Dzogchen Rinpoche is the head lama of Dzogchen Monastery, one of the largest monasteries in eastern Tibet which was destroyed in 1959 and rebuilt in the 1980s.
The current Dzogchen Rinpoche, who is enumerated as the seventh in the lineage of mindstream 'emanations', 'Jikme Losal Wangpo', was born in Gangtok, Sikkim in 1964, as the younger brother of Sogyal Rinpoche.
He was enthroned by Dodrupchen Rinpoche at the Royal Palace in Gangtok 1972.
He went on to study at the Institute of Dialectics in Dharamsala, where his education was closely supervised by the 14th Dalai Lama.
His main teachers include Dodrupchen Rinpoche, Dudjom Rinpoche and Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. He established a Dzogchen Monastery in exile, in Kollegal, South India, which was inaugurated by the Dalai Lama in 1992.
The subject depicted in this thangka is called Guruparampara, a “Line of Teachers.”
It depicts the family tree of Nyingma lineage, as it were, and its function is to indicate a line of descent.
The meaning of this presentation is to show a refuge for believers. It creates a kind of structure with a number of deities and teachers in whom devotees take refuge, because they will help believers in the course of their spiritual development.
Nyingma traditional histories consider their teachings to trace back to the first Buddha Samantabhadra (Güntu Sangpo) and Indian mahasiddhas such as Garab Dorjé, Śrī Siṃha and Jñānasūtra.
Traditional sources trace the origin of the Nyingma order in Tibet to figures associated with the initial introduction of Buddhism in the 8th century, such as Padmasambhava, Yeshe Tsogyal, Vimalamitra, Vairotsana, Buddhaguhya and Shantaraksita.
Nyingma teachings are also known for having been passed down through networks of lay practitioners .