Dharamshala — Spiritual head of Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism, 103rd Gaden Tripa Jetsun Lobsang Tenzin Rinpoche, has died at Max hospital in New Delhi after a prolonged illness. This is a traditional appointment that takes place every seven years.
The influential Tibetan teacher and respected Kyabje Jetsun Lobsang Tenzin Rinpoche, who was born in Eastern Tibet in 1937, passed away at 11:45 pm on 21 April at Max hospital in New Delhi after a prolonged illness.
During a prayer serviceorganised by the Central Tibetan Administration to mourn the demise of the Rinpoche, Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay expressed his profound condolences and offered his prayers for the swift rebirth of the departed soul.
“Kyabje Jetsun Lobsang Tenzin Rinpoche, the 103rd Gaden Trpa was a humble soul who has dedicated his entire life in the pursuit of spiritual wisdom. Since the early days of exile in Buxar, he has worked hard to enhance the understanding of Tibetan Buddhism among the public and revive the Tibetan Buddhist culture in exile,” Sikyong said, adding: “I pray that he is reborn soon for the benefit of the entire sentient beings”.
After joining the Tsem monastery at 9, he went on to Drepung Loseling Monastic University and received teachings from numerous masters including the Dalai Lama, who he would follow out of Tibet and receive full ordination vows from.
In 1937, Lobsang Tenzin Rinpoche was born to the Sesha clan at Yara village in the Dechen District in Eastern Tibet, located southeast of the Yagra Tsem monastery. At the age of 9 he joined the Tsem monastery where he received his primary and basic education.
Thereafter, he joined the Drepung Loseling Monastic University for his higher education where he received various teachings from reputed spiritual masters like Venerable Khensur Pema Gyaltsen, Shakor Khen Rinpoche Nyima Gyaltsen, Kyabje Denma Lochoe Rinpoche, Tehor Gen Lobsang Dhondup, to name a few. He also received many teachings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his two supreme tutors.
In 1959, Rinpoche followed His Holiness the Dalai Lama into exile and continued his studies at Buxar. In 1964 he took full ordination vows (Bhikshu) from His Holiness the Dalai Lama at Dharamshala. With most major monasteries being relocated in South India, Kyabje served the Drepung Loseling monastery in various capacities.
In 1982, he was awarded the Geshe Lharampa Degree, the equivalent of a doctorate in philosophy and the highest degree of training in Tibetan Buddhism. In 1983, he joined Gyuto Tantric Monastery for advanced Tantric studies. From 1987-89, he served as the chief disciplinarian of Drepung Tsokchen and Loseling monastery.
In 1990, His Holiness the Dalai Lama appointed him as the Lama Umse, the assistant abbot of Gyuto Monastery and later promoted him to the post of 119th abbot of Gyuto monastery in 1993. After completing his tenure as abbot, he returned to Drepung Loseling Monastery to continue to teach and train monks for the Geshe degree. In 2003, he was formally enthroned as Sharpa Chojey at the Gaden monastery.