Venerable Tokden Rinpoche, one of our most revered scholars, was born on 4th May 1944 at Sisor village in Drgyab district of Kham Province, Tibet. Since he was recognized as the reincarnated Lama from very childhood, he received basic teachings on Buddhism and Tibetan literature from Gen Rinchen Choedak, one of the main disciples of his own predecessor. In the year 1952, he initiated his long journey towards Lhasa and joined Drepung Loseling Monastery upon his arrival there. He received his novice vow from Ven. Pema Gyaltsen Rinpoche, then abbot of the monastery. Soon, he started his intensive studies and his teachers include legendary scholars like Denma Lochoe Rinpoche, Phara Khensur Gen Pema Gyaltsen Rinpoche, Shakor Gen Nyima Gyaltsen Rinpoche and so on.
He also received complete Sutra and Tantra teachings, oral transmissions and empowerments from His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Ling Rinpoche and Trijang Rinpoche. Unfortunately, his studies were interrupted as situations in Tibet turned from good to worst overnight. The ever-increasing militants started abusing peaceful monks and high Lamas, monasteries being bombarded and the people are deployed on inhuman works—hither to unheard of in Tibet.
So, he was compelled into exile to follow His Holiness the Dalai Lama and thousands of fellow Tibetans. He continued his studies as major monasteries including Loseling were re-established in India. Besides his advanced studies, Rinpoche contributed a lot for this monastery with his exemplary works at our Library and School. He was conferred Geshe Degree in 1981.
As per His Holiness’s guidance, Tokden Rinpoche spent his times and energy giving teachings and empowerments to the devotees in the Himalayan regions including Spiti and Ladhak. The people developed deep faith in him and respected him and respected him a lot since they find his teachings very encouraging and helpful. He went back several times to these regions as requested by the people. Rinpoche was appointed for the abbot of Ratoe monastery in Mundgod in the year 1999. His abbotship for five years finished with appreciation from the monks as there were many improvements in studies, education system and discipline. Rinpoche was appointed for the three-year’s deputy abbot post (Lama Uze) of Gyuto monastery in 2003, and followed by 3 years as the abbot of the monastery. A grand enthronement ceremony was held at Gyutoe monastery at the foothill of Dharamsala on 21st April 2005. High Tibetan officials including Kalontripa (Prime minister) Samdong Rinpoche, The chief justice of Supreme Court Mr. Lobsang Khedrup, Mr. Lobsang Nyima, the minister of religious affairs, many other current and former members of Tibetan parliament and representatives from Himalayan regions attended the ceremony. As he always does, he completed both terms with great success.