Drubwang Konchok Norbu Rinpoche (1921-2007) was born in Drikung, Tibet in 1921. He entered Drikung Nyima Changra Buddhist Institute at a very young age, and studied Buddhist philosophy. After his graduation, Drubwang Konchok Norbu Rinpoche became the disciple of one of the foremost contemporary retreat masters of the Drikung Kagyu Lineage, Drubwang Pachung Rinpoche (1901-1988). Under the guidance of Drubwang Pachung Rinpoche, Drubwang Konchok Norbu went on retreat for many years.
It was during a 10 year retreat that Drubwang Konchok Norbu Rinpoche gained the supreme experiential understanding of Mahamudra. Many a time, he saw His Holiness the Dalai Lama in his vision. Drubwang Rinpoche was 79 years old back then and he lived in the Drikung Kagyu Institute in northern India. Sometime later, Drubwang Rinpoche forewarned that he would leave this world for the benefit of all sentient beings but at the request of H.H. Dalai Lama, Drubwang Rinpoche agreed to stay on for a few more years. In September 1999, His Holiness wrote a long life prayer for Drubwang Rinpoche at the request of H.H Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche, the Supreme Co-Head of the Drikung Kagyu Lineage of Tibetan Buddhism.
Drubwang Konchok Norbu Rinpoche does not give tantric empowerments or lofty teachings on Mahamudra, or on Mahasandhi (a Sanskrit term related to Dzogchen, the Great Perfection). Through his great bodhicitta, he encouraged and inspired many people around the world to do the simple yet essential practice, recitation of the six syllables mantra, Om Mani Padme Hung in which the merits of even a single recitation are immeasurable and inconceivable. Rinpoche always reminded us to recite the Chenrezig mantra as much as we can, and to recite with a loving mind for all mother sentient beings. Rinpoche said that Mani is Buddha (Mani Sangye!) and also urged us not to kill nor harm even the tiniest beings, to make aspirations and be a vegetarian not only for this life but also for all future lives as the essence of Chenrezig practice is bodhicitta.
The Most Venerable Drubwang Rinpoche, Konchok Norbu (1921-2007) passed into Parinirvana in 2007. He dissolved his body-mandala into the great expanse of the Dharmakaya in Singapore around 10pm on 25th December 2007.
Some days before, some close disciples from the Drikung Kagyu Religious Society in Kathmandu urged Drubwang Rinpoche not to travel to Singapore due to his poor health. However, Drubwang Rinpoche insisted on travelling as he wanted to fulfill his promise to all Drikung followers and disciples in Singapore.
At the airport, he was received by His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche, His Eminence Thritsab Gyabra Rinpoche, together with a gathering of many monks and disciples. They fetched Drubwang Rinpoche to Kong Meng San Monastery where he was sent to the hospital shortly later where Rinpoche passed on soon after. Rinpoche’s body was sent back to Nepal where the final funeral rites and rituals were performed extensively for the benefit of Rinpoche’s disciples and all mother sentient beings.
Drubwang Konchok Norbu Rinpoche is a great Mahasiddha. Through his great bodhicitta, he led many meritorous Mani Recitation Retreats in the world especially Singapore, and benefitted countless sentient beings and disciples all over the world. His departure is a great loss to all especially the Drikungpa but nevertheless, it is very important for all disciples to practice Guru Yoga in order to strengthen the connection with Drubwang Rinpoche, to continue receiving his blessings and to continue the practice of his heart teachings, the recitation of the six syllables mantra, Om Mani Padme Hung. Most importantly, we must practice what Drubwang Rinpoche had practiced his whole life, Bodhicitta.