Shangkarwa Rinchen Gyaltsen was born in the female water snake year to father, Ponyig Zangpopal and mother Josema Palchen. When he was three both his parents passed away and he was placed under the tutelage of two monks Shakya Senge and his uncle Rinchen Woeser who taught him how to read and write. Shangkarwa took monks vows and at the age of eight. At the age of twelve he went to a large temple in Zamtsar and took further vows before the abbot Zepa Gyaltsen and Shakya Pal and received the name Shangkarwa, Precious Royal Banner. He took full ordination at the age of twenty and studied extensively with several teachers. According to his uncle's advice he went to meet the great scholar Khyungpo Tsultrim Gon and received the practices of Clear Light Yoga, Dream Yoga, and so on. Shangkarwa received empowerments from Buton who transmitted to him his wisdom mind stream. In all Shangkarwa received more than twenty times various Tantric Commentaries. From the great teacher Jangchub Tsemo he received the four complete empowerments of Guhyasamaja. Unfortunately Lama Tsultrim Gon passed away before Shangkarwa receive the entire Shangpa lineage teachings. Shangkarwa then met and received from Ridro Rechen Sangye the entire cycle of teachings of the Shangpa lineage and entrusted him with responsibility for the lineage. Shangkarwa mastered the Clear Light Yoga, Dream Yoga, Samadhi Meditation and his realizations where powerful enough to control even the external elements. Shangkarwa passed away at the age of eighty-two with numerous auspicious signs.