Lobzang Gyeltsen Sengge b.1757 - d.1849
Name Variants: Chokle Nampar Gyelwai De ; Gyeltsen Sengge; Rongwo Khenchen 27 Lobzang Gyeltsen Sengge; Tritrul Lobzang Gyeltsen Sengge
Lobzang Gyeltsen Sengge (blo bzang rgyal mtshan seng+ge) was born at a place called Tromtog (khroms thog) in Amdo in 1757, the year of fire-ox of the thirteenth sexagenary cycle. His father was called Drungpa Chakpo Jam (drung pa lcags po byams) who was in the lineage of Drungkhor Konchok (drung 'khor dkon mchog, d.u.). At a young age he was identified as the reincarnation of the Fifty-third Ganden Tripa, Gyeltsen Sengge (dga' ldan khri pa 53 khri chen rgyal mtshan seng+ge, 1678-1756) and brought to Ganden Shedrub Pekar Drolwailing (dga' ldan bshad sgrub pad dkar grol ba'i gling), also called Taktsang Lhamo Gon (stag tshang lha mo dgon), a monastery that was founded by his previous incarnation, and enthroned as his successor.
Khenchen Ngawa Chokyong Gyatso (mkhan chen rnga ba chos skyong rgya mtsho, d.u.) cut the boy's crown-hair and gave him the same name of his previous incarnation, rather than just a part of the name as was custom; he was thus Tritrul Lobzang Gyeltsen Sengge. He was given the vows of novice monk (dge tshul) by Ponlob Khedrub Gyatso (dpon slob mkhas grub rgya mtsho) of Lhamo Gon (lha mo dgon), who also granted him initiation and transmission on the name-recitation of Black Mañjūśrī.
Lobzang Gyeltsen Sengge then started his basic training and preliminary education in reading and memorization of daily prayers texts under the guidance of Gelong Lobzang Tosam (dge slong blo bzang thos bsam, d.u.) at Taktsang Lhamo, and in the following year at the age of eight he commenced his studies in the traditional texts under the tutorship of Gomang Geshe Zungchu Lobzang Sherab (sgo mang dge bshes zung chu blo bzang shes rab, d.u.). Exhibiting a sharp intellect, at the age of sixteen he surprised his teachers by composing a commentarial text called Commentary to the Unchanging Praise (bstod pa mi 'gyur ma'i 'grel pa). Between the ages of seventeen and twenty-five he sponsored and commissioned a large number of new items of objects of faith for the monastery. At the age of twenty-three Lobzang Gyeltsen Sengge was granted the vows of full ordination (dge slong) by the Sixth Paṇchen Lama, Lobzang Pelden Yeshe (paN chen bla ma 06 blo bzang dpal ldan ye shes, 1738-1780) while the Paṇchen was on his visit in Amdo region.
At the age of twenty-six Lobzang Gyeltsen Sengge travelled to Lhasa and attended the Lhasa Monlam Chenmo and made offerings to the Eighth Dalai Lama Jampel Gyatso (ta la'i bla ma 08 'jam dpal rgya mtsho 1758-1804) and to thousands of monks. Subsequently he matriculated in Drepung Gomang College ('bras spungs sgo mang grwa tshang) and studied the major subjects of Geluk monastic curriculum under the tutorship of Gomang Ponlob Kelzang Ngodrub (sgo mang dpon slob skal bzang dngos grub, d.u.) for about seven years. At the age of thirty-two he returned to Amdo where he taught for about two decades.
In 1808, at the age of fifty-two, Lobzang Gyeltsen Sengge again travelled to Lhasa and received many teachings and empowerments from a number of eminent lamas that included Tsechokling Yongdzin Yeshe Gyeltsen (tshe mchog gling yongs 'dzin ye shes rgyal mtshan, 1713-1793), Longdol Lama Ngawang Lobzang (klong rdol bla ma ngag dbang blo bzang, 1719-1794), and the seventh abbot of Rongwo Dechen, Lobzang Yeshe Tenpa Dargye (rong bo khri chen 07 blo bzang ye shes bstan pa dar rgyas, d.u.). According to sources he also received many teachings from other scholars including Lhamo Nyin Ponlob Khedrub Gyatso (lha mo nyin dpon slob mkhas grub rgya mtsho, d.u.) Pabongkhapa Gyatso Taye (pha bong kha pa rgya mtsho mtha' yas, d.u.) Pari Nyitang Lama Ngawang Dondrub (pa ri nyi thang bla ma ngag dbang don grub, d.u.), Shartse Khenpo Lobzang Jinpa (shar rtse mkhan po blo bzang sbyin pa, d.u.), and Khewang Ngarab Gyurme Kyechok (mkhas dbang sngags rab 'gyur med skyes mchog, d.u.). Subsequently he returned to Amdo to resume his service there.
