The Treasury of Lives

The National Endowment for the Humanities Collections and Reference Resources (Division of Preservation and Access) awarded The Treasury of Lives an 18-month (2017-2019) grant to support planning for the long-term sustainability of The Treasury of Lives. The planning project supported enhancements in data management, editorial standards, refinement of dynamic map and geodata, search optimization and public engagement for the online encyclopedia.

The National Endowment for the Humanities Collections and Reference Resources (Division of Preservation and Access) awarded The Treasury of Lives a 3-year (2020-2023) implementation grant for the expansion of encyclopedia content and redevelopment of its technical infrastructure to implement the principles of linked open data.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Biographies

There are 8 biographies Sponsored by National Endowment for the Humanities

Chogyam Trungpa was one of the twentieth century's earliest and most influential Tibetan teachers in the West. An advocate of the creation of a Western Buddhist tradition, he was the founder of the Vajradhatu and the Shambhala organizations, and was the author of some of the most widely-read books on Buddhism for Western audiences. Born and trained in Tibet, he fled to India in 1959 and then to England in 1963. Charismatic and controversial, he created institutions that for many were means to traverse the path to liberation, and for others sites of addiction and sexual abuse. After crashing a car in 1967, resulting in life-long physical debilitation, he disrobed and began to adopt Western counter-cultural forms of expression and behavior. In 1970 he moved to North America where he founded Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, in 1974, and, with Pema Chödron, Gampo Abbey in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 1983, as well as many temples and dharma centers around the globe. He died at the age of forty-eight from cirrhosis of the liver brought on by alcoholism.

Kalu Rinpoche was one of the most prominent Tibetan lamas of the twentieth century, active in both exile communities and in the West. As a young man he spent over a decade in isolated retreat, coming out only to serve as retreat master at Tsādra Rinchen Drak. Although never formally enthroned, he was commonly recognized as a reincarnation of Jamgon Kongtrul. In exile he settled in India, where he was a primary teacher to many contemporary Kagyu lamas and served as the main propagator of the Shangpa Kagyu tradition. In the later decades of his life he traveled multiple times to Europe and North America, where he established dharma centers and three-year retreat centers and initiated the translation of Kongtrul's Treasury of Knowledge into English.

Tsarong Dasang Damdul was one of the most powerful and wealthy men in Tibet during the first half of the Twentieth Century, holding the posts of Minister, Commander-in-Chief of the Tibetan Army, and head of the Tibetan Mint and Armory. A reformer, he created Tibet's first modern army but was but was prevented from implementing his plans by members of the Tibetan government who perceived the military as independent organization free from governmental oversight and hence a threat.

The Sixth Ling Rinpoche, Tubten Lungtok Namgyel Trinle, was one of the most renowned and respected Tibetan Buddhist masters of the twentieth century. He was student of the Secon Pabongkha and of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama, in whose administration he served. In 1941 he became a tutor to the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, and, in 1964, he was elevated to the position of the Ninety-Seventh Ganden Tripa, the first man to hold the position in exile. During his tenure he supervised the reestablishment of Geluk institutions in India. Ling Rinpoche traveled extensively to Europe, the Americas, and East Asia.

Pawo Wangchuk Tengpa was the most celebrated Tibetan guerilla commander in the Gyeltang region of south-eastern Tibet. His fame evolved through civil and military leadership from 1927 through 1964, including over two decades of active armed resistance that ended with the People Liberation Army's annexation of Tibet. After a violent standoff with the PLA and his surrender in exchange for ransom and peace in the region, he assumed civil leadership under Communist Chinese rule and was respected by Chinese Communists and Tibetans, including his fellow guerilla members in Tibet and exile.

Khyentse Chokyi Wangchuk was a reincarnation of his uncle, Jamyang Chokyi Wangpo. He studied with Adzom Drukpa and Khyentse Chokyi Lodro, who would replace him as the Khyentse incarnation of Dzongsar. He was also a disciple of Kunga Pelden, with whom he resided in that lama's later years. Although he revealed several treasure cycles, none survived the chaos of the Communist takeover of Tibet. Khyentse Chokyi Wangpo died in Chinese prison.

Tokden Orgyen Tenzin

b.1888 - d.1961

Tokden Orgyen Tenzin was a Chod practitioner who lived most of his life in caves around the Derge region during the first half of the twentieth century. He was a student of Adzom Drukpa and the paternal great-uncle and teacher of Namkhai Norbu.

Jamyang Chokyi Wangpo

b.1894 - d.1909

Jamyang Chokyi Wangpo was one of the multiple simultaneous reincarnations of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo. Identified by Loter Wangpo, he was enthroned at Dzongsar in 1897. He studied there and at Adzom Gar and Dzogchen Monastery. He died at the age of fifteen.