Tai Situ Rinpoche

Pema Tönyö Nyinje (1995)

Pema Tönyö Nyinje (Tibetan: པདྨ་དོན་ཡོད་ཉིན་བྱེད་Wylie: Padma Don-yod Nyin-byed; ZWPY: Baima Toinyoi Nyinje; Lhasa dialect IPA: [pɛ́ma tʰø̃̀yøʔ ɲĩ̀dʑeʔ]) tib.: si tu pad ma don yod nyin byed dbang po; * 1954[1] (also: Pema Donyo Nyinje) (1954-) is the 12th Tai Situpa, a reincarnate Tibetan Buddhist teacher, and one of the leading figures of the Karma Kagyu tradition. He is the Supreme Head of the Palpung Congregation.


Pema Tönyö Nyinje Wangpo was born in a farming family in the Palyul district of Derge, in the East of Tibet and enthroned at the age of 18 months by the 16th Karmapa. At the age of 5 he was brought to Tsurphu.

At the age of five he left Tibet for Bhutan, where King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk had been a disciple of the 11th Tai Situpa. Later he was cared for at Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim, India where he received his formal religious training from the 16th Karmapa.

The 16th Karmapa had himself been raised under the guidance of the 11th Tai Situpa. Indeed this alternation between teacher and disciple has served as a mechanism for the unbroken continuity within the Kagyu tradition. As Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche wrote in his book Born in Tibet: “Tai Situ Rinpoche, who was second in importance in the Karma Kagyu school, had died some years before and no reincarnation had been found. The Karmapa could now tell them where the incarnation had taken place. Everyone rejoiced and started immediately to make the preparations."

At the age of twenty-two, Situ Rinpoche founded his own new monastic seat, Palpung Sherab Ling in Himachal Pradesh, in Northern India which is the seat in exile. In 2000, relics of the 8th Tai Situ Rinpoche were enthroned in a separate temple.

As Buddhist teacher the Rinpoche traveled widely making his first visit to the West in 1981 to Samye Ling Monastery in Scotland and visits the US in 1982. Since then, the Rinpoche has extensively traveled North America, Europe and Sout-East Asia. These teachings have so far been published in 9 books. In 1989 the Rinpoche went on pilgrimage for World Peace.

The 12th Tai Situpa was instrumental in recognizing Ogyen Trinley Dorje as the 17th Karmapa. He also recognized Choseng Trungpa, born on 6 February 1989 in eastern Tibet, as the reincarnation of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche.


  • Way to go. Sowing the Seed of Buddha. 1985, ISBN 0-90-618104-6
  • Tilopa: Some Glimpses of His Life (1989)
  • Relative World, Ultimate Mind (1992)
  • Awakening the Sleeping Buddha (1996)
  • Mahamudra Teachings (2002)
  • Aspiration Prayer of Mahamudra (2002) with the third Karmapa
  • Ground, Path and Fruition (2005)
  • Praises and Prostrations to the Twenty-one Taras. Zhyisil Chokyi Ghatsal Trust, 2009, ISBN 978-1-8772944-4-0
  • Nectar of Dharma: The Sacred Advice. Zhyisil Chokyi Ghatsal Trust, 2008, ISBN 1-87-72944-1-1 (Volume One), ISBN 187729442X (Volume Two), ISBN 1-87-729443-8 (Volume Three)

External links


  1. pad+ma don yod nyin byed

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