Terchen Barway Dorje

Terchen Barway Dorje cared deeply for educating lay people and for bringing the most powerful teachings to men and women living as ordinary people. In this he was something of an outsider. He could have lived as a monk, reserving the highest dharma for monks, but he chose not to. His students are the beneficiaries of a tradition that insists on bringing dharma to life through living it.
—Bardor Tulku Rinpoche

Painting of Terchen Barway Dorje by Wendy Harding

Painting of Terchen Barway Dorje by Wendy Harding

Terchen Barway Dorje (1st Bardor Rinpoche, 1836-1918) was a student of the 9th Tai Situ Rinpoche, the 14th Karmapa, Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa, and many other masters of his time.

Initially associated with Surmang Monastery of which he was a recognized tulku (Shartse Rinpoche of Surmang), Terchen Barway Dorje devoted a good portion of his life to reviving of the lost teachings of the Barom Kagyu. He was also known as a revealer of terma (treasures) of which he discovered nine volumes.

The treasures discovered by Terchen Barway Dorje had been concealed by two of Guru Rinpoche’s principal disciples—Nupchen Sangye Yeshe and Yeshe Tsogyal. Terchen Barway Dorje was an emanation of both of them.

Toward the end of his life, Terchen Barway Dorje founded Raktrul Monastery in eastern Tibet.

The writings of Terchen Barway Dorje consist of fourteen volumes. Of these, nine volumes are his revelations or termas, three volumes are his collective writings or compositions, one volume is his autobiography, and the one volume is his collective songs of instruction.

The autobiography of Terchen Barway Dorje has been translated into English and published by KTD Publications as Precious Essence: The Inner Autobiography of Terchen Barway Dorje. His collective songs of instruction have been published as Treasury of Eloquence: The Songs of Barway Dorje.