The Treasury of Lives

The Treasury of Lives is a bibliographical encyclopedia of Tibet, Inner Asia, and the Himalaya. Most biographies are peer reviewed.

162

Countries with active visitors on the site.

1152

Biographies presently on the site.

88

Scholars and practitioners have contributed to the project, providing biographies and lineage information. Individuals are welcome to submit biographies. Please contact us for details.

About

The Treasury of Lives is a biographical encyclopedia of Tibet, Inner Asia, and the Himalayan region.  Founded in 2007 as a project of the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, The Treasury of Lives recently established independent non-profit status. The Treasury provides an accessible and well-researched biography of a wide range of figures, from Buddhist masters to artists and political officials, many of which are peer reviewed. Website localization into Tibetan and Chinese languages in is progress in order to meet the growing numbers of users active in those languages. 
 
In 2015, The Treasury relaunched the site, marking the addition of in-depth maps, timelines, clan data, religious incarnation lines, and embeddable content. These new features are complemented by an improved design and user interface. We work closely with our partners at Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center, Himalayan Art Resources, and the Rubin Museum of Art to improve data and share information. 
 
The team at the Treasury wishes to acknowledge everyone who has collaborated to help create the site, which was originally known as The Tibetan Lineages Project. Chief among them are Matthieu Ricard and Vivian Kurz, who originally created the site with design work by Charles Forcey, and engaged the scholars who wrote the first essays. Asa Hardcastle and Weston Happ architected and coded the new site which was designed by Nathan Eames. They incorporated many ideas and technology developed for the site's first iteration by Trevor Conn, Sean O’Dwyer, and Theresa Reed.
 
There is much more to be done. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation today. Your support makes this important work possible. As a collaborative project, we are especially grateful for support from our readers. Every dollar helps! 

Staff

Alexander Gardner is the Executive Director of the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, and the Director and Chief Editor of the Treasury of Lives. Alex completed his PhD in Buddhist Studies at the University of Michigan in 2007.

Tenzin Dickyi is an Editor at the Treasury of Lives. She is also English Editor of Tibet Web Digest, a project of Columbia University's Modern Tibetan Studies program. She has an MFA from Columbia University where she was a Hertog fellow and a BA from Harvard University.

Catherine Tsuji is an Editor at the Treasury of Lives. She received an MA in Religious Studies from the University of California Santa Barbara where her research interests included contemporary Mongolian religion and Tibetan history.

Editorial Committee Members

The Editorial committee supervises the Treasury's peer review process. Editorial members are also part of the advisory team.

  • Benjamin Bogin (Skidmore)
  • Jacob Dalton (UC Berkeley)
  • Paul Hackett (Columbia University Institute for Buddhist Studies)
  • Ariana Maki (University of Colorado)
  • Karma Phuntsho (Cultural Documentation and Research, Bhutan)
  • Annabella Pitkin (Lehigh University)
  • Andrew Quintman (Yale University)
  • Michael Sheehy (Harvard University)
  • Gray Tuttle (Columbia University)
  • Nicole Willock (Old Dominion University)

Advisory Committee Members

The Advisory Committee helps guide the Treasury's development and recommends improvements. They serve as ambassadors to the site, helping to promote its use and encourage participation among colleagues and students.

  • José Cabezón (UC Santa Barbara)
  • Brandon Dotson (Georgetown University)
  • Janet Gyatso (Harvard University)
  • Lauran Hartley (Columbia University Library)
  • Roger Jackson (Carleton College)
  • Sarah Jacoby (Northwestern)
  • Thupten Jinpa (Institute of Tibetan Classics)
  • Samten Karmay (CNRS, Paris)
  • Klaus Dieter Mathes (University of Hamburg)
  • Elena Pakhutova (Rubin Museum of Art)
  • Jann Ronis (UC Berkeley)
  • Sam van Schaik (British Library)
  • Tsering Wangyal Shawa (Princeton University Library)

Published Authors

The Treasury of Lives is a collaborative project. While all biographies are edited by the team, they are written by scholars from around the world. If you would like to submit a biography, please contact us.

Jean Luc Achard

is a researcher at the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) in Paris and editor of the Revue d'Etudes Tibétaines.

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Miranda Adams

 

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Nathan Eugene Bates

is a graduate student at Columbia University.

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John Vincent Bellezza

is a senior research fellow at the Tibet Center, University of Virginia. He is an expert in the archaeology and cultural history of Tibet.

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Elisabeth Benard

is Associate Professor at the University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, Washington.

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Suzanne Bessenger

is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Randolph College in Lynchburg, Virginia. She completed a PhD in History of Religions at the University of Virginia in 2010.

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Benjamin Bogin

is Assistant Professor in the Asian Studies Program at Skidmore College.

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Martin Boord

earned his PhD at the School of Oriental and African studies at the University of London in 1992. He has published widely on the topic of Vajrakīla.

