At some time in the mid-1950s Ato Rinpoche, with most of his family and many others from his home parts, left Kham to go on pilgrimage to Lhasa. Those were turbulent times; communications between Kham and U-Tsang (Central Tibet), several hundred miles away, were poor, so it was natural to enquire of anyone returning from Lhasa if they had news.

No one in Kham knew whether Ato Rinpoche was dead or alive so, when an unknown lama by the name of Vajra visited Nezang Monastery, a monk there named Chökyong Tashi requested a prediction as to whether Ato Rinpoche would ever return. After making his prediction in September 1957, the lama left and was never seen again.