Home Geshe Rabten Rinpoche "From the time I was a small child, I met monks in their maroon robes returning from the great monastic universities near Lhasa. I admired them very much. I also occasionally visited the large monastery in our region; and when I watched the monks debating, I was again filled with admiration. When I was about fifteen years old I began to notice how simple, pure and efficient their lives were.
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Venerable Geshe Rabten Rinpoche was born in January As a young child, he was utterly fascinated by monks who were returning from the great monastic universities near Lhasa. His admiration was further fuelled by his personal experiences watching them in action during debates at the large monasteries where he occasionally visited. He recalled how his life at home was complicated and filled with unending tasks that never seemed to finish.
When he was 18, Geshe Rabten travelled from his birthplace in Kham in the Eastern province of Tibet to Lhasa to fulfil his aspirations to become a monk. He enrolled in the famed Sera Monastic University, Lhasa to begin his monastic education.
Due to his prowess in debate, many compared him to Dharmakirti, the great Buddhist scholar of India. After 20 years of study, the exceptional scholar and great debater Geshe Rabten passed his Geshe exams in the presence of monks from the three great monasteries.
His tasks were to assist the Dalai Lama when receiving teachings from his two tutors and to debate with His Holiness on philosophical subjects. Geshe Rabten also spent many years in solitary retreat. Later, as the number of Western students grew, Geshe Rabten was requested by His Holiness to move to a Tibetan monastery in Rikon, Switzerland and eventually became its abbot.
Geshe Rabten offers a khata to H. Geshe Rabten actually preferred to remain in India with his many students and his elderly root Guru, Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche. He did not have any interest in the comforts and money that the West had to offer. However, when Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche pointed out that his teachings would bring great benefit to those in the West, Geshe Rabten agreed to go.
His ability to deliver the essence of Buddhism helped those who followed his teachings gain clarity and calmness, and his example encouraged others to practise sincerely. Showing every sign of a highly accomplished master of Sutra and Tantra, even in death there were extraordinary signs that made his students realise that their Guru was not just a great teacher but an Enlightened one.
Through a careful and complete series of consultations with various figures of authority and also His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Kelsang Tsering was recognised as the incarnation of Geshe Rabten Rinpoche from among potential candidates. Exhibiting the signs of an extraordinary being, in the spring of , the then ten-year-old Tenzin Rabgya Rinpoche gave his first teaching on taking refuge to two hundred people in Rabten Choeling.
The audience was deeply moved and many of his former students shed tears, realising that their great teacher had indeed returned. Please support us so that we can continue to bring you more Dharma:.
Guéshé Rabten Rinpotché
The Return of a Great Master
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