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Michael Burroughs

 

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José Cabezón

is the XIV Dalai Lama Endowed Chair in Tibetan Buddhism and Cultural Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

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Bryan Cuevas

is the John F. Priest Professor of Religion at Florida State University.

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Jacob Dalton

is Assistant Professor of Tibetan Buddhist Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.

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Marc Henry Deroche

received his PhD from the University of Paris in 2011.

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Hildegard Diemberger

is Senior Associate in Research, Mongolia and Inner Asia Studies Unit at Cambridge University.

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Dorje Penjore

is a Senior Researcher at The Centre for Bhutan Studies.

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Brandon Dotson

Brandon Dotson is an associate professor ("Privatdozent") at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

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Douglas Duckworth

is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at East Tennessee University.

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Harry Einhorn

works at the Rubin Museum of Art and is a composer and performer whose pieces have been performed in New York and elsewhere.

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Liz Flora

received an MA in East Asian Languages and Cultures from Columbia University in 2013.

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Alexander Gardner

is Executive Director of the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation and the Director and Chief Editor of the Treasury of Lives. He completed his PhD in Buddhist Studies at the University of Michigan in 2007.

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Mads Garnak Rasmussen

is currently studying Tibetan language and Buddhism in Dharamsala.

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Ron Garry

has a Ph.D. in Indo-Tibetan Buddhism and an M.A. in integral psychotherapy.

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Holly Gayley

is Assistant Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

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Joel Gruber

is a PhD student at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

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Gyurme Dorje

is director of Trans Himalaya, with offices in the United Kingdom, Chengdu, and Kham. He earned a Ph.D. in Tibetan Literature at the School for Oriental and Asian Studies in 1987 and a Masters degree in Sanskrit & Oriental Studies at Edinburgh in 1971.

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Chris Hatchell

teaches religious studies at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. His research interests are in Kālacakra, Dzogchen, and the Bon tradition

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Jörg Heimbel

has a Ph.D. in Tibetology and Social Anthropology from Hamburg University.

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Daniel Hirshberg

is a Faculty Fellow in Tibetan Studies at the University of California.

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Sarah Jacoby

is Assistant Professor of Religion at Northwestern University. She earned a PhD in Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies at the University of Virginia in 2007.

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Jagar Dorji

is a Member of Parliament, National Council of Bhutan.

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Matthew Kapstein

is the Director of Tibetan Studies at the École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris, and also Numata Visiting Professor of the Philosophy of Religions and the History of Religions in the Divinity School of the University of Chicago.

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Karma Rigzin

is a researcher at the Institute of Language and Culture Studies.

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Khenpo Phuntshok Tashi

is the Director of the National Museum of Bhutan.

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Ryosuke Kobayashi

is visiting scholar at Harvard-Yengching Institute and was previously a JSPS Postdoctoral Fellow for Research Abroad and Visiting Scholar at Columbia University. His research interests include the history of Kham and the diplomatic activity of the Tibetan Government in the early 20th century.

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Stefan Larsson

received his PhD in History of Religions from Stockhold University in 2009 and is currently a postdoctoral fellow at UC Berkeley.

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Jakob Leschly

is a translator and practitioner, studying primarily under Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Pema Wanggyal Rinpoche, and Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche. He completed a three year retreat in 1984.

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Ariana Maki

is a lecturer at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and holds a Ph.D. in Art History with a specialization in Himalayan Art.

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Arthur Mandelbaum

is a Buddhist practitioner and translator.

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Dan Martin

is a scholar based in Israel. He received his Ph.D. from Indiana University in 1991.

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Carole McGranahan

is Professor of Cultural Anthropology and History at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She is the author of Arrested Histories: Tibet, the CIA, and Memories of a Forgotten War, and is currently writing a book about the Pangdatsang family.

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Alison Melnick

is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at St. Lawrence University. She completed a PhD in the History of Religions at the University of Virginia in 2014.

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Irmgard Mengele

 

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Willa Miller

is Visiting Professor at Harvard Divinity School and Director of Natural Dharma Fellowship, a non-profit Buddhist organization. She completed a PhD in Religion at Harvard University in 2013.

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Elizabeth Monson

 

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Adam Pearcey

Adam Pearcey is the founder of Lotsawa House (lotsawahouse.org) and a former director of the Rigpa Shedra.

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Pema Bhum

is a writer and scholar. He is also Director of Latse Contemporary Tibetan Cultural Library.

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Françoise Pommaret

is a director of research at the National Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilizations in Paris (Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales, CNRS), Paris.

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John Powers

is Professor of Asian Studies in the College of Asia and the Pacific, Australian National University. He is the author of fourteen books and more than sixty articles. These include Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism and A Bull of a Man: Images of Masculinity, Sex, and the Body in Indian Buddhism.

