The first rebirth of Terchen Barway Dorje was recognized by the 15th Karmapa, but lived only a short time and, in fact, died before he was reached by the search party seeking him. The Karmapa later explained what happened: Terchen Barway Dorje had promised a great sinner named Changkyi Mingyur that he would not be reborn in a lower state. Changkyi Mingyur died shortly before the new incarnation of Terchen Barway Dorje was discovered and was about to be reborn in a lower state. In desperation, he called on Barway Dorje and it was therefore necessary for Bardor Rinpoche to depart his new body in order to fulfill his promise.
The 15th Karmapa decided to perform another recognition of the 2nd Barway Dorje, but before the time for recognition arrived, the 15th Gyalwang Karmapa departed this realm for the benefit of beings in other places.
For this reason, the rebirth of Terchen Barway Dorje—the 2nd Bardor Rinpoche—was recognized by the 11th Tai Situ Rinpoche, Padma Wangchok Gyalpo.
The 2nd Bardor Rinpoche was born at the end of 1920 and many auspicious signs accompanied his birth. He was enthroned at Raktrul Monastery at the age of five but received his training and transmissions at Surmang and Kyodrak monasteries.
In his thirteenth year, the 2nd Bardor Rinpoche met the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa. Because the Gyalwang Karmapa had been Bardor Rinpoche’s karmically destined guru in many lives, Bardor Rinpoche felt great devotion for the Karmapa upon meeting him.
The 2nd Bardor Rinpoche spent much of his life serving the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa, although he occasionally traveled back to Raktrul Monastery to look after its needs. Toward the end of his life, he made an aspiration to be able to serve both the Karmapa and Raktrul Monastery in his future lives. As a result of that aspiration we now have two incarnations of the 3rd Bardor Rinpoche—one who has devoted most of his life to the service of both the 16th and 17th Karmapas and has founded Kunzang Palchen Ling in the US, and one who remains in Tibet and looks after Raktrul Monastery.
A detailed account of the life of the 2nd Bardor Rinpoche is available in English translation as The Light of Dawn composed by Karma Tupten.
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