Our Lineage Masters
In grateful memory of their wisdom legacy
Ganden Trisur and Yongdzin, Ling Rinpoche
Thubten Lungtok Namgyal Trinley
The 6th Ling Rinpoche served as the 97th Throneholder of Ganden (Ganden Tripa), the formal head of our Gelug lineage and successor to the founder Je Tsongkhapa. He was also senior tutor (yongdzin) to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Geshe Palden Tsering received teachings directly from Ling Rinpoche, and Za Choeje Rinpoche was also able to have audience and receive advice from Ling Rinpoche after his identification as the Za Choeje incarnate. Details of his life can be found on the 7th Ling Rinpoche's website as well as the biography authored by His Holiness, The Life of My Teacher.
Photo credit: Yongzin Lingtsang Labrang
Yongdzin, Trijang Rinpoche
Losang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso
The 3rd Trijang Rinpoche was an incarnation of previous Throneholders of Ganden and the junior tutor (yongdzin) to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Geshe Palden Tsering received many teachings from Trijang Rinpoche and was greatly devoted to him. A detailed account of his life can be found in Rinpoche's autobiography, The Magical Play of Illusion.
Photo credit: Jangchup Lamrim Teaching Organizing Committee
Ngawang Losang Thubten Geleg Rabgye
The 6th Zhungpa Lhatsun Rinpoche of Sera Mey Monastery was a teacher to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and many other lamas listed on the page including Ling Rinpoche. Lhatsun Dorje Chang as he is often called was a lineage holder of both Gelug and Nyingma traditions. Geshe Palden Tsering considered Lhatsun Rinpoche as one of his primary masters since he received the profound initiation and transmission of Vajrayogini for the first time from Lhatsun Rinpoche.
Sera Jey Khensur Rinpoche
Geshe Dhondup Topgyal served as the 67th abbot of Sera Jey Monastery. He was abbot during some of the monastery's most difficult history, when it was being reestablished in the jungles of south India. He was the house master for Geshe Palden Tsering in Tehor regional house.
Ganden Shartse Khensur, Zong Rinpoche
Losang Tsondru Thubten Gyaltsen
The 3rd Zong Rinpoche of Ganden Shartse Monastery was such a prodigious master he served as abbot of the monastery at the young age of 33 in old Tibet. Not only was he a great scholar, he was an accomplished tantric yogi and also known for his expertise and precision in ritual arts as well. Zong Rinpoche was widely regarded as one of the main upholders of Trijang Rinpoche's lineages. Geshe Palden Tsering received teachings from Zong Rinpoche. More details of his life can be found here.
Photo credit: Greta Jensen
Geshe Ngawang Dhargyey was one of Geshe Palden Tsering's root gurus, and the one he served most closely as an attendant since their time together in Tibet, through to India and New Zealand. A detailed biography is available here.
Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche
Losang Jigme Damcho
Widely known by the title Kirti Tsenshab (debating partner of Kirti Rinpoche), he was the recognised incarnation of Geshe Tsang, a previous abbot of Kirti Monastery. Za Choeje Rinpoche received many tantric initiations from Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche, and Geshe Palden Tsering also received transmissions from him. A short biography is available here.
Photo credit: FPMT
Gyume Khensur Rinpoche
Geshe Urgyen Tseten (formally named Yeshe Sonam) completed his studies in Tibet and as a senior monk of Tehor regional house at Sera Jey Monastery, many of our younger lineage masters became his students. He was elevated to abbot of Gyume (Lower Tantra) Monastery at the urging of the monastic assembly and His Holiness the Dalai Lama, a great honour that also places a monk in the line of succession to become the head of the lineage as the Throneholder of Ganden. Geshe Palden Tsering received many teachings from this master, including requesting and sponsoring a Vajrayogini initiation at Sera Jey Monastery. More details can be found here.
Ngawang Chokyi Lodro
Trulshik Rinpoche was one of the greatest Nyingma masters of the 20th century. He was the heart disciple of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, and both of them gave Nyingma teachings to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Geshe Palden Tsering also received teachings from Trulshik Rinpoche. You can find more information about Rinpoche here.
Photo credit: Georges Luneau, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Geshe Sonam Rinchen was a senior student of many of Geshe Palden Tsering's teachers, including Geshe Ngawang Dhargyey, whom he succeeded as the main teacher at the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives. However, Geshe Palden Tsering also devoted himself to Geshe Sonam Rinchen as one his main teachers. Geshe Sonam Rinchen visited our centre many times, and we were blessed that he spent much time in New Zealand towards the end of his life. A brief biography is available here.
Photo credit: Peter Aronson
Sera Jey Khensur Kangyurwa Rinpoche
Geshe Losang Thubten was widely known by his titles Khensur Kangyurwa Rinpoche as he was the abbot emeritus (Khensur) of Sera Jey Monastery and the master who transmitted the entire collection of Buddha's scriptures (Kangyurwa) translated in Tibetan to the monks of his generation. Geshe Palden Tsering received many profound teachings of sutra and tantra from him and he also oversaw the final examination and conferral of Geshe-la's degree. You can find more information at Rinpoche's centre website.
Namgyal Khensur, Locho Rinpoche
Losang Oser Choying Gyatso
Often referred to as Denma Locho Rinpoche, he was the incarnation of the great scholar Gen Locho of Selkar Monastery. Locho Rinpoche was renowned for his mastery of sutra and tantra, and considered one of the main upholders of Ling Rinpoche's lineage of transmissions. He also served as abbot of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's personal monastery, Namgyal Monastery. Za Choeje Rinpoche relied on Locho Rinpoche as one of his main teachers. Locho Rinpoche's life story can be found here.
Photo credit: FPMT
Jigdal Dagchen Sakya Rinpoche
Ngawang Kunga Sonam
Jigdal Dagchen Sakya Rinpoche was the head of the Phuntsog Palace, one of two palaces that alternated in leading the Sakya lineage. Fully qualified as the lineage holder of the Sakya tradition, Rinpoche spent considerable time in Kham during his younger years, where Geshe Palden Tsering made a dharma connection with him. Rinpoche's short biography can be found here.
Sera Jey Khensur Rinpoche
Geshe Jampa Tegchok was the 71st abbot of Sera Jey Monastery. We were honoured to have him perform our centre's opening ceremony in 2003. He returned on later occasions to visit and teach as well.
Photo credit: Aryatara Institut
Ganden Trisur Rizong Sras Rinpoche
Thubten Nyima Lungtok Tenzin Norbu
The 3rd Rizong Sras Rinpoche served as the 102nd Throne Holder of Ganden (Ganden Tripa), the formal head of our Gelug lineage and successor to the founder Je Tsongkhapa. Rinpoche was also one of the last living teachers of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He was not only learned in sutra and tantra, but also devoted himself to years of solitary practice in isolated retreat hermitages. To benefit the sangha, he completed a term as abbot of Drepung Loseling and Gyume monasteries. Za Choeje Rinpoche received personal instructions from this great master.