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Andrew Quintman

is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Yale University. He completed his PhD in Buddhist Studies at the University of Michigan in 2006.

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Joona Repo

is currently a visiting postdoctoral fellow at Heidelberg University's Cluster of Excellence - "Asia and Europe in a Global Context".

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Matthieu Ricard

is the main coordinator at Karuna-Shechen. A Buddhist monk, he has lived and studied in the Himalayan region for over thirty-five years, and was the full-time attendant of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche for thirteen years.

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Jann Ronis

is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in 2009.

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Samten Chhosphel

is an independent scholar with a PhD from the Central Institute for Higher Buddhist Studies in Sarnath, India.

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Sangngak Dorje

 

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Joshua Schapiro

is a Ph.D. candidate in Religious Studies at Harvard University.

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Dirk Schmidt

holds an MA in Buddhist Studies and currently lives in Asia studying Tibetan language.

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Michael Sheehy

is Founding Director of Jonang Foundation and Visiting Scholar at Harvard University

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Sherab Drime

is an ordained monk and lama of the Karma Kagyu and Shangpa Kagyu traditions of German origin. An interpreter and translator for 30 years, he worked closely for the late Kyabje Tenga Rinpoche of Benchen monastery and now spends most of his time in solitary retreat in Yolmo.

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Gene Smith

(1936-2010), one of the world's greatest scholars of Tibet, was the Founder of the Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center.

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Sonam Dorje

received an MA in Tibetan Language and Literature from Qinghai Nationalities University in 2012. Based in Amdo, he is currently involved in a Tibetan oral history project as well as film translation.

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Sonam Thakchoe

 

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Sonam Tsering Ngulphu

is a doctoral student in East Asian Languages and Cultures at Columbia University.

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Michelle Sorenson

is a Ph.D. candidate in Religious Studies at Columbia University.

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Cyrus Stearns

is a scholar based in Washington State, USA. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Washington in 1996.

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Heather Stoddard

is a professor at the National Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilizations in Paris (Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales, CNRS), Paris.

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Tenzin Fedor Stracke

is a candidate for the Geshe degree at Sera Monastery in India. He was one of the founders and the first director of Sera Je IMI house, a complex especially built for the Western monks studying at the monastery.

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Tenzin Dickyi

is an Editor at the Treasury of Lives. She is also English Editor of Tibet Web Digest, a project of Columbia University's Modern Tibetan Studies program.

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Antonio Terrone

 

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Thinlay Gyatso

is an academic researcher at Lingnan University in Hong Kong. Born in Amdo and educated at Labrang and in India, he has published several translations, including An Undercover Journey Through Tibet, by Ajam (from Tibetan to English) and Bertrand Russel's On Education: Especially in Early Childhood (from English to Tibetan).

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Dominique Townsend

has a PhD in Tibetan Studies from Columbia University and is currently teaching at Barnard College.

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Tsehua

is a Ph.D. candidate in Anthropology and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University.

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Tsering Namgyal

is a scholar in Xining.

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Tsering Shakya

is Canadian Research Chair in Religion and Contemporary Society in Asia at the Institute of Asian Research at the University of British Columbia.

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Erick Tsiknopoulos

is the main translator of the Sugatagarbha Translation Group.

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Catherine Tsuji

received an MA in Religious Studies at University of California Santa Barbara. She is currently an editor at the Treasury of Lives.

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Maria Turek

is a postdoctoral fellow at Bonn University. She received her PhD. from Humboldt University in Berlin in 2013.

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Gray Tuttle

is Leila Hadley Luce Professor of Modern Tibetan Studies at Columbia University. He completed his PhD in Inner Asian History at Harvard in 2002.

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Jay Valentine

is Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Troy University. His research focuses on the history of the Jangter Treasure Tradition.

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Cameron David Warner

is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Buddhism and Modernity Department of Anthropology and Ethnography, Aarhus University. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University.

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Jeff Watt

is one of the world's leading scholars of Himalayan Art. He is the Director and Chief Curator of Himalayan Art Resources (himalayanart.org).

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Simon Wickham-Smith

is a PhD candidate at the University of Washington. He has published several translations of Mongolian and Tibetan literature, including several volumes of Mongolian poety. He has also released many recordings of experimental music.

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Nicole Willock

is a PhD candidate in Religious Studies at Indiana University.

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Ben Wood

is a Ph.D. candidate in Buddhist Studies at the University of Toronto.

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Lan Wu

is a Ph.D. candidate in East Asian History at Columbia University. She is currently completing her dissertation on a transnational Tibetan Buddhist network in Qing China.

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Eveline Yang

is a Ph.D. student at Indiana University.

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Yangdon Dhondup

is a Research Associate in the Department of the Languages and Cultures of China and Inner Asia, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

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Evan Yerburgh

is a translator and member of Esukhia.

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