20th Century: 1st Kalu Rinpoché – Tibet
It was at this hermitage that Norbu Dondrup, the retreat master and holder of the Shangpa Lineage at that time, had a clear dream in which the protector of the lineage [Six Armed Protector, Shadrupa] informed him of the arrival of his successor. Such premonitions had become a normal feature of the first meetings of lineage holders of this tradition and their successors. In closed retreat at that time, Norbu Dondrup informed his attendants that he was expecting a special guest and whoever might arrive the next day should be invited in. When no one was shown in the next day, Norbu Dondrup asked his attendants if no-one had come. They replied that only a young 16 year-old and his yak had come and since he seemed not important, they had turned him away. The retreat master sent them urgently to find the youth. This young man turned out to be Kalu Rinpoché coming to apply to enter the Three-year retreat. Norbu Dondrup swiftly recognized him as his successor, gave him all the transmissions and led him in his retreat.
Following this retreat Kalu Rinpoché returned to his home where he studied Buddhist philosophy, medicine, astrology and other subjects for ten years. Deciding to renounce the comfort of this life, he then went off for 12 years of solitary retreat in a variety of mountain hermitages. It was only at the repeated insistence of his teachers that Kalu Rinpoché finally bowed to destiny and returned to the monastery to assume the responsibility of Retreat Master of his old retreat center.