The concept of the Tulku is very exotic. It originates in Tibet. Spiritual masters give some clues before their death, to where they will reincarnate. A reincarnated master is called a Tulku. HH. Dalai Lama, is one of them. The master gets the title of Rinpoche, which means jewel or precious.
The timeline of such multiple incarnations, is called a lineage. Tenzin Gyatso, the current Dalai Lama is the 14th in a row of incarnations. Sometimes a line is infinitely prolonged towards the past – a process of mythification – towards one or the other Tibetan Deity.
Gesar Mukpo, one of the first tulkus to be born outside Tibet, son of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and his British wife Diane Pybus, made a film about being a Tulku, where he comments on his own life while following 4 other tulkus born outside Tibet.
the trailer of this film can be seen here under:
the personal insight of a friend
A tulku leads a lonely life. Being named as the incarnation of someone you might never have heard of leads to an identity crisis. You are recognized by other tulkus when as a child there are certain objects you recognize and some habits you retain, according to them, from your former incarnation. There are some crazy thoughts you utter about having to let you go to where you belong, so they recognize you, take you away from your family and finally you are enthroned. During that enthronement you do everything according to the ritual, which is extraordinarily to say the least.
video of the Enthronement ceremony of Tulku Rinpoche Jamyang Wangpo:
However your childhood is taken away and you see your decade long prodigal education as a prison. This is definitely traumatic at a certain level and will leave its scars. With the exception of those far away memories from childhood and of that enthronement, you feel as normal as anybody else. There are moments when a transmental thing comes out of nowhere, like giving an appropriate name to your new born cousin, but then don’t we all have these moments? Do we only fail to recognize these events when they happen to us?
Then you are released to the world as a rinpoche.
Your dressing as a Tibetan lama scares people unknown with your culture.
Your position leads some people who know what you stand for to also be afraid of you. You might see what they think, isn’t it? How could they know that you don’t read minds? They cannot read your mind either.
Your position leads some people who know what you stand for to revere you so much that no real conversation is possible. You become a bodhisattva to them. A living saint.
It is difficult to have any conversation with anyone, your education has been exotic and above many people’s level, but on the other hand how could you connect with them when you can’t follow a discussion about football.
my own interpretation
His clear light takes care of the growth on the spiritual level. Often unconscious to him, he evolves. And, when the conditions are right, sudden breakthroughs lead him to a realization of who he has always been to fulfil his role in the spiritual development of some inhabitants on this crazy world we call Earth.