Dharamshala: Tibetans and well-wishers around the world are mourning the death of renowned Tibetan doctor Yeshi Dhonden who was a former personal physician of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
The 93 years old Padma Shri awardee and the second Tibetan to receive the prestigious award breathed his last at his residence in Mcleodganj at 2:53 AM.
Dr Yeshi Dhonden was the foremost Tibetan doctor around the world who was widely respected and recognised for his effectual treatment of the patients.
Dr Yeshi Dhonden was born on 15 May 1927 to a peasants family in the village of Namro in central Tibet’s Lhoga District. He entered monastic life when he was six years old and from the age of 12 studied at Lhasa Men Tsee Khang under his uncle the famous Tibetan doctor and teacher Khenrab Norbu, among other teachers. At the age of 20, he passed his exams with distinction.
In 1959, Dr Yeshi Dhonden accompanied His Holiness the Dalai Lama when he fled the Chinese invasion of Tibet. In India, Dr Yeshi Dhonden was instrumental in the founding of the Tibetan Medical and Astro-science Institute (Men-Tsee Khang) in Dharamsala. From 1960–80, while he served as personal physician to the Dalai Lama, he also held office as both director and principal of Men-Tsee Khang until 1979. He continued to practice medicine from a small private clinic he established in Dharamsala in 1969 until his retirement earlier this year.
On 20 March 2018, the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, conferred the Padma Shri of Medicine to Dr Dhonden at the Rashtrapati Bhavan for his contributions in the field of medicine through Sowa Rigpa, the traditional Tibetan medicine. Padma Shri is the fourth-highest civilian award in India. Dr Dhonden officially retired from medical practise on 1 April 2019 due to advancing age and health reasons.