The Treasury of Lives




Pelgon Trinle Rabten was the last king of the Meu kingdom in Ngawa, ruling from about 1930 to 1950. During his tenure Ngawa was prosperous and peaceful, trading widely across western China and the Tibetan Plateau. He participated in the communist administration of Tibet until he was denounced during the Cultural Revolution, after which it appears he committed suicide.

Known by the titles of monk, great scholar, and statesman, the Nineteenth Bakula Rinpoche, Ngawang Lobzang Tubsten Choknor was arguably the most important Ladakhi of the twentieth century. In 1959, when the Fourteenth Dalai Lama and tens of thousands of Tibetans fled to India, Bakula Rinpoche played a critical role in helping to reestablish Tibet's Buddhist institutions in exile. A close associate of Prime Minister Nehru, Bakula served in numerous official capacities. In 1988, he received the Padma Bhushan, one of the highest civilian awards bestowed by the Republic of India. He was instrumental in revitalizing Buddhism in Russia during the last decade of the USSR, and in Mongolia in the later decades of the twentieth century while he served there as ambassador from India; in 1999, the Government of Mongolia awarded him the Polar Star, one of the highest honors presented to non-Mongolian citizens.

Kunga Pelden

b.1878 - d.1944
BDRC P6963

Kunga Pelden was a twentieth-century yogin who resided around Dzogchen Monastery. He was a heart student of Orgyen Tendzin Norbu, himself a disciple of Patrul Rinpoche. He mostly spent his life in retreat and was a proponent of The Guru's Inner Essence, or Lama Yangtik, and the practices of the channels, vital energies, vital essences, and physical yogas of the Heart Essence of the Great Expanse, or Longchen Nyingtik. Kunga Pelden received Lama Yangtik, Longchen Nyingtik, and the physical yogas from Orgyen Tendzin Norbu and the practice of the channels, vital energies, and vital essences from Pema Tekchok Loden.

Jangsem Sherab Zangpo was a disciples of Tsongkhapa Lobzang Drakpa and was responsible for introducing Tsongkhapa's teachings to Ladakh. With the patronage of local kings he built the first Geluk temple in Ladakh. He also helped his cousin and disciple Pelden Sherab establish Tikse Monastery, which became one of the largest monasteries in Ladakh, in addition to many other monasteries. He is counted as one of the Tarchen Druk, the six special disciples of Tsongkhapa who spread the Geluk doctrine to the Tibetan border regions. He should not be confused with the other disciple of Tsongkhapa named Jangsem Sherab Zangpo, who helped establish Chamdo Jampa Ling.

Tsembupa Darma Wozer was an important Tibetan saint whose method of meditation on Avalokiteśvara, which he received directly from the deity Nairātmyā—or in some versions of the story from Vajrayoginī or Vajravārāhī—became very popular in Tibet.