Lam Sonam Dorji
Lam Sonam Dorji (Rinzin Sonam Choeying Dorji) was born in the eastern region of Bhutan in 1965 to the father Lama Chodrak, who was son of Lama Nangwa Wangdi, popularly known as Acharya Rinpoche, (Disciple of Yogi Tokden Shakya Shree of Tibet) and to the mother Sangay Chozom.
Owing to his previous positive karmas he was fortunate to enter the path of Dharma at the tender age of five and was able to learn basic Buddhism.
At the age of ten, he first met with renowned treasure revealer Padgyal Lingpa and automatically aroused immense and fervent faith towards the saint. Thus his parents offered their son to Rinpoche and he was graciously taken by himself, saying that their son had the great karmic connection from the previous lifetime as Rinpoche’s disciple. Since then, he received whole empowerment, oral transmission and pith instructions from Namckak Tsasum Lingpa and Kusum Gongdue. He also mastered all type of ritual arts, (viz; chanting, handling instruments, making ritual items) and lama dances according to the specific tradition of Namchak Kusum Gongdue and was conferred the honor of Umze (chant master).
Moreover he was the most fortunate to be in the retreat for three years with treasure revealer himself, meditating and practicing on the root approaching accomplishment of Kusum Gongdue. Thereafter he perfectly taught the practice of specific Tersar tradition to the practitioners of all Kusum Gongdue monastery as per the Guru’s order.
Very soon after the Parinirvana of H.H. Terton Rinpoche, he admitted to Ngagyur Tarthang Shedra in Nepal for advance study in Buddhist philosophy and mastered over wide ranges of Sutric and Tantric subjects. Then he was enthroned as Vajra master (Dorji Lopen) especially for his coordination of various Drupchen ceremonies in the institute.
He was also enthroned as Vajra-ambassador of emanated treasure revealer Padgyal Lingpa in 2002 unanimously by Terton’s chief disciple and sponsord with H.H. Gochen Tulku Namchak Sang Ngak Tenzin Rimpoche, the 6th incarnation of Gyalwa Chogyang (among the 25 disciple of Padmasambhave) and also the main lineage holder of Namchak Kusum Gongdue. His holiness carefully scrutinized and found the great capability to shoulder the responsibility of promoting and upbringing of the great Guru’s noble visions of bringing up the monastic institutions and disseminating the spiritual doctrines to the heirs in particular and sentient beings in general.
Moreover, he received various teachings and empowerments from H.H. Khentse Rinpoche, H.H. Penor Rinpoche, H.E. Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche, H.E. Rigzin Dorji Rinpoche, H.E. Dzongchen Lama Serpo and many other Khenpos and Masters of 21st century.
After that he has also served several years as the head priest of religious association of America and Taiwan. In the meantime he also sponsored the old disciples of Terton Padgyal Lingpa and renowned yogi lama Nyeljorpa at the hermits of Pemaling and Phurpaling in the mountainous region of eastern Bhutan with provisions and financial aids to continue their meditation practice. Nonetheless he also sponsors and guide the young lamas and tulkus for the advance studies in higher Buddhist research centers.
Thereafter, for over many years, he coordinated Drupchen and Mendrub prayer ceremonies in various countries including Bhutan, India, Sikkim, Nepal, Taiwan, and America, on account of which he recognized and credited with the title of Dorji Lopen, master of rituals, by H.E. Khenchen Rigzin Dorji Rinpoche. In addition, H.E. Gochen Namchag Sang-ngag Tenzin Rinpoche, the chief disciple and the lineage holder of the Terton master, conferred upon him with the title of Dorji Gyalshab. He then appointed as a principal of monasteries, which followed Namchag Kusum Gondue tradition in Bhutan.
Apart from his root master, he also had an opportunity to receive empowerments, oral transmission, and admonitions from numerous Buddhist masters namely, H.H. Dilgo Khentse Rinpoche, H.H. Penor Rinpoche, H.H Dodrub Rinpoche, H.H Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche, H.H Dzongchen Lama Serpo, and H.E Khenchen Rigzin Dorje Rinpoche.
Being a learned Buddhist master, quite a number of followers attracted to his personality. He gave Buddhist teaching in the US and Taiwan. He continues to preserve and promote the Dharma works of Great Terton, the Gochen Rinpoche and Lama Nyaljorpa, who worked tirelessly for the propogation of Namchag Kusum Gongdue tradition by performing Drubchen and Drubchod (Accomplished ceremonies) in various monastic institutions. He also coordinates and support the Nyung-ney(religious fasting) observance and Dechen Zhindrub (Sukhavati Sadhana – Aspiration for birth in the Pure Realm of Buddha Amitabha) performing for the wellbeing of the world.
He took over the charge of the Great Terton Lama’ Seat, the Ewam Tashicholing monastery in Paro. He is presently fully engage in the construction and maintenance of the monasteries and meditation centers of Kusum Gongdue tradition. In short, he is devoting his life purely to the preservation, management and promotion of the Buddhist centers of the Great Terton as well as any religious related works.
This brief introduction of Lam Sonam Dorji has been translated directly and complied from the sources like recommendation latter from H.H. Gochen Rinpoche, H.E Khenchen Rigzin Dorji Rinpoche and his various certificates.