Short Biography of
Norlha Hutukhutu (Rinpoche)






Hutukhutu is the Mongolian word for a highly realised tulku. This title was first conferred upon an earlier incarnation of Lama Norlha Rinpoche’s by the Ching Dynasty Emperor, Chien Lung, in the eighteenth century.

Norlha Hutukhutu played a crucial role in the development of Chinese Buddhism during the Nationalist Government days in the 1920s and 1930s. He introduced Vajrayana to the Chinese public; previously it had been available only to the imperial family and the ruling classes. Many well known Chinese meditation masters learnt the Vajrayana dharma from Norlha Hutukhutu.

Norlha Hutukhutu and Jedrung Tulku Rinpoche, the chief abbot of Riwoche Monastery, were proclaimed by the two founders of the Rime Movement: Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and Jamgon Kongtrul (Lodro Thaye) as tertons [finders of concealed terma teachings]; the former was to retrieve the teachings and the latter to reveal them. In 1901 they succeeded in revealing a terma hidden by Guru Rinpoche in the holy site of Pemako.

In Tibet, Norlha Hutukhutu was a Root Lama of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, of Chatral Rinpoche and of Dudjom Rinpoche. He was the abbot of Nyingma Tratsang (often referred to as Norlha Monastery in Chinese texts). Nyingma Tratsang is part of Riwoche Monastery. He was a holder of various lineages, including the Taglung Kagyu, Nyingma and Mahamudra. He also held political and religious authority in Kham. He gave refuge to countless people.

Passing into nirvana in 1936, Norlha Hutukhutu manifested the rainbow body. It is said that his physical body shrank to the size of an infant, with relics appearing in white, red and blue. After cremation, his heart remained intact in the image of a wrathful Buddha; it has been preserved in the Norlha Stupa at Lushan (Jiangsi Province in southwest China). Another monument in his memory was erected in the Nationalist capital of Nanking (present day Nanjing), where relics of his bones and hair were enshrined. In 1938, two years following the parinirvana of Norlha Hutukhutu, Lama Norlha Rinpoche was born in Nangchen, Qinghai.

Students founded Norlha Students’ Association throughout China, which grew to some 200,000 members. His students and supporters included great siddhas, such as Yogi C.M. Chen and government officials, including President Chiang Kai Shek . In 1936, the title “Protector of the Country” was bestowed upon Norlha Hutukhutu.



The cause of happiness is virtue; the cause of suffering is non-virtue

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