Samdhong Lobsang Tenzin

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Venerable Professor Samdhong Lobsang Tenzin, the 5th Samdhong Rinpoche, "was born on 5th November, 1939 in Jol, Eastern Tibet. At the age of five, he was recognised as the reincarnation of 4th Samdhong Rinpoche and enthroned in Gaden Dechenling Dorjichang Kyabje Sangbhum Rinpoche. He received his primary teaching from scholar Ngawang Jinpa when he was nine. He started his religious training at Drepung Monastery in Lhasa and completed his (Uma Nyinpa) middle school of the Madhyamika School of Buddhism at the age of 12. He came to exile in the year 1959 after the Chinese invasion of Tibet. In the year 1960, he started his service in the Tibetan Community by beginning as a teacher to monks from the Sera, Drepung, and Gaden monasteries. From 1961, he served as the religious teacher of Tibetan School in Shimla, and later becoming the acting principal of Shimla Tibetan School in 1963. Then again he worked as religious teacher of Darjeeling Tibetan school in 1964. From 1965 to 1970 Samdhong Rinpoche was the Principal of Dalhousie School. He received his Lharampa Degree in the year 1968 and Ngagrimpa Degree in 1969. From 1971 to 1988 he was the Principal of Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies (CIHTS, Varanasi). From 1988 to 2001 he worked as the Director CIHTS. In 1990, he was a member of the Drafting Committee Constitution of the Future of Tibet and Law for the exiled Tibetans. From 1991 to 1995 he was appointed by His Holiness as one of the deputies of ATPD and later was unanimously elected as its Chairman. From 1996 to 2001 he was elected member of the Parliament from Kham province and also its Chairman.

"In 2001, he became the first democratically-elected Kalon Tripa, with an overwhelming majority support of nearly 85% of the total votes cast. He was re-elected as the Kalon Tripa in 2006." [1]


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  1. Governing Council, Tibetan Parliamentary and Policy Research Center, accessed May 20, 2008.
  2. International Network of Engaged Buddhists Committee, organizational web page, accessed April 20, 2012.