Great Ganden Tripas and their incarnations
His Holiness the Ganden Tripa also known as Ganden Tri or Trichen Rinpoche is the spiritual successor of Je Tsongkhapa and occupies the golden throne of the great Monastery of Ganden.
The title of the Ganden Tripa is not a reincarnation lineage but an appointed title; though there are incarnations of the Gaden Tripas who are held in high esteem.
The incarnations of Ganden Tripas are one of the highest ranked reincarnations in Tibet. The Ganden Tripa and their incarnations were often chosen as tutors to the Dalai Lamas and Panchen Lamas. During the absence of the Dalai Lama, the Ganden Tripa or their incarnations were appointed as Regents of Tibet.
The hierarchy of the Gelugpa reincarnations:
- Tulkus who were incarnations of previous Regents and Ganden Tripas being the highest
- Tulkus of the Great Assembly (Tsogchen/ Tsokchen Tulku)
- Tulkus of the College (Dratsang Tulku)
- Tulkus of the regional house (Khangtsen Tulku)
“Tulku” is a Tibetan word meaning “transformation body,” or “Nirmanakaya.” In Tibetan Buddhism, a tulku is the emanation (reincarnation) of an enlightened master. In Chinese, Tulkus are called “Huofo” (活佛) which translates as Living Buddha.
The Ganden Tripa incarnations are often referred to as Tritul Rinpoche. The title “Tritul” means Tri- Throne holder, Tul- Tulku (reincarnation).
Ganden Tripa reincarnations:
- His Holiness the 3rd Ganden Tripa Khedrup Je’s
Incarnation lineage Panchen Erdeni
- His Holiness the 69th Ganden Tripa Trichen Changchub Chophel’s
Incarnation Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang (tutor to the Dalai Lama)
- His Holiness the 48th Ganden Tripa Trichen Dhundrub Gyatso’s
Incarnation Kyabje Ling Rinpoche (tutor to the Dalai Lama)
- His Holiness the 49th Ganden Tripa Trichen Lobsang Dhargey’s
Incarnation Khensur Dhakpa Tritul Rinpoche
- His Holiness the 65th Ganden Tripa Trichen Gendun Tsultrim’s
Incarnation Kyabje Khyungser Trichen Rinpoche (Shangri-la Tulku)
- His Holiness the 76th Ganden Tripa Trichen Lobsang Khyenrab Wangchug’s
Incarnation Taktra Rinpoche regent of Tibet
- His Holiness the 61th Ganden Tripa Trichen Ngawang Tsultrim’s
Incarnation Tsemoling Rinpoche