Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Patrul Rinpoche Photo?

For many people, this blog entry will make no sense at all - apologies in advance... don't worry about it... just rest assured that many dharma-geeks such as myself are quite excited about this little photo!

Patrul Rinpoche was one of the greatest practitioners and teachers of Tibetan Buddhism in the 19th century. He was a completely realised master of the Dzogchen lineage - a hermit, a wanderer, a master of disguise often travelling incognito, someone who credited his own teacher for any spiritual attainments he himself had realised - he also said that anything he taught had also come directly from his own teacher and not from him.

Patrul Rinpoche's teachings on the Longchen Nyingtik Ngondro practice were legendary even in his own lifetime. They came to be written down and known as Kunzang Lama'i Shelung [Words of my Perfect Teacher].
Along with this extremely thorough written commentary on the Ngondro, there was also a wealth of even more detailed oral instructions, known as the Zindri, which eventually were committed to print and are now published as A Guide to The Words of My Perfect Teacher.

One of his many retreat caves, just above Dzogchen Monastery in Kham, Eastern Tibet, was photographed and can be seen in Sogyal Rinpoche's Tibetan Book of Living and Dying.

So here is the thing my dear friend...

The photo you see above has emerged very recently from an old private collection and is widely believed to be the only picture of Patrul Rinpoche in existence!

It has not yet been verified and many many Masters are doing all they can at this late stage [over 120 years later!] to confirm that it is, as they suspect, what it appears to be.

Incredible to think Patrul Rinpoche went to such lengths to avoid recognition and fame in his own lifetime only to become the most famous teacher on this topic, all these years later, in a part of the world completely unknown to Tibet at that time - and it even looks like we have his photo now too!

You can double-click on the photo itself, to get a much closer [but grainy] look.


  1. Hi Bruno,

    There is another picture here:
    The picture comes from Dzogchen, and it does correspond to the descriptions of the First Patrul Rinpoche (he had big ears!).


  2. Hi Bruno, can you let me know from which private collection this photo comes from?

  3. I received it via Ringu Tulku Rinpoche, who had been asked to try verify if it was Patrul Rinpoche. But i never knew who gave it to him