Short Introduction of
Vajra Master Yeshe Thaye
Being born and raised in Hong Kong, Vajra Master Yeshe Thaye was educated in Catholic missionary schools for both his primary and secondary education, and then he went overseas to further his higher education in both America and England. He got his Bachelor’s Degrees in Oregon, and then his Master’s Degree from Stanford University of U.S.A.
After his return to Hong Kong, he served as a high school teacher for one year, before joining the Hong Kong higher education sector as a teaching staff for 35 years till his retirement. In his last tenure position, he was an Associate Professor, as well as a doctoral supervisor, in the Department of Asian and International Studies of the City University of Hong Kong for 29 years before his retirement.
As the Founder and Designated Main Instructor-in-Charge of the Dudjom Buddhist Association (International), Vajra Master Yeshe Thaye is concurrently a Permanent Director and the President of the Association. Vajra Master Yeshe Thaye started learning and practicing the Holy Dharma of Vajrayana Buddhism at the age of 15 under the late Ven. Lama Sonam Chokyi Gyaltsan (alias Ven. Guru Lau Yui Che), who taught him the complete system of “Vajrayana” teachings and Dharma practices, and had bestowed upon him the “Fourth Level of Empowerment – the highest initiation with the ultimate authority”.
It was in 1972, when the late His Holiness Kyabje Dudjom Jigdral Yeshe Dorje Rinpoche (the then Supreme Head of the Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism) visited Hong Kong for the first time, that His Holiness Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche had personally conferred upon him the “Vajra Acharya Authority and Empowerment” (in Tibetan: རྡོ་རྗེ་སླ་དཔོན་, Dorje Lopön) and also bestowed upon him the Dharma name of “Yeshe Thaye”(meaning one with “boundless wisdom”).
Furthermore, it was back in 1981 and 1984, that Vajra Master Yeshe Thaye had further received important teachings and empowerments of the “Dudjom Tersar Lineage” from the late His Holiness Kyabje Dudjom Jigdral Yeshe Dorje Rinpoche on His second and third visits to Hong Kong respectively, and was further commended by His Holiness in his help to Ven. Guru Lau in translating a lot of teachings into both English and Chinese, for the benefits of all our motherly sentient beings!
Then, it was first in 1986, and then later in 1996 again, that Vajra Master Yeshe Thaye was twice exhorted by his Root Guru, the late Ven. Lama Sonam Chokyi Gyaltsan (Ven. Guru Lau), to inherit and uphold his two major Lineages of the “Narak Dong-Truk” cycle and of the “Dudjom Tersar” in the Chinese soil, and asked him to spread the Holy Dharma of these important lineages and teachings to all suitable vessels.
After the late Ven. Lama Sonam Chokyi Gyaltsan (Ven. Guru Lau) had passed away in May of 1997, Vajra Master Yeshe Thaye, with his wife Pema Lhadren, went to Yangleshod (Pharping) in Nepal in September of 1997 to seek for the spiritual advice of the “Vajra Regent” (Dorje Gyaltsap) of the “Dudjom Tersar” Lineage, a Great Realized Dzogchen Master and foremost contemporary Mahasiddha, His Holiness Kyabje Chadral Sangye Dorje Rinpoche, the most respectable and world-renowned peerless Exemplary Elder of the Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism. His Holiness Kyabje Chadral Rinpoche had been most compassionate and kind to both Yeshe Thaye and Pema Lhadren, and had thus kindly accepted the two of them as His Holiness’ own disciples.
With that, His Holiness Kyabje Chadral Rinpoche had personally written two important letters in his own handwritings, signed and sealed by Kyabje Rinpoche himself, acknowledging and authorizing Yeshe Thaye as the authentic Dharma Heir and Lineage Holder of the late Ven. Lama Sonam Chokyi Gyaltsan.
Furthermore, His Holiness Kyabje Chadral Rinpoche had also given the Coronation Ceremony by bestowing the “Pandita Hat and Dharma Robes”, as well as in allowing the “Enthronement Ceremony” to be bestowed upon Vajra Master Yeshe Thaye in His Holiness Kyabje Chadral Rinpoche’s own Salburi Monastery in Siliguri, India.
Link on H.H. Kyabje Chadral Rinpoche’s Bestowal of the Coronation Ceremony to Yeshe Thaye: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ViYOuO0FlTg
Link on the Enthronement Ceremony: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-XdrBrG6RY
In naming the new Dharma centre to be called as the “Dudjom Buddhist Association”, His Holiness Kyabje Chadral Rinpoche had also personally written the Tibetan name of the Association in his own handwriting, with His Holiness’ own signature and seal on it. His Holiness further ordered his Thangka painter to specially draw a “Dorje Phurba” thangka as the official emblem and symbol for the new Association.
Furthermore, His Holiness Kyabje Chadral Sangye Dorje Rinpoche had specially bestowed to both Vajra Masters Yeshe Thaye and Pema Lhadren all the important works and teachings of the Great Masters of the Dudjom Tersar Lineage, namely: the Collected Works of Terchen Traktung Dudjom Lingpa, the Collected Works of Terchen His Holiness Kyabje Dudjom Jigdral Yeshe Dorje Rinpoche, the Collected Works of the Wisdom Dakini Sera Khandro, and His Holiness’ own volumes of Collected Works.
All these impart an important hidden meaning that Vajra Master Yeshe Thaye will continue in the spreading of the teachings of both Lineages of the “Narak Dong-Truk” cycle and that of the “Dudjom Tersar” in the Chinese soil, so as to keep alive the late Ven. Guru Lau’s esteemed Title of the “Chinese Master of Vajrayana Buddhism in the Chinese soil” that His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche had specifically bestowed upon, so as to uphold Ven. Guru Lau’s two important lineages in spreading them for the benefits of countless motherly sentient beings.
Following the teachings of the Lord Buddha, as well as the instructions of the late Ven. Guru Lau, the Dudjom Buddhist Association (International) holds the ceremony for the confessions and repentance of sins (sojong) and recitation of silas, as well as the tsog offering ceremonies (pujas) each month for members’ participation. After the Sojong Ceromony, both Vajra Masters Yeshe Thaye and Pema Lhadren would further explain the important principles of Dharma practice, “silas, precepts and commitments (samayas)” of the Three Yanas.
In recent years, Vajra Master Yeshe Thaye also sets up a training programme in the form of a “practical training retreat camp” to provide suitable Dharma practitioners with an in-depth and practical “training on dealing with life and death”. This course would help Dharma practitioners to become better prepared in coping with the grave challenges in the “post-death realms”, thus further exemplifying the breadth and depth of Vajra Master Yeshe Thaye’s mercy and compassion, wisdom as well as his level of Dharma practice.