His Eminence the 2nd Dromo Geshe Rinpoche

The reincarnation of Dromo Geshe Rinpoche was born on 22nd January 1937(fire ox year) in Sikkim. He was born to Rabten Phuntsok(father) of the Whenchen family and Yangkyi Dolma(mother).

His father knew the previous Dromo Geshe Rinpoche. He was an influential and educated man and the family had hosted many famous Westerners, scholars and travellers such as Madame Alexandra David-Neel and Lama Anagarika Govinda amongst others.

In 1942, the Dhung Kar Gonpa (White Conch Monastery) in Drom in southern Tibet officially recognized and enthroned him as the reincarnation of Dromo Geshe Rinpoche. In 1943, while he began his studies at Sera Jey College in Lhasa which is one of the three great seats for the learning of the Gelug Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, the administration of the Sera Jey monastery formally extended traditional ceremonial welcome followed by Sera Jey Drati and Tsangpa Khangtsens.[a Khangtsen is a hostel belonging to a particular monastic college where the monks coming from a particular geographical region belong]

He commenced his traditional monastic philosophical studies at the monastery after that. At Sera Monastery Dromo Geshe Rinpoche was known for his swift intelligence, his perfect behaviour and firm devotion to his teachers. It was said that there was no one as gentle as Dromo Geshe Rinpoche, but at the same time, when the influential and famous people came to see him, they would often be very impressed because of his exceptional composure and seriousness even as a child. In 1947, at the age of 10, he was awarded the Rigchung Degree, a religious ceremony marked as the successful completion of the first chapter of the Prajnaparamita texts. It involves one to stand and give a debating examination before all the learned Sanghas at the monastery and he was able to successfully complete it.

It was followed by his Rigchen Degree ceremony awarded after completing all the five treatises of Tibetan Buddhist studies in 1953. Although he had been offered to enter the Lharam class in preparation for the highest degree of Geshe Lharampa (Master of Buddhist Philosophy), in 1958 he requested to graduate earlier and on the auspicious occasion of Lord Buddha's descent from the Heaven of 33, he was conferred Geshe Lingse Degree, just before the Chinese communists put an end to the religious system in Tibet. By that time he had received many rare teachings, transmissions and empowerments from Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang, Tagri Dorje Chang and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In March 1959, during the Tibetan uprising, he was imprisoned and forced to perform dirty and filthy work. Later, compelled to undergo "re-education" he refused to change and was kept in solitary confinement in darkness for several months. He was released in early 1961 after numerous petitions from the king of Sikkim, with the help of the Indian government. In very poor health and at the risk of his life, he was able to Secretly collect and bring out of Tibet many texts and holy objects. He was able to offer many rare and special texts to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and also all the sets of salvaged text books to the big monasteries resettled in exile in India.

In India, Rinpoche took up residence at Tharpa Choling Monastery in Kalingpong, West Bengal, which was one of the monasteries that the previous Dromo  Geshe Rinpoche had established in northern India'

 In 1962, Rinpoche was requested to start Tibet House in New Delhi by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and he served the office of director at Tibet House for four years. An artist himself and an expert on Tibetan and other Buddhist art, because of the trust and respect Tibetans had for him, Dromo Geshe Rinpoche was able to collect many precious, holy and ancient works of art that were exhibited at Tibet House.

Dromo Geshe Rinpoche was known in India for his extraordinary kindness, power and knowledge. He healed the sick, provided education for children and aid for the destitute. In his quiet unassuming way, he worked constantly to benefit others. Among other achievements, in Kalimpong, Dromo Geshe Rinpoche and the people around him founded the U Tsang Association to help many of the Tibetans escaping from Tibet and also took care of the poorest in Kalimpong. Only much later the headquarters were transferred to Dharamsala.

In the Western world many instantly developed deep, lasting faith in Buddhism by reading about Dromo Geshe Rinpoche's deeds in (his Western disciple Lama Govinda's) The Way of the White Clouds. His influence extended far and wide.

In 1976, after travelling to the United State, he established his own Buddhist centre there, "Khangjong Namgyal", the "Victorious Land of Snow" In the summer of 1981, Dromo Geshe Rinpoche invited His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama to the centre for a weekly stay. He enjoyed the restful stay and the peaceful environment, mentioning that the place was of great inspiration for Dharma practice.

For the next twenty-five years, people came from all over the world to receive Rinpoche's guidance and teachings and to do retreats under Rinpoche's guidance.

As his predecessor Rinpoche always acted in the manner of the Kadampas, hiding his good deeds while working incessantly to safeguard the Buddha's teachings. On 10th September 2001, he passed away after showing a brief illness.


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