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Tibet Oral History Project: Interview with Jangtse Choje Lobsang Tenzin Rinpoche on 1/4/2014

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Published on Mar 23, 2018

The interpreter's English translation provided during this interview is potentially incomplete and/or inaccurate. If you are not fluent in Tibetan, please refer to the interview transcript for the complete and correct English translation. Read the interview transcript in English at http://tibetoralhistory.org/Interview...

** This interview about life in Tibet was conducted by the Tibet Oral History Project. This non-profit organization aims to preserve the history and culture of the Tibetan people by interviewing elderly Tibetan refugees about life in Tibet before and after the Chinese invasion. Learn more at http://www.TibetOralHistory.org.

** Interview Summary: Jangtse Choje Lobsang Tenzin Rinpoche was born in Lhatse in Utsang Province to a poor family. He was the middle child among three siblings and remembers being inducted into monkhood in the local monastery of Lhatse Choedhe at the age of 7. He learned to read, write and then memorize scriptures. Lobsang Tenzin Rinpoche recounts his 20-day journey to Lhasa to join Sera Monastery at the age of 16 where began his study of the various subjects of Buddhist philosophy. He had only partially completed his studies of the Five Great Treatises of Mahayana Buddhist philosophy when the Chinese army attacked Lhasa in 1959. He narrates the bombardment of the Potala Palace, Norbulingka and Sera Monastery, which ultimately forced him to flee from Lhasa. Lobsang Tenzin Rinpoche returned to Lhatse Choedhe Monastery where there was a 2-month calm period before the Chinese arrived. He describes Communist propaganda lessons and witnessed thamzing 'struggle sessions' and the imprisonment of the prominent people. He escaped to India via Nepal and resumed religious studies in exile in Buxar. He helped during the initial days of building the settlement in Bylakuppe and later served as the abbot of Gyumed Monastery. Lobsang Tenzin is presently the Jangtse Choje, second in line to the throne of Gaden, the head of the Gelug lineage.

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