Lama Ahbay Rinpoche

Lama Ahbay Rinpoche Teaching in Columbia at SC Dharma Group April 1-June 15, 2017

Lama Ahbay Rinpoche will offer Dharma teachings in Columbia at the Dharma Center of the SC Dharma Group April 1-June 15, 2017. A detailed schedule will be announced. He will also be available for individual teachings. Ahbay Rinpoche (Lama Ahbay Tulku Jigme Thupten Tendar Rinpoche) is a teacher who has been recognized by the Dalai Lama as a reincarnation of Lama Lobsang Tenzin, and has taught widely in Europe and the United States.

Lama Ahbay Rinpoche:

Lama Ahbay Tulku Jigme Thupten Tendar Rinpoche was born in Darjeeling/India in 1973. In the Tibetan calendar the day of his birth is known as "The Auspicious Day with Ten Good Omens." His father, Sonam Dorjee, and his mother, Lobsang Tseten, have two more children, his elder brother, Dondhup Paljor, and his younger sister, Tsering Tsomo.

In 1979, Khabche Zong Rinpoche visited the hill station of Darjeeling and gave profound instructions bringing happiness to everybody. His father prostrated to the feet of this great master with the wish to have the possibility for one of his sons to become a monk. Zong Rinpoche saw that it would be better to choose the younger of the two brothers to enter the monastery. In the same year the abbot of Gaden Jangtse Monastery in South India gave him the name Jigme Phuntsok and he received the robes of a monk.

The venerable Geshe Khenrab Choedak of Hardong Khamtsen became his religious master and he began to learn to write and read Tibetan and to study Buddhist metaphysics according to the tradition. Geshe Sonam Choephel, Geshe Tenzin Dhakpa and Geshe Lobsang Choenyi were ordained as his additional masters.

When he was nine years old he was fully initiated into monkhood and the tutor of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Khabche Ling Rinpoche gave him the name Thupten Tendar. When he was twelve, His Holiness the Dalai Lama identified him as the reincarnation of the hermit Lama Lobsang Tenzin. One year later he was enthroned as Tulku in Gaden Jangtse Monastery. There, at the age of seventeen, he was admitted to the congregational debate on the first chapter of Abhisamaya (Perfection of Wisdom), and six years later, to the congregational debate on Madhyamika (Middle Way). He studied Pharchen (Perfection of Wisdom) for six years, Uma (Middle Way) for three years.

From the age of twenty-five on he studied the Abidharma (Treasure of Knowledge) for three years followed by the Vinaya (Disciplines). These four major Buddhist texts, together with another text called Namdrel (Valid cognition), all are called Panchaparamita (Five major texts of Buddhist studies).

Lama Lobsang Tenzin (former reincarnation of Lama Ahbay Rinpoche)

The former reincarnation of Lama Ahbay Tulku Jigme Thupten Tendar Rinpoche was the hermit Lama Lobsang Tenzin. He was born in the village known as Lunghna Shelkar in the family Lhundup Khangsar that is known to have brought forth many saints. He had two brothers, one was a monk and the other one a layman. His parents passed away early, and so Rinpoche lived in a sheltered cave, near his village, with one white donkey and one cow. He lived in this cave for a long time and it was his well known home. He pursued religious studies and by the time he attained 30 years once again he went to stay in that cave, to continue his practice and studies. In the near village, he became well known and famous for his supernatural powers. By that time animals of the near forest like deers and monkeys would come to him and people from all walks of life continuously received his blessings. Observing the pathetic situation of his life in a cave, the villagers constructed a monastery nearby, to accommodate 25 monks, to bring religion to flourish to its peak.

1959, the year of doomsday, the Chinese invaded Tibet and by the end of the same year, Geshe Lobsang Chomphal requested Rinpoche to escape to India. But he refused to follow this advice, as he did not want his follower and disciples to be left behind.

Instead he suggested and requested Geshe Lobsang Chomphal to leave for India and confirmed that he would follow him when urgency demanded it. For the time being, Rinpoche would be leaving to Lhasa and this information was to be kept strictly confidential.

The situation in Tibet deteriorated day by day, with the Chinese demolishing the previous monasteries and statues, torturing and killing everybody, monks and nuns mercilessly. In spite of all these tragedies happening around him, he managed to live in a small room for many years, preaching secretly and thus attained 80 years. The public honoured and paid full homage and respect to him until his last stages.