Venerable Abbot Geshe Lobsang Jinpa Rinpoche
The Venerable Abbot of Shar Gaden Monastery, Geshe Lobsang Jinpa Rinpoche, was born in 1940 in a village named Medhu Kunga, near Lhasa, in Tibet. His father’s name is Sonam Bhakdo and his mother is Yeshe Kyemo.
At the age of 9, he fulfilled his wish to ordain as a monk and was admitted to Gaden Shartse Monastery, later receiving the fully fledged novice vows from Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang. It was this Guru, Kyabje Trijang Dorje Chang, who would become his Root-Guru and bestow on him many precious teachings and empowerments. Khen Rinpoche embarked on the monastic training and studied all fields of Buddhist Studies including the Five Principal Subjects of Buddhist Philosophy as a pupil of Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, Song Rinpoche and Zemey Rinpoche. After fleeing from Tibet in 1959, many Gaden monks temporarily resided in Buxar, in Northeast India, where they continued to keep focused on studying Sutra and Tantra.
Most of the major Gelug monasteries were reestablished in South India; with Gaden and Drepung Monasteries in Mundgod, while Sera Monastery was reestablished in Bylakuppe, Mysore. It was at the newly established Dokhang Khangtsen of Gaden Shartse Monasery that Khen Rinpoche Lobsang Jinpa began to take on leadership roles in the monastery. In 1972 he was appointed as Administrator of Gaden Shartse. During his term as administrator, many improvements were made to the various departments of the monastery.
Khen Rinpoche completed his formal studies in the year 1980 and was awarded the prestigious Geshe degree. The Geshe degree is comparable to a PhD in Buddhist philosophy. This was the culmination of over 30 years of rigorous studies, some of this during very difficult circumstances as a refugee in a new land.
In early 1991, Khen Rinpoche Lobsang Jinpa was appointed Geku (head-disciplinarian) of Gaden Shartse Monastery, a position much responsibility that he served with distinction and respect. In 1993, he was appointed as the main debate teacher of Gaden Shartse and thus became the teacher of many monks who would later become geshes and scholars in Buddhist philosophy and debate. It was also in 1993 that he became the Khangtsen Gen ( head of the regional house) of Dokhang Khangtsen. Dokhang Khangtsen is the largest regional house of Gaden Shartse, housing over 500 monks.
After completing his terms with success, Khen Rinpoche was invited to travel to Taiwan to start a branch center of Dokhang Knangtsen, on behalf of Gaden Shartse Monastery. His Dharma activities were so successful in Taiwan that he was asked to stay and continue to offer his skills in teaching Dharma to the people of Taiwan. Khen Rinpoche accepted and soon many became his students and supporters of Gaden Shartse Monastery. Rinpoche would often come back to Gaden to visit his esteemed teachers and offer his support to the monastery.
In December of 2013, Khen Rinpoche Lobsang Jinpa was officially enthroned as Abbot of Shar Gaden Monastery. All of the monks gathered to offered him a long-life puja to express their appreciation for his accepting this position.