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A Brief Biography of His Eminence Abbot Jangchup Sangye
Gaden Shartse Khen Rinpoche Geshe Jangchub Sangye was born in 1967 in Tsum Valley, near the border of Tibet and Nepal. At the age of 7, he entered the local monastery, Mugon DechenLhundrup. In 1980, he was admitted to Gaden Shartse Monastery in South India to continue his monastic education. It was at Gaden Shartse Monastery that Khen Rinpoche studied under many learned and accomplished teachers for the next 17 years. During that time, he engaged in the rigorous study of the 5 major treatises of Buddhist Philosophy together with more than 1000 other scholars.
Upon completing his studies in 1995, Khen Rinpoche was admitted to the prestigious GelugMonastic University where he invariably emerged in either first or second position for the 3 examinations of Karam, Lopon and final Lharam. In recognition of his accomplishments, he was awarded the Geshe Lharam degree, the highest scholastic title (the equivalent of Ph.D) inTibetan Gelug Buddhist tradition in 2000.
In 2001, Khen Rinpoche enrolled in Gyuto Tantric College where he trained in the tantric practices of Buddhism. He graduated second in class for the Great Tantric Examination held in 2009. Other than these scholastic achievements, Khen Rinpoche is also well-versed in Tibetan language and literature, the extensive preparations of Mandala and Tibetan astrology.
Khen Rinpoche received his novice vows from Kyabje Lati Rinpoche and his fully ordained bhikkhu vows from His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. He has also received tantric and bodhisattva vows, initiations , oral transmissions and pith instructions relating to Guhyasamaja, Chakrasamvara, Yamantaka and many other yidam-deities from His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. Subsequent to this, he has also completed meditation retreats on some of these yidam-deities.
After completing the Geshe Lharam examination, Khen Rinpoche served as the Buddhist Philosophy lecturer at the Gaden Shartse Monastery. When the Buddhist Philosophy education system was first instituted in Jangchub Choeling Nunnery in 1988, he took on the additional role of lecturer at the nunnery for more than 10 years. Other than lecturing the young scholars, he also assumed the office of the Principal of Gaden Shartse Monastic University for 4 years and has served as the staff of Gaden Shartse Education Department for a year. From 1993 to 1995, KhenRinpoche taught Tibetan language and literature to the pre-university students at The Central Tibetan School in Mundgod, South India. During his stay in Gyuto Tantric College, he also served as a Buddhist Philosophy lecturer to the Gyuto monks. He gives annual Dharma talks on introduction to Buddhism in Upper and Lower Tsum Valleys at the border of Tibet and Nepal.
Khen Rinpoche is one of the founding editorial members for Gaden Shartse Norling’s school magazine, Jang-tse Woe-nang (Rays of Loving Kindness) and Gaden Shartse Education Department’s journal on the 5 treatises of Buddhist Philosophy. He was also the main editor for the publications of the reference book on the Buddhist cultural activities of Gaden Shartse Monastery, and the biography of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Dhe-sum Ped-mo Jed-pe Nyin-che. In addition, he served as one of the four editorial members of the 7 volumes of “A Compendium of Buddhist Science and Philosophy” which was commissioned by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. Khen Rinpoche has written many journals and articles which have been published or are in the process of being published.
Appointment as the Abbot
Last year, when all the monks of Gaden Shartse Monastery voted to select the new abbot, KhenRinpoche received the highest number of votes from among more than 40 eligible Lharam Geshes. On 26th April 2016, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama officially appointed him as the 86th abbot of Gaden Shartse Monastery. At the present moment, Khen Rinpoche has earnestly assumed the abbot’s responsibility in accordance with His Holiness’ instructions and advice.
Thank you very much.
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