The Treasury of Lives

The Tukwan incarnation line is named for the clan of the First Tukwan, Lobzang Rabten, who was born into a Mongol family of Tuguan chieftains in Amdo in the seventeenth century. The Tukwan seat is at Gonlung, a Geluk monastery in Amdo. The Third Tukwan, Lobzang Chokyi Nyima travelled widely between China, central Tibet and Mongolia, and his extensive writings are well known and include his monumental survey of Asian religious and thought.



The First Tukwan, Lobzang Rabten, was a disciple of the Fourth Paṇchen Lama and an expert in Pramāṇa. He studied in Tashilhunpo and served as the lama at Tetung Monastery and then as the seventeenth abbot of Gonlung Jampa Ling where he served as both religious as well as secular heads of the region.

The Second Tukwan, Ngawang Chokyi Gyatso, a disciple of the Second Changkya, studied in Gonlung Jampa Ling and Drepung Gomang College. He served as the twenty-fourth abbot of Gonlung, and organized the enthronement ceremony of the Seventh Dalai Lama at the Chinese Emperor's instruction; he was later awarded a title of honor and seal by the Emperor. He reconstructed many monasteries destroyed by the Chinese forces following a Mongolian and Tibetan uprising against Qing rule, and established a hermitage behind the Gonlung where he settled for his remaining life.

The Third Tukwan, Lobzang Chokyi Nyima spent much of his life traveling between Beijing, Mongolia, and Lhasa. Ethnically Monguor, he spent much of his time in Beijing during the reign of the Qianlong Emperor, serving as one of his closest Buddhist teachers. He was educated in Gonlung Jampa Ling and Drepung Gomang College. He received teachings from many prominent lamas including the Sixth Paṇchen Lama, the First Purchok, the Third Changkya, the Second Jamyang Zhepa and also the Sakya Dakchen. He served as abbot of Zhalu Serkang, Gonlung Jampa Ling, Kumbum monasteries, and established Tarpeling Monastery. He was highly honored by the Lhasa government as well the Chinese Emperor, and was popular in Mongolia. A prolific writer, his collected works number ten volumes.

The Fifth Tukwan

b.1827? - d.1835?

The Sixth Tukwan, Lobzang Wangchuk Shedrub Gyatso was based at Gonlung Jampa Ling, the seat of his previous incarnations. He also received training at Kumbum Monastery. Like the previous Tukwan incarnations he spent time in Beijing at the request of the Manchu Emperor, giving teachings and performing religious activities. He built temples and commissioned number of religious items for installation at Gonlung.