The Seventh Gangteng Truelku Tenpai Nyinje (1875 -1905)

The seventh Gangteng Truelku, Tenpai Nyinjé was born in Pema Lingpa’s lineage at Drametse in Mongar in about 1875. Amongst the three eminent brother Truelkus born to the same parents, the eldest was Zhabdrung Thuktrul Jigme Chogyal, the middle son Tango Truelku Kunga Drakpa and the youngest son was the seventh Gangteng Truelku, Tenpai Nyinje. These three siblings were popularly referred as the “Zhabdrung Punsum” or the “Choje Nam Sum”.

Soon after his birth, the seventh Gangteng Truelku was recognised and enthroned at his official seat at Gangteng Goenpa. From eminent teachers and masters of the time such as Gyalwa Sacha Gyaltshen, the Truelku received the complete teachings of basic and advanced Buddhist studies.

The Truelku gilded the pinnacle of the utse or the central sanctum of the Gangteng Goenpa and established meditation centres at Kunzang Choling, Gorgon Lhakhang, ZiZi Lhakhang, and Pangkhar Samten Choling at Chitokha. He also established a retreat centre at Khenpajong. Numerous fortunate disciples were benefited through the treasure teachings of the Padling tradition at these places.

During this time, news reached the Truelku that his father had passed away. Following the instructions of their elder brother Lam Zhabdrung, Tango Truelku and he proceeded to Drametse, followed later by Lam Zhabdrung Truelku himself to preside over the funeral ceremony of their late father. The three Truelkus created many body, speech and mind representations of the Buddha. Then, having entrusted the place to their sister, Tshewang Drolma, the Truelkus returned towards western Bhutan.

At one time, Gangteng Goenpa was badly damaged by a severe earthquake and had to be repaired. The Truelku undertook this task in such a manner that when completed the monastery looked even better than before. Numerous outer and inner treasures were added; even the frescoes were painted anew using good colours. For the consecration ceremony, the Truelku’s elder brothers Zhabdrung Rinpoche and Tango Truelku Rinpoche as well as other eminent lineage holders were invited. The consecration ceremony for the temple was performed in a grand manner.

Soon after the consecration, the Truelku was taken seriously ill. Despite numerous rituals and life-extending prayers performed by his elder brother Lams, the Truelku showed no sign of recovery so all of them went to Chitokha Goenpa. The ailing Truelku was then brought to Norbugang Goenpa. Although many rituals were conducted and medications administered there, the Truelku could still not be cured.

Thus, in 1905, the Truelku passed into parinirvana amidst numerous auspicious signs. The last cremation rites were held at the Gangteng Goenpa.