The Venerable Khenchen Tsultrim Lodro Rinpoche is a respected contemporary Nyingma teacher of Tibetan Buddhism based at Larung Gar (officially known as the Serthar Larung Five Sciences Buddhist Institute), where he serves as a standing Vice Principal. He is a native of Draggo (Ch: Luhuo) County in Sichuan Province. He is an influential public intellectual and a strong advocate of Tibetan culture.
Khenchen was born in an ordinary family in Draggo (Ch: Luhuo) County, Sichuan Province. As he grew older, his desire became stronger to become a monastic practitioner and benefit other beings by advancing the Buddhadharma. At the beginning of 1984, Khenchen turned down the position of Committee Secretary in the District Three division of the Luhuo County Government. Thereafter, at 22 years of age, he received ordination at Larung Gar, becoming a disciple of the great contemporary spiritual master, His Holiness Jigme Phunstok Rinpoche. He successively received Pratimoksha, Bodhisattva and Vajrayana vows.
德 清 穰 大 自 在 蓮 悦 法 林
Dechen Rang Wangchen Padma Gyipe Choling
On arriving at the teaching encampment, Khenchen joyfully faced the hardships in his immediate living conditions. Day and night he applied himself diligently to his studies of both the sutric and tantric divisions of the Buddhist scriptures and assimilated all content with ease. After years of effort and consecutive levels of strict examinations, he was personally awarded the Khenpo degree by His Holiness Jigme Phuntsok Rinpoche. At the age of 24 he began practicing the highest Nyingma tantric teachings transmitted by His Holiness. The fruits of his practice were verified face-to-face three times by his root teacher.
From 1991 to 2013, Khenchen held the critical leadership appointment of Dean of Education at Larung Gar. Over the course of twenty-one years of service, he gave teachings every day in addition to carrying out his administrative responsibilities. He also trained a large cohort of outstanding monastic students capable of carrying on the lineage and spreading the Buddhadharma.
In 1994 Khenchen was sent by His Holiness to Singapore to teach on the Buddhadharma, commencing what would develop into a long career of Dharma outreach among overseas audiences. In 2014, Khenchen resumed his overseas teaching activities after a hiatus of sixteen years and was invited to give lectures in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Canada, USA, UK, Australia and New Zealand.
Khenchen has also taken up invitations to participate in academic dialogues and give talks at tertiary institutions including Harvard University, University of Oxford, Stanford University, UC Berkeley, Columbia University, George Washington University, University of Virginia, Toronto University, University of Auckland, University of Sydney and University of Melbourne. He has also visited companies like Google to take part in activities alongside experts and scholars of science, philosophy and psychology to discuss topics central to science and Buddhism that probe the mysteries of life and mind.
Over the past decade or more, the core of Khenchen’s efforts has been concentrated in Tibetan areas, promoting environmental awareness, education, public health, vegetarianism, and the importance of protecting living beings and abstaining from taking life. At the same time, he has sought to deepen the broader Tibetan community’s understanding of basic Buddhism, and to this end has traveled widely giving teachings to lay audiences. Placing great importance on the development of Tibetan culture, Khenpo has founded libraries and two major schools. Notably, he has also coordinated a team of language specialists and scholars representing all Tibetan regions to collaborate on the compilation of a trilingual (Tibetan-Chinese-English) dictionary of new vocabulary terms.
Motivated by a concern to help prevent the ongoing spread of AIDS in Tibetan regions, in 2012 Khenchen initiated a training program for AIDS prevention volunteers in Tibet. He also founded the General Benefit AIDS Prevention Association in order to spread knowledge concerning AIDS prevention and drug prohibition across the entire Tibetan region.
Khenchen is committed to deepening his understanding of Western science and philosophy, and is enthusiastic in using contemporary technology to disseminate Buddhist culture. He has published extensively on Buddhism in both Tibetan and Chinese languages. His Tibetan publications include five volumes of collected writings, and his Chinese monographs include the eleven-volume Wisdom Light series, Why Aren’t We Happy?, Stories of Transmigration, Buddhism: Superstition or Wisdom?, The Secret Code for Unlocking Tibetan Buddhism, and Tibetan Buddhism: Lifting the Veil of Mystery.
Khenchen Tsultrim Lodro Rinpoche