A myth until now about reincarnation and recognition in Buddhism has taken place during this very century. A Tibetan Ngagpa, Lama Tsering Ngodup, married an American woman, Andrea Strimling, in the year 2002, and they were living in Boston. Both of them are very devoted to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and His Holiness Shamar Rimpoche.
Lama Tsering and Andrea wanted to have a child, but had not yet conceived. Tsering has two older children, Dinah and Dorje, who live in Germany, and Andrea loves them, but Tsering and Andrea also wanted to have a child together. During the fall of 2005 when Shamar Rimpoche visited Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, Lama Tsering and Andrea went to visit Shamar Rimpoche. At that time they requested Rimpoche’ blessings to have a child. Rimpoche told them that he would make a special wishing prayer in order to fulfill their wish to have a child.
Early in 2006 Andrea learned she was pregnant. As is customary in Tibetan tradition, Lama Tsering and his wife requested Shamar Rimpoche to give a name for the baby. Since they had decided not to learn of the gender by ultrasound, they asked Rimpoche for two names, one for a boy and one for a girl. Shamar Rimpoche predicted that the baby would be a boy, and he gave the name Karma Yeshe Dorje. In July 2006, Shamar Rimpoche asked Lama Tsering and Andrea if they had checked the gender of the baby. They told Rimpoche that they had not, and that they would wait for the baby to be born. Shamar Rimpoche once again told them that the baby would be a boy. This time he also told them the child would be the reincarnate of one bodhisattva among the 21 bodhisattva abbots in the line of Shamarpas in Yangpachen during the 1600s. Shamar Rimpoche then told the couple to share the news with their families that their baby had been recognized in the womb as a reincarnate lama.
On October 14 of 2006, Tsering’s and Andrea’s son was born as predicted, and his parents named the boy Karma Yeshe Dorje Strimling Yodsampa, with Karma indicating the Karma Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. Lama Tsering called Shamar Rinpoche on October 15 in Kalimpong to share the news. Shamar Rimpoche congratulated the new parents and told them that he would, on a special occasion, let them know which of the 21 bodhisatvas the Karma Yeshe Dorje is. Among the 21 bodhisattvas, Shamar Rimpoche has already recognized four, including Karma Yeshe Dorje.
Recognition of reincarnate lamas until now has been done when children are already born. The recognition of a reincarnated lama in the womb has not been done since the 19th century.
Philippe Jedar, spokesperson for IKKBO