His Eminence Lhalung Sungtrul Rinpoche, Jigdrel Kuenzang Pema Dorji is the 11th in a direct line of incarnations of Pema Lingpa. Rinpoche was born in 1968 to Aum Rinchen and Dasho Thinley Namgyel, son of terton Chungtruel Rinpoche in Bumthang Chumey Valley.
Sungtrul Rinpoche was recognized as the undisputed 11th incarnation of terton Pema Lingpa by a number of great Buddhist masters, like Dudjom Rinpoche, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa in 1969.
At the age of seven, he started his early education at Tharpaling monastery under His Holiness Kathog Rinpoche and Lopen Tsheten of Tamshing Monastery. By the age of 10, he travelled throughout Bhutan and Nepal under the tutelage of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. From 1983 to 1985, Rinpoche studied in Rumtek Shedrup Chokorling in Sikkim, receiving many transmissions and empowerments from the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje. Rinpoche completed his Master in Buddhist philosophy from Namdroling Monastery, Mysore, India. Thereafter, Rinpoche went into retreat for more than three years at Gangteg retreat centre in Wangdue.
In 1993, His Majesty the fourth King of Bhutan appointed Rinpoche as an abbot of Drametse Monastery in eastern Bhutan. Ani Choten Zangmo, granddaughter of Pema Lingpa in 16th century, founded the monastery. Rinpoche is also the head of Tamshing and Kenchosum monastery in Bumthang. Lhalung monastery in Tibet is also an official seat of Rinpoche.
Rinpoche continues to dedicate his time and energy in providing education and supports over 300 monks in his monasteries. He also selflessly dedicates his time for teaching students in Bhutan and abroad. He has also been placing priority in maintenance and preservation of old temples that are integral part of Bhutan’s national heritage.