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Gyumed Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Jampa

Venerable Geshe Lobsang Dhargye

Lineage Lamas

Gyumed Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Jampa

Gyumed Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Jampa is Spiritual Director of Do Ngak Kunphen Ling (DNKL) and head of Thewo Khangsten in Sera May Monastery in Bylakuppe, India. His leadership as a senior scholar of the Gelugpa lineage bridges the monastic life in Tibet and its reemergence in exile after 1959. In 1949 at the age of 10, Rinpoche entered Sera Monastery just north of Lhasa where his uncle served as a monk. In 1952 he received his novice monk vows from Mi-nyag Tondues Rinpoche, the 95th Throne Holder of Gelugpa Tradition.

He first encountered the Dalai Lama when the 12-year-old youth arrived to take his seat at Sera in a ceremony called “Inviting the Great Lord.” Rinpoche vividly remembers lining up with over 5000 Sera monks to welcome the revered leader.

On March 17, 1959, the Dalai Lama and his ministers fled the Potala palace. Two days later the Chinese army bombarded Sera Monastery, killing hundreds of monks. Rinpoche, his uncle and many others fled into the hills to dodge the shrapnel. His group escaped to a nearby town, but bombardments soon forced them into the mountains where they noticed a cave filled with Chinese soldiers. Under cover of night, their large group filed past its entrance only to discover thousands of monks, lay people, resistance fighters and soldiers on the next ridge. The fighters recruited monks to fight the approaching Chinese. Rinpoche volunteered to care for the horses until his group left for India.

Rinpoche and his fellow monks chanted prayers and mantras as they trekked through a winter landscape in cotton robes and slept huddled together in the snow. They relied on devout nomads to provide temporary shelter and share their meager food. Traveling at night to avoid the Chinese military, their group crossed into India via a mountain pass blocked by snow. The monks survived on weak tea and a spoonful of barley during the seven days it took to dig through the snowy pass. After crossing the border, the Indian military dropped food from helicopters. Only then did Rinpoche learn the Dalai Lama was alive.

The Tibetan government sent Rinpoche and more than 1500 monk scholars to Buxar, a British Army camp in West Bengal. At first, monks from all four Tibetan traditions lived and attended classes together. Rinpoche soon received his complete Bhikshu vows from His Eminence Yongzin Ling Rinpoche, the 97th Throne Holder of Gelugpa Tradition and senior tutor to the Dalai Lama.

Rinpoche and the monks at Buxar survived 11 years (1959-70) with no paid work or curriculum. They learned scriptures, held traditional debates and studied under senior monks on a private basis. Because very few scriptures survived, they printed texts handwritten by master teachers using a primitive rock-ink method. The monks later managed to borrow books from libraries in Sikkim and smuggle texts out of Tibet with traders. Rinpoche spent one of these years in a Bombay hospital being treated for tuberculosis.

In 1970, Rinpoche joined more than 200 monks sent to reestablish Sera Monastery in the Tibetan resettlement in Bylakuppe. They lived in tents while clearing forest, preparing soil, raising food crops and building the first monastic buildings. Regular classes occurred only during the three months of the growing season. In January 1971, the Dalai Lama arrived at Bylakuppe to give the first Kalachakra Initiation in exile and take residence in the apartment built for him.

From 1980 to the present, Gyumed Khensur Rinpoche has continued to teach at Sera Mey Monastic University. In 1986, he completed the final exam for a Geshe degree, and received the esteemed, highest honor of Geshe Lharampa (equivalent to a PhD), after debate examinations attended by the Dalai Lama and senior scholars. In 1989, he served as Sera Mey Discipline Master for one year. Then in 1990, he received the advanced degree of Ngagrampa from Gyumed Tantric College after extensively studying the more esoteric teachings of the Mahayana tradition.

In 1993, the Dalai Lama appointed Rinpoche to Lama Umze of Gyumed Tantric College and gave him his first private audience. Three years later, the Dalai Lama named him Abbot. During his term, he taught in Singapore and Malaysia in 2003. He first visited the U.S. and Canada in 1995 to conduct teachings and rituals at the request of the Gyumed administrators and some western students. In 2006 soon after a U.S. teaching tour, Godstow Center in Redding, CT invited Gyumed Khensur Rinpoche to serve as its Spiritual Director. He accepted in Sept. 2007 and changed its name to Do Ngak Kunphen Ling.

The following month, Rinpoche visited a battered New Orleans at the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina hosted by Tulane University. His talk, “How to Transform Major Loss,” offered comforting guidance, drawing from his escape through snowbound Himalayas to residents recovering in the sub-tropical heat. In October, 2007, Rinpoche led the hour-long opening chant by Tibetan monks at the “Pray for Peace Concert” at the Washington National Cathedral. Hosted by Graham Nash, David Crosby and Jackson Brown, the ceremony in celebration of the Dalai Lama’s Congressional Gold medal also featured Rinpoche as the Buddhist representative in the interfaith prayer segments.

A growing network of monks, nuns and lay students from the US and around the world now travel to DNKL regularly to attend Rinpoche’s teachings. In 2010 DNKL in collaboration with Western Connecticut State University invited His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama to Connecticut. In October 2012 Rinpoche welcomed His Holiness to Do Ngak Kunphen Ling, 65 years after he first glimpsed the revered leader at Sera Mey Monastery in Tibet. His Holiness then traveled to Danbury, where he was welcomed by thousands. He gave two public talks on the themes of “The Art of Compassion” and “Advice for Daily Life.”

Gyumed Khensur Rinpoche at other centers

When not at DNKL, our Spiritual Director can sometimes be found teaching elsewhere.

For more information about upcoming classes at Guhyasamaja Center in northern Virginia, and to hear recordings of some of his teachings there, please visit: http://www.guhyasamaja.org or call 703-774-9692.

For information about upcoming classes at Mahayana Sutra and Tantra Center (MSTC) near Washington D.C., please visit: http://www.mstcdharma.org or call 703-503-5487.

Rinpoche sometimes teaches at Gyuto Vajrayana Center in San Jose, CA. For a schedule of their programs visit: http://www.gyutocenter.org or call (408) 926-9430.

Rinpoche and Geshe Dhargey occassionally return to teach at their monastery, Sera Mey Monastic University in Bylakuppe, Mysore District, Karnataka State, India: http://serameymonastery.org, or call +91-8223-258207


Long Life Mantra

The most precious Dhakpa Tulku Rinpoche has suggested that we can say the Tara Long Life mantra for our kind and holy teacher, Gyumed Khensur Rinpoche.

Om Tare Tuttare Ture Guru Ayur Punjya Jnana Pushtim Kuru Ye Soha

Since White Tara is an enlightened being who bestows healing and long life, we can communicate our wishes to her by invoking her mantra. It is like calling to her for help. Due to her omniscience, she can hear our call; and due to her compassion, she will respond.

One of her "enlightening activities" is to help remove obstacles to one's long life; it is one of her "jobs" or "functions." Therefore, she can provide help in lengthening the life of our precious teacher, so his enlightened activities can continue to flourish.

Gyumed Khensur Rinpoche

Heart Verse of Long Life Prayer for Gyumed Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Jampa

To bring blessing of enlightened activities to fortunate disciples,
And to spread the textual and inner realization teachings
of the Buddha, who embodies the ten powers,
You show the light of logic in teachings to intelligent minds.
I pray to the spiritual friend, the revealer of the path!

Kel den dul chey kam su trin le juk /
Tob chu dak pöi lung tok gye dze chir /
Lo sel nam la rik lam drön me ten /
Lam tön ge wey she la söl wan deb /


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