Venerable Sharpa Chojay Lobsang Tenzin Rinpoche
In 1937, Venerable Lobsang Tenzin was born to an average farmer-couple of 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, along-with many companions, he treaded on foot for several months to Lhasa to join the Drepung Loseling Monastic University for his higher education. There he had lessons on various subjects 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 had the great opportunity to attend many invaluable teachings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his two supreme tutors.
In 1959, like thousands of other Tibetans, he followed His Holiness the Dalai Lama into exile and continued his studies at Buxar. In 1964 he took his vows fully ordained monk (Bhikshu) vows from His Holiness the Dalai Lama at Dharamsala. With most major monasteries having being relocated in South India, Rinpoche served the (new) Drepung Loseling monastery in various capacities. In 1982 he was awarded the Geshe Lharampa Degree after successfully passing Karam, Lopon, and Lharampa examinations.
In 1983, he joined Gyuto Tantric Monastery for his advanced Tantric studies. After that he became the chief Umse (~ chief disciplianrian) of Drepung Tsokchen and Loseling monastery for two years from 1987-89. In 1990 His Holiness the Dalai Lama appointed him as the Lama Umse (~ assistant abbot) of Gyuto Monastery and later (1993) promoted him to the post of 119th abbot of Gyuto monastery in 1993. On successful completion of his term, he returned to Drepung Loseling monastery where hundreds of students were eagerly looking forward to his wonderful teachings.
His formal enthronement as Sharpa Choeje was at the Ganden monastery in 2003. He returned to Drepung as new Sharpa Choeje welcomed by the abbots, dignitaries, and the monks Drepung Monastery. Since then he has made a great effort to push forward the Gelugpa order on to a genuine progressive path.
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