Jigme Pema Wangchen is the 12th incarnation of Tsangpa Gyare, the founder of the Drukpa Order. He is the spiritual head of the Drukpa lineage.
Under the auspices of H.H. the Gyalwang Drukpa are over 800 monasteries. They are located in the country of origin, the former Tibet, as well as in Ladakh, Lahaul (Garsha), Kinnaur, Nepal, Vietnam and many other countries in Asia and the world.
Born in 1963 in Tso Pema/Himachal Pradesh, a legendary place in India, H.H. the Gyalwang Drukpa was recognized as the reincarnation of the 11th Gyalwang Drukpa at the age of four.
Anschließend zog Er in Sein Hauptkloster Druk Sang-Ngag Choeling in Darjeeling, wo Er eine strenge spirituelle Schulung absolvierte. Bereits im Alter von 13 Jahren hatte Er den größten Teil der traditionellen Studien abgeschlossen und die bedeutungsvollen Werke spiritueller Lehren und Rituale sowie der buddhistischen Philosophie verinnerlicht. Wie S.H. über diese Zeit sagt, habe sie Ihm „enormes Vertrauen in die Entwicklung der eigenen Stärke gegeben“.
© Druk Sang-Ngag Choeling Monastery
Decisive for his spiritual, but also worldly education and development was above all the study with masters of different schools of the tradition of Buddhism in the Himalayas. They gave H.H. deep spiritual and religious knowledge as well as profound experiences in global contexts.
He was particularly influenced by the great Nyingma master Zhichen Ontrul, who, according to his own statement, made him a "real person" - on a spiritual and also on a worldly level. The recommendation to continue his spiritual studies with this master was made to him by His Holiness the Dalai Lama himself.
“By changing the cause, if it is in our ability, we can change the effect.”
H.H. Gyalwang Drukpa
His Teachings and His Work
The focus of His Holiness' work is to bring the teachings of the Drukpa Order to the modern world and to communicate Buddhist thought worldwide. In particular, He wants to spread the ideals of charity and human dignity in the international community.
He sees central global tasks in the areas of education, medical care, environmental protection and gender equality - without any political interest, but exclusively in the sense of humanity. In this way, He tirelessly motivates people to become socially involved in the community in which they live.
In order to spread these concerns, His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa gives spiritual teachings and initiates into the traditional rites and methods of the Drukpa order. He presides over numerous monasteries in Tibet, India, Nepal and Vietnam and establishes spiritual centers around the world.
Thus, H.H. founded a center in Plouray/France, which became the headquarters of the Drukpa Order in Europe. With Drukpa Publications, H.H. initiated a publishing company whose wide range of products includes introductions to Himalayan Buddhism, a calendar app, concrete life help, and selected biographies of important yogis of the Drukpa Order.
He is credited with founding Drukpa Humanitaire and the Druk White Lotus School in Ladakh, India. In April 2009, He opened the Druk White Lotus Clinic in Nepal.
In His own homeland, too, He has taken on an absolutely pioneering role with the construction and administration of the Druk Amitabha Mountain nunnery: a monastery in which the nuns receive an education in traditional Buddhist practice on a par with that of the monks and are also taught job-related skills, such as English or computer skills. In addition, the nuns learn the techniques and practice of Kung Fu, in which they now give their own self-defense workshops for young women.
Also noteworthy is the global initiative Live To Love, which His Holiness launched in 2007 and which has received awards from the United Nations, among others. The Wolfson College of the University of Oxford honored Him with the "Honorary Fellowship Award" in 2018. Live To Love is based on the motif of humanity and makes it clear that everyone can contribute to the good of the world - regardless of faith or culture. That is why Live To Love explicitly sees itself as a secular initiative.
”If we understand the rule of karma, then we may stop and think before we act selfishly for our own happiness.”
H.H. Gyalwang Drukpa
Loving means acting
In view of the challenging problems of this time, the Gyalwang Drukpa is actively working in many ways for life on earth and thus for a healthy future for future generations.
- With the help of thousands of locals, 150,000 trees were planted in 2010 and 2012 in Ladakh in northern India under the umbrella of Live To Love in a short period of time - as a contribution to climate protection.
- With the 500 Kung Fu nuns of his monastery, He rode mountain bikes thousands of kilometers through the Himalayas and has sensitized the population to the issues of environmental protection, equality, as well as the dangers of human trafficking.
- Together with hundreds of nuns and monks as well as lay followers, He undertook several months of long pilgrimages through the Himalayas and the Indian subcontinent to educate the population about the dangers of environmental pollution. Along the way, tons of plastic waste were collected.
- Er nahm an zahlreichen international bedeutenden Zusammenkünften und Konferenzen teil - wie zum Beispiel die Münchner Sicherheitskonferenz (2016) oder die UN-Klimakonferenz in Polen - COP24 (2018). Dabei suchte Er den Dialog mit politischen Vertreter:innen, Umweltaktivist:innen, Künstler:innen und Teilnehmer:innen aus aller Welt.
For more information on Live to Love and the movement's many commitments, visit Live to Love's international and German websites.