Gampopa Sönam Rinchen ( སྒམ་པོ་པ་བསོད་ནམས་རིན་ཆེན་) (1079-1153/9) was born in Nyal in Central Tibet. He first trained as a doctor, hence his name Dakpo Lharje (དྭགས་པོ་ལྷ་རྗེ་) – the Physician of Dakpo (Dakpo is the province where He spent many years). After Gampopa’s two children and wife died in an epidemic, He took ordination as a monk at the age of 26.
After studying and practising the Kadampa teachings of Atisha, at the age of 32 He met His teacher Jetsün Milarepa. Gampopa’s own disciples included the first Karmapa Dusum Khyenpa(1110-1193) and Phagmodrupa Dorje Gyalpo (1110-1170).
Although He is one of the most important figures in the Kagyu lineage, in 1994, no biography of Gampopa’s life was available in English. So Rinpoche gave a teaching directly translated from Gampopa’s Tibetan biography.
After a discussion with those present in the Kagyu Samye Ling Temple, Rinpoche begins to tell Gampopa’s Life Story at 12:10 and continues until 57:12.
A second session briefly commences at 59:54. when Rinpoche introduces the Jewel Rosary of the Supreme Path until 01:01:30 when the recording concludes.
Jampa Mackenzie Stewart’s English translation of Gampopa’s biography is now available:
Photograph of Holy Isle rock painting of Gampopa by Dr Conrad Harvey