Garje Khamtrul Rinpoche Jamyang Dindrup is the fourth incarnation of Pema Lhundrub, also known as Akyab Lama [1705-1785]. Since Pema Lhundrub was the nephew of Orgyen Tashi, the incarnation of Garje Khamu Monastery’s founder, he came to be known as the ‘Nephew Tulku.’ Akyab Lama was born into the family of the Garje chieftain. At a young age imprints from his former lives were awakened and he learned the Tibetan alphabet without hardship or difficulty. Under the lord Orgyen Tashi’s supervision, he became extremely proficient in the traditional fields of knowledge especially the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses. In time, he completed his studies at Kathok and Palyul and gained widespread fame as a scholar. After diligently practicing the phases of approach, accomplishment and activities, he exhibited signs that he’d mastered the three gatherings and the three blazings. In recognition of this, he was invited to serve as spiritual advisor to the Manchu Emperor Ch’ienlung and was given the official rank ‘Gaushri’s Regent’. During his time of service, he was awarded many other honorary titles as well, like Bulchal Regent, Gyaling Regent, White Conch Regent and Chevron Regent. He achieved a great deal for Khamzhung Monastery.
The second in Garje Khamtrul Rinpoche’s line of incarnations, Lama Tashi Gyatso [1789-1874], was also born into the House of the Garje chieftain. His paternal uncle, Tsewang Lama (who was also known as Choying Dondrub) recognized him as the rebirth of Akyab Lama. Possessing tremendous knowledge from a young age, he went to Kathok upon completing his own monastery’s initial curriculum for young monks, which consisted of memorizing the liturgy. There, in the presence of many tutors and mentors, he drank insatiably of the vast and profound dharma nectar they offered. It became obvious realization had dawned in him as he displayed extraordinary miracles until the heavens, the earth and below rang with the name ‘Tashi Gyatso, the Lord of Siddhas’.
The third in this line of incarnations, Gyurme Trinley Namgyal [1879-1926] (also known as Dorje Namgyal) was born the son of the Garje chieftain, Lozang Dondrub, and his wife, Ao Yangchen Drolkar, who was the daughter of the governor of Ba Khangsar. From a young age it was clear that the imprints of his predecessor, Tashi Gyatso, had awakened in him and Gyara Tulku Thekchok Dorje enthroned him at his predecessor’s seat. Upon completing his study and reflection on the common and uncommon trainings, like one vase filling another, he received from the lord of refuge Thekchok Dorje the entire range of instructions practiced by his extraordinary vidyadhara forefathers, which included teachings on the subtle channels and winds, the generation and completion stages and Dzogchen. From Nyagla Sogyal (also known as Lerab Lingpa [1856-1926]), who had been his lama in successive lives, he received empowerments, commentaries and transmissions for most of the kama and terma. What’s more, he practiced all of Orgyen Kusum Lingpa’s profound treasures and Terton Lerab Lingpa’s terma teachings in their entirety. He took full ordination with Kathok Khenpo Thubten Gyaltsen Ozer [1862-?], who was also known as Khenpo Atob. It seemed as if there was nothing in the ocean-like teachings of sutra and mantra that had escaped his notice. And thus, by practicing the many teachings on the profound dharma he received from Lama Rangrig Dorje [1847-1903] and Lama Drime Osel Lingpa, among others, he reached the state of a sublime being who abides on the high grounds of accomplishment.