The Gelug members of the Tibetan Parliament in exile this morning announced the demise of 103rd Gaden Tripa Jetsun Lobsang Tenzin Rinpoche.
“We deeply regret to inform everyone that the 103rd Gaden Tripa Kyabje Jetsun Lobsang Tenzin Rinpoche passed away at 11:45 pm on April 21, 2017. He has been taken ill since last few months and breathed his last in Max hospital in Delhi last night,” said Geshe Lharampa Atuk Tseten and Ven. Gowa Phendey, both members of Tibetan Parliament in exile representing Gelug sect.
They further urged all the devotees to do special prayers.
Honourable Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay said “with profound sadness, I on behalf of all Tibetans pray that Kyabje Jetsun Lobsang Tenzin Rinpoche will be reborn and carry forward his mission to spread the teachings of Lord Buddha and His Holiness the Dalai Lama.”
“May he be reborn in Tibet, the land of snow,” Sikyong added.
In October last year, His Holiness the Dalai Lama appointed Kyabje Jetsun Lobsang Tenzin to the 103rd Gaden Tripa, the spiritual head of Gelug order of the Tibetan Buddhism.
The appointment came after successful completion of the 7-year tenure of former Gaden Tripa, Kyabje Rizong Sey Thubten Nyima Lungtok Tenzin Norbu.
The enthronement ceremony of the 103rd Gaden Tripa took place on 5 November 2016 at Gaden Trithok Khang, the office and residence of the Gaden Tripa in Tibetan Settlement, Mundgod.
The Gaden Tripa ‘Holder of the Ganden Throne’ is the title of the spiritual leader of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism. Je Tsongkhapa (1357–1419), who founded the Gelug school was the first Ganden Tripa. The lineage has, since, been held by the Ganden Tripas.
The Ganden Tripa is an automatic appointment occurring once every 7 years, from one or the other of these two Chojeys on an alternating basis.
This appointment follows a confirmation from His Holiness the Dalai Lama who publicly announces the appointment or nomination at the time of changeover.
Brief bio-data of late Kyabje Jetsun Lobsang Tenzin
In 1937, Kyabje Sharpa Chojey Jetsun Lobsang Tenzin 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, Kyabje 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.