Lobzang Gyeltsen Sengge went on pilgrimage to Wutaishan in Shanxi, China, said to be the abode of Mañjūśrī, and he also twice visited Mongolia to give teachings and empowerments, establishing during the second visit many temples, including Serkhang Chenmo (gser khang chen mo), Jokhang (jo khang), and Sanggye Tongku Lhakhang (sangs rgyas stong sku'i lha khang), providing each with the necessary objects of faith. He also established a printing press to provide texts to the communities.
In 1813, at the age of fifty-seven, in honor of his scholarship, Lobzang Gyeltsen Sengge received title of Ganden Tenpai Selje Erdeni Paṇḍita (dga' ldan bstan pa'i gsal byed er te ni paNDi ta) from the Ninth Dalai Lama, Lungtok Gyatso (ta la'i bla ma 09 lung rtogs rgya mtsho, 1805-1815).
At the age of fifty-eight Lobzang Gyeltsen Sengge settled in Tsogon Ganden Choling (gtsos dgon dge ldan chos gling) in Amdo where he worked for the development of a number of monasteries small and large including Taktsang Lhamo Ganden Shedrubling, Tashi Teckchenling (bkra shis theg chen gling), and Rongwo Tosam Namgyeling (rong bo thos bsam rnam rgyal gling). In 1816, the year of fire-mouse, he was enthroned as the twenty-seventh abbot of Rongwo and served for two years, during which he built a new large house for the labrang. After he retired from Rongwo he returned to his seat Ganden Choling. Subsequently he established a center for dialectic studies in Dzoge Karmo (mdzod dge dkar mo). He introduced courses in Tantra in the monasteries where he taught, and gave many empowerments and transmissions, particularly on the Mitra system, until the age of ninety-one.
Among Lobzang Gyeltsen Sengge's many disciples were the Fourth Rongwo Drubchen, Lobzang Chodrak Gyatso (rong bo grub chen 04 blo bzang chos grags rgya mtsho, 1795-1843), who was also called the Fourth Kelden (skal ldan); the Fourth Dzongkar, Jigme Lungrik Gyatso (rdzong dkar 04 'jigs med lung rigs rgya mtsho, 1804-1859), who was also the thirty-second abbot of Rongwo; and the Fifth Rongwo Drubchen, Lobzang Trinle Gyatso (rong bo grub chen 05 blo bzang 'phrin las rgya mtsho, 1844-1856).
Lobzang Gyeltsen Sengge composed a large number of texts that were collected into eight volumes. Some of the titles of his writings are Exposition of Tenets (grub mtha'i rnam bzhag); Important Points in the Graduated Path to the Enlightenment in Brief (byang chub lam gyi rim pa'i gnad don mdor bsdus); Collection of Answers to the Questions by Intellectual Analyst/Scholars (dpyod ldan rnams kyis dri ba byas pa'i lan phyogs gcig tu bkod pa); Buddhist Terminologies of Sanskrit and Tibetan (legs sbyar dang gangs can bod kyi brda shan sbyar); Elucidation on Etymological Meaning of Terms (sgra gcig don mang la 'jug pa sogs kyi rnam gzhag); A Comprehensive Commentary on Tibetan Grammar Sumchupa (bod kyi brda' bstan bcos sum cu pa'i gzhung gi rnam bshad); and Ornament of Scholars: An Essence of Tibetan Jyotish (rtsis kyi rnying po mkhas pa'i mgul rgyan). There are also compositions on the four sections of Tantra, Yamāntaka, praises to lamas and deities, rituals of wealth, and also many topics of sutra totaling one hundred and seventy-seven texts.
At age of ninety-three, in 1849, the earth-bird year of the fourteenth sexagenary cycle, Lobzang Gyeltsen Sengge passed into nirvana. Due to a dispute between Taktsang Lhamo Ganden Shedrubling and Tso Ganden Choling monasteries, each identified a separate reincarnation of Lobzang Gyeltsen Sengge. Jampel Tendzin Sengge ('jam dpal bstan 'dzin seng+ge), born in Mongolia, was identified as the reincarnation by the leaders of Lhamo Ganden Shedrubling and called the Third Lhamo Sertri (lha mo gser khri); Tso Ganden Choling had its own incarnation, called the Tso Sertri (gtsos gser khri).
Bstan pa bstan 'dzin. 2003. Chos sde chen pod pel ldan 'bras spungs bkra shis sgo mang grwa tshang gi chos 'byung chos dung g.yas su 'khyil ba'i sgra dbyangs. Lhasa: Dpal ldan 'bras spungs bkra shis sgo mang dpe mdzod khang, pp. 322-323.
Don rdor and Bstan 'dzin chos grags. 1993. Gangs ljongs lo rgyus thog gi grags can mi sna. Lhasa: Bod ljongs mi dmangs dpe skrun khang, pp. 826-828.
Grags pa 'byung gnas and Rgyal ba blo bzang mkhas grub. 1992. Gangs can mkhas grub rim byon ming mdzod. Lanzhou: Kan su'u mi rigs dpe skrun khang, pp. 1160-1162; 1351-1353.
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- Historical Period