Maitreya claims that without mastering the five sciences of linguistics (སྒྲ་), logic and epistemology (ཚད་མ་), arts and crafts (བཟོ་), medicine (གསོ་བ་) and inner sciences or soteriology (ནང་དོན་), even an exalted being cannot reach full enlightenment. Furthermore, Śāntideva, one of the most influential authors studied in the shedras, asserts that there is nothing an heir to the Buddha would not learn, for there is nothing which he or she cannot turn into an act of merit.