Togden Sem-nyid Dorje Rinpoche

Togden Sem-nyid Dorje Rinpoche

a Drukpa Kagyüd Master of Tashi Jong

Sem-nyid Dorje Rinpoche is a Togden (rTogs lDan), a profound practitioner of rTsa rLung who lives at Tashi Jong in Himachal Pradesh, Northern India.

He wears the red, white, and blue shawl of the gö-kar chang-lo’i dé (gos dKar lCang lo’i sDe). He carries his avowed uncut hair in the Zur phud yogic style in which the matted locks are coiled atop the head.

The Togdens of Tashi Jong are esteemed for their mastery and prowess in the rTsa rLung practices of Annutarayoga Tantra and Anuyoga Tantra, and they are able to demonstrate remarkable physical siddhis.

In 1990 Ngak’chang Rinpoche commented:
Sem-nyid Dorje Rinpoche has not changed in appearance since I first met him in 1975. He is a remarkable yogi – both for the profuse pervasiveness of his kindness and for the intense clarity of his presence. Once—in the presence of the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa—I asked about the Togdens and their tradition. He replied: ‘I told Khamtrül Rinpoche that I wished to have a group of Togdens like this! I will establish such a group. Every lineage and every gompa should have Togdens like this.’ Sadly His Holiness passed into parinirvana before his wish was accomplished. Khandro Déchen and I feel it is crucially important that the lineages of rTsa rLung practice remain strong. They are endangered in the Nyingma tradition – and there are now few Lamas such as Kyabjé Künzang Dorje Rinpoche left who are accomplished in rTsa rLung, and fewer yoginis such as Jomo Sam’phel, who is also proficient in rTsa rLung. Most rTsa rLung practitioners now seem to be found in the Drukpa Kagyüd and Drigung Kagyüd schools. We have a wonderful contact with the A’pho Rinpoche Gompa in Manali, Himachal Pradesh, where there are ongoing groups of yogis in gTummo training.

These wonderful Togdens of Tashi Jong are accomplished masters of trül-khor naljor (’khrul ’khor rNal ’byor) or yantra yoga. Togden means ‘Holder of Realised Power’. lDan means holder or possessor, and rTogs means ‘realised power’. They are the living example that human beings are capable of transcending the mundane dimension and flying in the space of being. In Sikkim Kyabjé Künzang Dorje Rinpoche is well known as ‘The Flying Lama’ because of the profundity of his accomplishments as a rTsa rLung Master.