Chaphur Lama Lineages


Chaphur Kunzang Rinpoche

The Chaphur lineage is one of the oldest and most important of the lama lineages. It is located in eastern Tibet or Amdo. Originally that lineage came from upper Tibet, Ngari, in the 12th century CE. It is called Nyima zhin after the son of Nangzhig Dophak Chenpo. He had three children, Chachen, Chakdu and Ngulku. The Chaphur Lama lineage is from the oldest son, Chachen. There have been more than fifty lineage lamas in the Amdo area. Right now in Nangzhig Monastery they have six high lama lineages, each with its own large temple. Of the six lineages, one is the Chaphur Lama lineage.

Currently Geshe Lhundup Chaphur’s older brother, Chaphur Kunzung Gyaltsen is the Chaphur lineage senior lama. He is a Tulku, the reincarnation and lineage of the 52nd Chaphur Lama. He was born in 1967 and became a monk at 10 years of age at Nangzhig Monastery, taking his vows from his Uncle Chaphur Tenzin Gyaltsen and Gyawob Rinpoche. He received most of his education from Gyawob Rinpoche and Khenzur Namkha Tsultrim.

In 1989, he received his Geshe degree in Nangzhyig Monastery. Normally, he spends most of his time in retreat practicing tantra and Dzogchen. He also travels to many different places especially around upper-Tibet and other areas to bring empowerments, transmission, teachings and other Bön practices to his followers among the Tibetan population.


Geshe Chaphur Rinpoche

Geshe Chaphur was born in  Amdo Ngaba in Eastern Tibet. As a young boy he was recognized as the reincarnation of a great master  Chaphur Phuntsok Wangyal Rinpoche by His Eminence Bon-Gya Rinpoche and other high lamas.  He received his Geshe degree in 2008 from Menri Monastery, the principal monastery for the Bön tradition, and the home of HH Menri Trizin, the head of the Bön sect and Menri Lopon Rinpoche. While a student he served as president of the Bon School of Dialectics. Geshe Chaphur has broad research interests, but he currently focuses on the poems and songs of realization of the masters of the Oral Tradition of Zhang Zhung.

Geshe la’s first book was a collection of his poetry in Tibetan entitled Waves of an Uncontrived Mind (ma bcos sems kyi rlabs zhags), published by Menri Monastery in 2001. His second book, also in Tibetan, was a historical study of Zhang Zhung and Yungdrung Bön in Tibet entitled Footsteps of Buddha Shenrab of Olmo Ling, published by Menri Monastery in 2007. He also contributed articles and served as an Associated Editor of “Bön-Go” (bon sgo), the first and most respected academic journal devoted to the study of Bön.

He has contributed a number of works of poetry and articles to various other popular Tibetan magazines. In 2003, his poetic efforts merited him the title of Artist of Tsampa Magazine (rtsam pa’i sgyu tsal ba), recognizing him as the second best writer in the Tsampa Association for poetry. Geshe Chaphur is the founder and Spiritual director of Gyalshen Institute in San Francisco Bay Area, the United State.