Joyful Recognition: 

Discovery of a Shechen Monk’s Reincarnation


Earlier this year Tsultrim Tarchen, a five-year old boy from Silambi, Mongar (Eastern Bhutan) went with his father, Sangay Letho and mother, Sangay Zangmo, to attend the Rinchen Terdzo empowerments being bestowed by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche at Takila in Northern Bhutan.
When the boy saw some of the monks from Shechen Monastery, his behaviour amazed everyone who witnessed it. Based on his repeated statements it appeared that he must be the reincarnation of a monk from Shechen Monastery, called Tamdrin (ordained name Jigme Sherab).
Tamdrin had died tragically on the 27th of December 2006, from lack of oxygen due to a stove left burning in his room. The little boy’s parents said that at a very young age he spoke of fire and smoke and his monastery friends to his father, but the family didn’t pay much heed to his stories.
There are many things that the boy said and did to confirm his previous life. One moving example was when he saw a particular monk from Shechen he said, “Oh, I admitted you to the monastery, where is the other one?” It turns out that Tamdrin had personally admitted this monk to Shechen, along with another child. The parents of the late monk, Tamdrin, came to meet the little boy. When he saw his parents from his previous life, he became very shy and hid, peeping at them from behind a door. They left some gifts for him and when they left, he cried and said “my father and mother have gone.”
Rabjam Rinpoche said:
“When he came to see me, he stayed in his previous parents house and when he was there he asked me where his mala was, where his radio was, and many things like that.”
Tsultrim Tarchen and Tamdrin Rinpoche expressed his happiness at seeing this child, who had been one of his monks. In the case of the recognition of a tulku (reincarnate lama), very rigorous testing procedures need to be taken. Rinpoche pointed out that it is a very pure example confirming the belief in reincarnation. ‘This is a case of an ordinary child remembering his life as an ordinary monk.”
The monks and teachers of Shechen were very joyful to meet the reincarnation of their old friend in this little boy.

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