Dharamshala: A 56-year-old prominent Tibetan monk from Gyongpa township in Lithang County, Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture (incorporated into China’s Sichuan province) who was in the custody of Lithang County’s police station since March last year has reportedly died on 26 January 2023 due to unknown ill health.
According to reliable sources, Geshe Phende Gyaltsen was often engaged in imparting religious teaching to his disciples. He was also actively engaged in renovating Shedrub Dhargyeling monastery in Lithang. In March 2022, he was arbitrarily arrested by the local authority and sentenced to imprisonment for mediating a dispute between two parties in the county. The authority transported his body to his native town in Gyongpa but prohibited people from visiting the deceased including the imposition of restrictions on internal movement for three days. Following the days, the body was shifted to Beijing.
Geshe Phende Gyaltsen was born in Gyongpa township in Lithang County. He had been to India in 1985 to study Buddhist tantric and received a Geshe Degree at Sera Mey Monastery’s Pomra Khangtsen in Bylakuppe, South India. After that, he travelled to Dharamshala, Manali, Darjeeling, Bhutan etc on a prolonged spiritual retreat before returning to Tibet to give a teaching on tantric and meditation practices to scholars.