The Forty-Fourth Ganden Tripa, Lodro Gyatso b.1635 - d.1688
Name Variants: Gyanakpa Lodro Gyatso; Gyanakpa Ngawang Lodro Gyatso; Jamyang Lama Ngawang Lodro ; Lubum Lodro Gyatso ; Ngawang Lodro Gyatso; Trichen 44
The Forty-fourth Ganden Tripa, Lodro Gyatso (dga' ldan khri pa 44 blo gros rgya mtsho) was born at Takchuk region in Kumbum (sku 'bum stag phyug) in Amdo, in 1635, the wood-pig year of the eleventh sexagenary cycle. At a young age he travelled to Lhasa and matriculated in the Lubum House (klu 'bum khang tshan) of Gomang College, Drepung Monastic University, from which his later title "Lubum Lodro Gyatso" derived.
Lodro Gyatso began his monastic education with basic reading, writing, memorizing prayer texts and important philosophical texts, grammar, poetry, and related subjects. He then studied the Geluk monastic curriculum from the sutra section under eminent scholars in the monastery, and later enrolled in Gyume College to study tantra, with its rites and rituals, maṇḍala drawings and related topics. According to sources, Gomang Abbot Lobzang Ngawang (sgo mang mkhan po blo bzang ngag dbang, b. 1591) was his chief tutor.
Thereafter, Lodro Gyatso was enthroned to the seat of abbot at Deyang Dratsang (bde yangs grwa tshang), Drepung Gomang, Gyume Tantric College, and Jangtse College and taught at these monastic institutions, earning a reputation in his scholarship. In 1682, the water-dog year of the eleventh sexagenary cycle, at the age of forty-eight, he was enthroned as the Forty-fourth Ganden Tripa, the post that he served until 1685.
During his tenure he gave extensive teachings on regular and special topics from both the sutra and tantra and led religious performances, events, and festivals of the Geluk tradition. In addition, Trichen Ngawang Lodro Gyatso oversaw the renovation of the Great Assembly Hall of Ganden Monastery, making some additions, a project that took about four years.
In 1686, at the age of fifty-two, Trichen Ngawang Lodro Gyatso visited Mongolia in order to mediate and reconcile discords between Halha (hal ha) and Aoro (ao rod). Successfully settling their problems he consequently became a highly revered lama of both the groups.
When the Manchu Kangxi Emperor in Beijing (r. 1661-1722) requested the Fifth Dalai Lama, Ngawang Lobzang Gyatso (ta la'i bla ma 05 nga dbang blo bzang rgya mtsho, 1617-1682) for a lama to teach in Beijing, the Dalai Lama sent Lodro Gyatso. Thus, in 1687, at the age of fifty-three, Trichen Ngawang Lodro Gyatso visited the Emperor in his palace in Beijing, the first Geluk lama to do so on behalf of the Dalai Lama's government. He was accompanied by his close disciple, the Second Changkya, Ngawang Lobzang Choden (lcang skya 02 ngag dbang blo bzang chos ldan, 1642-1714). As a result of the trip Trichen Ngawang Lodro Gyatso came to be called Tri Gyanakpa (khri rgya nag pa), the Trichen of China, and Gyanakpa Lodro Gyatso meaning Lodro Gyatso of China.
Trichen Ngawang Lodro Gyatso left Beijing and returned to Tibet in 1688, at the age of fifty-four, and passed into nirvana on his way back to Lhasa (probably in Amdo). A silver stupa of multi doors (sgo mang mchod rten) was created as a reliquary to contain the remains from his cremation and installed in the Deshek Lhakhang (bde gshegs lha khang) in Ganden Monastery.
Among Trichen Ngawang Lodro Gyatso's many disciples were the First Jamyang Zhepa, Jamyang Zhepai Dorje ('jam dbyangs bzhad pa 01 'jam dbyangs bzhad pa'i rdo rje, 1648-1721/1722), and the Second Changkya, Ngawang Lobzang Choden (lcang skya 02 ngag dbang blo bzang chos ldan, 1642-1714).
Bstan pa bstan 'dzin. 1992. 'Jam mgon rgyal wa'i rgyal tshab gser khri rim byon rnams kyi khri rabs yongs 'du'i ljon bzang. Mundgod: Drepung Gomang Library, pp. 85.
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. 239-240.
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. 68-69.
Grong khyer lha sa srid gros lo rgyus rig gnas dpyad yig rgyu cha rtsom 'bri au yon lhan khang. 1994. Dga' ldan dgon pa dang brag yer pa'i lo rgyus, grong khyer lha sa'i lo rgyus rig gnas deb 02. Lhasa: Bod ljongs shin hwa par 'debs bzo grwa khang, pp. 68.
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- Historical Period