Professor Samdhong Rinpoche
Saturday, April 18, 4:30 to 6:30 pm at Kurukulla Center
Sunday, April 19, 10:00 to 11:30 am at George Dilboy Post
We recently received the wonderful news that Professor Venerable Samdhong Rinpoche, also known as the 5th Samdhong Rinpoche, will be visiting our center on Saturday, April 18 and will give a public talk on "The Benefit of Practicing Buddhism" from 4:30 to 6:30 pm.
Samdhong Rinpoche will also be giving a talk on "Preservation of Tibetan Language and Culture" with Q&A, on Sunday April 19 from 10:00 to 11:30 am at The George Dilboy Post, 371 Summer Street in Somerville, MA.
Venerable Lobsang Tenzin, better known by the titles†Professor Samdhong Rinpoche, and to Tibetans as the 5th Samdhong Rinpoche (born 5 November 1939 in Jol, in eastern Tibet), was the previous Prime Minister (officially Kalon Tripa, or chairman of the cabinet), of the Central Tibetan Administration or Tibetan government-in-exile, which is based in Dharamshala, India.
A close associate of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, the Tibetan leader, he was elected to this august position on 5th September 2001.
At the age of five, he was recognized as the reincarnation of the 4th Samdhong Rinpoche and enthroned in Gaden Dechenling Monastery at Jol. Two years later he took the monk vows and started his education. At the age of twelve, he entered the great Drepung Monastery in Lhasa, Tibet. †But in 1959, after the Chinese invasion of Tibet, he was forced to go into exile in India along with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.
From 1961†onward†Samdhong Rinpoche worked as a teacher in Central Tibetan schools in India, first in Shimla and later in Darjeeling. Between 1965 and 1970 he was the Principal of Central Tibetan School Dalhousie during which he completed his Geshe Lharampa and Geshe Ngagrampa Degrees. Between 1971 and 1988 he was the Principal of Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies (CIHTS) at Varanasi, and from 1988 to 2001 he was the director/Vice Chancellor. He is regarded as one of the leading Tibetan scholars of Buddhism and is also an authority on the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. He is fluent in Hindi and English, Tibetan being In 1991 Samdhong Rinpoche was appointed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama as a member of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile and later was unanimously elected as its Speaker. Between 1996 and 2001 he was an elected member of the Tibetan Parliament representing exiled Tibetans from Kham province and also its Speaker.
In 2000 His Holiness the Dalai Lama decided that the Tibetan people in exile should elect their own Prime Minister, and in July 2001, Samdhong Rinpoche was elected with a landslide victory, with 84.45% of votes cast. In 2006, he was again elected as Prime Minister with 90.27% of votes cast. Since 2001 he has travelled extensively to gain support for the cause of Tibetan autonomy and raise awareness of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's "Middle Way" proposal for negotiating autonomy with the Chinese government. In August 2011, after serving two full terms as Kalon Tripa, he has now retired from active Tibetan politics.